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Will Model 3 & Chevy Bolt Be The 1-2 Punch That Kills Fuel Cell Vehicles

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Patrick0101, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. Patrick0101

    Patrick0101 Member

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    Elon has called fuel cells BS, yet Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and to a lesser degree other major auto-manufacturers continue to tout FCVs are the future. Now that affordable, long-range, EVs are coming to market, will this be the end to the hydrogen delusion?

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  2. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    I am pretty sure FCV passenger cars will head off into obscurity without any help from the Model 3 or the Bolt. :)
     
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  3. Mark Z

    Mark Z Active Member

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    It's not going to slow down with government money pouring into FCV technology.

    A lot will depend on who is elected. Which politicians are in support of your tax dollars flowing towards FCV projects?
     
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  4. n00bie

    n00bie Member

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    Fueled by Bullsh*t

     
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  5. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    I think the Bolt will be a jab, but the Model 3 a knock out blow.

    OTOH it's enough to blow gently on the hydrogen façade and it falls over all by itself.
     
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  6. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    I suspect the Bolt will likely have a lot less impact than most people think now. With only 30,000 cars a year, it's difficult to make much of a realistic impact anywhere. However, I think the Model 3 will have a big impact with demand outstripping supply for many years after its introduction.

    With or without successful EVs, I think fuel cells will likely die out like steam powered cars did.
     
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  7. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    Steam-powered cars, at least, had a somewhat successful run for a while. I think hydrogen fuel cell cars will be stillborn.
     
  8. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    To be fair, the OEMs aren't thinking H2 vehicles will be a "success" if you are talking about sales volume wrt gas cars. Their sales projections are tiny.

    All H2 has to do to be a success is satisfy regulatory volume requirements, which in the past have been lowered when alternative vehicles didn't sell in high volumes. THAT is indeed where the T3 is likely to cause an issue for OEMs relying on H2.

    That's why some OEM CEOs have been bad-mouthing EVs and just hoping they would go away. Now ICE and HEV won't be enough, so they have to change their business model. That is a real rsk and a pain for them.

    The thread in my signature has many more details on how (and why) automakers are responding to EVs.
     
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  9. Tiberius

    Tiberius Member

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    I certainly hope so... or you'll see ever-increasing prices on hydrogen just as we did over the decades with gasoline. To hell with all that nonsense. Solar + EV = WIN
     
  10. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I do think that pre-orders for the Model 3 may prompt some of the inner circle at Toyota to reconsider their dearly-held assumption that most people won't accept the range and recharge times of BEVs. When the numbers hit 300K+, then you aren't talking about a small cadre of tech-geek or tree hugger "early adopters" anymore.

    Ultimately, if Toyota can get over this internal bias against BEVs, they are well positioned in technology and engineering to produce a competitive one of their own. They can get into this market, once they finally arrive at the conclusion that they want in.
     
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  11. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    My gripe with hydrogen isn't so much about fuel cell technology itself, but the cost of building out the infrastructure, and the fact that currently, hydrogen is essentially a fossil fuel. Until the cost of storage and distribution can come WAY down, and it can be produced sustainably and economically, it's a non-starter IMHO.
     
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  12. HookBill

    HookBill Member

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    I'm not sure why hydrogen would be considered a fossil fuel. It is the most plentiful fuel in the universe. I didn't think dinosaurs traveled that far into space. :p
     
  13. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    The same could be said about battery technology... With Tesla on the case, it HAS come down, and should continue to fall. So anything is possible, though I still think Electricity is the better fuel source. With wind, solar and hydro, there are so many different ways to get it. Not to mention, you can fuel at home (and if you've got solar or wind, or even hydro, you can do it for free).
     
  14. ucmndd

    ucmndd Member

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    Why on earth would we be cheering and advocating for "the end" of any alternative energy transportation?

    Market competition is good. Exploring multiple alternatives to achieve the same goal is sound strategy.
     
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  15. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Because it is commercially made from underground hydrocarbons. Think of them as dinosaur farts.

    Guess where the carbon goes?
     
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  16. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    What is interesting is that General Motors built a fuel cell car in the 1960's and is building one for the military right now. They never stopped developing and testing them. They have over 3,000,000 miles of FCEV seat time so far.

    But you don't see GM selling a FCEV. Why? They are keeping that tool in the drawer in case the government forces them to build them. They got screwed at least once that way before and it cost billions. But they know more about FCEVs than Toyota, so they are not going to bother unless they actually become viable or mandated.
     
  17. HookBill

    HookBill Member

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    Depends on what the energy source is to create the electricity to split the water molecule. If it is fossil based than yes you are correct, although the hydrogen itself comes from water. If the electricity is clean sourced (I.e. hydro, solar, wind) then it would not be tied to fossil.
    BTW, dinosaur farts are methane. :)
     
  18. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Breaking the water molecule apart is a terrible way to store energy. The bond is crazy strong.

    Natural gas is mostly methane, which is odorless, so they must add a perfume to it by law. Farts do not stink because of methane, it is the sulfur and bacteria that smell.
     
  19. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily the end, just at the very least acknowledgement that EVs are clearly a viable long range solution (something the hydrogen backers, like Toyota and Honda have yet to admit).

    However, for hydrogen in particular, it is hard to see a peaceful coexisting between the two (with both sharing similar volume rather than one being a niche/experiment). If EVs become viable, investment in hydrogen infrastructure and FCVs doesn't make sense.
     
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  20. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    Although electrolysis is a possible mechanism for creating hydrogen it is overwhelmingly in the minority for how hydrogen gas is actually produced today at commercial quantities. Including for FCEV.

    Actual process is to use Natural Gas as a feedstock and transform it into CO2 and H2 via steam reformation.

    Hydrogen Production: Natural Gas Reforming | Department of Energy

    Hydrogen production - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Electrolysis is commercially unviable today, with more energy going into the production of the hydrogen gas, than you can recover later. To make electrolysis work, it looks to me like you need so much renewable electricity generation that you use this mechanism as an energy storage process primarily.

    Electrolysis does have the benefit of not producing carbon from the process itself, unlike steam reformation of natural gas.


    The correct way to think of the hydrogen gas used in FCEV's today is that it's true there are no point carbon emissions. It's still fundamentally a hydrocarbon fuel source, as the hydrogen is a "refinement" of a hydrocarbon fuel source with a different combustion process at point of use.

    Oh - and it's WAY more flammable and explosive than gasoline to boot :)
     
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