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Peugeot follows other manufacturers who have launched into hydrogen vans. For Renault it’s the Master and the Kangoo, for Peugeot it’s the e-Expert, the medium van. The advantage of the hydrogen fuel cell is that it allows you to fill up “quickly” (if you find an H2 station) and to leave with a 0-emission electric vehicle in use (from water).
This makes it possible to extend the range of the van, for example, or to reduce the size (and weight) of the electric traction battery. On the other hand, it adds weight with the fuel cell itself and the dihydrogen tanks. Peugeot, sorry, Stellantis, has developed what they call “mid-power plug-in hydrogen fuel cell electric”. Clearly, we have a rechargeable battery like on a conventional battery electric vehicle. But, in addition, H2 tanks and a fuel cell which will supply the battery or the motor. It is a hydrogen/electric hybrid.
This fuel cell, we already know it since it comes from Symbio (Michelin) just like the one on the Kangoo E-Tech H2. On the other hand, in the Kangoo, the fuel cell acts as a “range extender” and never powers the electric motor. The PàC is supplied by three tanks under 700 bars. That’s 4.4 kg of H2 in total possible. The tanks are under the rear floor which does not burden the loading volume.
Plug-in hybrid and hydrogen
As a result, this Peugeot e-Expert Hydrogen is a compromise. The traction lithium ion battery is only 10.5 kWh in capacity and generates 90 kW of power. It is located under the seats. It is connected to an 11 kW three-phase on-board charger, located in the engine compartment. Result, its small capacity allows a complete recharge in less than an hour under 11 kW.
The electric motor is with permanent magnets and has a power of 100 KW, for 260 Nm of torque. It is the same engine as the PEUGEOT e-EXPERT, classic electric. Autonomy is in the process of being approved, but Peugeot announces more than 400 km “all full”. For the loading volume, but also the payload or the towing capacity, nothing changes.
- Up to 6.1m³ loading volume,
- Up to 1100 kg payload,
- Up to 1000 kg towing capacity.
The “mid-power plug-in hydrogen fuel cell electric” system allows different operating phases:
- When starting and at low speed: the high-voltage battery alone provides the electric motor with the power needed for traction,
- At stabilized speed: the fuel cell supplies energy directly to the electric motor,
- In the acceleration, overtaking or uphill phases: the fuel cell and the high-voltage battery are associated to together supply energy to the electric motor,
- During the braking and deceleration phases: the electric motor recharges the high-voltage battery.
The high voltage battery is guaranteed for 8 years or 160,000 km. Peugeot does not speak of the fuel cell warranty, if there is one other than the manufacturer’s warranty.
Our opinion, by leblogauto.com
Hydrogen combined with electricity in this way is technically interesting. Peugeot can thus reduce the battery to a capacity that gives roughly 30 to 50 km of autonomy to the van with a load. The 4.4 kg of H2 make it possible to ensure longer journeys.
But there remains the virtual absence of H2 stations, and worse, of H2 700 bar stations (under 350 bars we will put 2 times less H2 so half the autonomy). H2 remains expensive and most of the time comes from fossil resources. Finally, if it is generated with electricity, the overall efficiency electricity > H2 > electricity struggles to exceed 20%.
Hydrogen is being pushed by some as the solution for electric mobility. Indeed, refueling can be done quickly and this can be adapted to an electric vehicle via a range extender. Here, Peugeot presents its e-Expert Hydrogen, an electric hydrogen van.