In my last blog post I talked about how China was charging forward with fuel cell vehicles. At the Austria Tech Week event held at the Expo Shanghai 2010 in China, a company called AVL rolled out its Fuel Cell Commuter (FCC).
The AVL FCC is basically a battery electric auto that uses a hydrogen fuel cell range extender. AVL had the help of Tongji University in China in building this commuter auto.
The AVL FCC looks similar to a golf autot. But, as a small, low speed commuter auto it may be able to compete with and beat similar all battery electric vehicles currently used at golf courses, corporate campuses, educational campuses, airports, and Hollywood studio lots.
The advantage of this vehicle (as in hydrogen fuel cell forklifts that I like to talk about) will be short refueling times and extended range. Only one small hydrogen fueling station may be required to fuel up several of these vehicles.
I see this AVL FCC in a similar fashion to the commercial fuel cell forklifts that are now available. Both will work in a contained area and generally will not stray from this geography. Both will only need one centralized hydrogen fueling station to support it. And both compete well with their all-battery counterparts.
Like fuel cell forklifts, the AVL Fuel Cell Commuter may not be the sexiest beast on the block. But, it is a vehicle that will cut down on pollution and increase awareness of fuel cell vehicles. And, it may just give one a comfortable ride into the future.