A hydrogen-fueled, zero-emission electric utility
vehicle developed by Energy Partners (West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.)
was unveiled at the 5th Annual SunDay Challenge in September, a race in
the State of Florida showcasing alternatively fueled vehicles. The SunDay
Challenge is sponsored by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), the Florida
Department of Community Affairs, and the Florida Energy Office.
Hydrogen-Fueled Electric Utility Vehicle Participates in
This off-road electric
utility vehicle developed by Energy Partners, powered by a hydrogen-fueled
PEM fuel cell, was unveiled in September in Florida.
This eventheld Saturday through Monday,
September 21-23, 1996showcased and promoted alternative energy vehicle
technology. The event began with a cross-county rally at FSEC headquarters
in Cocoa Beach and concluded at Walt Disney Worlds EPCOT Center in
Orlando, with exhibits and vehicle parades.
The Energy Partners vehicle, built on a John
Deere Gator 6x4 chassis, was entered in the race to prove the advancements
in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology. Although the electric
Gator was displayed throughout the duration of the SunDay Challenge at both
the FSEC and EPCOT exhibits, its designation as an off-the-road vehicle
did not allow it to participate in the actual rally.
The manufacturer expects the electric Gator
will lead the way to an era of nonpolluting lawn and garden equipment. Today,
a gas-powered lawnmower produces as much smog in 20 hours of operation as
a 1996 car after driving 26,000 miles.
The Energy Partners vehicle was developed
by Energy Partners as a test platform for commercialization of PEM fuel
cell technologies. This vehicle, the first of three demonstrators, is powered
by a Perry Power Cell, a 10-kilowatt PEM fuel cell manufactured by Energy
Partners, Inc. It carries two passengers and a payload of 750 pounds for
approximately five hours with speeds up to 15 mph.
PEM fuel cells are electrochemical devices that
produce electricity from hydrogen while producing no harmful emissions.
PEM fuel cells, first developed for the U.S. space program, are now coming
down to Earth as the leading candidates to replace batteries as the primary
energy source for zero-emission electric vehicles. In addition, PEM fuel
cells are being considered for the transportation and stationary power generation
industries due to their high efficiency, simplicity, and zero-pollutant
Energy Partners was founded in 1990 to develop
and commercialize PEM fuel cell technology. The company has developed a
variety of prototype PEM fuel cell stacks and systems which are in operation
©1996. All Rights Reserved. A Publication of
the National Hydrogen Association.
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