Hydrogen scooters ready for mass production: MOEA
By Camaron Kao, The China Post
July 28, 2012, 12:09 am TWN
The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA, 經濟部) yesterday announced its safety and reliability standard for hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles. Scooters produced by some manufacturers have passed the standard and ready for mass production, according to the MOEA.
MOEA Deputy Minister Tu Tzu-chun (杜紫軍) stated that the standard of hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles is included in the ongoing cross-strait integration of standards. The ministry is also working on a global standard for such vehicles, paving the way for future exports of hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles.
Some 30 hydrogen fuel cell scooters have completed the on-road test drive of 120,000 kilometers in cities, mountainous and seaside areas, which is the first on-road test for such vehicles in the world, stated National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (台灣科技大學) President Chen Shi-Shuenn (陳希舜). The distance is equal to three times the circumference of the Earth.
According to Tu, these scooters produce just heat, water, and electricity but no carbon dioxide.
Division Director of the Bureau of Standards (標準檢驗局) Hsieh Han-chang (謝翰璋) stated that the scooters in exhibition use low-pressure storage canisters, which are safer than high-pressure versions. To make the hydrogen inside stable, the manufacturer uses newly developed catalysts, which is an important technological advancement.
The scooter manufacturer aims to incorporate convenience stores, gas stations and scooter shops to provide service for exchanging old storage canisters for new ones. In this way, the government does not need to provide relative infrastructure for such vehicles. The storage canisters are approximately 4.4 kilograms each, lighter than the Lithium battery used by other battery electric vehicles.
The highest speed for the scooter is 70 kilometers per hour, according to Hsieh. He expected that when loaded with two canisters — 90 grams of hydrogen gas — the scooter can go as far as 50 kilometers. Customers can purchase 90 grams of hydrogen gas for NT$30.
For every NT$100 spent, a regular scooter can run for 100 kilometers, while a Lithium battery electric vehicle can run for 150 to 170 kilometers, and a hydrogen fuel cell scooter can run for 260 kilometers, said the division director.
As for concerns that the fuel cell scooter is still expensive, Tu said higher prices are natural when new products are first launched. According to Hsieh, the manufacturer promises that by 2015 if the number of people purchasing these scooters can reach 100,000, the company will be able to sell the scooter for NT$70,000 each.
The manufacturer targets markets in Taiwan, southeast mainland China and Southeast Asia, where the portion of people using motorcycles is substantial.
Currently, the government only subsidizes battery electric vehicles using Lithium batteries.
Commenting on the subsidy, Hsieh stated that the hydrogen fuel cell scooter can be popular in the market even without a government subsidy because of the cheaper price of hydrogen gas.