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Fuel Cells Flywheels and Hybrids There are three types of experimental vehicle EVs propulsion technologies on the currently being tested Batteries are currently the most popular power source for modern EVs but they are by no means the only available technology A number of alternatives are under development and they too are well positioned to rival batteries as an effective EV power source 1Fuel cells Some of the most recent and exciting news in electric-vehicle development has centered around a new power source called the fuel cell The fuel cell utilizes a special membrane to generate electricity through the controlled reaction between hydrogen and oxygen atoms Unlike batteries which store electricity rather than generate it fuel cells actually produce electricity through a controlled chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen Inside a fuel cell the two elements are fed to opposite sides of a porous membrane As hydrogen atoms pass through the pores they are stripped of their electrons This results in a negative charge on the membranes hydrogen side and a positive charge on the oxygen side Stacking fuel cells in series produces enough power to operate a vehicle Unfortunately there is a downside to this innovative systemhydrogen is extremely volatile It is also difficult to store and unavailable at local filling stations Chrysler Corporation is currently working on a fuel cell that eliminates some of these obstacles notably storage and inconvenience Their efforts may make fuel cells a viable option in the near future One of Chryslers plans is to use small amounts of gasoline in fuel cells Doing so would eliminate the dangerous proposition of storing hydrogen onboard an EV before converting it to electricity A series of reaction chambers in the system would convert the gasoline to hydrogen as needed and carbon monoxideproduced as a byproductwould be processed in additional chambers that would convert it to harmless carbon dioxide
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