On World EV Day – Hydrogen Sector Lead – Bramble Energy outlines the use and future of hydrogen power for electric vehicles (EVs)

Today is World EV Day+20, a global movement, driving change, together. It’s a day of celebration of emobility and a day to shift the transition to sustainable transport with consumer, business and policy outcomes. It’s the brainchild of Ade Thomas and his team at Green.TV, who also deliver the hugely successful EV Summit.

Bramble Energy are the Hydrogen Sector Lead for the event and is powering a net zero world today. Their technology is proving to be a real game changer in solving key challenges in the production of hydrogen fuel cells. This includes lead times, up-front investment, manufacturing cost and scalability.

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Founded in 2016 by Dr Tom Mason, in the research labs at Imperial College of London and University College of London, Bramble Energy, through revolutionary fuel cell design and manufacturing techniques, has developed the unique printed circuit board (PCB) fuel cell, the PCBFC. This is a patent-protected fuel cell that can be manufactured in almost all printed circuit board (PCB) factories worldwide.

Recently, there has been a recent flurry of hydrogen fuel cell car announcements. This includes BMW starting production of fuel cell systems developed in-house. Porsche has also developed a hydrogen combustion engine concept study. This  aims to match the power and torque of current high-performance internal combustion engines (ICE). Renault recently revealed the Renault Scenic Vision concept car, using hydrogen to extend electric mobility.

Hydrogen fuel cells are not new and two automakers that have taken the lead in hydrogen are Hyundai and Toyota. Hyundai launched the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell in 2013, and today, sells the All-New Nexo, whilst Toyota retail the Mirai.  

It’s not just passenger vehicles that are embracing the technology. Across commercial fleets, Peugeot revealed the E-Expert Hydrogen, and the AA announced a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) patrol car. They configured a Hyundai Nexo SUV to operate as a roadside breakdown vehicle. 

In practice, where time off the road is lost revenue, or dropped service levels, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, whether it’s a car, truck or bus, refuels in the typical time frame as its diesel counterpart yet emits zero emissions. This makes the hydrogen option attractive for logistics companies operating large fleets of light commercial vehicles (LCVs).

Bramble Energy has reached a milestone moment with its first 10kW Printed Circuit Board Fuel Cell (PCBFC™) and control system being integrated into a donor battery electric light commercial vehicle. 

The company anticipates that its hydrogen fuel cell will extend the battery range of the Renault Kangoo by up to four times, depending on payload and duty cycle, when it’s ready for demonstration later this year.

Traditional fuel cell manufacturing requires factories and high-precision production lines, costing millions in CAPEX and typically years of development cycles. Thanks to PCB manufacturing infrastructure already being in place, Bramble’s PCBFC has been designed, developed and manufactured by Bramble Energy in just weeks.

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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