There's been plenty of talk about carmakers moving to lighter materials like carbon fiber to reduce weight, improve fuel economy and enhance the driving experience. Two years ago, Honda and Nissan formed a consortium to research the mass-market implementation of carbon fiber. Last year, BMW launched its own joint venture to do the same. Lamborghini joined the party when it opened its own CF research center earlier this year. In practice, though, use of composites for large panels is still limite
At the Fuel Cell Pavilion at the Hannover Messe 2008, British company Bac2 has announced that it's introducing blank bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells made from their proprietary polymer, called ElectroPhen. This allows easy prototyping because they're easier to produce and thus 30 percent cheaper than metal plates.
There are many stumbling blocks when it comes to the successful use of hydrogen as an energy carrier for automobiles. Among those stumbling blocks is figuring out how to extract hydrogen in an environmentally friendly and cost effective manner, how to transport that hydrogen and subsequently refill a car with it, and where to put it once you've successfully managed to get around the first two. General Motors is working on the issues, as Sam recently reported. Universities all over the world are
As we've all been made well aware, one of the reasons hydrogen-powered vehicles remain on the horizon of power-train technology is the absence of a practical, low-cost, high-capacity storage solution for such a combustible fuel. Until now, most auto manufacturers have resorted to using compressed hydrogen gas in their fuel-cell prototypes. Recently, however, a group of physicists at Seoul National University have made a considerable break-through in practical hydrogen storage.