Understanding fuel cell vehicles

Zero-emission cars will soon be more abundant on our roads. These vehicles, capable of running without emitting any pollution or waste into the atmosphere, are mostly electric vehicles that are plugged into a charging station for several hours in order to recharge the batteries that run the vehicle.


However, another technology will soon be available, but it is not as well known. It is the fuel cell, and here is a small guide on how it can apply to a vehicle.


Fuel cell or hydrogen car

As a matter of fact, they are the same. Fuel cell technology uses hydrogen as its main source of energy. Ultimately, the hydrogen produces the electricity that would generally be produced by a battery in a traditional electric car

Is there combustion?

No. To sum it up, hydrogen is delivered into a pipe where it is mixed with oxygen using a mechanism called a fuel cell. The product of this reaction is a mixture of the two that produces the electricity that ultimately powers the car.

Transporting hydrogen

Transporting hydrogen inside the tank mounted in the vehicle is as safe as the gasoline tank in a traditional vehicle.

How green is hydrogen?

The only byproduct of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is water. We all remember that water is noted as H20, which means two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. As the hydrogen combines with oxygen in the engine, it forms in essence water which is the only thing to come out of a fuel cell vehicle’s exhaust.

Can we recharge easily?

Yes, in theory, since it only takes a few minutes to fill up the hydrogen tank. But in reality, there is no charging infrastructure in Canada yet as only a handful of hydrogen vehicles are currently in operation in the country.

Therefore, hydrogen vehicles are still a ways off, but they certainly are an interesting technology to look forward to eventually.

Thank you to Morrey Infiniti for their help with this article!

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