The Fhybrid front-wheel driven hydrogen-powered scooter
By Mike Hanlon
July 28, 2006
July 29, 2006 The Fhybrid scooter is a hydrogen electric hybrid two wheeler that has emerged as Crijn Bouman's graduation project at Delft University in Holland and it is a very different form of two wheeler than almost anything that has come before it. For starters, it’s the only front wheel drive two wheeler going around that we know of, has a reverse gear for parking (another first on a scooter), and a range equivalent to that of a normal scooter in that it can travel approximately 200 km on a full tank of hydrogen. Oh, and it doesn’t make any noise or produce harmful emissions and looks very different to normal scooter fare.
Bouman, an Industrial Design Engineering student at TU Delft, developed a working prototype of the 65 km/h FHybrid scooter with acceleration superior to that of a standard 'petrol scooter'. The FHybrid was designed to be hydrogen-powered, but for now the prototype is powered by batteries, with the help of a special fuel-cell simulator that was specially designed for this project.
"A special course and various permits are required to build a hydrogen-powered engine. It wasn't possible to achieve this during the time period of my graduation project," Crijn Bouman explained. "The faculty is now trying to assemble all the necessary means to fully develop the hydrogen-powered scooter."
The FHybrid is the first front-wheel driven hydrogen-powered scooter. The scooter has an electric engine that mainly derives its power from a (Li-ion) battery. This battery is charged by a compact fuel-cell system, which derives its energy from hydrogen (from a tank) and oxygen (from the air). The FHybrid also has a regenerating braking system that reduces the hydrogen consumption by 10-20 percent.
Bouman has equipped the scooter with a “traffic assistant”, which enables the scooter's electric engine to be very precisely controlled when travelling at low speeds. The FHybrid's complete drive system and energy management system were built by Epyon, a TU Delft spin-off company, of which Bouman is one of the founders, and in partnership with the Delft Design Institute.