Think Nordic to Build Hydrogen Fuel Cell TH!NK

Think Nordic awarded grant from The Research Council of Norway to build TH!NK hydrogen with Raufoss Fuel Systems.

Published: 25-May-2005

As part of its initiative to promote the development of the hydrogen economy in Norway, the Research Council of Norway (www.forskningsradet.no) announced today that it will grant NOK 11 million (€1.350.000) to Think Nordic over the next three years. This grant will partly fund the development and construction of a prototype fuel cell/electric hybrid vehicle with partner Raufoss Fuel Systems (www.rafs.no).

Think Nordic (www.think.no) has over 15 years experience in electric vehicles and has produced one of the largest fleets on the road today. "This grant will allow Think Nordic to reinforce its position as a leader in environmentally friendly transportation," says CEO Christopher Neal.

Raufoss Fuel Systems shares Think Nordic’s enthusiasm. "This gives Raufoss Fuel Systems an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Norwegian technology and knowledge in the design and manufacture of high-pressure storage systems and integration into a very interesting vehicle concept," says Raufoss Fuel Systems Managing Director Per S. Heggem.

The Car The car, called TH!NK hydrogen, is a revolution in clean transportation. It gives you the freedom to charge the batteries from a plug in the wall or quickly fill the tank with hydrogen. Either way, the vehicle has zero emissions and will get you where you are going in electric silence.

Most of the time, TH!NK hydrogen operates like a normal electric car. The maintenance-free batteries give the car a 150 km range that easily covers your daily driving needs. Charge the batteries from a plug in the wall while you sleep, and the car will be ready for a new day then you wake up.

When you want to drive further and don't have time to wait for the batteries to charge from plug, the TH!NK hydrogen has a hydrogen fuel cell that charges the batteries while you drive. The hydrogen tank doubles the driving range to 300 km and can be refilled in mere minutes.

"The TH!NK hydrogen is a zero-emissions vehicle that makes no excuses," says PR and Marketing Coordinator Michael Eimstad.

The Project TH!NK hydrogen is a cooperation between Think Nordic and Raufoss Fuel Systems. Raufoss Fuel Systems, a member of Hexagon Composites ASA, is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-pressure storage systems for compressed gas to the automotive industry. Raufoss Fuel Systems will deliver a 700 bar hydrogen storage system for the vehicle. Batteries are being supplied by MES-DEA (www.mes-dea.ch), and the 10 kW "HyPM" fuel cell by Hydrogenics (www.hydrogenics.com).

The grant from The Research Council of Norway will help fund the development and construction of one prototype vehicle in 2005. Further, Think Nordic and Raufoss Fuel Systems plan to build 5 vehicles in 2006 and 15 vehicles in 2007. The vehicles will be used in various demonstration projects, including projects in Norway under the Hynor (www.hynor.no) umbrella.

The Motivation While a normal combustion engine has an energy efficiency of approximately 30% and a hydrogen fuel-cell has an energy efficiency of 50%, batteries are over 90% energy efficient. This means that for a given amount of energy, a battery electric car will go three times further than a petrol-powered car, and almost twice as far as a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. "This is real energy that can be used to heat and cool homes, provide street lighting, or do anything else that requires energy," says Eimstad. The TH!NK hydrogen provides an ideal combination of energy efficient batteries for daily driving and a hydrogen fuel cell that can quickly be refilled on longer trips.

"The TH!NK hydrogen is a natural and exciting step for us," says Neal, "building on Think Nordic’s world-class competence in battery electric vehicles."

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