ZAP and Apollo Energy Systems are developing a prototype fuel cell car using both a patended Lead-cobalt battery and patented Alkaline fuel cell. The prototype vehicle will be the Smart city couple, a direct-import car from Europe.
Apollo Energy Systems has developed and patented an Alkaline Fuel Cell, an improved version of the early Alkaline Fuel Cells used by NASA in the Apollo Moon Mission. Dr. Karl Kordesch is the researcher and designer who invented the Alkaline flashlight battery and also produced the first Alkaline Fuel cell in 1967 for the first fuel-cell powered “Electrovan” produced by General Motors.
Apollo’s CEO Robert Aronsson developed the Lead-cobalt battery. Those batteries were used in the only two cross country electric car races ever held in the U.S. in 1967 and 1970. The Tri-Polar Lead-Cobalt battery is made with Lead-Foam electrodes making it lighter than ordinary Lead-acid batteries with a higher Voltage as well as great energy and power density. Three patents are pending on the new batteries. Apollo Corporation says that the their advanced battery technology could replace Nickel-metal hydride and Lithium-ion in many applications for approximately 20 percent of the cost.
Zap will update the Smart car to conform with U.S. Department of Transportation standards.
The companies intend to use the fuel cell powered (with a Lead-cobalt battery) Smart car in a cost-to-coast demonstration.
The fuel for the race would be ammonia (NH3), which would be stored in large tanks at gas stations along the way. Electric vehicles would “fill up” with liquid ammonia, which then feeds into a patented Ammonia Cracker on board the vehicle. The Ammonia Cracker would convert ammonia to hydrogen for the fuel cells. Mr. Aronsson said, “The immediate use of ammonia, the second most common chemical produced in the world, can jump-start the country into a true hydrogen economy.”