With awareness towards environmental preservation at an all-time high, manufacturers of both cars and motorcycles are working hard to slowly phase out gasoline and diesel powered vehicles in favor of zero-emission alternatives. While electric vehicles are the next step forward, hydrogen power also seems like feasible way forward. TVS, one of India's leading motorbike makers, certainly agrees, and is developing a hydrogen-powered scooter.
TVS' leaked patent illustration depicts two hydrogen canisters mounted to the scooter's front downtube, allowing for easy access. A hose connects both canisters, with a filler nozzle on the front apron, similar to standard gas-powered scoots. Meanwhile, the fuel cell stack is located under the seat, allowing for easy access for repairs or servicing. The scooter is also expected to include a battery pack under the floorboard, which delivers on-demand performance while also storing energy generated by deceleration or braking. So yeah, boost technology like what we find in the new Yamaha Fazzio could be present here.
The scooter's electric motor, which is most likely to be a hub-mounted unit similar to the 4.4kW unit in the current TVS iQube, will be powered by the previously mentioned hydrogen energy source. While the top-of-the-line ST version of the iQube has a claimed range of 88 miles before requiring a recharge of around an hour or so, a fuel cell version could be refueled quickly from a hydrogen filling station, which would completely eliminate range anxiety.
Hydrogen powered two-wheelers are nothing new. In fact, Kawasaki and Yamaha are both investing heavily in this technology. It seems like a logical step forward, offering the refueling convenience of ICE vehicles. A fuel cell, like a battery, consists of two electrodes separated by an electrolyte membrane. However, a fuel cell produces electricity by interacting with oxygen from the air to transform hydrogen fuel into electricity rather than storing energy like a battery, and therefore requiring to be recharged. As such, hydrogen vehicles are considered zero-emission, as only heat and water result from the reaction.