Ideanomics Inc. (Nasdaq: IDEX) has today announced a strategic partnership with Shangahi Bo Hydro New Energy Technology (known in English as Palcan Energy Corporation, a Methanol to Hydrogen energy provider which is joint headquartered in Vancouver, Canada and Shanghai, China). The purpose of the partnership is to introduce Palcan’s Methanol to Hydrogen technology to existing fuel station networks, as an efficient way to roll-out a fast-charging network for EV that is both familiar and accessible to consumers and fleet customers. The partnership plans to begin building out fast charge networks, as part of Ideanomics’ innovative S2F2C model, by partially or fully converting existing fossil fuel gas stations into fast-charging new energy stations, giving the major fossil fuel companies a convenient path to ensuring their fuel stations are converted rather than disposed of or abandoned during the migration to clean tech fuels. This conversion path will allow the fuel station assets, that are typically owned and operated by oil companies or via local independent operators who sell fuel under oil company brand names, to absorb some of the anticipated financial impact that will result from mass adoption of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles.
The agreement allows for the use of Palcan’s technology outside of electricity-generation for charging networks, and into other areas of industry, such as hydrogen-based batteries, vehicle charging solutions, and mobile electricity generation. Ideanomics provides marketing and promotion of Palcan’s technology and services, as well as introductions to its manufacturing, power grid, and fleet operating partners. The intention of the partnership is to engage in revenue-sharing brought about by the deployment of Palcan’s technology and services.
Palcan produces reliable, affordable, power systems for the transportation industry that are powered by Hydrogen generated from Methanol, rather than traditional fuels such as gasoline or diesel. Additionally, Palcan’s MRFC technology adapts to many other sectors beside transportation including: telecommunications, mobile charging, off grid homes and back-up power. Methanol is widely seen as a significant stepping-stone in the transition from petroleum-based products, due to it having the highest hydrogen to carbon ratio. The result is a significant reduction in nitrous oxides which form low-level Ozone – more commonly known as “Smog” – when compared to conventional fossil fuels.
The Ideanomics NETS division, along with partners such as Palcan, is working on the challenge of how to ensure the enormous investment in gas stations, made over the past one hundred years or so, is not lost in the transition to clean tech fuels. Palcan’s technology, as well as being Government-approved for immediate use in China, enables both a reduction in the size of charging units, and the storage of methanol to a comparable size of petroleum-based fuels used in today’s fuel stations. The safe conversion of Methanol to Hydrogen, to produce electricity that is stored in the fuel cells of the charging units, allows for a DC-based charging output which reduces the time of charging to under 10 minutes. As the technology is deployed, the partnership is working towards a goal of achieving a charge time of between 4 to 6 minutes to mirror the current re-fueling experience drivers are familiar with.
“The partnership with Palcan is part of our NETS division’s goal of providing a range of fast-charging network solutions which are every bit as fast and convenient as the current fuel station networks relied on by consumers and fleet customers alike,” said Alf Poor, CEO of Ideanomics. “The advantages of Methanol, with its Hydrogen-rich make-up, and lower carbon footprint, allows for the efficient production of electricity on-site which is important for two reasons. Firstly, it enables the gas station networks to make use of their existing assets, and secondly it avoids significant investment in electrical infrastructure which would otherwise be required. This has far-reaching benefits, which range from the cost of running additional power lines and the deployment of subsequent power stations and sub-stations to ensure the availability of sufficient electrical power, through to avoiding high-tension power line deployments in population areas where it is often argued there is potential for adverse effects on health. Not just limited to charging networks, Palcan’s technology enables highly-efficient mobile electricity generation which can be used in anything from industry to homes that are off-the-grid. It’s a win-win for everyone, whether a provider or consumer of tomorrow’s fuel and power needs”.
This type of EV charging networks will compliment those being deployed by power grids and power companies, which are designed to provide convenient charging locations in vehicle concentration areas such as shopping areas, sports and music venues, hotels and resorts, restaurants, and other areas where vehicles are typically parked or stationary for longer periods. The result will be a tremendously enlarged and more convenient charging experience than is enjoyed today through the fuel station network model.
Palcans’ solutions represent some of world’s leading methanol to hydrogen to electricity technologies, deployed through its Methanol Reformed Sytems. A mixture of methanol and water is reformed to H2 and CO2 in the equipment. Then H2 and CO2 will be guided into the Fuel Cell Stack. In the stack, the hydrogen gas is reacted with the catalyst in the anode, which is separated into electrons and protons. The protons pass through PEM to combine with oxygen and electrons in the cathode to form water vapor. The electrons go through the external circuit and form a direct current (DC). DC-based electrical charging is the basis for fast-charging, as it is more efficient than charging fuel cells than the alternating current (AC) electricity used in homes and businesses.
NETS is exploring other technical partnerships to convert gas stations into energy stations with solid hydrogen to electricity, including solid hydrogen mixing with CNG and wireless fast charging options. The equipment supplied to the gas stations will be covered by lease financing agreements facilitated in conjunction with partners such as the previously announced agreement with Three Gorges Capital, one of China’s largest energy companies with significant financial resources.