Karma Automotive is to collaborate with Blue World Technologies to explore the viability of a fuel cell system to provide primary propulsion power for a variety of future passenger and light commercial vehicles.

Fuel cells enable fast refuelling and a long driving range.

Blue World Technology's fuel cell system will be integrated with Karma Automotive's electric vehicle architecture and piloted in GS-6 development vehicles for evaluation purposes. Testing and validation will take place in the US and Denmark during the next few months.

An electric vehicle powered by methanol fuel cells provides the same convenience as fuelling an internal combustion engine with gasoline. This technology has a methanol reformer to produce hydrogen on board.

Methanol is a hydrogen-carrier commodity fuel already traded world-wide and can be stored and distributed using existing infrastructure in many countries around the world. As a green alternative to fossil fuels, methanol can be produced using renewable sources ensuring a CO2 neutral proposition.

"We are investing in these types of powertrain technologies now to prepare for an emission-free world by having various extended-range electrification solutions that include hydrogen, ethanol and methanol fuel cells as a propulsion system," said Karma CEO, Lance Zhou.

"This collaboration brings together Blue World's strength in fuel cell development and our expertise in engineering hybrid propulsion systems and integrating electric vehicle technologies." 

For his part, Blue World Technologies CCO and co-founder, Mads Friis Jensen, added: "We are very excited about the collaboration with Karma and see great potential in combining their expertise within hybridisation and powertrain solutions with our flexible fuel cell concept that is suitable for both engine bay or skateboard platform integration."