What are new combustion technologies

Combustion technologies in comparison

At the opening meeting in Davos, the members announced that they would further expand their investments in the development and marketing of hydrogen and fuel cells, currently amounting to 1.4 billion euros annually. In the future, considerably more money should flow into the promising technology. Jochen Hermann, Vice President Development Electrics / Electronics & E-Drive at Daimler, says: “Fuel cell technology has enormous potential for the energy and mobility sector. The advantages for us are obvious: long ranges and short refueling times as well as a wide range of applications from cars to city buses. "

General Motors presented the idea of ​​the fuel cell back in 1966. But just because of the platinum used in the fuel cell, the vehicle was too expensive for series production. There was also no refueling infrastructure yet.
It's not much different today. According to a study by the consulting firm Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik (LBST) and TÜV Süd, there were only 22 publicly usable hydrogen filling stations in Germany at the end of 2016. Too little to be able to use hydrogen vehicles in everyday life. After all, there is a continuous corridor in Europe with 106 H2 fuel pumps: "It is now possible to drive from Norway to Bolzano," says the study.

The number of hydrogen stations in Germany should grow to 100 by the end of 2018, and 400 filling stations are planned by 2023. For BMW expert Anne Kleczka, that would be a big step: "This would secure the supply of at least two petrol stations at home with at least two petrol stations in the immediate vicinity and on the main traffic axes / motorways for the majority of German motorists." There would also be no need to build additional petrol stations , but “only the existing filling station network for petrol and diesel will be converted”, says Anne Kleczka.

The energy-intensive production of hydrogen is currently still a major challenge, because in addition to the natural deposits, H2 has to be produced industrially. This creates CO2, because the majority of hydrogen is obtained from natural gas. Nevertheless, “the CO2 emissions over the entire cycle are around 25 percent lower than those of an internal combustion engine,” says Christian Mohrdieck, Director Fuel Cell at Daimler. The aim is to use regenerative energies and sustainable processes to achieve complete 'zero emissions mobility'.

The vehicles are still relatively expensive, but Christian Mohrdieck sees great savings potential for fuel cell technology. For example, the aim is to reduce the proportion of platinum in fuel cells. The first fuel cell car from BMW will nonetheless be a luxury vehicle because, according to manager Kleczka, "hydrogen technologies show their greatest advantages in terms of energy content and long-distance suitability compared to electric cars with drive batteries" in this segment.