There are perks to working at a company that specializes in hydrogen and fuel cell technology. Last week Tim Briggs, Platform Leader of the PowerTap™ Hydrogen Systems at Nuvera Fuel Cells, experienced his latest one - driving Toyota’s Highlander Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle – Advanced (FCHV-adv).
Was this your first experience driving a fuel cell car? Where did you go?
On February 19th I had the opportunity to drive a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for the first time. It was an exciting experience as I drove Toyota’s FCHV-adv to my alma mater, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, for a joint meeting on fuel cell powered cars organized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Worcester Chapters. With a few stops along the way I end up totaling 104 miles round trip. When I left Nuvera’s headquarters I had roughly half a tank of hydrogen. Since the FCHV-adv has a 325 mile range I knew I wouldn’t have an issue making it there and back.
Overall, how was your experience?
The driving experience was great! The car was quiet and the interface on this vehicle was virtually identical to that used on other modern vehicles (with the exception of kg of hydrogen vs. gallons of gas on the display), which made it very easy to use. I also enjoyed following the display showing when the fuel cell was charging the battery and how I could increase energy efficiency by the way I drove.
Did you have any expectations before driving the car?
I was curious how the fuel cell car would perform on the highway (at least compared to my own vehicle). It turned out that the fuel cell vehicle performed equally well on the highway and I was pleasantly surprised by the acceleration on the on ramps.
Were you nervous about driving the car?
I was not at all nervous about driving the vehicle (other than not wanting to get any dings or scratches on the car). During my five years at Nuvera, I have become very educated about hydrogen and know the truth as well as the misconceptions that exist around hydrogen’s safety. I believe this vehicle is, at a minimum, as safe as a gasoline powered vehicle and understand the various safety mechanisms that are in place to make this a safe product.
I had a sense of pride knowing the vehicle was powered with hydrogen that was generated and dispensed at Nuvera Fuel Cells’ Billerica facility using the PowerTap generator. It’s very exciting to be driving around in our future mode of transportation. Having the vehicle on the road hopefully makes others realize that the future is probably closer than we think!
Archive for the ‘Employee Spotlight’ Category
Nuvera announced today the creation of three new positions on its Senior Management team Read more…