Although electric powered cars are gaining traction in the marketplace some believe that hydrogen cells are the future of emission-free motoring with several companies currently researching its potential. This research has now reached the golf cart with this hydrogen powered cart from South Africa.
Golf cart batteries, like all batteries used in vehicles, have a large environmental impact both in their manufacture and in generating the energy needed for recharging. Battery powered carts are also limited in their range compared to what hydrogen cell power could offer.
Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) Systems Competence Centre at the University of the Western Cape has fitted a hydrogen fuel cell to a Melex Eletrovehicles electric golf cart. The hydrogen cell has doubled the range of the cart and has a top speed of around 30mph.
The university is running this hydrogen cart against its fleet of diesel and battery powered carts to see if hydrogen offers efficiency,
performance and economic benefits.
The U.S isn’t getting left behind in hydrogen powered golf cart research as this video from the Burlington County Institute of Technology shows. This cart uses a solar panel to create the electricity needed to separate the hydrogen and oxygen from water, the hydrogen is stored in a tank and the oxygen is left to vent to the atmosphere.
However promising the technology appears at the moment critics say that the day that our cars and golf carts are powered by hydrogen may be several decades away.