After exhibiting a prototype at Hannover Messe this year, the German Aerospace Center, also known as DLR, has announced plans to make its hydrogen-driven cargo bike available on the market. Reportedly, a startup named Rytle, which sells all-electric bicycles called MovR, will be testing fuel cell versions this fall. Alexander Preuschoff, of Rytle, told H2-international, “We’ll present a more advanced vehicle at the IAA.”
Uses such as the one described above were exactly what DLR researchers had in mind when they developed a new type of fuel cell module. The organization said that it was superior to comparable batteries and offered a higher range and twice the lifetime at a competitive price. The plan now is to integrate the module into cargo bikes to offer a faster, easier and quieter zero-emission solution for transporting heavy items.
Called Fuel Cell Power Pack, or FCPP, the unit consists of a fuel cell that produces between 300 watts and 500 watts in continuous operation and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery to meet peak loads. Cold-start capability and fast refueling made it suitable for multi-shift work, said Mathias Schulze, who works at the DLR. It could be refueled by either filling up or exchanging the metal-hydride tank on the bike. His colleague, Christian Rudolph, added that the system had been designed for “last-mile delivery, which denotes the route between distribution centers and customers. More and more small shipments need to reach the final destination of the supply chain at an ever-faster pace.”
In July, the FCPP project, which had been spun off by DLR, and five other innovative business ideas were chosen by the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers for implementation under the Helmholtz Enterprise support program.