For about 100 years, our vehicles have been running on petrol and diesel, but that needs to come to an end. To save the climate it is essential to work towards an emission-free society and for this purpose electric cars play a very important role.
There are two types of electric vehicles: battery vehicles (BEV) and fuel cell vehicles (FC-EV). Battery vehicles are becoming widely known, but fuel cell vehicles are still quite rare in Sweden.
– In contrast to electric vehicles that in many cases can be charged at home, a FC-EVs is refueled in the same way as a fossil fueled car, refueling takes about 5 mins, says Mikael Lindblad, business developer at Oazer. Fuel cell vehicles fueled with liquid hydrogen are one of many important factors in combating climate change and achieving the sustainable development goal number 13. Since no combustion occurs in fuel cell cars, the emissions only consist of water vapor.
Until recently, there have only been four hydrogen refueling stations in Sweden and none of them have been located north of Gävle. This is changing thanks to the company Oazer, this spring their first fluid hydrogen station will be inaugurated in collaboration with the infrastructure company Svevia. The refueling station is located in Umeå and will initially be used to refuel Svevia’s two hydrogen-powered inspection vehicles, saving about 10 000kg of CO2 per year.
– So far, Sweden has relatively few hydrogen cars, which makes it difficult to gain profitability in large stations, says Mikael. Oazer has solved this by providing smart, scalable and semi-mobile stations and in some variants, producing the hydrogen at the spot only connecting electricity and water to the station. Initially, Oazer focuses on cooperation with customer companies within transport, vehicle fleet owners and brands that strive for "Zero emission". The small liquid hydrogen stations are semi-mobile, which means that they can be resold or supplemented with more units if the customer’s vehicle fleet decreases or increases in size.
Fuel cell vehicles have great environmental benefits compared to fossil-powered cars and both advantages and disadvantages compared to battery vehicles. Fuel cell vehicles have their greatest advantages when driving long distances or carrying heavy loads. The battery car has a significantly higher efficiency than the fuel cell car about 90% compared to 60%. (Gasoline and diesel cars are far behind with an efficiency of 20-35%.) On the other hand, the battery car takes longer to refuel/charge and have a shorter driving range. In Teknikens världs compilation from 2019, it’s clear that even though the battery cars are quickly advancing, the driving range still differs a lot between the two electric car types (battery and fuel cell cars).
If you own a vehicle fleet and are on the way of upgrading it, you should investigate the possibility of investing in fuel cell vehicles.
Text: Maria Klintenäs
North Sweden Cleantech is a regional innovation and export platform for green technology, clean energy and sustainable solutions from Västerbotten and Örnsköldsvik.