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DOE seeking input on commercialization of fuel cells as range extenders for battery-electric vehicles

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) (DE-FOA-0001145) to solicit feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to the technical and economic feasibility of commercializing fuel cell range extenders for available battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) in the US market.

DOE’s office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) is specifically interested in information on BEV makes and models where an after-market modification to extend the vehicle range using a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell system would be most feasible.

The RFI is seeking input on a number of questions, including:

  • The business case (including capital/operating cost reductions) for using prime battery propulsion with fuel cell range extenders for light-duty vans or delivery vehicles used to deliver parcels, to dispatch service technicians, or to shuttle individuals or small groups of people within service territories.

  • Potential vehicle technical performance improvements for an on-board PEM fuel cell range extender supporting prime battery propulsion, e.g., battery durability, productivity improvements (e.g. low downtime for refueling), or vehicle torque.

  • The potential increase in fleet customers, given an increase in electric range.

  • Potential for reductions in manufacturing cost, weight, and volume of the electric drivetrain by reducing the size of the battery and offsetting with the PEM fuel cell and energy storage.

  • The potential air emissions advantages of fuel cell range extenders as compared to other technologies shown in this table:

      BEV, US grid FCEV, SMR H2 BEV w/FC, SMR H2 Gasoline PHEV40 Gasoline HEV Gasoline ICEV Diesel ICEV
    Elec. drive Wh/mi 300 300 278
    mpgge 61 43 41 32 38
    Max. range, miles 80 (24 kWh pack) 300 40 (12 kWh batt.) + 180 (3 kg H2) 500 500 400 450
    Grams GHG/mi 210 250 240 220 270 340 300

  • Regulatory considerations in terms of a value proposition such as compliance with noise and anti-idling laws.

  • The role of government support in accelerating deployment.

  • The minimum number of vehicles (deployed with government support) needed to: (1) provide enough data and analysis for industry acceptance and (2) enable further deployments without government assistance.

  • present economic and non-technical barriers to commercializing the technology application.

  • Regulation or permitting issues in locating a suitably sized technology deployment project.

  • Challenges in providing refueling infrastructure.

  • Technical advantages that would make fuel cell range extenders more viable than BEVs or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs).

  • Technology advances for PEM fuel cell range extenders that would make them more commercially viable.

  • The potential for adding a fuel cell range extender to a commercial BEV to make that vehicle platform more viable.

In addition to responses on the specific issues raised, DOE is also looking for comment on five key general issues for the category: potential impact; additionality (e.g., expanding the number of participants); openness; the proper role of government; and the enduring economic benefit.




"A BEV does not have such a role in the promotion of RE because a BEV is charged from the grid, for which RE is more expensive."

The average BEV, like any other car, spends +90% of the time PARKED somewhere. 22 hours is much longer than you need for a recharge so if you keep it plugged in it can be preprogrammed to charge for any portion of time during that time, like when an excess of solar and/or wind energy is available. An internet connection to your BEV can easily tell it when such periods of time are likely.

Roger Pham

Good point, ai vin. Furthermore, if charged at the work place, the power can come directly from solar panels in the vicinity via dedicated DC lines to reduce cost and increase efficiency. In the winter when sunlight is a lot less, the BEV can be charged from FC for CHP at work and at home when the waste heat can be used for space heating.


It is the mining of fossil fuels and using fossil fuels that are the damaging forces; I don't care how you propose to store energy as long as you don't use carbon to create it. Hydrogen storage, pumping water uphill, flywheels, Lithium batteries, etc. I see many ways to create and store potential energy, other than burning fossil fuels. I think we are underway with solar and wind generated electricity stored in grid edge batteries and we need to build on that start. Perhaps geothermal, wind towers and wave generation are next. Nuclear could be if we weren't so careless and complacent about managing the important safety issues and GE could produce the fuel at a reasonable cost. These methods are expensive to develop? yes; but, give me anything but crapped up air, water, and land caused by fossil fuels.

I agree with the others and I'll go further: The enemy of the people is the fossil fuels industry and their bribed politicians, mostly Republicans. The only power we have is to vote in people who have a clean energy agenda and vote out those who support fossil fuels.



Thanks for the core focus. All too often we get wrapped up in the Request for Information, DOE Grants and Loan Guarantee announcements but forget that this has been going on for 40 years with very little to show for it.

If I am a large corporation, I will spend a lot of money on lobbyists to make sure I get my way. It does not matter if my way is bad for the U.S. and the people, it must be good for my corporation. All too often people think that the good of the people will come from the aggregation of corporate interests. Nothing could be further from the truth.


Darn those oil companies and their political contributions.

Here, from Open, which is run by the distinctly leftward Center for Responsive Politics, are the Top Contributors in the 2012 cycle. Note that the numbers combine all PAC, soft money, and large ($201+) individual contributions made by the organization, its employees, officers and their immediate families that Open Secrets can find. Subsidiaries and affiliates are also included in the totals:
1 Las Vegas Sands $52.7M
2 Adelson Drug Clinic $42.1M
3 Contran Corp $31.4M
4 Perry Homes $23.7M
5 National Education Assn $14.8M
6 City of New York, NY $14.3M
7 Newsweb Corp $14.2M
8 United Auto Workers $13.3M
9 Hugo Enterprises $12.9M
10 American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employee

Holy cow… no Big Oil in the top 10. But let’s keep looking. Well, at
21: TRT Holdings $6.4M Except for the core Tana Exploration company, it’s virtually all hotels, resorts and health clubs. But there is some evilnastywicked oil.

30 Oxbow Corp $4.9M AHA! Owned by Satan’s spawn, the Koch family, Oxbow, a transporter of refinery products and other services. These contributions, about 1/3rd of NYC’s total and about 2% of that contributed by the top 10, must be the thing that is holding back "renewables".

But let’s go on past more unions, social interest groups, banks, etc. until we get to the real culprits behind America’s corruption: Chevron at #50, and Exxon at #77 (behind Dreamworks SKG --- damned cartoons!!! --- the Postal Workers Union, and the Beer Wholesalers).

How dare they.

Now, wait, you say: this doesn’t look at heavy hitters from the past quarter century; it’s only the ’12 cycle.

OK, I could drag you through something similar for ’89-14 in which you’ll find the Kochs at #60, Chevron at #75, and Exxon at #78.

I hope this helps, but somehow I doubt actual traceable amounts will matter to those whose Reynolds Wrap protective gear is thickest.


Et al:
Not a Republican or Democrat, not a conservative or liberal. It's easier to think clearly about issues if you don't need to defend decisions made by a political party.

"Mining hydrocarbons is a dangerous, nasty business that requires political and legal protection for the right to pollute and damage Health, Water and Property."

If I'm a fossil company buying politicians, the last thing I would do is let anyone know where I spent my bribe money. What you have here is the amounts they want you to know about...their public election contributions. And by the way, those who follow The Supreme Court rulings of late, know they can now easily and legally hid donations through nested pacs. If you defend this data you are being duped, maybe because you want to be. How about moneys they spend other ways; for example; doing favors for politicians through their lobbying organization called The American Petroleum Institute. How about the false PR about how clean they are. How about the money spent each year in court battles against poor people sickened by mining activities. Amd, on it goes!

No one needs to prove conspiracies to know the fossil fuel industry has bought many favorable Government policies; pay attention to facts and your senses and listen to your intuition. These people have had a hundred plus years to establish croney relationships and move the system to favor their desires; they are a large part of the capitalistic system, run by corporations on money favors, that has replaced democracy. We who fight for clean air, water and land and above all a return to rule by the people, are enemies of their status quo.



Well done! I read some history on trying to get DDT banned in the 1950s. People saw the data, but would not believe it because it helped agriculture. In fact if you were trying to show the data, you were considered not a good faithful American.

Someone once said it is hard to convince someone of something when his paycheck depends on him not being convinced. This is what happened with DDT in the farm states, tobacco in the those states, coal in those states, logging in those states...on and on.

It does not take a conspiracy, if you tacitly threaten someone with the loss of their job, homelessness and dying in the streets, they will fall into line and believe what ever you tell them to believe. Big Brother is a corporation.


Lovin' your evidence, my friends. It's strange because there was SO much talk about the power of political contributions made to politicians. Once the contribution values are shown... poof: "well, that's not what I REALLY meant. I meant stuff I KNOW is happening and you can't prove I'm wrong."

Got it.

You know, I have gnomes in my garden. Dozens of the little critters keeping me from successfully producing tomatoes as big and red as I'd like. Don't believe me? Well, prove me wrong. After all: look how crappy my tomatoes are.

I can understand how hard it is to prove something that you KNOW is true --- something that is keeping the world from being the way you earnestly wish it were --- but you just can't locate actual numbers or facts. Stuff that intuition tells you is true --- an intuition that outweighs facts that people put in front of you.

Sort of a "substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen" kinda deal.


As someone who has worked in "clean" technology and petroleum, and volunteers in social services, the things I hear from the Faithful about the "other side" would just kill you. And, in fact, as that self-assuredness leads to lemmings-off-the-cliff bad decisions by governments, sometimes it will.

Good luck with that.


Herman, what about "dark money" ???
From Mother Jones;

In total, Koch Industries and its affiliates Georgia-Pacific and Flint Hills Resources have given more than $2.2 million to candidates and parties during this election cycle. Koch Industries recently asserted that its support for candidates "is not based on party affiliation, and we support both Republicans and Democrats who support market-based policies and solutions." Yet 95 percent of its corporate donations in 2011 and 2012 have gone to Republicans. Charles and David Koch have given a combined total of $411,000 to federal and state candidates and parties during this election cycle, all of it to Republicans.

Those figures establish the Kochs and their companies as significant, but not extraordinary, conservative donors. That's where the accounting of their actual influence becomes tricky. As mentioned above, the Kochs have committed to raising millions to defeat Obama. However, most (if not all) of that money is going to outside-spending groups that don't have to disclose their donors. The primary vehicle for this spending is Americans for Prosperity, a nonprofit that operates a foundation (started by David Koch in 2004) and a 501(c)(4) that has played an active role in the Wisconsin recall election and has been running anti-Obama ads across the country. The Kochs say there is no link between AFP's two sides, yet the Center for Responsive Politics reports that they share staff and overhead costs. The Obama campaign has accused AFP of being a "front group."

So far, AFP has disclosed $36.7 million in election spending, 95 percent being spent against Obama. That includes $12.6 million on ads in key markets including swing states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. (It doesn't include what AFP has spent on promotions such as giving away reduced-cost gas to "highlight Obama's failing energy policies.)

Just how much the Kochs have given AFP or other dark-money groups is unknown. Earlier this year, the Huffington Post reported that Charles Koch has pledged to give $40 million to unseat Obama while David Koch has pledged $20 million. (Their friends and allies have also pledged to help them raise additional millions.) Neither brother has donated to super-PACs (which must disclose their donors), so presumably that money has gone to dark-money groups such as AFP. Which means that the $411,000 in disclosed donations is just the tip of an iceberg of undisclosed campaign money.

The Kochs like to get in through the back doors of politics;
In this way the Kochs raised over $400 million;

They start "Foundations" support "grassroots" and fund reports & "scientific studies." They don't just hand over money in the light of day.


"In a must-read report, Greenpeace details how Koch Industries has “become a financial kingpin of climate science denial and clean energy opposition,” spending over $48.5 million since 1997 to fund the anti-science disinformation machine." [This is only from 2010 so more will have been spent since.]


Now you want to address all the policy and advocate funding they do. Yes, it's a lot of money, and it's used to make a point to the public, but it isn't political contributions, and while it has been tested in court recently it has largely not been regarded as regulated campaign spending EVER. Why is it evil to fund the points of view you hold? Was it ruthless and awful and illicit that the Tides foundation has been sayimg basically the opposite and doing so to the tune of over $500M at last count? Of course not.

Please --- the accusation was the major oil companies in the United States were committing bribery of public officials and the improper funding of campaigns, and directly influencing the lending behavior of financial institutions. If you have to change the topic at hand to make a point, OK, but admit that you can't prove the initial accusation.


What is even worse is that 'Clean Coal, and 'Clean Tar Sands, and 'Clean Blue NG' and 'Clean Shale Oil & Gas' producers get $$BB of our tax dollars as subsidies to corrupt our 'believers' and eager politicians.

All those political-lobby contributions do not cost them a single dollar.

Roger Pham

On a positive note, DDT was finally banned, and tobacco use is much reduced, in spite of the vast sum spent on denying the harms of DDT or addiction of tobacco. There is only so much one can do to suppress the truth.

Once a clear-cut and profitable alternative to coal, petroleum and NG is identified, which is H2 from RE, the transition will take place and fossil fuels will be phased out gradually by the energy companies themselves, over several decades. The transition will be gradual so that no oil and gas investor will be hurt during the process. I believe that it was Exxon that funded initial research in solar PV panels.

AS it is today, RE-H2 at the retail station is already cheaper to produce than it would to extract, transport, refine, and distribute oil and gas products.

As for NG, H2 at $2/kg is still more than twice the cost of wholesale cost of NG per kWh LHV in the USA, however, NG cost over twice the US prices on other parts of the world, so H2 would be competitive there. Retail prices of NG is a lot higher than wholesale prices. H2 can be made locally near the point of retail, thus a lot less distribution costs. Plus, H2 consumption via FC-CHP via distributed generation can be twice the efficiency of NG utilization. In CHP application of H2-FC, the Combine Heat and Power can extract 40 kWh/kg of H2, or utilizing the HHV energy content, and not just the 33 kWh/kg LHV when waste heat is rejected.


Electrified vehicles (HEV, PHEV, BEV and FCEV) together with clean 24/7 RE will progressively replace current ICEVs and dirty CPPs and NGPs and unwanted NPPs.

The world does not have a choice. If we want to survive, we will have to stop burning fossil and bio fuels.

NPPs are an interesting solution if we could bring the initial and ongoing operation cost down, better manage radio active waste and increase general public support. That may be possible in the 2050+ era?


major oil companies in the United States were committing bribery of public officials

I never said that, but they do have influence


Why is it evil to fund the points of view you hold?

I don't know about "evil" but those with more money have more "free" speech.


That's how 'Moneycracies' work.

Unfortunately, people who live in 'Moneycracies' still believe that they live in real ideal 'Democracies'.


Bending over for Big Oil became the ideological posture of the Bush White House, and, under Cheney’s cruel whip, the practice trickled down through the regulatory bureaucracy. The Minerals Management Service — the poster child for “agency capture phenomena” — hopped into bed with the regulated industry — literally. A 2009 investigation of the Minerals Management Service found that agency officials ”frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives.” Three reports by the Inspector General describe an open bazaar of payoffs, bribes and kickbacks spiced with scenes of female employees providing sexual favors to industry big wigs who in turn rewarded government workers with illegal contracts. In one incident reported by the Inspector General, agency employees got so drunk at a Shell sponsored golf event that they could not drive home and had to sleep in hotel rooms paid for by Shell.

Pervasive intercourse also characterized their financial relations. Industry lobbyists underwrote lavish parties and showered agency employees with illegal gifts, and lucrative personal contracts and treated them to regular golf, ski, and paintball outings, trips to rock concerts and professional sports events. The Inspector General characterized this orgy of wheeling and dealing as “a culture of ethical failure” that cost taxpayers millions in royalty fees and produced reams of bad science to justify unregulated deep water drilling in the gulf.


More of the same will be done after November 2014 when both houses will be in the hands of the Oil, Gas, Coal and Ethanol lobbyists. Pay back time will start in early 2015 when their elected candidates are installed in both houses.

How many Americans will eventually see what is really going on?

How long will it take USA to be involved into another costly Oil war?

How long will it take the newly elected houses to stop all clean RE and electrified vehicles initiatives?

How long will it take to remove health care insurance for the needed and reduce minimum wages to $2/hour.

How long will it take to reduce income taxes from 13% to under 10% for all millionaires and billionaires?

The 97% are heading for the brick walls.

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