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Natural Gas as a New Prospect in Everyday Use of Electric Vehicles

Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Patras, G. Seferi 2, 30100 Agrinio, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(18), 6590;
Received: 8 August 2020 / Revised: 11 September 2020 / Accepted: 18 September 2020 / Published: 21 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electric Energy Storage Systems for Transportation Electrification)
We study here the urban use of electric vehicles (EVs), focusing on the electricity production for charging purposes. This work proposes an innovative charging scheme for EVs, by introducing a home-applied power station, consisting of a fuel cell combined with an internal reforming unit, which is fed by natural gas and can thus be directly connected to the already-established natural gas grid. We therefore overcome the barriers posed by hydrogen use (establishment of storage equipment, energy consumption for keeping high pressure, development of supply grid, etc.) while we eliminate the environmental impact, since no fossil fuels are required for electricity production. Furthermore, comparisons against EVs charged by grid and vehicles fueled by petrol, both subjected to urban everyday use, have been carried out here. Precisely, we financially compare the use of an EV charged directly through the national electric grid against our innovative power station. Both options are also compared with the same vehicle, powered by an internal combustion engine fueled by petrol. This study also implements a detailed thermodynamic analysis for this state-of-the-art power station and an additional financial analysis for the everyday use of these vehicles under the three different scenarios. For the sake of equivalence, the new Peugeot 208 was selected as the reference-vehicle, as it is equipped either with a petrol engine or an electric motor, under a roughly identical performance profile. This work also introduces the use of the existing grid of natural gas to produce the necessary electricity for charging EVs, rather than using other renewables (solar, wind, etc.), and could further strengthen the worldwide acceptance of the EVs as a viable and a financially feasible solution for everyday urban transportation. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural gas; zero emissions; renewable energy; electricity; SOFC; electric vehicle natural gas; zero emissions; renewable energy; electricity; SOFC; electric vehicle
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Prodromidis, G.N.; Mytakis, D.E.; Coutelieris, F.A. Natural Gas as a New Prospect in Everyday Use of Electric Vehicles. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 6590.

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