Automotive supplier Magna International has developed a self-charging electric fuel cell vehicle. The company developed the vehicle as a solution to lack of access to hydrogen for fuel cells and the long time it takes for electric vehicles to recharge.
Automotive supplier develops self-charging electric fuel cell car. The self-charging electric fuel cell vehicle that the company's Australian subsidiary, Magna Steyr, worked on is a de-badged Mercedes Viano minivan. It features a fuel cell that is smaller than average which recharges its battery while running.
The vehicle is called the FCREEV which stands for Fuel Cell Range Extended Electric Vehicle. According to the company's website, it takes advantage of the "fast-fueling and high-energy density of hydrogen as well as the available infrastructure for electric charging".
What makes the FCREEV work is only temporary and is designed to bridge the gap between now and the time when long-range electrics cars will sport technology that allows for fast battery charging or when "a proper hydrogen refueling network is built" according to the company.
Speaking at the Geneva Auto Show, Magna Steyr research and development head Helfried Mueller said that "There's a big potential for this type of vehicle in the near future." One potential customer for the company's self-driving electric fuel cell vehicle would be ground logistics companies who may be forced to use zero emission vehicles due to stricter regulations in the future. These companies will not have the time to spend on recharging their delivery trucks.
The range of FCREEV is at 350 kilometers. 70 kilometers of that can be just on battery power. Its fuel cell stack is rated at 30 kWh, 84 kWh lower than the fuel cell found in the Toyota Mirai.
The automotive supplier doesn't have any plans to mass produce the FCREEV. It is instead using it to showcase what the company can do which includes product engineering and contract manufacturing to name a few.