Electric cars are the vehicles of the future, and there is a proven hybrid system for extending their mileage. Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) provide safe, lightweight, onboard battery charging that can free car owners from worry about running out of power. The hybrid system includes a DMFC fuel cell, fuel cell cartridge and electric vehicle batteries. The fuel cell operates almost silently with virtually no exhaust, it is immune to extreme weather and the convenient fuel cartridges feature extremely high energy density, providing vehicle owners with a lightweight, efficient and onboard power source. When connected to a rechargeable battery, the fuel cell constantly monitors the battery’s charge state. Once this drops below a predefined value, the fuel cell automatically starts recharging the battery. When the battery is full, the fuel cell returns to standby mode. This presentation will discuss the role methanol/battery hybrid systems can play in extending the range and operating time of electric vehicles. In addition, it will discuss the environmental merits of methanol, including its increasing production from biomass.
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