California-based Biliti Electric, a fast-growing e-mobility company has unveiled what it claims is the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) powered electric three-wheeler vehicle – FastMile.
Biliti’s FastMile has a claimed quick refueling time of less than 3-minutes and offers a range of up to 130 miles (209km). The vehicle comes with a motor that offers a gradeability of 20deg, and payload capacity of 1500 lbs (680kg). Biliti says that most fuel cells available today are meant for stationary or warehousing applications and are not suitable for on-road and mobile deployments. But it has successfully integrated all the fuel cell components and upgraded them to automotive standards. The vehicle has been tested for more than 6,000 miles (9,656km) in rugged road conditions.
Rahul Gayam, CEO, Biliti Electric said, “This is a major step towards shaping the future of hydrogen energy and fuel cells for global markets. Thankfully, BEVs are not the only solution for decarbonising transportation. We are transforming the application and commercialization of HFCs by bringing the technology to compact and affordable vehicles as well.”
The main difference is that BEVs contain a large battery to store electricity, while FCEVs create their own electricity by using a hydrogen fuel cell. The company estimates that the global three-wheeler refuelling market is worth $40 billion (Rs 3,19,840 crore) annually. At a price point of $7/kg (Rs 560) of hydrogen, 3W FCEVs achieve price parity with their conventional counterparts fuelled by petrol or diesel. Production cost of grey hydrogen (produced using fossil fuels) is currently sub-$2/kg (Rs 160). This allows for transition to FCEVs today with the ability to switch to green hydrogen (produced from renewable energy), which is expected to drop to $1/kg (Rs 80) by 2030.