New ‘fuel pump’ aims for holy trinity of clean transport

A new project in Germany aims to help develop a fuel filling station able to supply electric, methane and hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Researchers at the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) aim to develop a ‘fuel pump’ that can cater to a variety of alternatively-fuelled, low carbon transport technologies in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

The charger being developed would power electric cars’ batteries with renewable electricity sourced from wind farms and solar panels.

A large stationary battery will store surplus electricity when supply is greater than demand and dispense it when demand is greater than supply.

If the battery is full and the clean power isn’t being used, it will be converted into hydrogen.

Additionally, when the hydrogen storage tank is full and demand from fuel cell cars is low, carbon dioxide will then be added to the hydrogen to convert it into methane.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is funding the five-year project with around €1.3 million (£1.15m).