When it comes to alternative energy sources for engines, the fuel cell battery lags behind. Yet, experts believe that hydrogen fuel cell cars will catch up in the future. But how does the technology work? What are the pros and cons of this?
A fuel cell works much like an electric battery, converts chemical energy into electrical using the movement of charged hydrogen ions across an electrolyte membrane to generate current. There, they recombine with oxygen to produce water – a fuel cell’s only emission, alongside hot air. Although less efficient than electric batteries, today’s fuel cells compare favourably with internal combustion engine technology, which converts fuel into kinetic energy at roughly 25 per cent efficiency. A fuel cell, by contrast, can mix hydrogen with air to produce electricity at up to 60 per cent efficiency.