EV maker Karma wants to power electric cars with a methanol fuel cell

by Joseph K. Clark

Blue World Technologies

Reformed methanol fuel cells have existed for years, but they’re not pollution-free. They all produce both water and CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, though less of the latter than a gas- or diesel-powered car. Methanol has an advantage over hydrogen in that it’s a liquid at room temperature, so it can be stored and distributed like gasoline or diesel. You’d also refuel a methanol car in a couple of minutes, where EVs take much longer than that to recharge.

methanol fuel cell

According to Blue World Technologies, methanol can be made from renewable sources like “electricity, biomass, biogas and municipal waste.” As with any fuel cell vehicle, however, creating methanol with electricity, then using it in a fuel cell to power a car, is far less efficient than just charging a battery directly — as I’ve detailed before in Engadget’s hydrogen explainer.

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