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Toyota and Hydrogen

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by malcolm, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Continuing its mission to insert as many systems as possible into one vehicle....

    http://www.toyota-global.com/innovation/environmental_technology/technology_file/fuel_cell_hybrid.html

    Apparently due to launch in Japan in "around 2015"

    http://www2.toyota.co.jp/en/news/12/09/0924.html

    They (and subsidiary, Hino Motors) are also working on an "FC bus" but I'm not clear if they mean an omnibus sort of bus or some sort of subsystem type of bus.

    I wish they'd do more with the Q7 - only planned to be the usual 12kWh/100km range li-ion EV.

    Tesla needs to make sure that free supercharging is firmly lodged in the minds of the public.
     
  2. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    The Hydrogen Hoax - The New Atlantis


    This is a pretty good summary by Bob Zubrin, the aerospace engineer who's the architect of a lot of Mars mission ideas (and very good about speculating about what's possible in engineering considering the limits of Physics) about why Hydrogen fuel cells are just not a serious option.

    This is often discussed as a real initiative by Toyota but they aren't that foolish about engineering questions so I think it's worth looking at it as something else. Another clue is when a company with 3-5 year engineering horizons tells us something will lake 15 years they are pretty much saying it's BS we want to talk about for some reason other than being serious about it.
     
  3. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    This article is frequently posted, but it's extremely outdated (from 2007). Hydrogen tech has moved on (you wouldn't use a 2007 article to represent today's EVs either). For example, hydrogen cars today no longer cost $500k+ to make, recent estimates put them at about $125k. In terms of hydrogen delivery, pipeline delivery via existing natural gas lines have been successfully accomplished. There's many such examples of outdated facts in that article and faced with some better informed hydrogen advocates, that article would not hold up to scrutiny.

    What remains true is it remains to be seen if automakers can make the promised $50k price point, whether enough refueling infrastructure can be built to establish an initial market, and whether they can bring fuel costs down to reasonable numbers.
     
  4. Peter_M

    Peter_M Member

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    The article is 6 years old so the costs may have changed but the physics hasn't changed and there's still no viable hydrogen infrastructure or vehicle, and the arguments in this article still suggest that there never will be.
     
  5. tomanik

    tomanik Member

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    Was reading the following article about Toyota's prototype FCV drive.

    2015 Toyota fuel cell hydrogen vehicle prototype

    The comment about plenty of water left on the asphalt made me wonder how FCV's will work in the cold. If it is freezing out the water will quickly turn to ice on the road. Get to many of these vehicles on the road and it seems like this would create a problem for all drivers.
     
  6. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    #6 RobStark, Dec 11, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
    They have not proved they can deliver the hydrogen in an economically viable way. Putting in 5-15% hydrogen along with natural gas in a pipeline then extracting it by various purification techniques at the end so far is not economically viable.

    Extracting hydrogen from natural gas or water has not proven itself in way that is both economically viable and environmentally friendly. I have seen suggestion for using hydrogen as a storage device for renewable energy. Using wind farm electricity to make hydrogen through electrolysis during non-peak hours for example. A better idea is to store the electricity in battery storage units like Tesla will be producing.


    The challenge for FCEV OEM is not only to get the price down to $50k, but to make a FCEV that can be sold profitably and at least comparable to an ICE vehicle in terms of performance, durability, cost of ownership, passenger and storage volume.

    The FCEV Hyundai is leasing, A Tucson $3k down $499/month including hydrogen with a 0-60 time of 12.5 seconds does not seem to be it.


    BTW Having my kids sit on top of tanks containing highly viscous highly flammable tiny molecules(half the size of Helium that easily escapes a sealed party balloon) under 10k PSI of pressure does not sound like my cup'O tea.
     
  7. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Actually the wind farms could electrolyze to produce and store hydrogen, but more likely is then to methanize plus mix in a little hydrogen since that eliminates all storage issues and provides extra potential NG supply.
     
  8. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I'm just saying, I've seen this article posted in hydrogen articles on Autobloggreen (usually by the newer commenters) and it easily gets ripped apart by the hydrogen advocates there (who are much better informed about hydrogen tech than I suspect most EV fans out there are about EVs). Just a word of warning.

    The economics of hydrogen are still iffy right now, but saying it's never going to happen isn't going to fly as a good argument (esp. given the improvements they have done in recent years).
     
  9. Peter_M

    Peter_M Member

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    Fair enough. I'm not looking to start debates with anyone and I'm sure there are people out there who have spent way more time thinking about it than me. The fundamentals just seem very flawed (safety, distribution, environmental footprint…). I'll stick to the simple answer if it comes up: "Show me who sells any hydrogen car today that I could actually use where I live." There's nothing today, and if it ever comes, then my response will change to "Why would anyone want that?" An efficient gas car wins over hydrogen on all counts in my view, and that's from a Tesla owner (well, a Tesla owner in 3 days!!!) and EV fan.
     
  10. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    I never said they couldn't just that it is more efficient to store the electricity in batteries.

    All this conversion, putting it into a FCEV, mixing with oxygen, to make electricity to put into vehicle battery to then turn electrical motor seems unnecessarily complicated and inefficient.
     
  11. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    Back in the 90's when GM built FCEV Equinoxes they cost about $1m to hand build. They used precious metals like a furniture manufacture uses foam i.e. a lot of waste.

    Today's FCEV cost ~$125k to build, have the functionality of a ~$20K ICE car, and are built by very sophisticated robots that can apply platinum in 1 atom thick layers i.e. they have cut all the waste out of the manufacturing process. They are still of by a factor of at least 5.

    I don't see an economically viable FCEV based on improved manufacturing techniques but revolutionary engineering. That is much harder to predict, you can't just throw money at the problem. You can't just quadruple pay of the engineers you are hiring and expect genius results.

    Toyota says it "hopes" that the cost of refining and delivering hydrogen will come down with economies of scale. Big Oil is losing money subsidizing every kilogram of hydrogen it sells but they will make it up in volume?

    It seems to me that building a competitive compelling FCEV is based more on hope than a concrete road map.
     
  12. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    And the reason for that is that any such roadmap would have to contain several milestones like "boost efficiency of energy conversion/transport/storage step XY from 65% to 99%: # years from now" :biggrin:

    Hydrogen loses out simply because of the big number of such steps involved. If one has bad efficiency and cannot be improved, the whole chain is ruined.
     
  13. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Well one thing that hydrogen advocates frequently post is DOE estimates of how much a stack will cost per kW based on current technology, and for 2013 it is:
    $67/kW (100k annual volume)
    $55/kW (500k annual volume)
    http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/13012_fuel_cell_system_cost_2013.pdf

    The only good rebuttal to that is that it'll be tough for hydrogen cars to reach 100k or 500k annual volume and what matters for the market is real world costs (even in lower volumes). However, that does not mean it can't be achieved (at least according to the DOE).

    From the Autobloggreen article, Toyota is hoping to decrease the cost from $100k per fuel cell right now (given 100kW fuel cell about $1000/kW) to $50k per fuel cell in 2015 ($500/kW).
     
  14. Reykjavik

    Reykjavik Member

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    I think I will pass on the car with a pressurized tank of flammable gas thank you very much.
     
  15. PokerBroker

    PokerBroker Member

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    Not a chance this will ever be viable... Not when it is so easy to plug in an electric vehicle at home... The infrastructure needs are ridiculously immense, way more so than BEVs since 98% of fueling occurs in your own garage... It really doesn't even matter if a car company could make it affordable
     
  16. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

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    I don't think this is an "or" situation. The big advantage a fuel cell/tanks have over traditional ICEs is packaging and lower overall emissions, the same advantage batteries have. A FCV PHEV would probably have better range, both on electric and gas, then a normal PHEV, and would also be more reliable.

    No one (sane) is saying FCVs are even close to being economically viable. It took EVs decades, if not centuries to become economically viable again. With that said, it's possible that within a half century FCVs will have replaced ICEs.
     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    More likely hydrogen will be used for other purposes, such as long haul big rigs, for which batteries would be a stretch. But I think hydrogen will completely miss the boat, as it were, for street cars. EVs will be deployed everywhere before they are even at the starting gate.
     
  18. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Taxis. Tough for BEV to meet the demands. Just needs a few reforming stations to serve each fleet. Would get the ball rolling on sales numbers.

    The infrastructure and costs are why manufacturers will be targeting fleets.
     
  19. William13

    William13 Member

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    Natural gas is currently being used economically by FritoLay for semi trucks. Until natural gas is unavailable/costs too much, hydrogen is not economically viable. FCVs may exist on natural gas, but not hydrogen. The hydrogen idea has been promoted by J Rifkin(an anti progress writer). This does not bode well for hydrogen FCVs. He tried to stop genetic modified foods and drugs.

    It's all about the money.
    When they say it's not about the money. It's about the money.
     
  20. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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