The DOE has issued a Request for Information to solicit feedback about the feasibility of fuel cell range extenders for battery-electric vehicles. The DOE’s office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) is specifically interested in the idea of an after-market modification to extend vehicle range using a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell system.
The RFI is seeking input on a number of questions, including:
- The business case for using battery propulsion with fuel cell range extenders for light-duty vans or delivery vehicles.
- Potential performance improvements (e.g. low downtime for refueling, vehicle torque).
- Potential increase in fleet customers, given an increase in electric range.
- Potential to reduce battery size by incorporating hydrogen energy storage.
- The minimum number of deployed vehicles needed to provide enough data for industry acceptance and to enable further deployments without government assistance.
- Economic barriers to commercializing the technology.
- Challenges in providing refueling infrastructure.
- Technical advantages that would make fuel cell range extenders more viable than BEVs or PHEVs.