Th!nk Nordic Hydrogen
Th!nk Nordic, an offshoot of Ford Motor Company has developed a prototype hydrogen hybrid electric auto, known as Th!nk Hydrogen. The auto’s battery has a 90-mile range and can be recharged by plugging it into the wall.
If you need to be able to drive a further distance than 90 miles, you can use the hydrogen fuel cell, which increases the range to 180 miles. While other companies have developed hydrogen hybrid vehicles that run mainly on hydrogen with electrical assist as needed, Th!nk has “thunk” outside the box and reversed this situation.
The energy efficiency of a battery-powered auto such as the Th!nk Hydrogen is much greater than that of a gasoline-powered auto. The efficiency of a battery-powered auto is 90-percent, versus 30-percent for gasoline-powered autos. This means that a battery-powered auto has the ability to travel three times further than a gasoline-powered auto on the same amount of energy. A battery-powered auto also has zero emissions, very much unlike autos powered by normal combustion engines, allowing it to be much more environmentally friendly. Because of the combination of battery power and a hydrogen fuel cell, the Th!nk Hydrogen gives the capability of high energy efficiency as well as the ability for further travel when necessary.
The Th!nk Hydrogen is being made possible by not only Th!nk Nordic, but also by Raufoss Fuel Systems, which is providing a 700-bar hydrogen storage system for the auto. MES-DEA is providing the 17.6 kw Zebra battery, and Hydrogenics is providing the 10 kW “HyPM” fuel cell. Th!nk Nordic has received a grant from The Research Council of Norway of over $1 million for developing the prototypes of the auto, which will be used for demonstration projects and to promote the development of Norway’s hydrogen economy.
Th!nk Nordic is a company that has been producing electric autos and other modes of environmentally friendly transportation for over 15 years. The first prototypes created by Th!nk Nordic were released in 1992. By 1999, Th!nk Nordic fell into financial difficulties and Ford Motor Company purchased 51-percent of the shares, later purchasing the other 49-percent, forming the Th!nk Group. This led to the technology for environmentally friendly autos in Ford including the Th!nk FC5. By August of 2002, Ford had announced that they were pulling themselves out of the company so that they could concentrate on hybrid and fuel cell autos. In 2003, Kamkorp Microelectronics became the new owner of Th!nk Nordic.
Th!nk Nordic is hoping that with the development of the Th!nk Hydrogen, the level of efficiency and distance for travel will convince people that they have no excuses for not choosing the more environmentally friendly option this auto offers. By 2007, Th!nk Nordic plans to roll out a series of at least 15 Th!nk Hydrogen autos.