Hydrogen scooter beats pollution

An Industrial design engineering graduate from Delft University of Technology in Holland has designed and built a working prototype of a hydrogen-powered scooter.

Crijn Bouman designed the Fhybrid scooter to help combat pollution in cities. It has an electric in-wheel motor that derives its power from a lithium ion battery. This is charged – mainly when the scooter is stationary – by a compact fuel-cell system, which draws energy from hydrogen in a tank and oxygen from the air.

The battery stores energy when the scooter brakes. Depending on the amount of traffic, this regenerating braking system reduces the hydrogen consumption by 10-20 per cent. To use the energy generated during breaking optimally, the scooter is front-wheel drive.

The Fhybrid is said to have performed better than petrol-powered scooters during test drives. It has a top speed of 40mph (65kph), fast acceleration and can travel about 125 miles (200km) on a full tank.

Another feature is the parking assistant. The electric engine can be precisely controlled at low speeds, enabling the rider to park backwards or forwards without having to push the scooter into place. The Fhybrid is designed to be hydrogen-powered but the prototype is powered by batteries with a fuel-cell simulator.

Its complete drive system and energy management system were built by Epyon – a TU Delft spin-off, of which Bouman is a founder – and the Delft Design Institute.