Australian Biodiesel Group Opens Australia’s Largest Biodiesel Plant; May Expand to North America
Ford Slashes 4Q Production by 21%; Trucks Bear the Brunt

Hydrogenics Joins Plug-in Hybrid Development Consortium; Focus on Fuel-Cell Plug-in Hybrids

Hydrogenics, a global provider of hydrogen and fuel cell products, has joined the Plug-in Hybrid Development Consortium to participate in the development of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs).

An optimized battery-dominant plug-in hybrid vehicle would allow the size of the fuel-cell system to be kept to a minimum, keeping overall system and vehicle cost down—an approach that could provide a logical path toward the accelerated commercialization of fuel-cell technology.

A battery-dominant fuel-cell PHEV would allow the best of fuel-cell and battery technologies to co-exist in one vehicle with extended driving range, zero emissions, and domestically produced fuel.

The Consortium sees this as a valuable opportunity to demonstrate the flexibility of the plug-in hybrid architecture and the potential viability of the hydrogen fuel cell as a source of cleanly generated mobile electric power for a PHEV.

—David West, co-founder of the Hybrid Consortium and VP Marketing, Raser Technologies

The Consortium is made up of a growing number of automotive suppliers, manufacturers and other organizations working together to accelerate the commercial production of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, (PHEVs). Earlier this week, AES Corporation, one of the world’s largest global power companies, also joined the Consortium. (Earlier post.)

Current members of the Consortium include:

  • A123 Systems (Lithium-ion batteries)
  • AES Corporation (Power company)
  • Brusa (Power electronics)
  • Daiken (Lithium-ion batteries)
  • Delta-Q Technologies (Power electronics)
  • Electrovaya (Lithium-ion batteries)
  • ENAX (Lithium-ion batteries)
  • International Battery (Lithium-ion batteries)
  • Maxwell Technologies (Ultracapacitors and energy storage)
  • NexxtDrive Ltd (Transmissions)
  • PG&E (Utility)
  • Raser Technologies (Electric motors)
  • Solomon Technologies (Electric Drive Systems)
  • Southern California Edison (Utility)
  • Hydrogenics (Hydrogen generation and fuel cells)



I like the idea. You have the convenience of plug in with range of a fuel cell. Now, if they could make those PEMs reversable, maybe they could bring the storage costs down.

Harvey D.

What are the real advantages here? Will a fuel cell + hydrogen tank, etc, etc be smaller, lighter and cheaper than additional quick charge batteries (or a small ICE generator with smaller batteries) on a Kwh basis?


Well as I said before a few months back a SMALL fuell cell is vastly lighter then a small engine and transmission and exaust system and with mass production its also ALREADY cheaper. Remember the biggest cost of a car is the engine and trans. A feul cell battery car elimates all that.

tom deplume

Fuel Cells don't need to be hydrogen. There are Direct Carbon FC and zinc based fuel cells which are just as if not more efficient than hydrogen with none of hydrogen's weaknesses.

john galt

Raising awareness of Plug-In potential benefits, as well as sharing joint development expenses among consortium members would be great. I am a skeptic however. It seems that one of the most active members in this group is Raser, which according to many internet sources, has a very dubious history as a legitimate business concern.

Thus, the credibility of the Plug-In consortium is quite lessened in my mind. I'm surprised really that PG&E, AES, and So. Cal Edison would agree to be affiliated with these jokers. Let's hope this consortium advances the technology, scale economies, and awareness of Plug-In benefits, versus becoming yet another pump up ponzi-scheme to spawn dollar flows into the wallets of the Raser principals.


It would be easier and cheaper to build a reliable small fuel cell. Whether it runs on reformed methanol, ethanol or CNG depends of what is available. Obviously NG comes right out of the pipe in your garage and CNG through the compressor attached to it, like the Honda Civic CNG.
I think it is a cost balance between available battery technology and affordable, reliable fuel cell technology. All I know is, if I can fuel this thing in my garage with NG,
I don't really much care.


Hey sic,

Remember the Honda Home Energy Station will provide electricity for your home, hot water, and hydrogen fuel for your car while running on the natural gas that is already available at your home. It will also do so while reducing your costs by 50%.

You can read about it here:


I would prefer something that is possible today, rather than something promised real soon now...


This is silly I think. You have far more flexibility and a much lighter, cheaper vehical if your power plant is a turbine. As far as I can see, automotive applications to fuel cells will be twenty years away for at least another twenty years.


I think they tried gas turbines in the 70s, something about melting the bumper on the car behind you put a stop to that. (just kidding)

Brayton cycle gas turbines are about 25% efficient and very expensive. Not exactly a quantum break through in motoring.

Cheryl Ho

Since DME has an advantage of decomposition at lower temperature than methane and LPG, R&D for hydrogen source for fuel cell has been carried out.

If you would like to know more on the latest DME developments, join us at upcoming North Asia DME / Methanol conference in Beijing, 27-28 June 2007, St Regis Hotel. The conference covers key areas which include:

DME productivity can be much higher especially if
country energy policies makes an effort comparable to
that invested in increasing supply.
National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia

Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and
will be sharing their experience.

Advances in conversion technologies are readily
available and offer exciting potential of DME as a
chemical feedstock
By: Kogas, Lurgi and Haldor Topsoe

Available project finance supports the investments
that DME/ Methanol can play a large energy supply role
By: International Finance Corporation

For more information:

The comments to this entry are closed.