Quick Q&A

Here, you can get the answers (A’s) to a lot of frequently asked questions (Q’s) about MECc.

Q: What makes MECc a better concept than all the other range extending concepts out there?

  • A: The concept has a very high well-to-wheel efficiency while maintaining range and a simple infrastructure setup. 

Q: Why is it even necessary to look at other options than the various existing ones?

  • A: “There is no silver bullet” and there will be a need for many solutions in a future without fossil fuels.

Q: Which known and existing elements/technologies does MECc use?

  • A1: Methanol is a transportation fuel today and the most distributed chemical in the world.
  • A2: The High temperature fuel cell technology is deployed today in many commercial applications – though primarily smaller power producing devises.
  • A3: The battery technology is well known from portable applications and the emerging BEV market.

Q: On the other hand; what use of elements/technology is unique to MECc?

  • A1: The fuel conversion technology is unique as it combines a special type of fuel cell and a special type of reformer technology.
  • A2: The modularity/scalability is new, as current car manufacturers make fully configured models that cannot be changed after production.

Q: 800 km range; how do you come up with that figure and how will you reach it?

  • A: The Energy carrier is based on electric energy stored in the batteries and chemical energy stored in the methanol fuel. With 60-70L of fuel in tank combined with the batteries, the range is simply a result of volume in the tank, just like a gasoline car.

Q: What other advantages besides the extended range does MECc provide?

  • A1: The vehicle will remain pollution free – no sound and no particles.
  • A2: MECc will allow you to adapt the vehicle after you bought it, and even rent a range extender when you go on vacation.
  • A3: You will have a warm car in the winter without reducing the range at all – the heat is free so the fuel consumption will remain the same.
  • A4: The heat can be turned into cooling if needed through a heat driven cooling process.
  • A5: You can recharge at home when you have the time and refuel at a normal gas station if you are in a hurry.

Q: How much does it pollute compared to other fuel types and range extending solutions?

  • A: According to the report “Alternative drive trains 2012” made by the Danish Energy Agency; A methanol fuel cell vehicle will emit 7 g/CO2 per km. This number is 9 g/CO2 for hydrogen and 4 g/CO2 for the pure battery electric vehicle while the combustion engine based plug-in hybrid vehicle emits 34 g/CO2 per km. To this answer should also be noted that the MECc project is a plug-in vehicle with a significantly better efficiency        than the vehicle models used for the measurements above.

Q: Does the vehicle demand a specialized plug/charging system?

  • A1: No. The vehicle can be charged with a normal charger that fits in a normal house installation.
  • A2: The fueling station needs a special nozzle that fits in the vehicle and ensures no spill/contact with the methanol. In addition, some components in the gas pump needs to be upgraded – all in all same price as a normal gasoline pump.

Q: How does the fuel cell work?

  • A1: A fuel cell is often called a chemical battery, because it converts chemical energy into direct current. The fuel cell’s chemical energy derives from hydrocarbons, in this case methanol.
  • A2: The fuel cell is based on reforming the methanol into a hydrogen rich gas – the waste heat from the fuel cell conversion process drives the reforming process.

Q: Bio-methanol; what is it and how is it produced?

  • A1: Bio-methanol is just like normal methanol but is produced from biomass like wood, garbage or other waste products.
  • A2: Methanol can also be manufactured from wind power – this produces methanol from hydrogen and carbon.

Q: How and where would I practically get the bio-methanol into my car?

  • A: From a gas station – just like today.

Q: What is the cost on bio-methanol, compared to gasoline?

  • A: According to the report “Green Synthetic Fuels” the price at the pump will be 0,57 EUR/L. This is to be compared with ~1,6 EUR/L for gasoline in Denmark.

Q: Who can benefit from MECc?

  • A1: Any environmentally oriented end-user, who does not want to worry about the range of his/her vehicle.
  • A2: Society can save a good portion of the health cost associated with particles emissions. In 2008 this was 1,5 billion DKK.

Q: Are there special safety issues regarding the use of bio-methanol as opposed to driving on pure electricity and/or other range extending techniques?

  • A: It is very similar; do not drink the fuel, do not light it on fire and only use the approved filling devises.