Electric vehicles are all the rage at the moment and according to a new report from Bloomberg, electric cars will comprise 35% of all new vehicle sales by 2040. But around the turn of last century, the next big thing in transportation was supposed to fuel cell cars – or cars powered by simple hydrogen. Suzuki has just filed new patents showing they’re still keen on the idea.
In a nutshell, a fuel cell vehicle uses electricity created by oxygen and compressed hydrogen to power an electric motor. The reason that hydrogen powered vehicles haven’t caught on is that like conventionally powered cars, they require refueling and the infrastructure required hasn’t been developed. Instead, fuel cell cars have been leapfrogged by electric charging stations on the road and at home.
While fuel cells are a promising technology, they’re lagging behind battery technology where all the money and therefore development has gone. But that’s not to say it’s a dead-end and there are definite benefits to the idea of fuel cell equipped motorcycles.
The latest patents from Suzuki show a scooter, similar in appearance to the Bergman and it discusses the options of both air cooled and water cooled fuel cells. This is by no means the first time Suzuki has shown an interest in the technology – way back in 2007 they unveiled the Crosscage – a futuristic looking hydrogen powered machine. Since then, they’ve filed numerous patents on fuel cell powered motorcycle and scooters showing the technology is available and capable – it’s just that the infrastructure is lagging well behind.
It was expected that Suzuki may actually put a fuel cell powered scooter into production last year, although any such mass production of a hydrogen sipping motorcycle or scooter is realistically a while away yet – especially when electric cars and motorcycles are making such massive leaps in capability each year.