The European Union has had plans in place for some time to reduce the number of vehicles powered by oil on city streets. They have been ramping up their efforts, spurred forth by recent advances in hydrogen fuel cell technology, making alternative fuels a more viable options for commercial consumption. Along with the EU’s reinvigorated enthusiasm, the demand for green vehicles is soaring to new heights. Battery powered cars, championed by the Nissan Leaf, lead the charge, but fuel cell vehicles are not far behind.One of the primary drawbacks of hydrogen fuel is the lack of a supply network. There are precious few refueling stations situated all over the world, which is hard to believe when one considers that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the known universe. Without consumers being able to refuel their vehicles when needed, hydrogen powered cars are mostly earthbound.
However, a newly developed technology from Acta, and Italian developer of fuel cell technologies, may reduce the need for refueling stations. Scientists have developed a compact electrolyser that can produce and store highly compressed hydrogen from water. This is much in the same way as any conventional fuel cell, but is much smaller and does not rely on platinum to produce hydrogen.
Nelson Piquet, a legendary Formula One world champion, invited the company to put their technology to use in a joint effort in Brazil as a way to promote the use of alternative fuels.
Acta is also developing a similar product for the U.S. market that is expected to reduce the cost of hydrogen fuel cell production.