Intelligent Energy To Provide Fuel Cell For Peugeot Electric Cars

Under this joint programme, Intelligent Energy will utilise its proprietary Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell technology in order to deliver a series of advanced, compact and efficient 10kW systems, which will be configured to fit within PSA Peugeot Citroen's electric vehicle architecture.

Published: 13-Jan-2006

British fuel cell development company Intelligent Energy today announced a working programme with PSA Peugeot Citroën, whereby Intelligent Energy's automotive fuel cell systems are to be tested and integrated within PSA Peugeot Citroën's electric vehicles for future deployment in electric vehicle fleets.

PSA Peugeot Citroën is the world's sixth largest carmaker and the second-largest car manufacturer in Europe.  The company is committed to introducing the highest levels of technical innovation, safety features and alternative energies across its two brands, Peugeot and Citroën, and believes that electrical drive-trains could be a long- term solution to the challenge of urban pollution.  Fuel cells are a key component of PSA Peugeot Citroën's environmental strategy. In the medium term, the company's goal is to exploit prevailing electric vehicle technologies and offer hybrid vehicles that combine electric propulsion systems and internal combustion engines, whilst considering different applications of fuel-cell technology (for example, using hydrogen as an energy source) for longer term use.

Under this joint programme, Intelligent Energy will utilise its proprietary Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology in order to deliver a series of advanced, compact and efficient 10kW systems, which will be configured to fit within PSA Peugeot Citroën's electric vehicle architecture. These will demonstrate class-leading automotive fuel cell capabilities, with full durability under typical automotive environmental conditions. Their capacities will be proven via extensive in-vehicle track and road testing in France and England.

In the short term, PSA Peugeot Citroën is committed to improving automotive fuel efficiency and the use of biofuels. In the longer term, PSA Peugeot Citroën believes that the development of new energy sources is key to reducing CO2 emissions and to curbing the greenhouse effect.

"Before introducing hydrogen and fuel cell technology within our vehicles, it is essential realistically to assess fuel cell systems under harsh vehicle conditions, testing out vibrations and thermal management conditions" commented Bruno Costes, programme director for PSA Peugeot Citroën.  He continued,  "Intelligent Energy's advanced 10kW systems are ideal for our existing electric vehicle designs, offering high performance with a very small footprint.  This programme should ensure a more rapid and confident introduction of fuel cell systems into a wider fleet of electric passenger and light cargo vehicles – and ultimately into a new series of hydrogen hybrid vehicles". 

Intelligent Energy's unique and proprietary design is based on the use of thin metallic bipolar plates that make the fuel cell stack extremely compact and well suited to mass manufacture. The design eliminates the need for pre-humidification of the reactants and minimises the balance-of-plant components. The stacks can be rapidly started from freezing conditions and can achieve full-load in less than 2 minutes from -20C.  The first 10kW fuel cell system has been delivered to PSA Peugeot Citroën and is presently undergoing laboratory testing.  Revised systems will be designed specifically for their vehicle packaging requirements.

The United Kingdom's DTI (Department of Trade & Industry) is supporting the project under its New and Renewable Energy Programme and the project also involves leading UK and European automotive component suppliers.

Fuel cells offer a range of automotive applications, such as Auxiliary Power Units (APUs), for conventional and electric vehicles, for hybrid vehicles and for full propulsion systems for the future. Unlike conventional engines, which create power by means of internal combustion, fuel cells convert hydrogen directly into electricity and heat by means of an electrochemical reaction, meaning they are quiet, emissions-free and cleaner for the environment. 

About Intelligent Energy:
Intelligent Energy is a fuel cell and hydrogen generation development company, creating and implementing new energy technologies and power delivery services for its business partners.  The company is above all an intellectual property and know-how led business, focused on commercialising its fuel cell and hydrogen generation technologies and providing solutions for global applications in the motive, distributed energy, military and portable power markets.  Intelligent Energy hit the world's headlines in March 2005, when it launched ENV: the world's first purpose-built hydrogen fuel cell bike (or Emissions Neutral Vehicle).  The bike went on to win a Popular Science 'Best of What's New Award' and was recently named as one of the 'Greatest Innovations of 2005' by TIME Magazine.  Intelligent Energy has received high-level public recognition for its portfolio of innovative technologies, first by winning the Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track Research and Development Award and secondly, in December 2005, being named as one of only 36 companies worldwide to be nominated as a Technology Pioneer 2006 by The World Economic Forum.

About PSA Peugeot Citroën:
PSA Peugeot Citroën is an automotive group of global dimensions. A company with significant technological, industrial, financial and commercial activities, it draws its strength from its two volume brands, Peugeot and Citroën, as well as from the skills of its 207,200 employees worldwide and its stable shareholder base. PSA Peugeot Citroën sold 3,390,000 vehicles in 2005, an increase of 0.4% on the previous year.

They are the global leader in the manufacture of zero emission electric cars, having produced more than 10,000 electric vehicles to date. As part of a comprehensive strategy to improve urban transport, PSA Peugeot Citroën launched the Liselec service in La Rochelle, France, in which electric cars are available on demand. Further, the Group is providing vehicles for the European Electric Vehicle City Distribution (Elcidis) project to organise city centre deliveries from a network of distribution centres in the suburbs.

PSA Peugeot Citroën believes that in the long term hydrogen fuel cells could serve as a complementary energy source for electric cars and could be a solution to cope with the problem of hydrocarbon supply and substantially reduce CO2 emissions.

About the DTI New and Renewable Energy Programme

This programme is an element of the Government's policy of stimulating the development of new and renewable energy so that it can provide a continuously growing contribution in the competitive energy market. Programmes supported must include innovation that offers the prospect for reduced cost/and or improved performance of new and renewable energy, with the goal of improving its competitiveness.

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