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Several different items have co-opted the name “fuel cell.” A style of Oakley sunglasses. A really cool diaper bag. A bladder inside the gas tank of a NASCAR racer.
Our fuel cell is an electrochemical device that converts hydrogen and oxygen into electricity. Fuel cell electric vehicles use a PEM fuel cell—proton exchange membrane. In its simplest form, a PEM fuel cell is two electrodes—the anode and the cathode—separated by a catalyst-coated membrane. A fuel cell stack is made up of many PEM fuel cells that are stacked together, like slices in a loaf of bread. The stack generates electricity that powers the vehicle as long as fuel is supplied. When the fuel tank runs low, you stop at a hydrogen station and refill it in a few minutes. Then you’re back on the road and ready to go!
Thank you to the California Fuel Cell Partnership for providing these materials.