Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Audi H7 H-tron

Audi hads a fantastic new prototype on the Los Angeles Auto show: the A7 H-tron. The H-tron is Audi's vision for the future of hydrogen. And it shows that Audi has a much better vision of what it can sell to its customers than its competitors Hyundai and Toyota who are now leading the actual sale of hydrogen vehicles. Those cars are attempts to just about offer the same as the average family car. Only they cost a lot more. Audi shows they can do a lot better.
The novelty in Audi's design is not the fuel cell powering the car: their fuel cell offers roughly 100 kWe: the same as every body else's fuel cell. But Audi uses this power much more effectively by storing energy into a 8,8 kWh battery system. This allows the vehicle to accellerate much faster and regenerate braking energy. The H-tron is designed as a plug-in hybrid, allowing the battery to be charged from the power grid, making the vehicle less dependent on the lacking hydrogen refueling infrastructure.
Because the fuel cell is the most expensive component in the vehicle, Audi can offer much better performance at only marginally higher cost. The performance speaks for itself:
- 50 km range on batteries, 500 km total
- four wheel drive
- 152 hp power from the electromotors
- 0 - 100 km/h in 7.9 s
- no emissions, little noise
It looks to me like Toyota and Hyundai can go back to their drawing boards.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

CNG keeps on growing in China

These past years, China has been one of the countries with the largest number of CNG stations (over 5,700) with a steady development. Both national and municipal governments support CNG and create policies to promote its use in an effort to reduce air polution and transport cost.

Aspro reported in a newsletter about its developments in China. For Aspro China is a strategic country both commercially and industrially. In a joint venture with Teesing, Aspro has been present in China for 4 years. The JV is called AsproTIS Beijing Co. Ltd.
Aspro TIS has established an industrial plant where compressors are assembled alongside other products in accordance with international quality and safety standards.

Aspro reports that through this JV they managed to sell 100 compressors in four years throughout China and are busy developing new projects in order to go ahead on their growth path.

Friday, September 5, 2014

CNG popular alternative in the Netherlands

A prognosis released by Aumacon shows that CNG is an increasingly popular alternative vehicle fuel in the Netherlands in 2014. Sales of NGVs will jump from 530 to 2,500, a spectacular 372% increase.

Sales by fuel type 2013 2014 prognosis     +/-
Petrol              264,586           257,000     -3%
Diesel              103,557             82,500    -20%
Hybrid (incl. PHEV and EREV)
                        43,335              34,000   -22%
LPG (factory fitted)
                          2,081                1,500   -28%
EV                      2,619                2,500     -5%
CNG (bifuel)          530                 2,500 +372%
Biofuels                  17                        0 -100%
Hydrogen                  1                       2 +100%

Total               416,726             380,000

Although no reasons have been provided it seems that changes in tax measures have driven a shift towards CNG. CNG is called 'groen gas' (green gas) in The Netherlands as (almost) all gas sold at public CNG stations is made green by purchasing certificates for biogas injected in the gas grid. A recent agreement intends to ensure that all CNG sold will be green by 2015.
Stimulation measures for green gas have hold firm, while many other alternative fuels saw their incentives reduced (PHEVs and EVs) or excises raised (LPG). Also in recent years a green gas filling station network has been rolled out.

This is an updated translation of an old article I published in Dutch earlier.

First Dutch public hydrogen station opened

This week on 3rd september the first Dutch public hyrdrogen station was opened along the A15 highway near Rotterdam. This is intended to be the first of 20 public stations to be opened in the Netherlands until 2020.

Hydrogen is considered a clean alternative fuel for use in cities as it does not pollute the air as the only emission is water and because the electric drive is less noisy.

The Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Environment will be the first user with their two Hyundai ix35 FCEVs. The location in Rotterdam was chosen as it is close to a hydrogen pipeline from Rotterdam to Belgium and France. In Rotterdam a major share of the hydrogen for the European market is produced. The station near Rotterdam is owned by the French company Air Liquide, which intends to build a larger European network of hydrogen stations.

Until recently only a few trucks, a delivery van and a number of busses used hydrogen. They could refuel at private stations in Amsterdam, Arnhem and Helmond. This new station makes hydrogen also available to passenger vehicles. Currently there are concrete plans to move the Amsterdam station to a location where it can be public as well as to upgrade the Helmond station so this station to can be made public.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Opening post

Welcome to my blog.

This blog is going to be mostly about mobility with a focus on the transition to alternative fuels, such as CNG, LPG, hydrogen and various types of electric drives. I have professional experience in a number of these fields.
I recently also started a similar blog in Dutch: mobiliteit in transitie. That blog focusses mainly on the Dutch market. In this blog I will focuss more on news that is interesting for an international audience, with some news from the Netherlands that may be interesting to outsiders as well as a focus on Europe and beyond.

This blog will be less active at first than my Dutch blog as I am still expanding that one with some ideas I had saved up before starting the blog. I will translate some of my posts from Dutch to here with occasionally some more new information and a more international focus. This blog will repost information from various sources where I have something interesting to add to it. This will include my opinions as well as some technical comments and explanations.

I hope you will find this an interesting and enjoyable blog.