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Intelligent Energy develops 'game changing' H2 fuel cell powertrain for passenger cars

Source: Intelligent Energy

UK-based fuel cell developer Intelligent Energy has launched a new 'IE-DRIVE' hydrogen fuel cell system that is small and powerful "than any other solution on the passenger car market". The powertrain was featured in Chinese automaker Changan's SUV during the official unveil. 

The company claims that the new solution can unlock the challenges put forth by BEVs in present times, thus enabling zero-emission mobility through hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel cells can also be as cheap to manufacture as internal combustion engines (ICE) and can be produced from recycled and recyclable materials, the company adds. 

The patented 'IE-DRIVE' system boasts fuel cell stacks of 157 kW, higher than any other single stack application that is currently available for the passenger car sector, according to the developer. This is perhaps the first fuel cell powertrain designed specifically for low bonnet requirements of passenger cars in the UK. 

"With 25 percent of all passenger cars expected to have hydrogen fuel cell powertrains, this clean technology represents the future. I'm proud that, as an independent and privately-owned company, Intelligent Energy has developed a breakthrough solution that can open up the market for passenger car manufacturers that need to package a more powerful system into their vehicles", said David Woolhouse, Intelligent Energy's Chief Executive. 

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Intelligent Energy's launches Hydrogen fuel cell system cars, LCVs in UK 

Intelligent Energy has unveiled its latest hydrogen fuel cell system - 'IE-DRIVE 100' - for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs). The system in a compact, engine shaped format provides a net peak power up to 110kW.

"Our DRIVE product has the potential to shake up the hydrogen fuel cell market and accelerate the transition towards zero-emission mobility. As an IATF-compliant business we are looking to grow our capability as a tier 1 supplier. Fuel cell manufacturing will be a major driver of economic growth", he noted.

Intelligent Energy predicts its that its new fuel cell system will cost around 100 GBP per kW by the end of the decade when it enters mass manufacturing, making it less expensive than BEV solutions and quite comparable to IC engines.

Representing a turnkey solution for car manufacturers, IE-DRIVE is a complete fuel cell system akin to a traditional engine. It includes the fuel cell stack, electronic control unit, heat exchanger and Balance of Plant (BOP).

The system's direct water injection technology means that its heat exchanger is up to 30 percent smaller than its competitors at equal net power output. The single pass heat exchanger in IE's test SUV only measures 0.34m² but enables cruising at 130 kmph in peak temperatures, and a speed of 90 kmph to be achieved when travelling up a long, steep hill.

A smaller heat exchanger means that the vehicle packaging can be much easier and benefiting its design, particularly in relation to bonnet height and improved driver visibility. The company also claims reduction in component costs due to its ingenious design and technology. 

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Stellantis Pro One begins H2-powered vehicle deliveries to HYSETCO

Stellantis Pro One, the commercial vehicle business unit of the automotive group, has announced the commencement of fleet deliveries of Peugeot-branded 'e-Expert' hydrogen fuel-cell powered passenger and delivery vans to HYSETCO, the hydrogen mobility startup based in France.
Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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