Automakers are going every which way trying to figure out what the future of the automobile is, embracing everything from pure electrics to hydrogen fuel cells, turbocharged gas engines and super-efficient diesels. A recent study suggests that the most efficient car is something nobody has yet considered; a hydrogen fuel cell hybrid using supercapacitors instead of batteries.
While supercapacitors are being using in some public transit projects, as well as by Mazda’s new i-Eloop system, I can’t recall a project combining them with a hydrogen fuel cell hybrid. Despite the extra weight of such a system, researchers claim that a hybrid using hydrogen and supercapacitors would provide the cleanest, most-efficient mode of transportation.
The study points out the shortcomings of current fuel cell systems, which lack adequate power and response under load. A supercapacitor system would allow for rapid delivery of extra power when the fuel system needed it, and could be quickly recharged as well. Whether or not this paper influences any major automaker’s decisions remains to be seen, but it sounds like a pretty good idea to me.
Source: Green Car Congress