Can Hydrogen and Electric vehicles both be the answer?

Interesting | March 2nd, 2016 by 92
BMW i8 hydrogen fuel cell images 21 750x500

We’ve heard quite a lot about both electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles within the past year. Tesla has been announcing new electric cars and technologies, …

We’ve heard quite a lot about both electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles within the past year. Tesla has been announcing new electric cars and technologies, BMW is working on both electric car and hydrogen car technology and even companies like Toyota and GM are exploring both. And there seems to be quite a divide between people who are for hydrogen fuel and people who are for pure battery electric vehicles. It seems that people want either one of the other with no in between. But what about both? What if both technologies should be developed to the fullest extent?

Tesla and its fans are on the side of pure Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)and feel that hydrogen fuel is a waste of time and money. Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder, even goes as far as calling it hydrogen fool. The idea is that creating hydrogen fuel actually emits quite a lot of carbon dioxides at the moment and that spending the time and money developing the technology and fueling stations take away from the development of electric cars. And it does make sense to look at BEVs as the long-term future.

Model Tesla X images2 750x422

However, at least at the moment, electric cars don’t have much by the way of range and take a very long time to recharge. Hydrogen-powered cars have a further range than electric cars and can refuel in minutes, like an internal combustion-powered car. And being that hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars actually power electric motors for propulsion, they have zero emissions, making the equally as environmentally friendly.

So it seems as if there are pros and cons to both forms of alternative fuel and they seem to balance each other out. So why not use both and develop both? Why that may be expensive for governments and automakers to develop technologies and set up infrastructure for both, but it could be worth it. Electric cars are the long-term future, but giving them a longer range and making them charge faster is going to take a very long time. So hydrogen cars might be a good alternative for people who have a long commute or frequently take long trips. While EVs would be prefect for people who live in a city or have a short commute, hydrogen could be helpful for many people that do not.

BMW 5 series gt hydrogen fuel cell images 48 750x499

So why can’t they both exist? Companies like Tesla feel as if hydrogen is a waste of time, but quite a lot of other companies disagree and seem to be working on both technologies. Companies like BMW, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota are currently doing the latter, so there must be good reason. The more alternative fuel technologies that are fully developed, the better off we’ll be. So why not fully develop both hydrogen and battery technology?

92 responses to “Can Hydrogen and Electric vehicles both be the answer?”

  1. Jørgen Mo says:

    Governments prefer hydrogen because they can tax it high.

    • michael says:

      You can tax everything… if you cant tax fuel you can tax everything else so its stupid argument.

    • serge delinois says:

      People have been pushing hydrogen cars for decades and now they’re ready but their already obsoleted by battery electric. I think the only reason their being promoted at this point is because they have already invested so much.

      • FuelCell says:

        Are you crazy? battery are worse than hydrogen. Time is money, yes? 30 minutes of charging vs 5 minutes of refuelling. One work hour = ~10$ so i lost 5$ on every charging and only 0,83$ on refuelling. So if i must charge my car 4 times a week i lost 80$ monthly and if i refuelling my car 4 times a week i lost only 13,28$. Yearly i lost 960$ on recharging and only 159,36$ on refuelling. Questions?

        • serge delinois says:

          You’re either dumb or purposefully ignoring the facts. You charge at home or work when you’re doing something else like sleeping or working…. So it’s not actually time you spend doing it. Do you sit by your iPhone watching it charge?

          With my Tesla I wake up each morning with 270 miles of range of which I use about 40-50. So I never have to wait for charge except when I’m on a road trip. Where I drive for 3 hours and stop for 30 minutes. Then drive 3 hours and stop for 30 minutes. While I’m stopped I go to the bathroom, get some food and stretch my legs.

          In the fuel cell world every week I would have to drive to one of few stations and pump the fuel into the car and then drive back. That whole thing takes 5 minutes there, 5 minutes back and 5 minutes fueling for 15 minutes. So you tell me which one saves you more time.

          • FuelCell says:

            “You charge at home or work when you’re doing something else like sleeping or working” – Hyundai is working on home FuelCell station :) so its obsolete argument. But if i can refuell my Fuel Cell car in home i will do it in 5 minutes than 30 minutes :)
            “Where I drive for 3 hours and stop for 30 minutes.” – i will drive for more than 3 hours and stop for 10 minutes :)
            “In the fuel cell world every week I would have to drive to one of few stations and pump the fuel into the car and then drive back.” – i never seen city with only one station :) where you live? bangladesh? mogadishu? as i mentioned Hyundai is working on home FuelCell station so if my fuel level is low and i must quickly drive somewhere i can refuell my car in 5 minutes instead 30 minutes :)

          • serge delinois says:

            Ok you’re right fuel cells will rule the world.

            In the meantime I’m driving my Tesla.

          • FuelCell says:

            You want to race :)? i propose route from New Jersey to California :) when you will charge you tesla i will be on the way :) and dont remember to choose the route that include supercharging stations :)

          • serge delinois says:

            I don’t see how? Can you map out hydrogen stations coast to coast.

          • FuelCell says:

            I will drive my petrol car :) who says that i will drive FuelCell car? its not a duel between battery and FuelCell but duel between charging and refueling :) and if you know petrol cars need refueling not charging :)

          • serge delinois says:

            Yes your petrol car has the advantage of quickly refueling and has a great infrastructure already in place. You would win the race.

            Congratulations, on being a dinosaur that doesn’t see the hand writing on the wall. I saw today Mercedes in spending 500 million euros on a battery plant. I wonder what they plan on doing with it????

          • FuelCell says:

            So if here will be more FuelCell cars petrol stations will invest in FuelCell stations because they need money and they will not earn money if they dont adjust to consumer needs.
            ” I saw today Mercedes in spending 500 million euros on a battery plant” – and have you seen that Mercedes testing FuelCell car? and manoy other companies? BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Toyota, Lexus (did you see Lexus LS-FC?), Hyundai, Ford, GM, Honda and many others. FuelCell cars have small batteries so maybe Mercedes is working on these batteries for FuelCell cars?

          • Bert says:

            I’ve hardly seen anyone funding fuel station expansion though. Even Toyota said that they’re trying to find someone else because they don’t want to do it.

          • Bert says:

            Sounds great! Let me know how long it takes the tow truck to tow your fuel cell vehicle across the country!

          • serge delinois says:

            I think the point you’re missing is that electricity is all around us. Adding a charger to a home is as simple as having an electrician run a wire out to where the car is parked. So there’s no infrastructure to build out.

            Charging a car is no effort and driving long distances is not a challenge anymore. One tiny little company was able to make all this happen in just a few years. Now imagine if the price of the car comes down to be the same or lower than gas cars. That’s game over right there.

            What does a fuel cell add to the car? Longer range and shorter refuel times? At some point the range is more than long enough and the refuel time is not an issue. I’m telling you as an EV owner… That day is already here.

          • FuelCell says:

            Do you know that FuelCell cars are electric too? So you dont see difference betwen 5 and at least 30 minutes?

          • serge delinois says:

            I do know they are electric cars… But you’re purposefully ignoring my point that it only takes 5 seconds to charge your car because you plug it in and walk away. I don’t see any world where people are going to pay big money to create hydrogen at home so they can fill up their cars instead of just having batteries.

            How much does this at home hydrogen creator thing cost? Where can we buy it? Until then it’s just talk.

          • FuelCell says:

            You ignoring fact that you need at least 30 minutes to charge your car. Is not difference whether connecting car takes only 5 seconds or 10 seconds. Charging is difference. If i hat to choose i will chose FuelCell because even if i forget connect my car to charger i dont have big problem because i connect my car for 3-5 minutes to FuelCell station instead wait 30 minutes to recharge.

          • serge delinois says:

            You’re right but I just don’t see people lining up to pay big money to have a hydrogen tank in their home so they can fill up their car with hydrogen when a cheaper alternative exists. BEV’s already have enough range and charging time is NOT the issue you think it is.

            I would rather drive a petrol car at that point.

          • FuelCell says:

            How do you know how much will FuelCell station cost? even if it will cost 2000$ i think is very good price for station that you have for all life. 2000$ is nothing compared to 20 000$ for new car. Maybe car companies will offer this station as additional equipment.

          • Unplugged says:

            Your home H2 station is a fantasy that will never be economically feasible. EVs will be mainstream before any home H2 station is even on the horizon. You link to some hooky winner of some prize contest for a home station. Honda couldn’t even get their “Phill” station to be economical for existing natural gas supplies. How in this world do you think that an H2 station that actually produces its own H2 to be remotely possible? It is a fantasy and a con to suggest that a home H2 station will be available in our lifetimes.

          • FuelCell says:

            fantasy? only one fantasy that i see here are batties cars :)

          • Bert says:

            Then I suggest you use this link to find your nearest Tesla gallery and take a look at their very real electric cars.

            https://www.teslamotors.com/findusm#/

          • Bert says:

            Um… Hydrogen generation and compression stations cost a lot more that that. Electrolysers also don’t downscale well in terms of cost.

        • Bert says:

          But refueling will cost you $70 per tank instead of $10 per tank ($0 if they keep the current supercharging model). Rerun your calculations with this fuel cost difference in mind and hydrogen will put you very deep in the hole compared to electric vehicles.

    • Julian Cox says:

      In the US, the government has stated officially and publicly why it is interested in hydrogen. No need to guess:

      “The development of shale gas reserves in the USA has already contributed to lower electricity and transportation costs and is expected to be a driver for the production of cheap hydrogen. H2USA will bring together the necessary experts to identify and solve key infrastructure challenges, including leveraging low cost natural gas resources. – See more at: http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/news-archive/2013/may/hydrogen-infrastructure-project-launches-in-usa

  2. […] Can Hydrogen and Electric Vehicles Both Be The Answer? […]

  3. Rodriguez says:

    “Electric cars are the long-term future” – so in future laws of physics will change? charging batteries have physical barriers and i dont belive that physics will change because somebody wants this.

    • CDspeed says:

      Batteries are advancing, you can’t look at the way they are now, and assume they’ll stay the same.

    • serge delinois says:

      People only have to worry about charging on long trips otherwise it’s done when the car is at home or work. Even then supercharging a Tesla is 30 minutes and Porsche says theirs will be 15 minutes. So this is only a problem in peoples imagination.

    • serge delinois says:

      Today Porsche says their mission E will charge in 15 minutes on their fast charger. For the very few times that a person needs a fast charger I think 15 minutes is no big deal.

      99% of the time you will never have to worry about charging when you have a 200 mile BEV.

      I have a Tesla Model S and love going on road trips. The fact that I have to stop every 3 hours for a 30 minute break is a non issue.

      • Rodriguez says:

        Porsche say…. i am not interested what Porsche say. Somebody say that aliens crashed in roswell. My reply for all your arguments is as @FuelCell mentione – home FuelCell stations. Less refuell time, better distance and i do not have to remember to always connect the car to charging station.

        • serge delinois says:

          In the meantime I’ll drive my Tesla.

          You can wait for this at home fuel cell paradise where I’m sure you’ll still have to remember to plug it in.

          • Rodriguez says:

            Wrong. You dont need to plug in anything because station automatically “produces” fuell and stores in his own tank. you need only connect your car to FuelCell stations for 3 minuts before leaving from home.

          • serge delinois says:

            How much does this cost and where can I buy it?

          • FuelCell says:

            You will drive your tesla so you dont need these informations :) better think where can you charge your tesla in less than 4 hours :)

          • serge delinois says:

            Where are you going to fill up your fuel cell? I’m sorry to burst your bubble but fuel cell cars are never going to beat out battery electric.

          • FuelCell says:

            E.g. at home? http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/index.php/home-hydrogen-fueling/home-hydrogen-fueling-stations-a-step-closer-with-simplefuel/ its not your decide what is better but peoples will decide. If people can choose between:
            – FuelCell car with home FuelCell station and 3-5 minute refueling time
            and between
            – battery car with supercharger and at least 30 minutes or in very far and unknown future 15 minutes recharging time
            What do you think? what people will choose?

          • serge delinois says:

            You do realize that this link is to some research and not to an actual product. At the same time you say charging in 15 minutes is in the very far and unknown future. That is so funny.

            The actual thing that doesn’t exist is saying that the thing that does exist is in the far future. Anyways… I enjoyed the conversation with you even though we have different opinions. You’re right the consumer will decide.

          • FuelCell says:

            You know that e.g. California have FuelCell station? so this is not actual product? dont be funny. The only one challenge to build home FCV station is reduce size of normal FCV station.

          • iDriver says:

            Please stay honest and stick to the facts. 150kW chargers are being installed already in Europe and existing DC fast charger networks are ready for the upgrade. Tesla is having 135 kW already and working on upgrade. 300 kW is not far out, Porsche has shown a test already.
            However, we still have to see the first mass-produced hydrogen cars on the market. Hydrogen cars are not new, they have existed for decades as concepts, but have never been commercialised. Toyota does not like to have long test drives or open reviews of the Mirai – quite pathetic. That is because the car has very bad performance – hydrogen cars have very bad acceleration – that is what you need the battery for if you have an electric drive train. Audi has realised that and put a big battery in its A7 H-tron. But that defeats the whole purpose of the fuel cell.
            The refuelling argument is so flawed as already pointed out above. Just try charging your iPhone from your “home fuel cell”. The cost of a home fuel cell is a lot more than a decent EV charger – just like a fuel cell charging station costs an order of magnitude more than a DC fast charging station (and you need a lot more hydrogen stations than DC fast charging locations because of the lack of home refuelling of fuel cell cars).
            If BMW is serious about providing the ultimate driving experience to its customers for another century, they will have realised already that fuel cells are just not able to achieve that (just look at the poor performance of the 5 GT fuel cell car – beaten by the i3 easily!)

          • FuelCell says:

            FCV cars have bad acceleration? LOL? are you crazy? so i can say that batteries cars have bad acceleration to because golf cart is very slow. Your arguments are typical bla bla bla from batteries fan. But you have problem because FCV drive is future and nobody change it because you want it :) show me this duel between 5 GT and i3 :) people were just as skeptical as you are when Toyota develop produced first Hybrid car :) and now hybrids are very popular :)

          • iDriver says:

            It is based on facts and figures. Check it out on BMW Blog where they had an article on the 5GT Fuel Cell. The acceleration time was 8.5 seconds (0-60 mph) whereas the i3 can do it in hardly 7 seconds. That for a so-called city car. Not to mention the Tesla P90D, that does it in 2.8 seconds. Happy to hear which FCVs come even close to that, not even to mention their cost.
            The Toyota Mirai costs over $150 K per car to Toyota to produce, and needs 10 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph. So this is not a small difference – the EVs beat the FCVs by a wide margin.
            Of course hydrogen is seen as a life line for the fossil fuel industry, which is why several countries and industries are still pushing for it. But the outlook is not bright for them to say the least!

          • FuelCell says:

            Oh my god, really? so why you ignoring facts that 5 GT is bigger than i3? and BMW said that 5 GT FCV is prototype. Who need prototype with 600 hp and 0-100 3.5s? BMW testing FCV drive not acceleration…. Wow tesla does 0-100 in 2.8 secs. Cool but 0-100 is not everything. Tesla does 0-200 in 14 secs and BMW 335i does it in 12 secs, only 335i not M3 :) how fast is tesla on nurburgring? 9 minutes? Seat Leon Cupra does it faster :)

            “Of course hydrogen is seen as a life line for the fossil fuel industry,
            which is why several countries and industries are still pushing for it.
            But the outlook is not bright for them to say the least!” – the most stupid think i have ever heard. Fuel Industry? who need fuel industry to produce hydrogen fuel? Did you finish primary school? you know what is hydrogen? you can produce hydrogen even in home.

          • iDriver says:

            I will not spend much more time educating you. But just look up the stats on how commercially available hydrogen is produced for fuel cell vehicles – 98%+ is based on reformed natural gas – which is indeed a fossil fuel. Even with that process it is more expensive than gasoline (which is why Toyota has to pay and give it for free to any Mirai customers!). And any renewable hydrogen from electrolysis is even more expensive and not available at any decent scale – the electricity needed in that process can be used much more efficiently and less costly to charge batteries, using the existing grid. So unless someone comes up very soon with a cheap, safe and easy process to turn water into hydrogen and get it to everyone’s home without any additional costs, it will never be more efficient to use hydrogen vs. renewable electricity.

        • Julian Cox says:

          Home hydrogen handling is a non-starter. Nobody wants to maintain an electrolyzer and a noisy compressor at home and nobody wants to live with a carbon fiber overwraped plastic tank of hydrogen at 700+ psi that will melt and explode violently if ever the garage catches fire and be an ever present risk of explosion in its own right if any part of such a system leaks.

    • Julian Cox says:

      Sorry, what physical barriers?

      Right now a Lithium Metal Air battery has a higher energy density than Diesel fuel and can drive an electric motor with more four times the mechanical conversion efficiency when compared with a diesel engine.

      We’re talking a Tesla Model S that can drive clean across the USA without recharging once with proven battery technology that exists in labs right now. The current capabilities of EVs are just waypoints in development, they absolutely nowhere near any physical barrier relating to electrical storage.

      Conversely, the Carnot efficiency of Fuel Cells is a physical barrier. Current fuel cells are up at around 60% conversion efficiency, close to the theoretical limit, and getting closer to the limit of around 80% will be a technological and cost prohibitive nightmare. They cannot get much better than they are and they are worthless as evidenced by the Toyota Mirai with its high weight, low performance, cramped cabin space, high build cost (which is higher than the build cost of a Tesla P90D S or X) and the inherent requirement for giant radiators / air-brakes to dispose of 40% of the input energy as heat.

  4. CDspeed says:

    Pulling into your destination, and charging, or even wirelessly charging seems more futuristic then continuing to go out of your way to buy fuel. Just owning my little i3 I’m already living with out running to buy fuel, which is something a hydrogen car can’t do.

    • FuelCell says:

      What is difference to recharge car wirelessly or not if i need to spend 30 minutes on this? i will spend 5 minutes on non-wirelessly refuelling my FuelCell car ;)

      • Unplugged says:

        And you will currently spend a half hour traveling to a H2 station, so I hardly think that your fuel cell car is a time saver. By the time fuel cells are viable, EVs will be even more advanced with fast charging.

        • FuelCell says:

          Do you have konwledge about physics? maybe tell me that in future cars will recharge in less than 0 seconds? maybe in -5 seconds? charging have barriers and nobody will change this. Argument about travelling to H2 station is obsolete because Hyundai is working on home FuelCell station and not only Hyundai: http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/index.php/home-hydrogen-fueling/home-hydrogen-fueling-stations-a-step-closer-with-simplefuel/
          “EVs will be even more advanced with fast charging.” – yes, and fishes can start to fly. I want to see this charging not predictions :)

          • Unplugged says:

            You are holding fuel cell cars to a different standard than EVs. On the one hand you claim that advances in EV technology is speculative, but on the other hand you claim that home H2 fueling is a foregone possibility. (Like I would be fine with my neighbor producing hydrogen.)

            So yes, TODAY, EVs are far more advanced than any FCV, both in terms of price and technology. And we haven’t even addressed the lack of infrastructure for H2 TODAY. So, either compare one future against the other or TODAY against the other. In any case, FCVs fail.

          • FuelCell says:

            Speculations? do you know that FuelCell stations are available? you have working FuelCell station e.g. in California so where you see speculations? we know that these stations works and we need only reduce their size. What we know about new batteries? nothing. Only speculations.
            “So yes, TODAY, EVs are far more advanced than any FCV, both in terms of
            price and technology. And we haven’t even addressed the lack of
            infrastructure for H2 TODAY. So, either compare one future against the
            other or TODAY against the other. In any case, FCVs fail.” – where is that better technology in EV? 300km range is better than 700? nice math. 30 minutes charging is better than 5 minutes? again nice math. Only one fail here is battery cars. Nobody want them. Typical tesla boy.

          • Unplugged says:

            Your support of a failed technology is comic. The only place fuel cells will survive for the short term is in California which has provided massive subsidies without much to show for it. In no other state can FCVs be viable because no other state is going to fund money losing H2 stations.

            And where, exactly are you going to drive your 700 (!!!) mile FCV. Certainly, you aren’t going to drive it in any other state than California. If you’re so sold on FCV, maybe you can convince me how you’re going to drive from California to New York on anything other than a flatbed trailer. At least you can drive a Model S or a Bolt to Phoenix. Try to do THAT in an FCV in the next five years. Good luck.

            So if you want to compare technology TODAY, any FCV is going to fail. If you want to compare tomorrow’s technology, we already know batteries will be cost competitive to ICE in ten years or less. Range will be easily be beyond 300 miles, and charging will take less than 30 minutes. We also know that in 10 years FCVs will cost more than gassers, use H2 that costs more than gasoline, and will continue to pollute more than any alternative fuel.

            But go ahead and wait ten years to find out. In the meantime, I’ll be driving a car that uses solar energy for fuel, drives as far as I need and costs about as much to own as a comparable gas car. You’ll be waiting a very long time for your fantasy to arrive.

          • FuelCell says:

            “So if you want to compare technology TODAY, any FCV is going to fail. If
            you want to compare tomorrow’s technology, we already know batteries
            will be cost competitive to ICE in ten years or less. Range will be
            easily be beyond 300 miles, and charging will take less than 30 minutes.
            We also know that in 10 years FCVs will cost more than gassers, use H2
            that costs more than gasoline, and will continue to pollute more than
            any alternative fuel” – hahahahaha tesla boy crying? im not waiting for nothing because i have petrol car and i dont have problems with recharging car i dont need special supercharger and im not fantasing about new batteries in unknown future :)

          • Unplugged says:

            It’s pretty hard to take anyone seriously who boasts of owning a dirty, polluting, global warming gasser. You need to change your Disqus name to “Gasser” not FuelCell. We all know where you are coming from, Gasser.

      • serge delinois says:

        Based on your name I would say you’re biased here towards fuel cells. Do you work in the industry?

        • FuelCell says:

          Yes im working in the industry and for fuel companies. Ehh typical tesla-fan

          • serge delinois says:

            I drive a Tesla and take it on frequent trips… I’m telling you that this whole charging thing is a NON ISSUE. Charging for me takes 5 seconds… I pull into the garage and plug in the car. When I leave in the morning it’s full.

          • FuelCell says:

            “Charging for me takes 5 seconds” – only 5 seconds? so you connect your tesla for 5 seconds and you have full battery?
            “I pull into the garage and plug in the car. When I leave in the morning it’s full.” – so in FCV car i can with home FCV station put car to the station for 5 minute before going to work.

        • CDspeed says:

          And he probably works for the Koch brothers 😉

      • CDspeed says:

        Charging isn’t needed as often as you assume, if I need a charge, chargers are in the parking lot of the places I intend to go. It takes 30 seconds to charge, that’s the time it takes to plug-in, you rarely ever notice the time it takes to charge because your usually doing something else while the car refuels. Hydrogen takes on average 9 minutes to refuel, and as long as 20 minutes depending on the capability of the fueling station. A pressurized fuel doesn’t just poor out of the pump like gasoline.

    • Julian Cox says:

      True – and with advent of autonomy even if you live in a high-rise city apartment block with no parking your car can creep off at night to an autonomous charging garage all by itself and be waiting for you in the morning fully charged. Theoretically so could a Hydrogen, Gasoline or Diesel vehicle but the economics just don’t work out. As soon as that car is not a luxury private purchase but just a supply of private mileage in your own peace and comfort then the energy costs and maintenance stand out as the most significant cost per mile – more significant than the amortized cost per mile of the vehicle itself. On that basis chemical fuels of all kinds including Hydrogen are dead and can stay buried. Nothing can compete with an EV that all-in costs less per mile than gasoline or hydrogen alone because in direct competition there is exactly $0.00 left over per mile to build the gasoline or hydrogen car after paying for the fuel.

  5. serge delinois says:

    People need to remember that 99% of all charging happens when the car is doing nothing (over night or at work) so the daily EV driver never has to worry about filling up. The hydrogen car will still need to be filled up once or twice a week just like a gas car except the infrastructure is not there so it’s an even BIGGER pain in the butt. Also, recharging a Tesla is 30 minutes at a super charger and Porsche says theirs will be 15 minutes… So even long trips won’t be much of a wait either.

    The only thing I can envision hydrogen good for is vehicles that are doing long range trips every day (trucks).

  6. Kaisuke971 says:

    “Tesla and its fans are on the side of pure Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)and feel that hydrogen fuel is a waste of time and money” The comment section in a nutshell.

    • FuelCell says:

      I think that this quote is true. Tesla boy feel that hydrogen is a waste money. Their own money. They think that they are modern but this will change if FCV cars become more common and tesla boys fear this. They fear this because FCV cars will be more modern than tesla and here is this waste of money. Tesla boys spent money on modern tesla that for 2-3 years will be outdated and unfashionable.

      • Julian Cox says:

        On the contrary. Today is March 18th 2016. Fuel Cell proponents are 13 days away from discovering that FCVs are obsolete. Forever. As is any potential consumer.

        FCV architecture is a complete joke in every possible respect. It is absolutely and permanently impossible to make a competitive vehicle in this manner. Not one that competes with ICE vehicles. Not one that can compete with BEVs. It cannot even compete in terms of emissions with gasoline hybrids that are cheaper and easier to build and have infrastructure in place already. There is nothing going for it.

        The concern is the extent of the damage and delay caused by ignorance of this fact up until that juncture in terms of media manipulation and policy misdirection.

  7. respectmyplanet . says:

    Hydrogen FCEVs are electric cars. The “EV” in “FCEV” stands for electric vehicle. A fuel cell and a battery are different but the same. They both have an anode and cathode and operate the same way. The difference is that a fuel cell works as a battery as long as a fuel is provided (i.e. hydrogen). A battery works as long its charged. They’re both electric vehicles.
    I agree that both should be pursued. In fact, FCEV’s depend on a battery and batteries are a key component of FCEVs. I think it’s BEV folks who are against fuel cells and not the other way around. People who support fuel cells don’t call names like “fool cell” or say things like “batteries are bullsh!t”.
    It should be important to note that hydrogen doesn’t have to come from carbon based forms. It can be made from water (H2O). Probably the smartest way to make Hydrogen, however, is to use landfill waste. Landfill waste or sewage can be made into pure hydrogen and should be. If we bury our garbage, it’s going to decompose into natural gas and leachate. Leachate is a disgusting toxic sludge that contaminates water. If you’ve ever driven by a landfill, you’ll notice there are methane “burpers” that cover the landfill like birthday candles on a birthday cake. When the pressure builds to a certain point, the methane gets burped into the atmosphere. Most of the methane gets routed through pipes to a flare stack where it is burned off. Landfills are now obsolete though.
    We have the technology (called Plasma Arc Gasification) to turn that garbage into SNG (synthetic natural gas) with a byproduct of vitrified glass which is an inert substance that can be used to make roads and concrete. The SNG can be formed into pure hydrogen or it can be run through a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell. If we use these technologies we can get rid of landfills, make all the energy we need with our garbage, and no longer rely on Middle Eastern countries for oil.
    We live in amazing times.

    • EricR says:

      It’s my understanding that one of the major sources of clean hydrogen in California pursuant to the clean hydrogen mandate is methane from waste streams that is injected into the SMR process. I am also a big fan of plasma gasification or pyrolysis of municipal solid waste. It is something I am currently working on.

    • Julian Cox says:

      I understand that you are approaching this from a thoughtful perspective – though unfortunately there are some giant logical gaps in the argument presented.

      Every single “possible” source of hydrogen is undermined economically by the vast abundance of much cheaper to access industrial natural gas. There is nothing that can be done to prevent any form of non Natural Gas source being undercut in the market by Natural Gas and simply put out of business. The Natural Gas and Fuel Cell Lobby knows this, and hence welcomes futile, typically grant-funded attempts to compete with landfill, sewerage and renewable production because it provide a free of charge PR cover story for SMR which is in fact one of the most carbon intensive processes known to man – handily beating coal in terms of Kg of CO2e per Kg consumed and more than 40% more carbon intensive well to wheel than gasoline per unit of energy. The relative efficiency of fuel cells verses engines does not make up for it, hence the Mirai is 25% more polluting than a standard Gasoline Prius. The only way that this is not true is with PR projects that cannot scale because they cannot compete at scale and never will. Natural Gas contains the energy potential in air for self disassembly to H2 and CO2 in the presence of steam (gas-fired SMR process). You can’t beat that with anything that inputs energy from a second source (forget about renewable energy powered hydrogen production for energy, the output energy stored in hydrogen is never worth as much as the input energy – you can’t run a company to do this any more than you can make a flour mill viable that needs to purchase and grind fresh baked leaves of bread – i.e. the opposite of a value added process). With waste-stream capture not only is the process of capture typically vastly more expensive per cubic ft or metre than simply drilling a hole into a giant pressurised natural gas deposit in the ground but the abundance isn’t there to scale up – and if you scale up then Natural Gas is ready to take up the slack.

      It is currently the case that in the US for example 95% of hydrogen production comes from Steam Methane Reforming of Natural Gas and most of the remaining 5% comes from the gasification of coal and the reforming of other hydrocarbons. It is also the case that despite gleeful headlines of little PR projects for renewable and waste-stream capture for hydrogen production – 99.999% of the actual investment occurring in hydrogen capacity by volume right now is Fossil based. For example a truly giant plant opening up in Saudi Arabia courtesy of Saudi Aramco and Air Liquide.

      Make no mistake – Hydrogen is exclusively an assault on green energy and transportation that is fundamentally as dishonest as it is profoundly dangerous. Despite the money going in to convincing you otherwise there is no comparison to BEVs and Renewable energy that are in fact economically synergistic at scale – and more than that, on trend to be unassailably competitive with the fossil fuel and ICE industries that are busy promoting Hydrogen to defend their turf.

      • Matt Wandel says:

        Julian, I’ve been reading your posts and as you are probably aware I have a much different view on energy than you. I blog about energy at http://www.respectmyplanet.org. I advocate for using landfill waste and sewage for energy. One of the reasons I advocate for using waste for energy is that otherwise that waste ends up contaminating our water and our air. Currently in my state of Michigan, garbage gets buried in landfills where it decays into natural gas and leachate that contaminates air and ground water. We also have a problem in Michigan and in nearby Ohio where animal farm waste pollutes our Great Lakes. Last year, we had a massive algal bloom in Lake Erie that affected thousands of people’s drinking water (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/11/12/this-years-disgusting-green-algal-bloom-in-lake-erie-was-the-most-severe-on-record/)

        I advocate for turning garbage and sewage and animal farm waste into energy because it makes sense to me to do something positive with waste that would otherwise harm our environment. Building gasification plants that can turn waste into energy are very expensive but that is about their only downside. There is also a cost for doing nothing and keeping with the status quo which in my opinion will be very expensive too. I live not far from a landfill that contaminates nearby water and also emits tons of natural gas and CO2 each year. This flare stack burns 24/7/365 (this is a video I took with my iphone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6MCJ3mjpgE) at the nearby landfill. I drive by it every day on my way to work. Because the natural gas is vented & flared to atmosphere, it releases methane, particulate matter, NOx, SOx, & CO2 to atmosphere. It also pollutes nearby groundwater.

        We have gasification technology that would allow us to use garbage and sewage for energy with no NOx, no SOx, no particulate matter, and the CO2 can be sequestered geologically. Your insistence that CO2 from natural gas and/or coal gets released to atmosphere is flawed; CO2 can be concentrated and sequestered. Coal, natural gas, and other hydrocarbons like garbage & sewage can be used to create energy with no emissions to atmosphere which makes many of your arguments specious.

        What do you suggest we do with garbage? What do you suggest we do with animal waste from CAFO farms? Just keep the status quo?

        • Julian Cox says:

          I am most definitely in favor of recycling, of course. If you can sustainably scavenge methane or anything else of economic value from waste streams then that is excellent especially if the alternative is outgassing to the atmosphere and toxicity in groundwater.

          The most important thing is not to lend credence to the fuel cell scam in the process. This is something that must be condemned universally as an absolute survival imperative. It does not matter what your intentions are, if you support hydrogen fuel cells in any way you are promoting the interests of fossil fuel industry and putting humanity in harms way – whether you like it or not.

          The reason for this is non-obvious. It may seem that a little good is better than no good at all but that is not the primary effect of providing a PR poster child for Hydrogen. The primary effect of that poster child is to enable the manipulation of public policy by industrial gas and automotive interests and their lobbyists on a truly massive scale and the net effect is disproportionately bad even when taking into consideration the little good that is done.

          For example, it was the Fuel Cell lobby in Denmark (collectively the oil gas and auto industry) that managed to corrupt the Danish government to raise taxes on Highway Capable EVs by 180% in return for fielding exactly 37 FCVs in the entire country – and Denmark is a net wind energy exporter for crying out loud!

          • Matt Wandel says:

            Julian, I hold completely opposite views than you do. I am very much against fossil fuels and very much in support of fuel cells. I created a 501(c)3 organization to dedicate my spare time to educate people about fuel cells as a means to retire fossil fuels.

          • Julian Cox says:

            I am sorry to say that you have wasted your time and energies. I have explained why that is even if hearing it is hard. The logic of the argument I have presented is inescapable and cannot be reduced to ‘my view’. This is not my opinion vs yours, it simply is what it is. I respect your good intentions but fuel cells are strictly counterproductive to your aims owing to forces beyond your control.

          • Julian Cox says:

            Let’s say our views are not entirely opposite.

            Here is a middle ground (and the correct target if achievable).

            If you can make hydrogen from waste streams and achieve legislation to force the Koch brothers and similar to use that hydrogen for hydrocracking instead of their on-site fossil based SMR, then you would be making a positive impact.

            Hydrogen production is the most concentrated emitter in the fossil fuel industry. Fuel Cells and Fuel Cell vehicle are an absolute no. Expanding demand for hydrogen is the last thing on Earth that humanity needs. Displacement of SMR is the first priority.

  8. Bert says:

    “Electric cars are the long-term future, but giving them a longer range and making them charge faster is going to take a very long time.”

    Building out the hydrogen infrastructure to an adequate level is a longer term option than giving electric vehicle more range and/or building faster chargers.

    I agree that we should develop both technologies, but not for the reasons you give. Given our current knowledge (ignoring any unpredictable breakthroughs), the safe bet for the consumer vehicle market is that it will be largely dominated by electric vehicles once the era of gas vehicles ends. However, there are other applications (mostly industrial) where hydrogen vehicles could make more sense.

    In fact, GM is exploring an interesting route with their hydrogen vehicles. They’re looking at military applications. Given the unique conditions that the military operates in, this could actually play very well to the strengths of hydrogen vehicles.
    http://www.gizmag.com/chevy-us-army-hydrogen-powered-colorado/40535/

    • Julian Cox says:

      Bert – you can still target an FCV with a heat seeking missile. Not a BEV.

      It gives me goosebumps to consider an autonomous Tesla Model X doing troop extraction – which it can do without risking a rescue driver or even turning the lights on let alone leaving a heat trail. The other thing is if you hit a landmine you have a 4-inch thick ballistic shield under the floor instead of a bomb.

      • Bert says:

        Ultimately, neither technology is all pros and no cons. There will likely be a mix of the two in the future military fleet. What the balance of the fleet will be wii depend on how the pros and cons of each vehicle balance out in a military setting.

        The heat seeker point is a good an interesting one, but I’m not sure I but it. A decent thermal imaging system can locate human heat sources. Could they really not pick out an electric vehicle? Electric motors do put out some heat after all. It may not be anywhere near as much as the other drive trains, but I’d need more days before I’d believe that an electric vehicle could be invisible to heat seekers.

        In lands where there is no real infrastructure for either electric or fuel cell vehicles, fuel cells definitely have the range advantage. A convoy can have one or two vehicles traveling with them that haul extra fuel. While I always downplay the BEV refueling time in a civilian setting, you do NOT want to EVER be stuck waiting for an electric vehicle to refuel in a combat scenario. This advantage alone could be the determining factor in which route most military drive trains take.

        You also get the nice perk of hauling some extra water with you in the form of the fuel cell’s exhaust. Water can be rare in many of the places that see a lot of military action.

        I could be wrong because I’ve never worked on military vehicles, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they modified most of them to have extra shielding anyways. Plus, the Tesla shielding is 1/4″ thick if I remember my numbers correctly, not 4″ thick. Also, autonomous driving software is not limited to only electric vehicles.

        Electric vehicles will definitely have many places where they will dominate the market, but I just don’t see the military being one of those places. I just can’t think of many really advantages, in a military setting, that battery vehicles would have over hydrogen.

        • Julian Cox says:

          Regards the under-floor ballistic shielding I am referring to the entire battery pack, not just the shielding on the outside of it.

          As for the hydrogen vehicle, you keep referring to fuelling time as a result of pumping chemicals which is already a solved problem with diesel and gasoline. For the cost saving of using BEVs vs FCVs you can have battery swap and a truck full of spare batteries that is faster at replacing range than pumping anything and way less messy and hazardous. Right now if someone hits your diesel truck with a tank, helicopter round or an SPG you lose a diesel truck and maybe the driver, if they hit a truck full of compressed hydrogen more likely you lose your entire convoy. If you are talking about generating hydrogen in the field with a solar array, you can have half the forward deployed solar footprint to run BEVs due to efficiency gains. As for range, Hydrogen is not superior due to low loading density and poor efficiency – Toyota are getting 5.7% by weight. 5Kg of H2 crammed into an 87.5Kg tank. About 165KWh worth at full pressure that depending on how you compare it to a BEV considering the Mirai is smaller and has about the same range as a Model S 90 but only a fraction of the performance – when all is said and done the equivalent of something like 50 – 70KWh worth of battery equivalence – you will see this with the Tesla Model 3 – a car in a similar size-class to the Mirai but much cheaper (about 20% – 25% of the build cost) and with much higher performance on every metric including loading capacity and range with options to take it to range that is beyond reach of FCV technology without filling the interior of the FCV with compressed gas tanks to the exclusion of passengers. While batteries have scope to get at least five times better than they are today just by developing from the lab to commercial mass production, loading density of hydrogen is non-negotiable. The 5Kg of hydrogen crammed into a Mirai under the rear passenger seats and in the trunk – when in its natural state at 1 atmosphere of pressure will fill the entire interior cabin space of approximately 500 Mirai’s. It takes a lot of force to squash it and all you get in return is the energy equivalent of 5 gallons of gas. (One Jerry can). It is this sort of thing that leads Musk to comment that this is so stupid you cannot even have a sensible conversation about it. Unlike Musk, I can’t just say screw it and shove a Model 3 in the face of this nonsense – but I am going to grin a lot when he does.

          • Bert says:

            Counting on the battery pack as shielding may be a mistake. If you get shrapnel in your battery, your car it’s done for. Depending on how your luck is that day, you might be done for too. Lithium ion batteries do not burn nicely when ruptured.

            The refueling time advantage was less of a reason to use hydrogen and more of a reason to avoid using battery electric vehicles. Some of the advantages of hydrogen (and battery electrics) over gas and diesel, is the ability to make fuel on site at outposts, as well as having a much quieter vehicle that’s better for stealth operations. Of course, gas and diesel will eventually have to go the way of the dinosaur way down the line as well.

            The up front costs of both battery and hydrogen vehicles are dropping rapidly. I hope you don’t think I was trying to compare current hydrogen and electric vehicles. I was talking 10-20 years down the line when both technologies are more mature. It’s highly unlikely to see either vehicle used in bulk for military purposes earlier than that. As for the extra power generation/fueling costs, this is the military. I’m sure you know, as well as I do, that they are much less concerned about cost than we are.

            Is having a vehicle full of extra batteries really feasible? I’m not so sure about that. Battery packs are pretty heavy. How do you plan to swap them out of another vehicle? Tesla did it from under ground with machines to lift the battery. That’s not really an option in a combat zone. You’re also trying to put spares of the most expensive component of your vehicles into trucks. That’s going to get more expensive than you seem to think so I don’t think you want to use it in your cost advantage argument.

            I don’t by the danger argument either. Sure, it’s dangerous when pressure vessels explode, but I doubt it would be enough to take out more than one vehicle. If you have found information to show otherwise, please link me to it. Maybe you could take out two if you’re lucky. There’s much less of a fire concern though. That’s a definite old. So far, Toyota has also proven that their hydrogen tanks can take a hit or two. The durability of the fuel tank could very well make the vehicle more likely to survive a shot to the fuel tank in general. Note that I used the term “more likely”. I am not saying you should rely on the hydrogen tank for protection.

            The model 3 most definitely does not have the range advantage in a location that has no quick charging or hydrogen infrastructure. All that exists out in the combat zone is maybe a 120 V outlet, if you’re lucky. You do not want to be depending on a 120 volt outlet to give you enough fuel quick enough to save your backside from the enemy.

            You are correct that the energy density of hydrogen won’t really improve much. The good thing is that it didn’t have to. It’s at a fine point where it is right now. This is especially true if you’re trying to put the hydrogen tanks into big military vehicles. Mass wise, the energy density of hydrogen is much, MUCH higher than that of an electric vehicle.

            Are you sure loading density is the ten you meant to use? That’s a term I’ve not heard associated with vehicles before. Earlier you used you’re term loading capacity though. If you meant that the loading capacity of a hydrogen vehicle is non-negotiable, then you’re mistaken. Adding power to a hydrogen fuel cell is analogous to adding range to a battery. In both instances, you can make some improvements to the chemistry, but to really get a large improvement, you just add more cells. You can add more cells to increase the energy capacity of a battery and you can add more cells to a fuel stack to increase the power output of the system.

            An 85kWh model s carries the energy equivalent of 2.5 gallons of gas (half a Jerry can). It’s not how much energy you carry, it’s what you do with that energy that makes a difference.

            This is weird. I’m arguing strongly pro hydrogen on one thread, and strongly anti hydrogen on another thread at the same time. I guess it can’t be helped. Civilian and military settings are two very different animals.

          • Julian Cox says:

            I think you may have the wrong end of the stick generally.

            Let me just address a couple of key points rather than ramble on indefinitely. (I think most people can figure out that having a battery as opposed to a gas bottle and a fuel cell between passengers and a landmine is a better idea, even if the battery gets wrecked. Not as though the fuel cell would not explode into the cabin even if the tank survived which it probably would not).

            There is no such thing as energy density of hydrogen for an FCV without talking into consideration the pressure vessel, the fuel cell stack, the DC to DC converter, the oversized radiators and the pumps and pipework. All of which is required to get any useful electrical energy out of the hydrogen.

            1 Kg hydrogen = 120 MJ LHV = 33.333 KWh of energy.

            The Mirai tanks (state of the art) 87.5Kg to carry 5Kg of H2.

            5 x 33.333 = 166.666 KWh

            Divide this by (87.5 Kg for the tanks + 5Kg for the H2+ 400Kg for the fuel cell stack + 30Kg for the DC to DC converter + 200Kg (est) for the radiators + 50Kg (est) for pumps pipework and fixtures – total 772.5 Kg)

            And then you end up with 215.7 Wh/Kg

            Then to compare apples to apples you also need to compare relative efficiency.

            About 60% conversion for the fuel cell and about 92% conversion for the battery. This is correct because we are not yet talking about the efficiency of the motor and inverter in either case, neither are we talking about the efficiency of getting energy from a source to the car where compression and handling of hydrogen obviously ensures it loses miserably to just sending electricity along wires. This is just the ability to store and retrieve energy.

            So 215.7 Wh/Kg energy density becomes 152.26 Wh/Kg adjusted for relative output of electricity as opposed to waste heat when compared with a BEV battery.

            152.26 Wh/Kg is very poor compared with 260 Wh/Kg at the cell level that for example Tesla was operating at in 2015.

            This is why it is complete BS to talk about hydrogen energy density as a positive. It isn’t true and never will be. It may be possible to improve on system energy density by perhaps 20% before hitting physical limits and after $billions upon $billions of R&D investment that simply isn’t worth it as BEV systems crush them already.

            This and the drag factor from the radiators accounts for the comparatively abysmal performance of the Mirai with similar range and remarkably similar vehicle weight for such a step down in caliber of vehicle.

            The other thing to point out is the myth about the benefits of fast charging.

            Consider this. One day Apple comes up with a great new iPhone that solves the problem of having to charge it for an hour. Its big advantage – rapid swap of its batteries at any one of thousands of gas stations – many of which are open 24/7. The used batteries – you can just toss them up in the air for free – someone else’s problem. The catch? You cannot charge your phone at home or in the office. But oh the speed! You can make it full again by going to a retailer and paying for more batteries – it’s like three minutes in the store instead of an hour on charge while you sleep or do something else while you don’t need to use it!

            Are you dying for this new iPhone? NO! Of course not.

            Fast fuelling is there to solve a problem with fossil fuels (including Hydrogen). You can’t just set the car aside somewhere while you sleep and have it charge up. You have to go to the stupid gas station – and if it took any more than three minutes to fill up it would be the mother of all nuisances because when you are at a gas station you almost always want to be somewhere else instead, often urgently. Compare this with a Tesla SuperCharger. The only time you ever need to be at one of those is after you have been driving for hours on end because your journey always started with a full ‘tank’.

          • Bert says:

            Both the shielded battery pack and the pretty bullet resistant hydrogen tank are going to take a hit better than a gasoline tank. Which would be harder to crack open between the battery and the hydrogen? I’m leaning slightly towards the hydrogen, but I’m not entirely sure about the materials involved. Which one would be worst to puncture? That’s tricky. Gasoline frequently ignited fires when their tanks rupture. Hydrogen tanks shouldn’t pose nearly as much of a fire threat, as the hydrogen dissipates rapidly. The explosive force of the pressure vessel would be the main concern. Lithium ion batteries have less energy to burn than a gasoline fire, but they do not go gently into the night and they are not as easily put out. It’s tricky to determine which is the greatest safety hazard.

            The energy density is enough to get 300 miles. That’s more than my gas car gets. That’s why I say the energy density is fine. I didn’t say that the energy density is the reason you should buy the vehicle or anything like that. I just said it was fine where it’s at. There’s not really a problem with the current hydrogen energy density and the hydrogen vehicle still does get more range per tank than an electric vehicle. No amount of efficiency mixing with the term energy density will change that.

            I’m not doing for that new Iphone because I’m not dying for store products in general, but that’s besides the point. The real point is that you seem to be confusing what our conversation is about. You are now talking about a civilian setting and I have never been talking about hydrogen being the way of the future in a civilian setting. Don’t mix your civilian and military scenarios. They are very different. The Tesla superchargers are fantastic and all, but what good are they when they don’t exist on the battlefield? The range advantage of hydrogen would come in the relatively easy transportation of additional fuel with a convoy. I fail to see how you could do this with a battery electric convoy. Maybe someday solar powered cars could take over, but plug in electrics won’t have the range advantage in a military setting.

            I think you have done a good job of thinking that I am arguing a point which I never made. I never made any arguments sorting hydrogen for consumer applications. Maybe you should re-read my posts again.

          • Julian Cox says:

            I have no idea what advantage a hydrogen vehicle could possibly have vs a gasoline or diesel vehicle in a war zone. A BEV stealth-mobile, especially an advanced all-wheel drive autonomous one with a 3-4-ft wading depth and insane traction on sand and very hard to hunt and refillable with a solar panel a thousand miles from the nearest supply depot – now that is a goosebumps proposition.

          • Bert says:

            Hydrogen vehicles can carry some water with them in the form of fuel. Hydrogen vehicles are near silent, which, like electric vehicles, gives them a great stealth advantage over gas and diesel vehicles. You can make fuel at a forward base for hydrogen and electric vehicles, but can only really carry extra fuel onto the battlefield if you’re using hydrogen instead of the electric option. Then there’s the fact that we can’t use gas vehicles forever.

            All the advantages that you just mentioned are not limited to electric vehicles, but apply, or could easily be applied to hydrogen vehicles as well. Sure, hydrogen may be the more expensive option, but the military values performance over cost.

          • Julian Cox says:

            Sigh. How are you going to make Hydrogen at a forward base? With a renewable farm and a bloody great SMR and compressor outfit? Why not just halve the size of the renewable farm and scrap all the other ridiculously expensive high-maintenance junk completely? If you get a sandstorm, you go out and wipe your solar panels with a cloth unless you are stupid enough to bring a hydrogen setup in which case you need to wipe double the area with a cloth, then change the air filters on the compressor if not rebuild the bloody thing because its knackered.

            Traction batteries are a lot more portable than hydrogen anyway and so is a barrel of drinking water. Sorry but this hydrogen thing is total nonsense.

          • Bert says:

            Why not scrap the high maintenance expensive junk to do electric cars instead? Three main reasons jump to mind.

            1) The refueling/mobile fuel supply can be invaluable in a combat scenario. This reason would probably be enough on its own for a military decision on the technology.

            2) if there’s one thing the military has in abundance, it’s money to spend on expensive equipment.

            3) if there’s a second thing the military has in abundance, it’s extra manpower that can be used for maintenance. You’ve just got a bunch of 20 something guys standing around waiting for things to go south. Manpower is not an issue for the military.

            You can put a tarp tent around the electrolyzer, if nothing else. In all likelihood though, the system would be designed to handle sand storms and cleaning the air filter would be the only real issue. Again, they have the manpower. Of course, in an emergency situation where you need fuel to go rescue someone, you would have extra hydrogen stored in a tank for this very purpose.

            Batteries may be portable, but how are you going to swap them out in the field? As for the water, yes you would still have the water if you hadn’t electrolyzed it, but you’d have it back on base, not out in the combat zone. Having the extra water with the vehicle would be very helpful a vehicle gets separated from their convoy or something happens to the vehicles carrying the bulk of the water. Having a little water transported with every vehicle is a helpful redundancy for if things go south.

            I’m not imagining taking methane into the field. The only time I would expect methane to be used is if the forward base is right near a natural gas facility. Otherwise, you still have to truck in methane from somewhere else. That’s one of the advantages of hydrogen and electric vehicles. You can make your own fuel. You do need water for the hydrogen production. But, like you said, you can gain most of that water back after using it as fuel. Groups like NASA have also been considering electrolysis with salt water. This may even contribute to your drinking water supply if your forward base is near the sea.

            Sorry, but you’re still looking at this from a consumer standpoint where cost is often the largest factor at play. The military doesn’t work like that.

  9. Julian Cox says:

    “Companies like BMW, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota are currently doing the latter [cheating with FCVs], so there must be good reason.”

    This is a seriously flawed piece of logic. VW cheated with ‘Clean Diesel’. Does anyone still imagine that its motives were >>> good <<< ??? (Note, further in-depth examination reveals that the Hydrogen scandal is far worse than Dieselgate).

    Note also. After Ford participated in extensive live trials of FCV technology in the USA, it concluded that there was insufficient benefit to offer its customers on account of the fact that hydrogen was just as polluting as gasoline by the only viable method of delivery – distributed SMR at gas stations.

  10. […] Can Hydrogen and Electric vehicles both be the answer? – BMWBLOG (blog) Tesla has been announcing new electric cars and technologies, BMW is working on both electric car and hydrogen car technology and even companies like Toyota and GM are exploring both. And there seems to be quite a divide between people who are for … […]

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