One of the current hot topics in the automotive industry is electromobility based on battery and fuel cell technology.
At TÜV Rheinland, we have many years of experience with supporting H2 mobility projects, dating back to 1994, when we issued the first fuel cell vehicle approval. Another milestone was in 2003, when we granted type approval of the first commercial vehicle (fuel cell bus).
Through our work on several H2 development projects, our expertise and our expert team have been constantly growing over the years. In 2006, we approved the first H2 combustion engine bus.
We are promoting the use of H2 in mobility projects by supporting our customers in their H2 automotive projects with a wide range of services, such as individual testing of key components of hydrogen prototypes, testing of entire hydrogen vehicles, type approval of all components and vehicles, training for governments or automotive related companies and education of workshops and distributors.
What Are the Key Components of a Fuel Cell-Electrified Vehicle?
- Electric traction motor: Using power from the fuel cell and the traction battery pack, this motor drives the vehicle's wheels. Some vehicles use motor generators that perform both the drive and regeneration functions.
- Battery pack: The battery stores energy generated through regenerative braking and provides supplemental power to the electric traction motor or, in many applications, buffers the power generated by the fuel cell.
- Fuel cell stack: An assembly of individual membrane electrodes that use hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity.
- Fuel tank (hydrogen) with related components (valves, safety devices, etc.):
High-pressure tanks store hydrogen gas on board the vehicle at pressures of up to 700 bar until needed by the fuel cell.
What Are the Advantages of H2?
- No harmful vehicle emissions
The process of the hydrogen car converting hydrogen into electricity (via the fuel cells) produces zero harmful emissions, just water as a by-product.
- Higher fuel efficiency and greater range compared to combustion engines
Fuel cell vehicle efficiency: approx. 65%; combustion engines: approx. 30-35%
- Lower re-fueling time than electric cars
Fueling process takes 5 minutes or less making it comparable to gasoline
What Are the Disadvantages of H2?
- Currently a higher price
The prices of available fuel cell vehicles are higher than conventional combustion engine and electric vehicles (Toyota Mirai ~76.000€). However, considering scaling effects, the prices will drop dramatically.
- Limited number of re-fueling stations
In Germany, there are currently 87 re-fueling stations. The aim is to expand the network to a total of 400 re-fueling stations by 2023.
- Hydrogen is more expensive than gasoline
The price of 1kg hydrogen (= 3.3 L diesel fuel) at re-fueling stations currently is 9,50 €. The average consumption of a Toyota Mirai is 0,76kg/100km. EU goal: 4 - 4.50 €/kg by 2030.
- Currently considerable GHG emissions within life cycle analysis
While hydrogen can be generated with zero emissions, it is currently primarily produced by the process of steam reforming, which generates carbon dioxide.
How Can TÜV Rheinland Empower Your H2 Mobility Project?
- Individual testing of key components of hydrogen prototypes
- Testing of entire hydrogen vehicles
- Type approval of all components, systems and entire vehicles to all standards (EU and worldwide)
- Training for governments and automotive related companies
- Training of employees and maintenance providers
- Suitability tests and certification of workshops in transportation companies
- Support in the preparation of safety concepts for operators