Publication Detail

Commercializing Light-duty Plug-in/Plug-out Hydrogen-fuel-cell Vehicles: “Mobile Electricity” Technologies and Opportunities


Journal Article

Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS), Electric Vehicle Research Center

Suggested Citation:
Williams, Brett D. and Kenneth S. Kurani (2007) Commercializing Light-duty Plug-in/Plug-out Hydrogen-fuel-cell Vehicles: “Mobile Electricity” Technologies and Opportunities. Journal of Power Sources 166 (2), 549 - 566

Starting from the premise that new consumer value must drive hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicle (H2FCV) commercialization, a group of opportunities collectively called “Mobile Electricity” is characterized. Mobile Electricity (Me-) redefines H2FCVs as innovative products able to import and export electricity across the traditional vehicle boundary. Such vehicles could provide home recharging and mobile power, for example for tools, mobile activities, emergencies, and electric-grid-support services. This study integrates and extends previous analyses of H2FCVs, plug-in hybrids, and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) power. Further, it uses a new electric-drive-vehicle and vehicular-distributed-generation model to estimate zero-emission-power versus zero-emission-driving tradeoffs, costs, and grid-support revenues for various electric-drive vehicle types and levels of infrastructure service. By framing market development in terms of new consumer value flowing from Me-, this study suggests a way to move beyond the battery versus fuel-cell zero-sum game and towards the development of integrated plug-in/plug-out hybrid platforms. As one possible extension of this Me- product platform, H2FCVs might supply clean, high-power, and profitable Me- services as the technologies and markets mature.

Keywords: Hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicle; Plug-in hybrid; Plug-out hybrid; Mobile Electricity innovation; Vehicle-to-grid power; Vehicular distributed generation