Focusing on cleanliness

Europe’s largest electrolyser and fuel cell company, ITM Powerhas converted a standard petrol car into one that can run on pure hydrogen.

ITM Power has developed a low-cost electrolyser that can take energy from renewable sources such as wind, wave or solar, or from off-peak electricity, and convert it into hydrogen to power a bi-fuel Ford Focus.

Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire tested the car on behalf of ITM Power, and found that the vehicle was able to travel more than 25 miles on a single charge of hydrogen before being switched back to run on petrol.

The car used a prototype ‘home refuelling system’, which would be able to generate and store hydrogen at home or at work.

‘We believe combining electrolysers with an internal combustion-engined vehicle brings affordable hydrogen transportation forward by many years,’ said Jim Heathcote, CEO of ITM Power.

Current hydrogen-powered cars being trialled can only use liquified hydrogen, which must be stored at very low temperatures. ITM Power’s car fitted with the refuelling system, however, runs on pure hydrogen gas, which can be produced anywhere that has access to water and electricity.

Saffron Walden-based ITM Power are also developing devices that will fuel homes, offices and factories using hydrogen.