Ecomove, a Danish manufacturing firm, is developing a range-extended version of its Qbeak electric vehicle. The new vehicle is projected to go for 500 miles in-between battery charges by using methanol fuel cells as range-extenders.
The vehicle incorporates up to six slots for modules containing a battery, methanol tank or fuel cell, according to user needs. Further specifications to add more modules for more enhanced range are possible.
Methanol is split in the fuel cell to generate electricity with water as by-product. It has no exhaust emissions and the heat generated is recycled for cabin heating with an efficiency of 80 percent.
Refueling with methanol is similar to filling up with petrol. It can also be distributed using existing fuel-supply pipelines, according to Ecomove.
The prototype car is based on Ecomove’s Qbeak, which is a three meter-long lightweight EV with a modular structure. It can be adapted to different body styles and has a seating capacity of six. It weighs 400 kg without energy modules and features in-wheel motors to give top speed of 120 kph or 75 mph.
Ecomove is planning to produce the first car later this year. This initiative is part of the Modular Energy Carrier (MECc) project that aims to create clean, simple and competitive range extenders for electric battery vehicles with target range of at least 800 km or 497 miles.
Denmark’s Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EDDP) funds the project. It is part of the overall plan to make the country independent from fossil fuel by 2050.