Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc., announced on March 18 that California's South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has approved $2.3 million for Quantum to provide the engineering, design and development of advanced hydrogen fuel systems for a fleet of 30 Toyota Prius Hybrid Electric Vehicles. The value of the contract may be expanded to $2.5 million, contingent on co-funding by the Department of Defense National Automotive Center (DOD-NAC), which would increase the total number of vehicles to 35.
Quantum will develop the complete OEM-level hydrogen internal combustion engine fuel system, including both injection and hydrogen storage systems. Quantum will also integrate these hydrogen fuel systems into the vehicles and perform complete validation including crash testing, engine and vehicle durability, and emissions testing to ensure compliance.
Quantum will offer the vehicles with two hydrogen storage configurations: a compressed hydrogen storage system or an optional metal hydride storage system. Quantum will integrate Texaco Ovonics' metal hydride storage into five of the 30 vehicles for evaluation.
Quantum previously worked with Texaco Ovonics to develop a hydrogen-powered concept vehicle using a 2002 model-year Toyota Prius. The interest generated by the concept vehicle developed by Quantum for Texaco Ovonics contributed to establishing the foundation for this program.
The newly awarded AQMD test fleet program will entail Quantum performing all of the necessary engineering, safety testing, interface with licensing agencies and validation of the 2004 model-year Toyota Prius to provide a turnkey conversion that meets performance specifications and in-use conditions determined by the AQMD. In addition to performing in specified starting conditions and meeting certain driveability specifications, the vehicle will also need to achieve SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) emissions levels.
Quantum will also market these vehicles to fleets across the United States to help promote the growth of hydrogen usage and to provide a transitional vehicle while fuel cell vehicles are becoming more prevalent.