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charging – tying vehicle recharging to off-peak times – could provide for local electricity networks, where additional demand

fromlocal clusters of EVs could require reinforcement of these networks.More than 40 differentmakes andmodels of EVs are taking part in the trial. ElectricNation’s initial findings, which were presented at the

recentUK low carbon vehicle event LCV2017, are based on almost 70,000 hours of charging data, and show that 48 per cent of plug- in events begin between 5pmandmidnight. On average, these vehicles are plugged in for 12 hours but are only charging for just over two hours. This suggests that there is likely to be sufficient flexibility tomanage charging away frompeak electricity demand periods.

CHICKEN-AND-EGG For FCEVs to challenge BEVs a viable recharging network is required.Here lies the chicken-and-egg scenario: without enough vehicles on the road it is not economically justifiable to invest in the recharging network, while fromthe carmanufacturers’ point of view, without the recharging network it is hard to justify investing in vehicle production. This, of course, is where central funding plays a vital role. For widespread commercialisation of hydrogen FCEVs to be a realistic part of the electric vehicle picture, the remaining challenges need to have been solved by 2025 at the latest. And the cost of FCEVs needs to come down considerably, in the way that BEVs have already achieved. HyFIVE has developed a hydrogen network within three

clusters: London, Copenhagen and a southern area comprising the three German cities of Innsbruck,Munich, and Stuttgart, along with Bolzano in Italy.H2ME expanded this collaboration to 12 European countries – theUK, France, Germany, theNetherlands, Norway, Sweden,Denmark, Iceland, Belgium, Austria, Italy and Luxembourg – to give FCEV drivers access to a nascent pan- European network of hydrogen refuelling stations. HyFIVE has deployed 185 FCEVs fromfive global automotive

companies: BMW,Daimler,Honda,Hyundai and Toyota. These vehicles have differentmaturity levels, fromprototype up to commercial production, with performance characteristics and cost reduction targets that have led to a plausible offering for early- adopting customers.

WHERE NOW? Hydrogen FCEVs have a lot of ground tomake up on BEVs, and it seems clear that hydrogen is inferior to battery technology as a storage of energy for vehicles. Perhaps by 2025 the last hold-outs should likely be retiring their fuel cell dreams. Or will they? There are benefits to be gained in overall energymanagement if

they canmake up the ground. As wemove to 100 per cent of electricity generated fromrenewable energy, there is a need for a storagemechanismfor energy created during periods of low consumption.Having hydrogen plants located close to the energy generation facilities is an attractive way of storing the energy. An approach taking into account the entire energy cycle seems the most likely way that hydrogen vehicles can become a serious contender, which will require central support and significant research and development funding. It is perhapsmore likely to succeed inmainland Europe. TheUK is largely committing to BEVs, while the EUis adopting themore ambivalent approach of the technologies as being complementary in amixed future. EE

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12 /// Environmental Engineering /// October 2017 HYDROGEN-POWERED STREET SWEEPER

Roads in the northern Netherlands village of Hoogezand are being cleaned with half the noise and zero pollution since a new hydrogen-powered street sweeper entered service. Formerly

diesel-powered, themachine was converted to run on a hydrogen fuel cell by Netherlands firmHolthausen, in cooperation with the municipality of Groningen. Finnishmanufacturer Visedo supplied its expertise to electrify the vehicle’s drive system. The end result is a street-cleaning vehicle that can run for

1.5 days on a single hydrogen charge and emits nothing except water.

 The Toyota Mirai (below centre) in 2015 was the first commercially sold hydrogen fuel cell car. It was joined a year later by the Hyundai ix35 FCEV (below top) and Honda’s Clarity (below bottom)

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