Hydrogen Fuel Cell as Range Extender in Electric Vehicle Powertrains: Fuel Optimization Strategies

  • Roberto Álvarez
  • Sergio Corbera


The transformation of mobility is now beginning through the introduction of hydrogen (H2) as an energy carrier, coupled with fuel cell electric vehicles that can utilize H2 without greenhouse gas emissions. A current disadvantage of these vehicles lies in the limited infrastructure in terms of H2 refill or electric recharge stations, which has hindered their widespread applicability. There is a sense of déjà vu in the current development in automobile design between battery electric and fuel cell vehicle. This race is similar to a competition when the internal combustion engine-driven Ford Model T automobile became the dominant transportation platform in displacing battery and steam-driven automobiles in the United States a century ago and opened up a new industry. In this chapter, we propose a change in the architecture of the power plant of the fuel cell and battery electric vehicles. The objective is that these vehicles can be presently used until the development of an electric and/or hydrogen recharge network allows both being useful with the current status. We present a drivetrain set model, which is a combination of a plugged-in battery and a fuel cell that works as a range-extender system. Different strategies are applied in order to determine the working conditions that will lead to better vehicle performance and higher range. The vehicle performance is referred to the capacity of both energy sources, namely, electricity stored in a lithium-ion battery and hydrogen gas in high-pressure storage tanks. –The possibilities presented in the chapter may open the door to strategic advantages and innovation for car designers in the future.


Hydrogen Electric vehicle Fuel cell Extended range Simulation Model 



We gratefully acknowledge the helpful comments and suggestions of Javier Arboleda, Senior Service Manager at Hyundai Motor in Spain, and Gema María Rodado Nieto, engineer at National Hydrogen Centre (CNH2) in Spain. We wish to thank the editors for allowing us to extend our previously published review [Álvarez, R., Beltrán, F., Villar, in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2016] with new data from 2017, based on our research and other cited works in the field.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EngineeringUniversidad NebrijaMadridSpain

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