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Featured Toyota Won’t Make A Proper EV Because Dealers Say It Won’t Sell

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Ashlem, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Another take:

    What I like about hydrogen is that it is hydrogen. You can light it on fire for some quick heat, burn it in a turbine, a piston engine, a fuel cell and probably 30 other contraptions to harness the energy.

    You can store the energy. Maybe not a long time what with pressure vessel limitations, but also lets consider the storage mechanism: it's a fancy jug. Nobody had to beat a kid with a crowbar to get more weird minerals out of the dirt to build it, which is a significant advantage over battery production.

    If you were crazy enough to build an enormous solar plant and used the power for high pressure electrolysis? Think about this one. You don't get the windmill NIMBYs, none of the coal or nuclear headache. Safety? You could abandon the plant and it probably wouldn't do anything at all. If the business faltered? Used solar panels are still worth something. Heck, you wouldn't even need to move them- just set up a grid tie and collect the mailbox money. Most businesses don't come with that tidy of a plan b.
     
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  2. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Yes - iirc, the NorwayFinland area is so Awash in geothermal energy, . that they could reform hydrogen & super chill it until the cows come home - never surpassing their own potential use - because they don't have enough population to use all the Surplus. Of course, who wants to live on an ice cube 70% of the time. That doesn't mean it would be enough for 5% of the world though.
    .
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    talking to a well off fellow yesterday who drives a umongus gas vehicle. he said he did a lot of volunteer work and community service. he wasn't going to save the planet too.
     
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  4. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    I am not being critical of you Bisco, but of that damn phrase.
    We are not working to 'save the planet'. And I really wish people would stop using that phrase (I realize you were quoting someone else).
    Those of us that follow the science are not working to save the planet, we are working towards saving human civilization as we know it.

    As George Carlin once put it, the earth will shake us off like a bad case of fleas.
     
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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    isn't the the reference? maybe it's code for something else?
     
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  6. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Sure sure, if you want to spend about $25/gge of hydrogen after you build the stations and solar. Then you what spend about $20K/car more for something like the clarity or mirai versus a model 3 or a lexus es hybrid. The market won't do that so it would have to be the government. Japanese government is trying the experiment. No reason for anouther country. They are starting reforming coal in australia and shipping the hydrogen, with a promise to build the renewables sometime later. Sure maybe miracles will happen, but plug-ins are much less expensive for similar or better cars than hydrogen today, and some people and companies are building the renewables that will be around long after the plug-in has been recycled.

    Well it is much cheaper to use it to charge cars than convert to hydrogen build fueling stations and store. That is what the norwegians are doing ;-)
     
    #246 austingreen, Dec 20, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
  7. mozdzen

    mozdzen Active Member

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    After 5 priuses (including one PiP), I jumped ship when the Prime came out. They nailed the hybrid technology, but it seems the hybrid technology has nailed their flexibility to change once more.
     
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  8. mozdzen

    mozdzen Active Member

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    I'd be more specific than that - "keeping the planet's environment hospitable for human life" is probably even more accurate. Saving human civilization is much harder than preventing cooking or freezing or choking to death. We humans continue to invent new threats to our species (and other life on the planet) on a regular basis.
     
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  9. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    Oh yes, it is a very commonly used reference by people on both sides of the issue.
    It is a pet peeve of mine, as the earth doesn't need "saving". We could blow up every nuke, melt down every nuke plant, release every disease and the earth will not bat an eye.

    We are not saving the earth, we are working to save ourselves.
     
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  10. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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    On the topic of affordability of vehicles, wanted to share some numbers.

    Every few years I look to see if median new vehicle prices are reported, but thus far have only seen mean prices. It would be nice to have median numbers as that would provide a much better picture of what the "average" new car buyer purchases.

    KBB this year says the mean new vehicle prices are $36k before consumer incentives (Average New-Car Prices Rise Nearly 4 Percent For January 2018 On Shifting Sales Mix, According To Kelley Blue Book - Feb 1, 2018). Not sure how many thousands we can subtract off that price for the actual consumer price paid.

    Mathematically, the median price must be lower than the mean price because more people buy less expensive vehicles than luxury vehicles which are sometimes sold for multiples of the median; on the other end, vehicles are not sold for negative amounts.

    As an example, if we go with the pre-incentive mean of $36k for a new vehicle, it would be possible in a tiny world to sell 6 new vehicles at $25k and one at $102k and still come up with a mean of $36k. Looking at that mean, we might be under the false impression that this is the "real" average price. In practical terms, the median price of $25k would much better reflect what the "average" new buyer purchased.

    But we also can't forget that most car purchases are not for new vehicles but used. The most recent data I found was for 2016 where 70% bought used. In that year, 41 million used cars were bought in the US.
    Used vehicle sales set to hit all-time high

    Compare that to only 17.5 million new cars sold that year.
    2016 Sets All-Time Car Sales Record | Edmunds
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    which is likely his meaning. but of all the 'good things' he felt that he did, the one untouchable is fossil fuel.
    or percieved convenience thereof
     
  12. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    Of course there is always that pollution created by making all the concrete that went into making the dam. Or the nuke power plant. Or the extraction of materials for those solar panels. And those wind farms, think those materials were made without pollution?
     
  13. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    I don’t think anyone is ignoring those costs.
    Anything humans build has an environmental cost. During its production, for maintenance, in most cases for fuel, and in its disposal.
    Just because someone says a renewable route is better, doesn’t mean they are saying it has no cost.
     
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  14. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Simply look at the Clarity. The BEV version is 110 pounds lighter than the FCEV, and has 2.5 more cubic feet of trunk space, but only 89 miles of EPA range. Even out the weight and space difference with more battery, and it should be in the 150 to 200 mile range.

    Japan is pushing hydrogen because industry and government reached the conclusion that BEVs would only work as short range city cars. That conclusion was reached when NiMH was bleeding edge technology, and many BEVs offered to the public were using lead acid.

    For other areas, fuel cells and hydrogen became the focus because fueling wouldn't be much different than current cars, and the charge time for BEVs would be unacceptable. With plug ins on the road, we are seeing that those with a BEV aren't bothered by charge times, those charge times are getting better than what was available about a decade ago, and PHEVs are a viable option for those in which charging on trips isn't possible.

    Honda tried this with their CNG Civic. The home fill station cost thousands, and had annual maintenance requirements that cost hundreds. It took all night to fill up the Civic, which had a range of around 120 miles. It's a more expensive version of home charging a BEV that works in fewer households. In the end, Honda stopped supporting home filling, because the systems didn't completely dry the gas, and the car's fuel system rusted out.

    CNG vehicles have 3000psi or 3500psi tanks. Hydrogen is at 10,000psi. With concerns over overheating hydrogen, I don't see a home fill system capable of doing a complete fill up to that 10k. Then there is the energy efficiency of making the hydrogen. The difference between that and charging a battery was aready mentioned, but for those households that can't or won't get a BEV, installing PVs for home power will likely do more good than switching a car to a hydrogen one.

    The infrastructure to move it is also a major hurdle. Hydrogen is a tiny molecule; it eventual seeps through most materials. It can also act like a halogen, i.e. chlorine, making it damaging to materials. Whereas natural gas can be piped through steel or plastic, hydrogen pipes will require something like stainless steel. Then there isn't such infrastructure already in place, so we will be starting from scratch.

    Also, a simply odorant can't be used for leak detection like in NG, since such compounds will poison a PEM fuel cell.

    Better yet, build enough solar and wind to have periods of time when their is excess available to power the electrolyzer. Water>hydrogen>fuel cell>water may be a workable solution in the future for stationary energy storage.

    For transportation, there is still the issue how getting the hydrogen to the cars. Much easier to adopt a system where CO2 gets added to the water and electricity and makes methane. The methane can be pumped into the existing millions of miles of NG lines, where some will get used by CNG fleets. For the general public fleet, the methane can be converted into methanol for spark engines, or an easy to refine into diesel fuel oil. That fuel oil could be refined into other materials and gasoline, but then the costs start adding up.

    Hydrogen's energy density is only good in terms of mass, but it exists as a very light weight gas under atmospheric conditions. Which is why it works for balloons. Its volumetric density is horrible under those conditions. For vehicles, it needs to be compressed to high pressures, or liquidfied, which is where much of the waste in its use goes to. Even then, transporting it will cost more than natural gas or room temperature liquids.

    A little over a decade ago, it was 5000psi. Now its 10k psi. People are miffed that there isn't a universal standard for fast public chargers, but the cost for a few extra plugs or adapter is minor, and the majority of charging is do slowly at home. Millions was spent in California updating the few 5000 hydrogen stations still around to 10k. A 10k car could use a 5000 station, but it wouldn't be able to get more than a half tank. Japan is switching to 12.5k for their hydrogen stations and cars.

    Better hydrogen storage is being researched, but unlike better batteries, adopting improvements is expensive as the stations need to be updated. Some potential storage methods may require whole new stations, which raises the issue of backwards compatibility.

    Hydrogen is too light to efficiently cart around. As is, it has the same issue facing Styrofoam recycling, too little can fit on the truck to justify the fuel cost. Compress or liquidify it, and the weigh of the container increases for strength of insulation. The target goal for 10k psi hydrogen fuel tank is 95%. That is the weight of tank when filled with hydrogen is 95% of the total weight; a tank that holds 5kg weighs 95kg. The tanks in the Mirai aren't quite there, and they are already using advanced materials like carbon fiber.

    There is some flexibility in its uses. I think up to 20% hydrogen can be mixed into the NG network within needing upgrades. There are some pilot programs testing this. Part of the issue there is that hydrogen has a lower flame temp than NG, which impacts how home appliances work. Grilling on straight hydrogen probably sucks.

    Feeding it to turbines can be a stop gap for energy storage until fuel cells work out.

    I've asked FCEV proponents in the past why didn't car companies pushing them offer hydrogen ICE cars in order to help support the growing infrastructure. Mazda sold a RX-8 and Mazda5 hydrogen bifuels in Japan at one time. BMW even had a 7 series one for a short time, which illustrated the drawback of liquid hydrogen; the tank would vent empty in a week of sitting.

    Getting the hydrogen to where you want it is the hurdle for many options though

    Once you no longer have to carry the tank with you, storing hydrogen gets easier. A reason why I say hydrogen and fuel cells may work as grid energy storage is that we will eventually reach the point where grid storage and transportation will start competing with each other for the use of batteries.

    It is less investment to simply lay out the PV panels and tie into the grid from the start, and you don't have to worry about a water source from the start.

    Water is a limited resource when considering electrolysis for hydrogen car fuel, or even that methane production I mentioned earlier. For stationary energy storage, the electrolyzer to fuel cell recycles most of the water.
     
  15. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Thanks for the detailed reply - answered a lot of my questions.

    Your mention about "Mazda sold a RX-8 and Mazda5 hydrogen bifuels in Japan at one time. BMW even had a 7 series" - I presume you mean an ICE with Hydrogen instead of Propane like we had a few years ago. Your mention of "LIQUID HYDROGEN" had me confused - could that work using 10,000psi Hydrogen better?
     

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  16. William Redoubt

    William Redoubt Senior Member

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    I like it. Actually the solar/hydrogen scenario has not escaped us forward thinkers.
     
  17. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Wow, heck of a post! Thanks!

    I remember those CNG hondas, even rode in one once. And I recall that they had that home compressor, but I never heard of its troubles or cancellation. Makes sense.


    But aren't you then tying up transmission resources? I got onto this train of thought with these bits of data:

    Sunlight is still free. PV arrays are relatively low maintenance. Who cares how efficient the output is, when the input energy is free and the equipment cost has already dropped 99% with little end in sight. Why not use the opportunity to make that output constant at the cost of efficiency? Put another way, who cares if your PV array can make 20MW/hr from 11:30 to 12:30 on June 21 when you can instead call it a 1MW/hr plant 24/7/365. If you do that without batteries, you've hugely reduced the exotic chemistry and materials problems associated.

    It's big scale, and humans are lousy at thinking of stuff in scales that big... I'm no exception. So far I can't see why this wouldn't be profitable.

    something something rising sea levels? OK I realize brine is a pretty awful input, but there have to be some good hacks on this. Collect the morning dew off the panels? Fog farm down the hill from the PV array?

    My moonshot project would be a closed rock quarry, filled about half with firebrick laid out in a zillion byzantine channels with a hideous amount of electric heaters fed from PV. Then insulate the heck out of it, flip the switch and let it heat up for a few years. Then rig up an air turbine to harness the thermal energy along the mean baseline of what can be restored via solar.*

    *I realize we could skip the electrical phase and directly heat the bricks with sunlight, so let's just imagine there would be a mix of methods along those lines.

    System efficiency would be pretty horrible I imagine. But it's a big pile of bricks! It's not going to do anything bad. It's hard to break. No lithium, no cobalt, no lead, cadmium... and an output completely compatible with base loads. A way to replace coal plants. And I bet coal miners can get good at stacking bricks given a minute or two of retraining.
     
  18. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    Sure, but efficiency does matter.
    Not of the panels, as you noted, but of the storage medium.

    Let’s say you have a solar array that generates 10,000 kWh/year.
    If you store that in batteries, you get about 9,000kWh/year out of it.
    If you store it using hydrogen, you get about 3,000 kWH (https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13237 which is two years old).
    If you hook it up to the grid, it is the most efficient, and costs the least amount in terms of resources and finances.

    Hydrogen is ill suited for cars. I think it would be great for buildings. It also would be great for capturing otherwise unused capacity from wind or solar if the grid doesn’t need it.
     
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  19. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    yes - but it's in no way a silver bullet. We've posted many a thread over the years how much a refrigerator-sized reformer in a building would cost versus its amount of capacity. Maybe someday. 10 years?

    .
     
  20. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Haven't read posts, but I'll bet Toyota is observing how difficult it seems to put out a Tesla car fire. This week firefighters in Bay Area used huge amount of foam to put out a model 3 fire. The freeway Tesla (autopilot misuse) crash several months ago required lot of time to put out the fire.