Magna Goes Fuel Cell

Electric van with fuel cell range extender, © Magna

The idea to use fuel cells as range extenders for electric cars is gaining in popularity. Now, Magna International presented its own approach during the 37th International Motor Symposium in Vienna, Austria, at the end of April. As a base component, the Austrian automotive supplier uses a medium-size van, which can go 90 kilometers (56 miles) on electricity alone. But when the battery charge drops below a certain threshold, the fuel cell is turned on to regenerate the power storage and increase the range to as much as 500 kilometers (311 miles) in hybrid mode. The company responsible for the retrofit of the demonstrator is Magna Steyr, a subsidiary of Magna International. Additional support for the national development project comes from the Institute for Powertrains and Automotive Technology (IFA) of the Vienna University of Technology, the Hydrogen Center Austria (HyCentA) as well as Proton Motor. According to Karl-Friedrich Stracke, president of vehicle technology and engineering at Magna Steyr, this collaboration was proof that “the automotive industry has accepted the challenge of developing alternative zero-emission powertrain systems and vehicles.”

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