Not Logged In Log In   Sign Up   Points Leaders
Follow Us    6:31 PM

GasBuddy News Article

41
votes
Hydrogen fuel-cell cars look to overtake electric autos

CNN -- As electric cars try to forge more than just a niche in the market, the auto industry is already looking to another form of clean technology that could overtake today's battery-powered vehicles.

Commitments by automobile manufactures to develop hydrogen fuel-cell cars have surged in recent months. Toyota, Hyundai, Daimler and Honda announced plans to build vehicles that run on the most abundant element in the universe and emit only water vapor as a byproduct.

"A lot of auto makers believe the fuel-cell vehicle is just a better performing vehicle and just makes more sense," said Kevin See, a senior analyst of electric vehicles at Lux Research in Boston.

A fuel-cell-powered car can travel much longer distances than battery-powered ones before needing to be refueled, and fuel cells can be


Read the Full Article

Submitted Nov 26, 2012 By: skb69sa
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
Author Topic: Hydrogen fuel-cell cars look to overtake electric autos Back to Topics
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
Profile Pic
rjhenn
Champion Author Des Moines

Posts:27,238
Points:2,656,650
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Dec 8, 2012 1:07:57 PM

E-Squirrel - "Large collectors of either wind or solar are optimized by being placed in an area where either the sunshine, or the wind is unusually abundant."

Not always. Often the overriding factor is that the area isn't being used for anything else.

" Residential situations are rarely in such optimal locations, and rooftop installations are also usually non-optimal for orientation and seasonal azimuth either, or obstruction for wind turbines."

But there are so many possibilities, and they're right where the power is needed.

"Residential installations may make you feel good about conserving, and prepare you for unforeseen future difficulties however. Nowadays, that can't be discounted."

That, plus they're much less inviting targets than huge centralized facilities.

[Edited by: rjhenn at 12/8/2012 1:10:25 PM EST]
Profile Pic
E-Squirrel
Champion Author Orange County

Posts:3,327
Points:912,670
Joined:Feb 2005
Message Posted: Dec 7, 2012 8:26:14 PM

Not really. Large collectors of either wind or solar are optimized by being placed in an area where either the sunshine, or the wind is unusually abundant. Residential situations are rarely in such optimal locations, and rooftop installations are also usually non-optimal for orientation and seasonal azimuth either, or obstruction for wind turbines.

I don't think that you can find real, counter examples. Residential installations may make you feel good about conserving, and prepare you for unforeseen future difficulties however. Nowadays, that can't be discounted.
Profile Pic
rjhenn
Champion Author Des Moines

Posts:27,238
Points:2,656,650
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Dec 7, 2012 2:44:31 AM

Economy of scale is largely wasted in large, centralized solar and wind projects. The equipment costs more, largely because of the size of the units required, which increases the need for strength. Maintenance is also a major cost (what does it take to replace a wind turbine blade that's 60 meters across and attached 80 meters above the ground?).

And you get a large area with decentralized projects by putting units on many roofs, rather than trying to find an area that you can dedicate to solar energy collection, which will likely not be near where the energy is needed, thus adding distribution costs to everything else.
Profile Pic
E-Squirrel
Champion Author Orange County

Posts:3,327
Points:912,670
Joined:Feb 2005
Message Posted: Dec 4, 2012 8:47:33 PM

Certainly smaller installations cost less, but the advantage of larger projects is economy of scale. Smaller installations of wind and solar voltaic projects, such as individual homes may be "cheaper", but not necessarily less per actual watt-hour delivered.

Wind power is relatively mature; I wouldn't expect many significant improvements in that area. Solar voltaic cells, on the other hand probably do have some significant technology gains ahead of them.

Irrespective of the technology, all solar voltaic projects fight the same problem, which is that the sunlight energy is relatively diffuse, and you need a large area to capture significant amounts. This tends to favor larger projects covering acres, rather than just the roof of an individual dwelling.
Profile Pic
rjhenn
Champion Author Des Moines

Posts:27,238
Points:2,656,650
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Dec 4, 2012 1:57:04 AM

E-Squirrel - "Yes, it is. Because the wind and sun are "free", its the significant capital costs which results in the very high prices of the electricity produced. As I already explained, oil, coal and natural gas are popular because, the cost of electricity generated is significantly cheaper."

Exactly why I believe the emphasis should be on much smaller wind and solar installations, small enough to power individual homes and office buildings, with excess power being fed into the grid. The capital costs would be much lower per KWH.

"Solar and wind cannot compete with these on the basis of cost, which is why they provide only a small fraction of the electricity generated."

More because they're really not well suited to large centralized projects. Both require excessive amounts of space, which is only really practical in remote ares, or where they can share that space with other facilities, such as buildings.
Profile Pic
E-Squirrel
Champion Author Orange County

Posts:3,327
Points:912,670
Joined:Feb 2005
Message Posted: Dec 3, 2012 8:34:00 PM

rjhenn repeats:

"That's the initial cost."

Yes, it is. Because the wind and sun are "free", its the significant capital costs which results in the very high prices of the electricity produced. As I already explained, oil, coal and natural gas are popular because, the cost of electricity generated is significantly cheaper.

Solar and wind cannot compete with these on the basis of cost, which is why they provide only a small fraction of the electricity generated.
Profile Pic
honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

Posts:22,216
Points:2,065,515
Joined:Nov 2008
Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 8:19:00 AM

rjhenn, thanks for responding :)
Profile Pic
rjhenn
Champion Author Des Moines

Posts:27,238
Points:2,656,650
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 3:52:13 AM

E-Squirrel - "The equipment "cost" for solar and wind is higher per actual watt generated than other techologies. That is why the electricity cost is higher. The reason that oil and coal are common for electric generation, is their cost."

That's the initial cost. When you amortize that over the life of the equipment (assuming proper equipment) the total cost may be lower, because the 'fuel' is free.

Of course, that depends on a whole host of other variables. One of those seems to be the size of a project. Unlike many other projects, it doesn't seem like there's much economy of scale in either wind or solar power production.

And, of course, if you don't want to kill a lot of people with the exhaust from oil or coal fired plants, the cost rises.
Profile Pic
E-Squirrel
Champion Author Orange County

Posts:3,327
Points:912,670
Joined:Feb 2005
Message Posted: Nov 30, 2012 9:01:57 PM

Honda0105, rjhenn,

The equipment "cost" for solar and wind is higher per actual watt generated than other techologies. That is why the electricity cost is higher. The reason that oil and coal are common for electric generation, is their cost.
Profile Pic
honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

Posts:22,216
Points:2,065,515
Joined:Nov 2008
Message Posted: Nov 30, 2012 5:55:13 AM

rjhenn, I agree, the equipment is the only cost for solar.
Profile Pic
rjhenn
Champion Author Des Moines

Posts:27,238
Points:2,656,650
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Nov 29, 2012 2:54:48 AM

The main problem with solar and wind generation of electricity isn't the cost, but how to store it for future use. Freestanding units that combine solar and wind with hydrogen storage would solve that. And the only cost to solar and wind electricity is the initial investment in hardware and upkeep on that hardware. The power source is free.
Profile Pic
honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

Posts:22,216
Points:2,065,515
Joined:Nov 2008
Message Posted: Nov 29, 2012 12:04:18 AM

Haven't seen that many H2-cell vehicles. Seen definitely more EVs so far.
Profile Pic
E-Squirrel
Champion Author Orange County

Posts:3,327
Points:912,670
Joined:Feb 2005
Message Posted: Nov 28, 2012 10:03:56 PM

rjhenn suggests:

"Of course, we could produce freestanding units that would use solar and wind energy to generate electricity, which would be stored as hydrogen."

Well, as long as YOU invest the capital yourself. Not only have you chosen the most expensive way to produce hydrogen, you have saddled the final coast with the most expensive electricity that we know how to generate.

Don't we already pay enough for fuel now? You want to multiply it?
Profile Pic
rjhenn
Champion Author Des Moines

Posts:27,238
Points:2,656,650
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Nov 28, 2012 8:01:58 PM

E-Squirrel - "Well, very, very little electricity will be used to produce hydrogen; its just too expensive. Most hydrogen will be produced from natural gas instead."

Of course, we could produce freestanding units that would use solar and wind energy to generate electricity, which would be stored as hydrogen.

Profile Pic
bston
Champion Author Oklahoma City

Posts:3,926
Points:1,095,975
Joined:Mar 2011
Message Posted: Nov 28, 2012 1:26:15 AM

Very interesting.
Profile Pic
E-Squirrel
Champion Author Orange County

Posts:3,327
Points:912,670
Joined:Feb 2005
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 4:07:37 PM

OilOnTheCheap asks:

"Where is all of the electricity going to come from to make all of that hydrogen to run everyone's cars?"

Well, very, very little electricity will be used to produce hydrogen; its just too expensive. Most hydrogen will be produced from natural gas instead.

Of course, this just leads you back to the question, why don't we just make more CNG cars for a fraction of the price? The distribution infrastructure for CNG would appear not to be any more expensive, and the vehicles are practical now.
Profile Pic
rrs517
Champion Author Colorado

Posts:3,066
Points:798,775
Joined:Apr 2006
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 2:24:24 PM

A good energy solution once it becomes economically viable - and we're getting close.
Profile Pic
remay
Champion Author Houston

Posts:8,936
Points:2,564,640
Joined:May 2006
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 6:26:51 AM

"Hyundai has announced that it will offer a fuel-cell version of its ix35 sport utility vehicle (known as the Tucson in the U.S.) on lease by the end of this year. It plans to make up to 1,000 fuel-cell cars by 2015 and thereafter 10,000 fuel-cell cars per year."

Ok, but... what about infrastructure???
Profile Pic
tomok
Champion Author Portland

Posts:41,976
Points:2,801,160
Joined:Aug 2006
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 5:42:52 AM

Hydrogen fuel-cell cars look to overtake electric autos but how much for the hydrogen gas refill? IF hydrogen can be cheaply produced from water, then so be it - otherwise hydrogen is very expensive to make. Produce vehicles that can use many different fuels and fill up with the least expensive one. Produce plug-in 'multiple fueled' vehicles and use the battery until the fuel cell needs to kick in and charge the battery.
Whatever the size or shape of the vehicle, vehicle manufactures Produce and the population ‘Drives’ vehicles with high MPG, are very safe, reliable, have a ‘reasonable’ cost and a good ‘value’ for the money.
The price of fuel at the pump is too high!
XII/XXII/MMXII!
Profile Pic
GasFreeLeaf
Champion Author Orange County

Posts:1,463
Points:574,045
Joined:Oct 2010
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 4:51:17 AM

For decades companies have been in on the government grant hydrogen merry-go-round and still don't have an economically viable product.

Where is a hydrogen fuel station when you need it? The few in the Los Angeles area cost the U. S. tax payers over a million dollars each to power the fleet of research vehicles. Some test cars have caught fire the few refill stations still accrue down time and need high maintenance. The hydrogen commonly is produced from natural gas and using electricity which seems like a waste of clean energy to get hydrogen.
Profile Pic
Z51Corvette
Champion Author Austin

Posts:10,280
Points:2,080,145
Joined:Jan 2008
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 12:56:12 AM

The advantages are there... but the disadvantages may offset them... COST... is the bottom line factor. Before you walk the plank... you should determine the cost of the vehicle over the life of its existence... including fuel costs, maintenance costs, etc..... then we might have a better idea!
Profile Pic
MAC48
Champion Author Dallas

Posts:3,010
Points:1,183,765
Joined:Dec 2006
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 12:44:00 AM

One can see that a hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle does solve one of the electric vehicle concept’s most glaring short coming which is range per “fill-up”. It is also very plausible that hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles will create a larger niche market in the national vehicle fleet. However, there is no way that a vehicle that costs 2.5 times its internal combustion engine sibling is ever going to grab much more than the mere pittance of the market that EVs now have.
Profile Pic
OilOnTheCheap
Champion Author Ventura

Posts:4,871
Points:901,995
Joined:Jan 2012
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 12:32:28 AM

Where is all of the electricity going to come from to make all of that hydrogen to run everyone's cars?
Profile Pic
mrselfdestruct
Champion Author Arkansas

Posts:1,288
Points:199,100
Joined:Aug 2011
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 12:24:04 AM

As long as I can remember driving has never been too "safe".
Profile Pic
firefly09
Champion Author San Diego

Posts:3,862
Points:997,295
Joined:Mar 2009
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 12:21:34 AM

Will they be safe? How long will they last???
Profile Pic
Mowerman08
Champion Author Milwaukee

Posts:6,815
Points:1,659,210
Joined:Aug 2008
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 12:05:48 AM

Any thing but batteries.
Profile Pic
Buddy2264
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:13,864
Points:2,815,620
Joined:Oct 2005
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 12:04:29 AM

Either hydrogen or CNG, but can they make them safe?
Profile Pic
N5EXY
Champion Author Austin

Posts:7,658
Points:1,964,920
Joined:Jul 2004
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 12:03:58 AM

The hydrogen producing process uses electricity so the fuel-cell car is an electric auto with an extra step.
Profile Pic
arb0526
Champion Author Greensboro

Posts:2,781
Points:582,685
Joined:Mar 2011
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 12:03:38 AM

ok
Profile Pic
dabuzman
Champion Author Seattle

Posts:6,246
Points:2,209,105
Joined:Apr 2006
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 12:03:21 AM

About time they got smart. Make a retro kit to work on today's car ans they would have second winner>
Profile Pic
blazerbob91
Champion Author Milwaukee

Posts:7,070
Points:2,307,490
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 12:01:09 AM

Sooner or later we will see Fuel cells
Profile Pic
tidalwave3
Champion Author Tallahassee

Posts:2,342
Points:1,886,935
Joined:Jun 2008
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 12:00:13 AM

This is the wisest solution: Hydrogen is the source of power where something else generates electricity to be stored (inefficiently, may I add) in some form to then power motors (not an engine). A lot of inefficiencies in electric cars :(
Profile Pic
stueyAZ
Sophomore Author Phoenix

Posts:246
Points:28,135
Joined:Nov 2011
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:59:36 PM

lol
Profile Pic
HumbleHarv
Sophomore Author Los Angeles

Posts:124
Points:1,405,080
Joined:Oct 2008
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:59:16 PM

I just read all four pages of comments and there were some very good ones - but -

I have been driving the Mercedes-Benz B220 F-Cell - hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle. I am enjoying it and it is only available by lease - no sales at this time.

True, the fueling infrastructure needs to be created and the cost of the fuel cells needs to decline, but the benefits will still be the same.

We will never run out of hydrogen and you don't need to drill a well to get it.

Many other fuels look to be cost effective and readily available - like natural gas, but only hydrogen can provide a long driving range with no carbon emissions. I am trying to do what I can to ward off man-made global warming.
Profile Pic
dollarwatcher
Champion Author Wisconsin

Posts:9,745
Points:1,928,635
Joined:Mar 2007
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:57:17 PM

I'll stick with 92 octane premium.
Profile Pic
69Bonne
Champion Author Gary

Posts:2,720
Points:813,140
Joined:Sep 2005
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:56:30 PM

CNG will probably be here before feasible hydrogen systems can be developed.
Profile Pic
Fitwit
Champion Author Stockton

Posts:8,449
Points:1,786,965
Joined:May 2009
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:52:40 PM

So when a topic is no longer available like the following one, why don't you substitute it with an article that is available?
Profile Pic
us4usa
Champion Author Missouri

Posts:7,080
Points:1,435,920
Joined:May 2008
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:52:37 PM

CNG is the next step...
Profile Pic
papou
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:12,928
Points:2,341,945
Joined:Jul 2005
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:51:16 PM

They sell hydrogen added additions even at the flea market
Profile Pic
Fitwit
Champion Author Stockton

Posts:8,449
Points:1,786,965
Joined:May 2009
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:51:01 PM

Isn't Hydrogen what the Blimp was filled with?
Profile Pic
bvrbill
Champion Author Eugene

Posts:6,550
Points:973,500
Joined:Jul 2011
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:46:55 PM

Interesting technology. The cost needs to come down.
Profile Pic
vrossi46
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:4,584
Points:1,215,680
Joined:Oct 2008
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:45:03 PM

"Hydrogen fuel-cell cars look to overtake electric autos"

wouldn't take much
Profile Pic
melvindale
Champion Author Michigan

Posts:1,438
Points:351,230
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:43:45 PM

But what is the price if Hydrogen fueling capability is added to an existing gasoline station?

It can't be that much, as the average new gas station costs just over one million dollars to build. See example: http://www.reedconstructiondata.com/building-types/service-station/all/

So new gas station $1M vs. New Hydrogen Station $1M.

Where is the extra cost? Where is the large price? Seems same/same.

So, most stations would add the H2 to Gasoline dispensers, or give them their own dispensers. Whatever.
Profile Pic
mstearno
Champion Author Dayton

Posts:9,412
Points:2,117,090
Joined:Jan 2008
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:40:12 PM

gm stunk on this too
Profile Pic
mstearno
Champion Author Dayton

Posts:9,412
Points:2,117,090
Joined:Jan 2008
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:39:39 PM

hard to believe
taxpayers were stuck on this
Profile Pic
sweething545
Rookie Author Baton Rouge

Posts:24
Points:33,445
Joined:Apr 2012
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:38:30 PM

Yep???????
Profile Pic
vibdata
Champion Author Massachusetts

Posts:5,050
Points:1,045,280
Joined:Nov 2005
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:38:06 PM

Too exotic. Electricity's bad enough. Who's got hydrogen cells for fill-ups?
Profile Pic
southrob
Champion Author Tucson

Posts:5,692
Points:1,120,575
Joined:Mar 2011
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:37:24 PM

better technology
Profile Pic
drz614
Champion Author Harrisburg

Posts:4,479
Points:1,053,940
Joined:Aug 2011
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:35:16 PM

ok
Profile Pic
MopedTime
Champion Author Michigan

Posts:1,874
Points:791,720
Joined:Mar 2012
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 11:35:09 PM

Paradigm shift!
Post a reply Back to Topics