Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Car not first application for fuel cells

12.05.2004


The car will not be the first application for fuel cells. This is one of the conclusions in the doctoral thesis of Robert van den Hoed, which he will defend on 17 May at TU Delft. “My research project confirms that large organisations such as in the automobile industry have trouble implementing radical changes.” A fuel cell powered car as a case to gain insight into radical innovation theory.

For years now, fuel cells running on hydrogen have been mentioned as an environmentally friendly alternative to the common internal combustion engine. Unfortunately, radical innovation theory predicts that large industries, such as the automobile industry, will probably not be the first to embrace a new technology such as the fuel cell,” says Van den Hoed. “Dinosaurs don’t fly. To its credit though, the automobile industry, which is often accused of conservatism, has already invested billions of Euros in the technology.”

Van den Hoed used this contradiction as a starting point for his research into the motives and mechanisms that could explain the continuing popularity of the combustion engine in the industry. Examining press releases, patents and technology strategies, Van den Hoed studied the innovation process of the fuel cell powered car. He studied twelve brands, among which: General Motors, DaimlerChrysler and BMW.



“The analysis shows that the investments are so high that one cannot speak of a PR-stunt, as some of sceptics suggest,” Van den Hoed explains. “At the same time, there are few signs of real commitment, as the development of this technology is still mostly confined to R&D labs, and there is no real commercialisation of the technology.”

According to Van den Hoed, the very strict environmental requirements being put into place by governments, especially in California, are the main incentive for the enormous investments made by the industry. “These regulations have forced the industry to invest in technological alternatives. It is not something the industry has done of its own accord, but it does have it putting its best foot forward. Moreover, this protects the industry from being caught off guard by new technological developments, or the effects of fluctuating oil prices.”

According to Van den Hoed, the strategies in the industry are mainly defensive and designed to anticipate, which means that the commercialisation of the fuel cell powered car should probably not be expected before 2015. “It is even possible that the fuel cell car could die out before reaching maturity, if the industry has to invest in production capacity. This was the case ten years ago with the electric car. A far more logical assumption is that it is not the automobile industry, but the electronics industry that will be the first to apply fuel cells in its products. After all, to this industry, the fuel cell is not that radical a technology, and it could provide benefits in the short term, for example, being able to call far longer with a mobile phone.”

Maarten van der Sanden | alfa
Further information:
http://www.tudelft.nl

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht 3D scans for the automotive industry
16.01.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits
09.11.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>