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Quantum to Supply 4 Hydrogen Prius Hybrids to California ARB

Hydrogen demonstration stations in Southern California. The shaded circle denotes a 70-mile radius from AQMD headquarters.

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide has received notice from the California Air Resources Board of its intent to lease 4 hydrogen-fueled Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles. These hydrogen hybrid vehicles will be put in service by the State of California later this year as part of the California Hydrogen Highway Network (CaH2Net).

Quantum has 30 hydrogen Priuses currently in operation in Southern California (earlier post) and 23 more now on order, including 15 headed for Norway.(Earlier post.)

H2 Prius Specifications
Power 70 hp (52 kW) @ 4,500 rpm
Torque 111 Nm @ 4,000 rpm
Fuel consumption 56–58 m/kg (FTP city test)
40–60 m/kg (real world estimate)
Fuel capacity 1.6 kg @ 5,000 psig
2.4 kg @ 5,000 psig (extended)

Quantum’s H2Hybrid package for the Toyota Prius includes an electronic multi-point hydrogen injection system, turbocharger and intercooler, compressed hydrogen fuel storage module, hydrogen fuel delivery system and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) crashworthy design and validation.

With the standard compressed hydrogen storage option (1.6 kg), the H2 Prius will have an effective hydrogen-fueled range of about 80 miles. An extended range storage option can kick that up to approximately 120 miles.

In addition to performing in specified starting conditions and meeting certain driveability specifications, the vehicles have been designed and tested to achieve SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) emissions standards and have undergone crash testing to verify the safety of the converted vehicles. Quantum is also developing an H2Hybrid package for the Ford Escape Hybrid sport utility vehicle, in conjunction with the US Army, for use as an administrative vehicle as well as a hydrogen technology demonstrator. (Earlier post.)

CaH2Net is a State initiative to promote the use of hydrogen as a means of diversifying the sources of transportation energy used, while ensuring environmental and economic benefits. To be implemented in three phases, the California Hydrogen Blueprint Plan outlines a path to 250 hydrogen fueling stations and 20,000 hydrogen fueled vehicles.



Rafael Seidl

New registrations in the US are running at 17,000,000 a year. 20,000 hydrogen cars are a very small, extremely expensive drop in the bucket because you have to set up whole new fuel production and distribution infrastructure.

The money would be far better spent on making far less radical optimizations mandatory for all new vehicle regs in CA. Since CARB's primary focus is still on emissions rather than fuel economy, one such optimization could be a burner whose exhaust gas can be routed either directly into the engine exhaust upstream of the catalyst, or else over a heat exchanger with the engine coolant. The burner would get its air supply via the air filter and a small electrically powered blower. A properly designed continous burner should meet vehicle emissions targets even without aftertreatment.

Run the burner for 5-10 secs before you crank the cold engine and your catalyst will already be up to temperature when the first cylinder fires. For those who are always in a hurry, the process could even be started from your remote keyless entry fob. By the time you're in your seat and put on your seat belt, you'll be ready to go.

With a burner, you can make do with just one monolith in the vehicle underbody. Not having a precat will reduce the cost of the burner infrastructure, and free up space next to the engine for it.

The burner exhaust can then be redirected to accelerate the warm-up of the engine block and indirectly, of the engine oil. Once everything is up to temperature, the burner can be turned off.

In winter, the burner can be used to provide passenger compartment heating (via the short engine coolant loop) prior to engine start and eliminate any need for extended idling. That alone could save more fuel than the burner would consume.

Compared to fairly basic nuts-and-bolts solutions such as this one, hydrogen cars and highways are just gigantic white elephants.


Its simple realy. Bush doesnt need to expend any political energy on bio fuels because the farmers will do it for him. He doesnt have to expend all that much ebergy on hybrids because everyone is already on hybrids like hookers ona political convention. He just has to let the politicians fight it out over who gets what and then sign the bills.

H2 just adds a very useful backup and eventual replacement. By spending a few billion now we have sped up h2 by prolly 2 decades. That could be rather vital if as we expect climate shifts are rather nasty.

As for ev.. By working with hyrbids and h2 cars we work on batteries and power management systems.. and that is what we need for ev.


Rafael- They have that available for diesel tractor trailers.

Roger Pham

Any add-on emission control can fail, especially in older cars. People who drive older cars have no money to fix emission problem, resulting in emission pollution equal to 10-20 new cars. That's perhaps CARB have mandate the ZEV in the 90's, which failed due to battery's limitation. Now, with H2, it appears that they can eventually achieve their dream. With H2 sans catalytic converter, old or new car, there will not be pollution problem.


Bingo. No matter how old a h2 car gets it wont ever pollute. Most of the pollution now comes from cars that are exempt from smog checks.

tom deplume

A hydrogen fueled internal combustion engine can still produce NOx which breaks down into ozone under the LA sun. Hydrogen can still pollute.


Yes and while typing out that responce you put out more co2 then a h2 car would... does that mean we should smog check you?

Roger Pham

Ultra-lean burn and fast burn with H2 can greatly minize NOx production, to perhaps a small fraction of carbon-based fuel. The cooling effect of direct H2 injection under high pressure can further reduce the combustion temperature, hence minimize NOx production. If and when fuel cell will come on board, then this problem will be eliminated.

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