DRDO Creates Fuel Cell, Plug-In Hybrid from Reva Electric Car

Operating like a plug-in, serial hybrid, the 1.8kWh phosphoric acid fuel cell continuously charges the battery and helps extend the vehicle's range while allowing it to be operated in places where electricity is not readily available.

Published: 22-Jan-2007

If a group of scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have their way, people could soon be driving in a hydrogen fuel cell-powered mini car that could double up as a power generator. That’s not all. Thanks to their research efforts, people could also be growing vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, tomato and onion, in inaccessible, high altitude and snow-bound regions of the country.

The DRDO-Reva hybrid vehicle combines a car built by Bangalore-based Reva Electric Car Company with a fuel cell developed by DRDO scientists. "Running it could cost as little as 40 paise a kilometre," says DRDO chief M Natarajan.

"We put a 1.8 kilowatt phosphoric acid fuel cell to the Reva car in addition to the battery. The hybrid car has been performing quite well," he adds.


Average diesel consumption for these two cars is 3.4 litres per 100 kilometres, with 90 grams of CO2 emitted per kilometre, a 25 percent improvement over comparable gasoline-electric hybrid systems.

The two-mode hybrid technology allows for fuel optimization, especially during highway driving at higher speeds.

Like a Trojan horse, Camry sneaks gas-saving radicalism into a trusted American staple.


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