Industrial fuel-cell power company AFC Energy has announced the successful deployment of Ch2arge – the world’s first electric vehicle charger based on hydrogen fuel-cell technology. The UK-based company’s technology could, its developers claims, enable 100% clean electricity for future EV charging.
A demonstration of the system took place at Dunsfold Aerodrome and saw a BMW i8 become the first car to be recharged with power generated by a hydrogen fuel cell. The innovation follows 10 years of fuel cell research development at the AFC Energy laboratories.
AFC Energy is preparing for the commercialization of fuel cell-based EV charge solutions to meet the growing demand for environmentally friendly power in the EV market, offering a potential energy source that is not reliant on fossil fuels for electricity generation.
“By 2030, it is estimated that there could be nine million electric vehicles on the roads of Britain, up from 90,000 today,” said Adam Bond, chief executive officer at AFC Energy.
“For this transition, we need charging stations to be embedded throughout the country, as well as seeking innovative solutions to overcome the severe limitations of centrally generated electricity. By developing and demonstrating the effectiveness of our hydrogen fuel cell in the application of EV charging, AFC Energy has shown it is ready to lead the way not only in solving the challenges of increased demand for electricity, but also doing so in a truly zero emissions approach.”
Ch2arge includes AFC Energy’s small-scale fuel cell connected to an inverter similar to those used by Toyota at the OEM’s Electric Vehicle research center.
The inverter transfers energy created by the fuel cell to a charger. The system is supported by a 48V battery pack to assist with peak power demands. The solution can also be tailored for both on- and off-grid applications and scaled up as required.