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Why Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars can't compete with pure EVs

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by ToddRLockwood, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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    Nice article. Thanks for sharing.
     
  2. TES-E

    TES-E Member

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    Wow!!! Good article.
     
  3. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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  4. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Electrolysis is still electrolysis. This method is just a way to delay the hydrogen generation until later. However, it'll still be below 100% efficient (because of the conservation of energy) and it'll go through the same compression and distribution requirements of hydrogen (which brings down efficiency further).

    The issue with renewable hydrogen isn't that it's not possible to make, but rather that it's extremely expensive to make (and you only get 1/3 the miles vs. using it in an EV). The only way to make hydrogen with prices on par with gasoline (after factoring in the higher efficiency of hydrogen cars) is with fossil fuels (primarily natural gas). Contrast this with EVs running on electricity which cost significantly less than gasoline per mile.
     
  5. tom66

    tom66 Member

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    We should look at it in a different way. Eventually EV "fuel up" prices will increase to be at parity with petrol (as petrol demand falls, and electricity demand increases.) I think this will happen when there are at least as many miles driven electric as petrol.

    So we have two options: pay 3x as much for electrolysis generated hydrogen to propel your car.... or just charge a battery. (The third option isn't -- production from hydrocarbons is even worse.)
     
  6. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    I think you're missing a couple of things about this development:
    - It can produce hydrogen with low power, meaning it can be done at small scale
    - It stores the hydrogen in a liquid with an apparently easy release mechanism, which could help overcome storage and distribution issues.

    Need more information, but this is more than just "better electrolysis".
    -
     
  7. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    One of the main advantages of PEM electolyzers (which they are comparing against) is that they are highly scalable. They go all the way down to 2kW units and the electrolyzer can also run at partial load.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymer_electrolyte_membrane_electrolysis

    This bit you might have a point, but it says it is released with an unknown catalyst.
     
  8. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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  9. johnnyS

    johnnyS Member

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    #10 johnnyS, Feb 22, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
    Sometime after I had made the deposit for our model S I went to a presentation by Mercedes on their fuel cell program. I think it was in 2011 since we got our model S in 2012. The presentation was by their engineering staff and they had a couple of cars we were able to test drive. I asked a lot of questions and came away thinking it just did not make sense. Mercedes had a program if you lived close to the one or two fueling stations that you could lease one of the cars for $800-$900 a month in southern California. Since then, Mercedes program has faded away--they must have realized it would never make sense in the real world. The people I met were smart engineers that were backed by corporate resources.

    Owning a model S makes a lot of sense if you own your own home and can charge in your garage at night. Toyota must be thinking that a lot of their demographic do not have a place they can charge at night. My own sons just graduated from college and live in apartments. Even a model 3 Tesla will not make sense for them until they have settled down and own a home or condo.
     
  10. widodh

    widodh Model S R231 EU

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  11. jerry33

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

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    That's only true today. With every passing year, more apartments and condos will acquire charging facilities. And as Toyota only intends to make a coupe of thousand cars a year, it's obvious they are only doing it for credits and to keep people buying ICE cars (which I guess is the real motive for fuel cell cars). It's a similar concept to long distance travel in an EV.
     
  12. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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  13. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Elon calls them Fool Cells for good reason. They make no economic sense.
     

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