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Two Dutch Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicles: NEV and Scooter

HydroGEM, with loading platform removed.

Two hydrogen fuel-cell-powered vehicles have emerged from Dutch labs recently: the HydroGEM, a fuel-cell powered version of a GEM Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV), built using a Dutch fuel-cell stack; and the Fhybrid scooter.

The Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) in Petten developed the fuel-cell stack and applied it in the HydroGEM. The propulsion system developed by ECN consists of a 5kW fuel cell, used in combination with the original 6.5kWh traction battery pack.

A 76-liter tank stores hydrogen at a pressure of 200 bar, providing sufficient fuel to extend the GEM range to at least 200 km (124 miles). Refueling takes about 10 minutes. The vehicle has an electronically limited maximum speed of 40 kph (25 mph) and a payload capacity of up to 400 kg (882 pounds).

Our own General Services Department starts using the HydroGEM this autumn, making it the first Dutch hydrogen vehicle to enter operational service.

—Frank de Bruijn, unit manager Hydrogen & Clean Fossil Fuels

The mission of ECN’s unit Hydrogen & Clean Fossil Fuels is to develop new fuel cell technologies for both mobile and stationary applications, with the aim of improving performance, reducing costs and extending operational life.

The Fhybrid uses a front-wheel electric motor.

The Fhybrid scooter comes from the graduation project of an Industrial Design Engineering student at TU Delft, Crijn Bouman.

The Fhybrid has a projected top speed of 65 kph (40 mph) and can travel approximately 200 km (124 miles) on a full tank of hydrogen. A special feature of this scooter is its ability to drive (slowly) in reverse.

The FHybrid is the first front-wheel driven hydrogen-powered scooter. The front-wheel moounted scooter traction motor—which develops 69 Nm (51 lb-ft) of torque—is powered by a 48V, 6 kW Li-ion battery pack which in turn is recharged by the 670 W fuel cell (primarily when the scooter is stationary). The fuel cell system is to be built by Epyon, a TU Delft spin-off company of which Bouman is a founder and CEO.

Regenerative braking also contributes to the recharge of the battery.

The FHybrid was designed to be hydrogen-powered, but for now the prototype is powered by batteries, with the help of a special fuel-cell simulator that was specially designed for this project.

A special course and various permits are required to build a hydrogen-powered engine. It wasn’t possible to achieve this during the time period of my graduation project. The faculty is now trying to assemble all the necessary means to fully develop the hydrogen-powered scooter.

—Crijn Bouman



LOL....The Hydrogem is such a joke.

The scooter isn't bad though.


Well I don't think the HydroGem is intended for personal use... I could see it coming in handy for a city Parks department or a golf course.


76 liter gives you only 200 km range at a speed of 40 km/h. Isn't this proof that hydrogen is a waste of time?


People said the same thing of the combustion engine when it came out 100 years ago.

Why seek to compare a great-great-grandfather with an infant? It's pointless. We all know that in 10 years the infant will be strong and the great-great-grandfather will be dead.


Good point Dinther but to pay top dollar for an infant doesnt make sense either. From wind, Hydrogen cost about $1.10 a litre, relative. At 2.6 km per litre for the vehicle thats horrible. The scooter looks like a better deal though given the cost to purchase and fuel usage is significantly lower. With a century to work on these project our operational planning is terrible.


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