PowerCell Sweden AB has announced that it has received an order for two MS-30 fuel cell systems from an undisclosed global automotive tier 1 supplier for delivery in Q1/Q2 2019. The systems are built around PowerCell’s fuel cell stack S2 and with an effect of 30 kW. The supplier will install the systems as range extenders (REX) in vehicles for tests in China.
PowerCell MS-30 fuel cell system has been developed with the specific purpose to be suitable in the use as a range extender. Electric vehicles (EV) that use fuel cells as range extenders have batteries as its main source of energy and use the fuel cells to charge the batteries during operation.
By using fuel cells in this way, the vehicles extend their range compared to if they were using just the energy stored in the batteries. The PowerCell MS-30 uses pure hydrogen and has been sold to several vehicle manufacturers operating in China.
Hydrogen and fuel cells a priority
In its latest 5-year plan the Chinese Government has emphasized hydrogen and fuel cells as a prioritized alternative in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other harmful matters from road traffic. The current subsidies for electric vehicles running on batteries will be phased out during 2020 and are being replaced with large subsidies for vehicles that are being electrified using fuel cells and hydrogen.
According to PowerCell Sweden, the subsidies will apply to cars and heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) such as trucks and buses. A heavy-duty truck can qualify for a subsidy of up to as much as SEK 1 million.
China has come to realize that electrification using batteries will not be able to meet the need for massive electrification of the road traffic. It will simply not be possible to provide enough charging stations or the required grid capacity in China’s larger cities for batteries to be a viable alternative. This is a notion that is being increasingly subscribed to also by a growing number of vehicle manufacturers, as they realize that for mass market cars and commercial transports, hydrogen and fuel cells currently is a much better alternative, said Per Wassén, CEO of PowerCell.