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FCEV Fill-ups for $50 a pop

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by omarsultan, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    "Speaking at the JP Morgan Auto Conference in New York, Toyota’s senior vice president Bob Carter said that Department of Energy estimates suggest that a full tank of compressed hydrogen will cost around $50. This will fall to $30 in time, however."

    http://ecomento.com/2014/08/13/bullish-toyota-admits-hydrogen-wont-be-cheap/

    I had always assumed one of the messages FCEV advocates would advance is the "cheap, free, plentiful, most common element in the universe" story. At $50, its not too far off what it costs me to fill up my Jeep. Actually, $50 is almost exactly what gets racked up on the ToU dedicated EV meter each month for my Tesla.
     
  2. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    Toyota had a good thing with the Rav4 EV. Electricity costs just a fraction of the amount (or zero if you use solar/wind) than you'd spend on hydrogen.

    So, they should redirect their R&D department to create other EVs. How about a Prius EV that can go 250 miles on a charge, or a Tacoma EV?
     
  3. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    I just can't understand the persistent cognitive dissonance on this subject with Toyota...
    figure in the cost of installing and then maintaining and supplying a nationwide/worldwide network of hydrogen production, delivery and fueling stations too.
     
  4. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    I think Toyota is banking of government largesse driven by the oil & gas lobby to get the infrastructure built out.
     
  5. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Given the very small number of cars they intend to produce, it's obviously just a distraction to have people keep buying ICE cars--just like Elon says. So they really don't care whether the infrastructure gets built or not.
     
  6. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    As long as they can find 25 suckers, sorry, um, "early adopters" to take one off their hands each month, nothing else matters.
     
  7. Reykjavik

    Reykjavik Member

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    The idea that FCVs are competition to EVs is laughable. If you care about the environment and look into the actual environmental impact, EVs win. If you don't care about the environment, gas wins.

    If you care about the environment but don't actually look into the facts, you will be swayed either by the green image, or by other considerations. The green image of EVs is pretty strong, though perhaps not as strong as the green image of hydrogen (to someone who doesn't check), but the difference isn't major. When it comes to other considerations, the EV will dominate, with convenient re-energizing, and lower cost per mile, as well as lower or compoundable initial cost, a battery EV is simply going to win.

    Basically, gasoline wins the ignorant demographic, electric wins the enlightened demographic, and fuel cells have at best a slight edge on people in between.
     
  8. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    Keeping up the pattern of selling hydrogen as a fuel from filling stations appeals to a lot of players with an interest in the current infrastructure. The fact that hydrogen is in practice produced from natural gas appeals to another constituency. The fact that the vehicles are in themselves zero emission means they qualify for subsidies and seem green to the uninformed especially along with hand waving promises that the hydrogen can eventually come from water and renewable electric (though no current technology exists to do this at a price remotely competitive with steam reforming natural gas).

    So Toyota gets a compliance car and ZEV credits and the satisfaction of being able to point to their own in-house long term solution to get people off their back. They already have by far the most popular "green" car line with Prius. Any pure BEV would cannibalize sales for this successful line
     
  9. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Only until you figure out that it's both cheaper, and easier, to fill with electricity in your garage every night then it is to go to the gas station. In that case, even those who don't care about the environment will still pick EV.

    EV isn't just better because it's green, it's better because it's cheaper to fill, easier to fill, better performance, quieter, lower maintenance, and more reliable.

    Right now the masses are ignorant of the benefits, but it won't be that way forever, and once people learn how great EVs are, it won't even matter that they happen to be green, because that won't be why most people buy them.

    (As a side note, I personally "don't care about the environment"* but I still want an EV)

    * ok, I do care, but not enough to make purchasing decisions based on it any further than two otherwise identical products at identical prices where one happens to be better for the environment, I will not pay extra for "green" and I will not sacrifice anything else for "green"
     
  10. Reykjavik

    Reykjavik Member

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    Cheap gas vehicles are better than cheap electric vehicles, and will be for a couple years more. This should change soon, especially in places with high gas prices, but we have not yet hit the point where price difference makes EVs win. And cars that are cheaper are the majority of cars sold.
     
  11. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    That changes with Model 3. At that point the full purchase price of the vehicle will be saved in gas costs within the life of the vehicle (I can't remember the calculation I did earlier, but I think I figured it would take me about 10 years) That doesn't just make it a little better, that makes it a LOT better. Add in the convenience of home charging and it's very hard to compete.
     
  12. Reykjavik

    Reykjavik Member

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    Full purchase price being saved in 10 years is a bit optimistic. And the Model 3 is still a few years out.

    Most of the numbers I've seen show about $2000/year in gas savings, and even if the Model 3 is cheaper than we can reasonably hope, it is going to take quite some time for the savings to outweigh the entire price of the car. It will be competitive with most new gas cars, and probably be cheaper in the long run, but $35,000 is a lot of money for a car.
     
  13. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    The average price of a new car in the US is https://autos.yahoo.com/news/average-american-can-no-longer-afford-%E2%80%9Caverage-priced%E2%80%9D-new-car-or-truck--and-why-it-s-getting-worse-013001053.html. That article claims that that results in a monthly payment of $633. Then figure in at least $150/month in gas (15,000 miles/year * $3.50/gal * 30 mpg). By these standards, a Model 3 will be less costly to own than a typical new car.
     
  14. arg

    arg Member

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    I think the argument about Hydrogen can be expressed rather more simply:

    1. If you have a certain quantity of natural gas available to power your transport, you could chose to:
      • Steam-reform it into hydrogen, compress it, and use it in an FCV.
      • Burn it in a combined-cycle power station, send it through the grid, and charge an EV
      • Compress it, and burn it in an ICE (CNG).
      Which vehicle can travel the furthest on that unit of natural gas? How do the capital costs compare?

    2. If you have a certain quantity of renewable electricity available to power your transport, you could chose to:
      • Send it through the grid, electrolyse water to make hydrogen, compress it, and use it in an FCV.
      • Send it through the grid and charge an EV
      Which vehicle can travel the furthest on that unit of natural gas? How do the capital costs compare?

    I don't have good figures to insert in the argument, but I don't think the HFCV is the winner on any point. On the capital cost of the vehicle, the FCV has has to have everything that the EV has, except that the battery capacity can be significantly smaller (but not proportionately cheaper, as it has to have a higher power density), and then on top it has to have the fuel cell and hydrogen storage, and has to be a bigger vehicle in the first place to hold all those things.

    You could then ask that if the HFCV is the loser in this straight comparison of the vehicles, whether there are any wider issues that compensate - but then you get into all these issues around safety, lack of infrastructure etc. which all could maybe get solved with enough engineering/one-time-capital-investment/regulation, but why bother when there are no benefits?


    (obviously preaching to the choir here, but I haven't seen the argument presented in this form previously).
     

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