The first tests of the fuel cell range extender for the Smith Edison van have proved successful, according to Proton Power Systems.
The initial phase of the operation, which began in September at the Stuttgart DLR Institute, showed that the additional energy from Proton Power’s fuel cell system provided a significant increase to Edison’s operational range.
Proton said the final range benefit would depend on the size of the integrated fuel cell system, the onboard storage capacity for hydrogen and the vehicle’s drive cycle. “Overall, the positive trial results are in line with the group’s expectations.”
Proton chief Thomas Melczer, said: “The improved range of operation opens up exciting new possibilities to the group as we begin to address a wider market segment. I wish to thank the whole team at Proton Power and Smith for their efforts in achieving these excellent results.”
The second phase of testing will include the complete integration of the Proton Power system into a Smith vehicle and is expected to run until summer 2011. The group expects the commercial launch of the vehicles towards the end of 2011.
Once trials on the Smith Edison have been completed, Proton Power will commercially launch its system in the Newton, Smith’s 7.5 to 12.0 tonne all-electric truck.