AFC Energy announces world’s first hydrogen EV charger

By Andrew Woods
AFC Energy, the industrial fuel cell power company, has announced the successful deployment of CH2ARGETM, the world’s first elect...

AFC Energy, the industrial fuel cell power company, has announced the successful deployment of CH2ARGETM, the world’s first electric vehicle charger based on hydrogen fuel-cell technology.

The breakthrough by the UK-based energy technology company could enable 100% clean electricity for future EV charging. The demonstration of AFC Energy’s CH2ARGE system took place at Dunsfold Aerodrome, home to the BBC Top Gear test track, and saw a BMW i8 as the first ever car to be recharged with power generated by a hydrogen fuel cell.

The innovation takes place after 10 years of fuel cell research development at the AFC Energy laboratories. AFC Energy is preparing for the commercialisation of fuel cell-based EV Charge solutions to meet the growing demand for environmentally friendly power in the EV market. Traditional charging causes pollution with electricity from fossil fuels, but AFC Energy’s CH2ARGE can be 100% emissions free.

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The EV market is set to grow rapidly and the UK government has stated that 50% of new car sales will be EVs by 2030 which will see nine million EVs on the road. By 2040, 100% of new car sales are planned to be EVs leading to the entirety of the UK’s fleet of 36 million cars becoming EVs.

To recharge the fleet of EVs, the UK National Grid estimates show this will require generation to be increased by 8GW, while calculations by AFC Energy show that if one in 10 of the EVs is being recharged simultaneously the UK’s future fleet of 36 million cars would have a peak demand surge of 25.7 GW based on an average EV battery of 57 kWh. This maximum peak demand equates to approximately half the UK current generational requirement and is the equivalent of 7.9 new nuclear power stations or 17,100 wind turbines.

Popular venues such as sports centres, stadiums and supermarkets will also have to scale up EV recharging solutions; a scenario where 25% of vehicles are EVs and half plug in to charge while at the venue would require 11.5MW of electricity generation. Extensive investment in new power stations and upgrade of the distribution network would be required unless these demands are met through localised power generation.

 

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