Stellantis is working on a wide range of energy carriers and powertrain technologies in addition to electrification to meet the most diverse mobility needs. Hydrogen is included in this.
Stellantis has created a zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCEV) that combines the advantages of hydrogen fuel cells and electric battery technology. Customers of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) who require zero emissions, fast refueling, and a long range—all without sacrificing payload capacity—will particularly benefit from this solution.
We have created a mid-power architecture solution that meets the needs of our customers and has a range of more than 400 kilometers (certification is pending) and can be refueled in just three minutes. In addition to energy recovery and plug-in capability, a medium-capacity battery provides the power for dynamic performance and the energy required for extended driving range.
All parts of the fuel cell propulsion system are outside the cargo space to keep payload capacity. Additionally, the system can be integrated with our existing battery-electric LCV platform, resulting in minimal variation and maximum synergies between the hydrogen and battery-electric versions.
What is a fuel cell?
A fuel cell makes electricity to drive an electric motor by combining hydrogen and air with a catalyst. The only byproduct is water vapor. In this way, contrasted with a battery, a power module is an energy converter as opposed to a capacity gadget.
The architectures of fuel cell electric vehicles range from “full-power” configurations on one end to “range-extender” configurations on the other.
Full-Power:Under any operating conditions, the primary source of propulsion is a fuel cell. A large, powerful fuel cell and a small battery are needed for this.
Range-Extender: a battery-electric vehicle with an enormous battery is joined with a little low-power energy unit that expands the scope of the vehicle by providing capacity to the battery. However, when the battery is depleted, the fuel cell is unable to generate sufficient power to propel the vehicle.
At Stellantis, based on customer requirements, we have chosen a mid-power solution.
What are the advantages of our mid-power, plug-in hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle?
1) It enables smart packaging compared to the full-power system.
The entire system can be integrated with our existing battery-electric LCV production models because a mid-power fuel cell is also mid-sized. Three storage tanks that provide hydrogen to the fuel cell system were installed in place of the traction battery.
This converts a battery-electric LCV into a power device electric LCV without changes to the body, meaning no effect on freight space or payload. In addition, the vehicle has a WLTP cycle range of over 400 kilometers (certification pending).
2) Compared to a range-extender system, there is no compromise in terms of performance.
The fuel cell system has the capacity to maintain a constant highway speed with sufficient power. When required, top power is given by the battery situated under the front seats. The battery is a leftover from our previous program for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
3) The battery covers power requirements for acceleration and other functions, as well as start-up and first mile.
By allowing the fuel cell system to operate at its best, this makes the system more durable than a full-power one.
Regenerative braking, the greatest benefit of hybrid systems, is also made possible by the battery. The battery can also be recharged from an external power source thanks to its plug-in capability, giving it a 50-kilometer pure battery-electric range.