As electric vehicles continue to rise in popularity, the need for expanded fast charging also continues to grow. According to the Department of Transportation, consumers are concerned about the length of time it takes to charge an EV, the user-friendliness of chargers, the need to plan charging stops on long trips, and the relative convenience and safety of charging locations. Reduced battery performance and EV range during winter months are also a concern for communities in cold climates.

EV owners continue to be frustrated by lack of operable charging stations. In the United States, the rate of EV adoption is growing at a rate that is almost double that of charger installation growth rates. The lack of reliability and availability of charging options has become a crucial issue.

Could hydrogen fuel cells serve as a supplementary solution for EV charging and other mobile power needs?

Filling Electric Power and EV Charging Gaps with Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Enter Nuvera’s newest power solution: a zero-emission 30 kVA mobile power generator for on-site power and EV charging.

The Nuvera® hydrogen-powered Genset and DC fast charger, developed in collaboration with power management services provider Power Innovations International (Pii), unveiled to the North American market at ACT Expo in Las Vegas. Based in Utah, Pii develops custom rugged solutions for the integration and management of electric power to customers around the world.

The Genset/EV charger offers high-quality AC and DC power to quickly charge electric vehicles and power electric equipment. Features also include Direct-to-Charge™ technology which eliminates the need for added conversion steps to supply EV Charging, an integrated control system, a customizable trailer, multiple power outlets, customization options, and grid independence.

“People are realizing the limitations of battery power and the restrictions of the electric grid,” said Bob Kerwin, Nuvera’s aftermarket support manager based in Billerica, Massachusetts and a key team member in the development of the Genset/EV charger.  “This solution is ideal for people with more than 10 vehicles in their fleet who want a reliable source of power – possibly in a place where EV chargers can’t be installed.”

The Genset can be used in emission-controlled zones and other areas where air quality is a priority, as well as sub-zero environments where other zero-emission technologies fail. Low operating noise levels mean the Genset is also ideal for noise-sensitive environments, movie sets, concerts and sporting events.

“I see this as a complement to the electric grid,” said Bob. “We predict the Genset and rapid charger serving as an alternative choice to existing diesel generators and EV chargers, and the key advantage fuel cells is they put out a high-current DC voltage, so it’s perfect for fast charging for electric vehicles. And it’s mobile – so you can move it to where you need to be.”

The Level 3 DC fast charger can recharge both on and off-road EVs up to 60kW, offering 250VDC to 920VDC output. The Genset provides clean, dependable, on-demand power to locations with limited or no grid access such as warehouses, parking lots, malls, construction zones, mining sites and ports. The Genset   provides up to 60kW of 3-phase AC power with field configurable 208VAC or 415VAC Wye  power along with 10kW of 120/240VAC split-phase power.

Exploring Potential Use Cases

“We’re currently exploring additional use cases and capabilities for the product”, explained Bob. “Oftentimes new ideas are sparked through conversations with potential customers who inquire about the product for a unique application.”

Bob believes that Nuvera’s new mobile Genset and EV charger holds so much potential because it’s a new technology that meets an unmet need. He considers the product to be a strong alternative to grid-connected charging in cases where installing battery electric charging is cost-prohibitive or where power is unreliable or unavailable.

“I’ve read about communities that want to use electric buses but then figure out they can’t afford the charging infrastructure – sometimes millions of dollars,” said Bob. “There’s a big problem figuring out how to charge a fleet of 25 or 50 buses or other vehicles when you don’t have the capability or funding required to bring the required power to your site.”

A Milestone in Emission-Free Mobile Power

The Nuvera® mobile Genset / EV charger is a significant milestone on the path to a greener future with portable, emission-free power supply options. There is a natural fit for Nuvera’s fuel cell technology as a solution to meet the growing demand for clean on-site power and grid-independent EV charging, and we look forward to exploring exciting new applications based on customer feedback.

Zero-emission Nuvera® Fuel Cell Engines for motive and stationary applications enable customers to meet demanding performance requirements and emission and noise reduction mandates. For inquiries about the Genset or interest in customer site demonstrations, get in touch with Nuvera’s sales team here.