Featured Tesla Is Proving That Electric Cars Make More Sense Than Fuel-Cell Vehicles

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by El Dobro, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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  2. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    There are so many better hydrogen carriers that this fixation on high-pressure, hydrogen gas just doesn't make a lick of sense. As one comment pointed out, the energy losses producing high-pressure hydrogen gas is nuts.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  3. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Nissan is using ethanol for the FCEV they plan to have out for the 2020 Olympics.
     
  4. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    H2 has always been considered the ideal fuel of the future, and maybe future is still future.
    Choice of system is going to depend on Country politics, preferences and resources supplies etc.
    For US, H2 seems a stretch right now for cars. Japan with near zero fossil fuel resources may have a different view.
     
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  5. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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    It seems most detractors aren't saying they are against H2 per se. Rather that the economics of batteries makes a lot more sense right now and probably will for a good while. There's nothing wrong with manufacturers continuing to research and pilot H2 and other fuel cells. Some day there may be a technological or cost breakthrough that makes fuel cells a practical option, such as what is happening with batteries now.

    Japan continues to double down on H2 in the meantime. They lack indigenous fossil fuel sources, but currently the vast majority of H2 is produced from fossil fuels. Yet it remains more cost efficient to directly convert fossil fuels into electricity for battery charging.

    Batteries may make more sense in Japan than in many other places. Battery costs continue to improve at a significant rate such that it may make sense for Japan to add them to their electrical grid in the coming years to help balance peak demands. Battery electric vehicles there could do the same, further reducing their need for fossil fuels.
     
  6. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Why GM And Honda Are Betting Millions On Hydrogen-Powered Cars | Here & Now

    "The first thing you've gotta start with is, there is no single silver-bullet technology. General Motors makes battery powered vehicles and we make fuel cell powered technology. And it's because, for different types of customers, there are different solutions that will better fit their needs. So when you talk about putting a lot of power in a dense area, sometimes a battery can be a good way to do that. But when you talk about putting enough energy onboard that you don't need to be worrying about how do you get from 100-mile vehicles to 200-mile vehicles — now we have the Chevrolet Bolt that's at 238 miles. But it's a relatively small car. And if you want to go to larger vehicles that travel longer distances, and they're heavier vehicles that might have more utility, that's where the fuel cell comes in."
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i would like to see a detailed comparison of solar and wind producing electricity, vs producing hydrogen. and storage possibilities, if that comes into play down the road.
     
  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Then replace light airplane engines in the 150-200 hp range. They are little more than tractor engines and nothing to write home about.

    Bob Wilson
     
  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Japan is one of the major pushers of hydrogen. As a small, wealthy nation installing the required infrastructure is less of a burden than in a poorer one, or much larger one. The car manufacturers are supporting hydrogen in other places, because they need the markets to make the cars more economical for the home market.

    Mass production of fuel cells should bring the costs down, as it did for traction batteries, but hydrogen has far greater infrastructure issues than charging.

    I am against hydrogen.

    The required high pressure fuel tanks on the cars are heavy and bulky. As pressure vessels, they have a limited shelf life. Granted that is long enough for most cars, but DoT regulations require annual inspects of such tanks used for fueling a car. Hydroxide storage could get around some of the pressure tank issue, but I think they might still be heavy.

    Calling the infrastructure for the US expensive is an understatement. With plenty of ICEs already available, the hydrogen network can't be left to grow organically as it did for gasoline, if hydrogen cars have a chance at adoption. Because of hydrogen's nature, the infrastructure will also be more expensive to maintain.

    Economics will result in the hydrogen being made from fossil fuels; natural gas in the US, and coal in Japan. Renewable sources would have to be dictated in, but that increases the cost of the fuel. Hydrogen is high enough in California, that anybody that gets a FCEV also gets three years of free fuel.
    From the info that came out with the Prime, plug ins are a poor choice for Japan without a major overhaul to their grid. Half the residents there would take ten or more hours to charge the Prime's small pack. Solar roof is an option there to help alleviate that, and CHAdeMO is standard, because that might be the only charge option a person has.

    I would think a heavy hydrogen tank is the last thing you would want on a small plane.
     
  10. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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    Agree that the electrical grid in Japan, particularly the residential end, can use some serious upgrades. But the Prime is a great plug-in for the existing infrastructure despite Toyota's history of downplaying plugin capabilities in their home market to keep more light on H2. 10+ hours to charge an empty Prime battery pack to full can by done by overnight. Also, the existing CHAdeMO network density is insanely high (Japan is buried under there somewhere).

    Japan.png
    Faster DC charging technology continues to roll out, so this will only get easier. At that point, full BEVs will make even more sense.
     
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  11. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Ethanol + hybrid ->50 mpge
    Ethanol + fcv -> 45 mpge
    ethanol + renewable electricity in a prime type phev even more efficient ;-) This last one scales up the best. hybrids seem tapped at around 200 hp, while phevs scale higher than straight gas vehicles in terms of hp. Fuel cell seems to be much shorter range and less efficient on electricity
    hybrid is very clean, fcv only co2 + water
    if unsubsidized the hybrid is 30% less than the fcv, what is the point of the fcv?

    Key is reliability. To get reliability in a hydrogen design, the plane would need to be much heavier than in a phev or hybrid aircraft. PHEV might be cool, batteries supply extra hustle for take off, then are recharged in flight just in case you need extra power during flight, efficient atkinson valved push rodded reliable engine for cruise.
     
  12. EV-ish

    EV-ish Active Member

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    I could *almost* have a discussion with hydrogen car advocates without laughing when Li-x batteries cost 400 USD a kWh. As Tesla approaches 100 USD a kWh and with no plans to stop dropping prices, the H2 advocates are hard to find.
     
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  13. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I see fuel cells as an eventual replacement for ICEs on PHEVs. Liquid fuel tanks are much easier to package in a car with the larger battery. I'm not picky about what that liquid is at this point; diesel, gasoline, and their possible renewable replacements are also better than hydrogen.
     
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  14. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    So if we think of fuel cells as replacements for ice in a phev, we need to imagine a huge infrastructure. Could that happen in much more dense japan for 10,000 psi hydrogen? Sure, but it will be extremely expensive government program if it happens. I doubt that can happen in the US, Europe, or any other big market like China.

    That leaves fuel cells at an extreme disadvantage in terms of convience compared to an ICE in a PHEV, and like the fuel per distance would cost much more unsubsidized.

    Now perhaps a methanol or ethanol infrastructure could be produced for both ICE and Fuel cells, but here we have that pesky efficiency problem. A PHEV will likely be more efficient on that fuel than a fcv. Which means the fuel cell needs to cost less than an engine. That is possible, but right now something like the prime or fussion energi engine is much less expensive than the fuel cell system in a mirai or clarity.
     
  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Volvo has a fuel cell APU they are working on that runs on diesel. Gasoline is also possible. Neither would require infrastructure to change, but the fuel cells aren't as developed as hydrogen ones for cars. This is a long term plan though, and likely won't be possible until plug ins are approaching the majority of cars on the road.
     
  16. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    The problem as mentioned is Diesel -> reformer->fuel cell has come in less efficient than gasoline to hybrid. Yes you get rid of the NOx and the SO2 etc, but hybrids are really clean compared to diesels.
     
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  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Then the hybrid ICE will win out, and we'll switch to diesel ones if that becomes the more readily available renewable fuel.

    For FCEVs to have shot in the US, they have to ditch hydrogen, and switch to a liquid fuel.

    edit: Efficiency isn't the only factor to consider. In the case of EREVs, packaging can win out when the range extender is competing with a large battery for space.
     
    #17 Trollbait, Mar 9, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
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