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Published on July 16th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro

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Hyundai Wants Big Oil To Build Hydrogen Stations

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July 16th, 2014 by  

2015-hyundai-tucson-fuel-cellLike Toyota and Honda, Korean automaker Hyundai is invested heavily into hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, beginning with the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell SUV. But with just six refilling stations concentrated in SoCal, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles lack any sort of refueling infrastructure.

So what does Hyundai want to do to change that? In an interview with Green Car Reports, Hyundai executive Dave Zuchowski said, “We believe the fuel companies that have been doing this for 100 years should invest in infrastructure, and we’ll do what we do best, which is build cars.”

Relying on Big Oil to build your clean refueling infrastructure? Good luck with that.

To be fair, the state of California is investing millions of dollars into hydrogen fueling stations that will support fuel cell vehicles from Toyota and Honda as well, and that by the end of 2016 there are expected to be as many as…30 refilling stations across SoCal. At the very least though, people paying the $499 a month to lease a Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle will have access to free, unlimited hydrogen, which is about the only way to undercut the trivial refueling costs of cars like the Tesla Model S.

Unfortunately for Hyundai and other companies committing to hydrogen, electric cars seem ready to take off into the mainstream thanks to superstars like Tesla and BMW building EVs people really want to buy. Meanwhile, EV advocates have highlighted just how wasteful current hydrogen production methods are, and why electric cars seem to be a better way forward.

Just don’t tell Hyundai though.  They seem more concerned taking potshots at Tesla over “government money” used to install the Supercharger network (not true in the least, by the way) than explaining how they’ll build a nationwide network of hydrogen fueling stations, which is also getting government help.

Yeah, let’s pretend Big Oil is going to undercut their main source of income, out of the goodness of their hearts.

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • Roger Pham

    Well, Bob, only a 50-kW FC stack is needed to provide base load, while a 50-kW battery will supply additional peak load,for a 100-kW total power. At 20 C of power, the battery pack need to have only 2.5 kWh of capacity. New solid-state battery with 40 C of power will only need 1.25 kWh. At $75/kW, $3,500 for FC cost. Add $1,000 to $1,500 for battery cost and $1,500 for H2 tank cost and we will have ~$6,500 for total “battery” cost of a BEV using H2-FC.

    Last time I saw Henrik posted ~$40,000 for the cost of Tesla’s 85-kWh pack.

    Agree that a FCV may consume 1.5 to twice as much energy per mile as a BEV, but that is for mild temperature. Cold frigid temp, the FCV can use waste heat , while a BEV will see a real drop in range. With the cost of raw RE so low and is getting lower still, the higher consumption of a FCV is not of major significance, and even lesser still if the waste heat of electrolysis and FC can be used.

    • A Real Libertarian

      Last time I saw Henrik posted ~$40,000 for the cost of Tesla’s 85-kWh pack.

      Henrik Fisker hasn’t worked at Tesla since 2007

      • Ben Helton

        David Noland has this all nicely wrapped up for us.

        Before install, shipping, and taxes, the battery costs; $37,102 (85kwh)

        That is definitely not $12,000

        It would take a miracle to get the pack down to that price. Oh wait. Maybe that’s why they’re going to Mars! They found the secret metal, unobtanium.

    • Bob_Wallace

      The Toyota FCEV uses a 90 kW FC stack. A 50 kW stack might not be enough to maintain highway speeds. Let’s stick with apples:apples.

      The Toyota FCEV uses a 21 kWh battery pack. I’m pretty certain Toyota isn’t putting in more than they need to make this a usable vehicle. Again, apples:apples, please.

      And A Real dealt with battery costs.

      Now, I don’t agree that a FCEV may consume 1.5 to twice as much energy per mile. It will take 2x or more simply because of the physics of separating H from O.

      As batteries discharge they generate heat. That is why EVs have either air or fluid battery cooling systems.

      “With the cost of raw RE so low and is getting lower still, the higher consumption of a FCV is not of major significance,”

      Twice as high remains twice as high. If the initial purchase price is roughly the same then most people are going to look at operating costs.

      (And I think the convenience of park and charge is going to outweigh the small extra time it will take to charge on all day drives.)

  • Roger Pham

    The H2-FC is also a battery that has 10x the gravimetric energy density of a Tesla”s pack, at 1.5kWh/kg, and can be charged very fast at 3-5 minutes with out any degradation problem due to either cycle life or calendar life. Very durable battery chemiztry that will not even require precious metals, and is already commercially available. H2 tank costs $10-15/kWh, with 10,000 cycles and near infinite calendar life.
    FC stack costs $50-100/kW.

    By contrast, Li-ion batteries are fragile and will suffer from rapid degradation when kept at high state of charge and with higher ambient temps in the tropic, and lower capacity with frigid winter temps. 10-year calendar life is about the best when kept cool and partially charged below 50%, even without any use. Cost: $400/kWh.

    H2 can be made from raw and intermittent DC electricity from solar and wind for under $0.04kWh, or even less with surplus. BEV is charged from grid electricity at average rate of $0.12/kWh before tax. Overall energy cost per mile for BEV and FCV will be comparable.

    • Bob_Wallace

      There’s some truth in what you say Roger, but some left out.

      The fact is that it takes twice or much electricity to drive a H2 FCEV car down the road. Add to the extra electricity the cost of a H2 infrastructure.

      There will be no surplus electricity for H2. As we add storage and EVs/PHEVs that over supply will have a market. Additionally, one can’t run an industry with feedstock only available a small percentage of the time.

      We’ll have to see if your ten year calendar life for EV batteries holds. And your battery prices are likely to high, certainly will be too high soon.

      If you’d like to support the idea of H2 FCEVs you’d probably do better if you attempted to stick to facts and not get too far afield with cheerleading distortions. That sort of thing tends to not go down well on this site.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Let’s look at your numbers at bit Roger.

      “FC stack costs $50-100/kW.”

      According to Wiki the Toyota FCEV will have a 90 kW stack. That’s $4,500 to $9,000.

      I found a 21 kWh number for the battery, but the source is Seeking Alpha which is a low credibility site. Assuming that’s a correct number then the battery would cost $5,250 @ $250/kWh and $8,400 @ your $400/kWh.

      So, fuel cell plus battery = $9,750 to $17,400.

      If, as Musk suggests, battery prices drop to around $100/kWh the price would then be $6,660 to $11,100.

      Those numbers seem right to you?

      • Bob_Wallace

        Toyota’s site says 21 kWh battery.

        http://www.toyota-global.com/innovation/environmental_technology/technology_file/fuel_cell_hybrid.html#h302

        Electric motor, regen brakes, all that EV stuff is going to be the same.

        “H2 tank costs $10-15/kWh” For this tank? How does one get from kWh to MPa with a H2 tank?

        “The latest 70 MPa tank features a polyamide resin liner in the inner most layer of the tank due to its high strength and excellent hydrogen permeation prevention performance. Increased tank capacity and reduced weight have been achieved by using optimum materials, improving design and production methods, and minimizing wall thickness by optimizing the winding angle, tension and volume of the carbon fiber.”

        If we take the 300 mile range and assume 0.3 kWh per miles that would mean 90 kWh. Does that make sense?

        If so, $10/kWh would add $900 to the bottom end price and $1,350 to the top end. So fuel cells + batteries + H2 tank estimates would run $10,650 to $18,750.

        85 kWh of batteries (Tesla S pack) would run from $8,500 ( at $100/kWh) to $21,250 (at $250/kWh).

        I’d call that a tight horse race. Cost to drive per mile looms large.

        • Ben Helton

          Too bad the current replacement price for an 85 kwh Tesla battery is $37,102 before shipping, taxes, and install.

      • Steve Grinwis

        That $100 / kW price you quote seems shockingly low to me, so I checked around but it seems to hold up. With one Caveat. They have to manufactured at a rate of around 100k / year to hit those kinds of numbers.

        Right now Ballard is selling their 2kw backup power system for $17k. Granted there is other crap involved there, but it’s not even a couple grand. It’s $17k.

        Then there are two issues: The efficiency cost that Bob has been hammering at in the comments here, with physics getting in the way of efficient electroysis, and then there is the cost of the refueling system, and infrastructure for it.

        A brand new, shiny L3 DC charging station runs about $30k and is dropping fast as high power electronics get cheaper. The best estimates I can find for delivering high pressure H2 safely, the costs run into the millions. You need to have huge high pressure tanks, that have to be periodically thrown out, and remade to avoid nasty explosions.

        Then you have to truck the hydrogen in from plants. Due to the low energy density of Hydrogen, that’s not going to be a once a week type of occurrence. Expect the fueling stations to need drops of more H2 daily, if not more frequently. Expect the cost of hydrogen fuel to have to take all this into account.

        Contrast this to the standard recharging system for EV’s that runs about $600, and runs off household power, available everywhere electricity is sold. While that charging system is not ideal, it is probably the main form of charging for EV’s, with fast chargers only being used by

        This will drive the cost per mile up into the range of 3x the cost of an EV to drive, by the best math I can come up with.

        I just can’t see how hydrogen can compete at this point. The cost of the hydrogen infrastructure would have to drop to insanely low levels, and there will always be accidents, and safety issues with storing massive quantities of high pressure explosive gas.

        http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/12020_fuel_cell_system_cost_2012.pdf

        • Bob_Wallace

          I’ve seen prices for a H2 fueling station at $1 million.

          We could possibly generate H2 at each station. That would eliminate the transport costs.

          (That’s my help out H2 FCEV part.)

          We have 121,446 fuel stations. We’d need to replace all of them with a H2 system.

          (What’s $121,446 million? Really? $121.4 billion? Not chump change.)

          At 100,000 per year production estimates are that EVs will be as cheap to produce as ICEVs. So if we wish to do ‘fair and balanced’ comparisons then it seems like we’d have to use a higher fuel cell cost than $100/kW or a ~100/kWh battery price.

          (That’s the part that will get me accused of hating on FCEVs. ;o)

          • Doug

            I believe the $1M estimate is for an ideal fueling site without a reformer. According to the CARB website, the average cost of the first few of these stations is closer to $2M, also without the reformer.

            Not all refueling sites will be located near natural gas lines. Whistler ditched their fleet of 20 H2 buses because the cost of hauling the H2 from Vancouver increased the operating cost by $2.5M over diesel. Most refueling stations will rely on frequent tanker trips.

            As far as total costs go, don’t forget to add in the cost of modifying refineries, new pipelines, etc. This will double the cost easily.

            There is no viable roadmap to building a FCEV infrastructure. None. Zero.

      • Ben Helton

        Bob,
        I don’t want to bother with the math / research, BUT, if you put the progress of fuel cells and batteries side by side, by the time batteries are $100 / kwh, fuel cells will likely only be $350-$400 for an entire 100kw stack. (around the same price as today’s mass produced catalytic converters).

        But, when it comes down to it, quantitative easing is negatively moving the value of the dollar about as fast as the positive progress of the battery. In other words; because of inflation, there will never be a $100 / kwh battery.

        • Steve Grinwis

          … That’s observably not true? The progress of batteries has been a precipitous fall in cost from $1400 / kWh ish in 2007 to sub $400 in 2014. It’s still in pretty much free fall. Musk stated recently that his goal to reduce battery prices by 30% with the advent of the gigafactory is actually turning out to be too conservative.

          Contrast that against the most optimistic prices for fuel cells I’ve seen, which come down to $47 / kW, making your theoretical fuel cell stack cost $4700, not $400.

          Also: Discussion of prices should always take place as net present value, which removes inflation. That’s accounting 101. If batteries hit $100 / kWh net present value, that has exactly the same economic impact as having it hit $102 / kWh real dollars, next year at 2% inflation. By definition.

  • Ben Helton

    Not sure why hydrogen cars are always talked poorly of on a site titled CleanTechnica. With this ‘tech’nology, a car can travel several hundred miles, stop; pee, buy a drink and snack, and be back on the road to drive another 300+ miles in less than 10 minutes, all the meanwhile, it’s emitting water vapor. Source of the hydrogen? All of this can be powered by wind…. How is that not ‘clean’ ‘tech’ ?

    Preach about inefficiency all you want, and all you are doing is denying that this clean tech is in its toddler phase and has a lot growth still yet to come. Fuel Cells have been making huge leaps towards become stronger, more reliable, more efficient, all the meanwhile, reducing cost.

    Maybe the site should consider a new name; something like BatteryTopia. It would definitely be more suited for the power cord in the logo. =)

    • Bob_Wallace

      I don’t see anti-H2 FCEV sentiment here. What I see is rational thinking. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that the cost per mile will be more than double compared to a EV.

      What happens is that some FCEV fanboy shows up and starts making unreasonable statements and runs into push-back.

      That’s not anti-H2 FCEV. That’s anti-shallow thinking.

      I suspect everyone who thinks EVs are our future consider FCEVs as our safety net in the event that battery technology does not progress.

      • Ben Helton

        Oh yes – this is neutral bias in regards to H2 (written by a guy who owns a failed battery company)

        http://cleantechnica.com/2014/06/04/hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicles-about-not-clean/

        • Bob_Wallace

          No, that article points out the problem with NG produced H2.

          You simply don’t have a clue as to how biased you are, do you?

          • Ben Helton

            I know I am biased, but I am just a random commentator, Bob. I am not a Moderator, Writer, Editor, or Publisher. I have zero journalistic duty in upholding a low to zero bias policy for ‘reporting’.

            This site has an obvious agenda; anybody with common sense can see that. I just get a lot of laughs at how worked up the BEV fundamentalists get if anybody has anything positive to say about Hydrogen. =)

            Somebody once said it so poetically ;
            “Julian Cox is to Elon Musk as Tom Cruise is to Ron Hubbard”

          • Bob_Wallace

            This site is pretty reality based, Ben.

            If you are able to step back and take a rational look at H2 FCEVs you will see that they have a very distinct disadvantage with $/mile driven.

            And, while a 300 mile range is an advantage, it’s not significantly better than an EV with a 200 mile range (which most think is not far off). That extra range won’t matter much on long trips, and most people take few long trips. It might decrease drive time a few minutes on an all-day trip (but with higher fuel costs).

            The extra stops for filling up during normal driving is a disadvantage over plugging or wireless charging where on parks.

            Aside from those comparisons, we simply don’t know if FCEVs will become significantly cheaper than EVs. They would have to become significantly cheaper to purchase since they cost more per mile to operate. If 200 mile range EVs stall out at $25k and FVECs drop well under $20k for same-model vehicles then FCEVs might dominate.

            Performance – acceleration and top speeds – should be roughly the same. Both vehicles use batteries to power electric motors.

            What other possible deciding factors might there be, Ben?

          • Ben Helton

            I’ve heard it all Bob – I already know; you’re all in for Battery Vehicles. That’s fine and dandy.

            What is spun out of reality on this site is that EV’s are not limited to the Model S and Nissan Leaf. A fuel cell vehicle is an electric vehicle, it just doesn’t depend solely on a battery for it’s Primary Energy Source. This is for two very, very important reasons. Reliability of the Primary Energy Source system, and the speed in which you can refresh your Primary Energy Source to continue travelling on.

            Most people (especially the working class) can’t just afford to fly our family across country if we would like to go visit family. It’s also usually not ideal to have to rent a vehicle either. The vehicles we use for everything. should not have to be tethered to a cord at all times to ensure you can keep going!

            Have you ever traveled by highway on Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve? It’s a mess! Can you imagine the long line of cross country travelers waiting in line for some of the limited super charging slots!? Babies don’t do well if the car is not moving. You want to be the one telling mommy that we got a 2 and 1/2 hour wait for a charging stall? Just wait for the next 2 stops! You know what – better just travel at 55mph so we can conserve stops, we’ll make better time!

          • Bob_Wallace

            No, Ben, I’m all in for whatever gets drivers off fossil fuels and onto renewable energy.

            The difference between us, I think, is that I’ve started from a neutral position and tried to look objectively at the facts whereas you seem to have started with a preference for FCEVs and are attempting to bend the facts to support your preference.

            Right now we have very expensive, untested FCEVs with essentially no fueling stations and we have adequate range EVs and recharging stations but the EVs are too expensive.

            Who will get to affordable first? I’m betting EVs simply because I’m watching how things are developing. Cost reduction seems to be basically a matter of scale and EVs are way ahead in production numbers.

            Who will dominate? I’m betting EVs because they have a much lower per mile cost and I doubt that FCEVs could drop low enough in price to offset that cost. Plus there’s the cost of a H2 infrastructure and I don’t think private money is going to step up to build that needed infrastructure unless it’s clear that FCEVs will dominate in the market.

            All your “traveling at Christmas” is a pile of baloney. There’s no way to drive your family cross country right now in a FCEV. There are no fueling stations. You can, however take that drive right now in an EV. Whichever we adopt we’ll have to build an adequate number of charge stations or hydrogen stations. And we would have to build far more hydrogen stations than charging stations because almost all charging will be done where people park.

            Now – purchase price, price per mile, and range. Do you see any other things on which the EV/FCEV ‘contest’ will be played out?

          • juxx0r

            I do Bob, in Europe where your car is taxed on a gCO2/km basis, people are going to stick to diesel, because it’s got lower emissions and taxes and lower upfront cost and cheaper fuel than a hydrogen range extended electric vehicle..

            Or they’ll just get an electric vehicle, or one with a ICE range extender.

            You can’t get around the energy balance, it’s what drives the cost penalty.

          • Bob_Wallace

            If the H2 was separated from H2O with renewable electricity then the FCEV would also be CO2 free.

            Yes, if the H2 comes from reformulated natural gas, you might be better off sticking with diesel. We’d have to see some numbers.

          • Doug

            You’d also be better with a natural gas car over an H2 car. Availability of the fuel is widespread. Both rely on the same fuel stock, but the chemical efficiency favors NG.

          • Ben Helton

            We’re really trying to get away from combustion at large. Even ‘burning’ hydrogen combines ambient nitrogen and oxygen. We try to use catalysts to reverse this (which help) but it’s impossible to not always have small amounts coming out.

            That’s the beauty of the H2 fuel cell. The emissions are so pure and simple, you can drink it – although – if you drink enough of it, you may want to add a little bit of healthy minerals ;-)

          • Offgridman

            Mr Helton,,
            It has been interesting to follow your and Mr Wallace’ conversation, but it is also hilarious because it is based on is a totally false statement by Mr Bailo. The study did not show that it was possible to add hydrogen fueling pumps in the same Island as gasoline pumps. Rather what was said was that regulations could be changed so that gas stations that were big enough and had enough clearance from neighboring properties might be able to add hydrogen fueling stations.
            There is no hatred of fuel cells nor of FCEV’s on this site just the practical realization that the switch to support the infrastructure for FCEV’s will be very expensive as compared to BEV’s, Also the recognition that right now over 90% (perhaps close to 99%)of the current hydrogen production comes from natural gas with its auxiliary costs to the environment rather than from wind generated electricity.
            Perhaps in some situations FCEV’ s will be the solution for some drivers. But until they can be sold at an unsubsidized price, and there is an affordable infrastructure that supports them without the continued fracking of our country’s natural gas supplies they just don’t make any financial sense as compared to BEV’s and their inexpensive infrastructure.

          • Ben Helton

            Offgridman,

            This thread is not based on or from Mr. Bailo’s comment. Although, yes, I commented on Bob’s comment to Mr Bailo, this is definitely not that. (Notice I wasn’t being very serious)

            Also…. his statement about the study is pretty close to accurate. Although the pumps aren’t to be sharing the same ‘islands’, the Sandia study concluded that many stations could easily accommodate an H2 pump if they had adequate spacing. (Currently, the code pretty much dictates an H2 fueling station be a separate entity)

            Another thing. you’re numbers about NG derived hydrogen are very wrong. About 48% of hydrogen is from SMR (and most of that is for fossil fuel industry use). Electrolysis, Thermolysis, oil, and coal make up the other 52%. And getting hydrogen from coal is much cleaner than burning it for electricity, so please don’t start going there.

          • Bob_Wallace

            ” And getting hydrogen from coal is much cleaner than burning it for electricity, so please don’t start going there.”

            Ooooohhhhhhhh. What a great idea, Ben.

            Another use for coal. Let’s all get a FCEV and drive around using coal power.

          • Ben Helton

            Really, Bob? It’s a bad idea, and most definitely not mine.

            I was actually just responding to Offgridman’s false belief of where today’s hydrogen comes from.

            The hydrogen being extracted from coal is more likely being used to make fertilzer, or to hydrogenate foods and other industrial products.

            The fuel cells found in all of the upcoming vehicles are going to need very pure hydrogen to insure their longevity. This needs to come from electrolysis generators.

            Simply electricity, Bob, Electricity. The difference is hydrogen will take you where the charging wand will not! It will deliver your foods, it will farm your land. Heck, it will even mine your metals!
            Batteries alone…. will not.

          • Bob_Wallace

            There may be some niches where we need some sort of transportable fuel. But needing it in one place does not mean that it then becomes the solution for all needs.

            We’re already delivering stuff with batteries. And we’re already mining with batteries.

            It’s not clear that H2 fuel cells would be the desired solution for remote mines, etc. If we’re going to make the H2 there then we might as well do the job with electricity and generate only half as much. If we can’t make electricity there then transporting biofuel is likely a better solution.

          • Doug

            FCEVs work well in cold climates. Maybe they’ll sell well in Alaska.

          • A Real Libertarian

            FCEVs work well in cold climates. Maybe they’ll sell well in Alaska.

            The guy with the most Teslas in the world lives over a hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle:
            http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1091696_envy-the-man-who-owns-seven-tesla-electric-cars-in-norway

          • Doug

            You are forgetting who exactly is going to build all these H2 stations. Owning a gasoline station is a marginal business. The independent owners of the vast majority of the 100000 gasoline stations in the US are not going to invest the $1-2M required to dig up their lot, install H2 tanks and pray for customers.

            Also, if electrolysis is used for H2 generation, the cost of that H2 will be through the roof – much more expensive mile-for-mile than gasoline.

          • Ben Helton

            Doug,

            Where do you get your figures from? Is this just rhetoric?

            Let me give you some basic calculations and see what this will come out for us;

            Current electrolysis systems use about 50-58KWh of electricity / kg of H2 produced and compressed.
            Toyota’s 5.5kg capacity car gets about 81 miles / kg (430 mile total range).
            At wholesale energy cost, (averaging around $40 / MWh) we need to price out about 319 KWh to ‘fill up this tank’. That, my friend, is about $12.76 in raw energy cost.

            I do believe we can find room to not only pay for these electrolysis generators, but also pay interest on loans, and profits for the fueling stations.

            This could actually be a chance for the locally owned fueling station to actually make some money on the fuel they dispense.

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, Ben, you apparently have no additional criteria to be used in our EV/FCEV comparison.

            Purchase price for long range EVs and FCEVs is about the same. About $70,000.

            Range is not different enough to sway many purchasers. 265 vs. 300 miles.

            Infrastructure for long distance driving with EVs is in place. And home charging is easy.

            Cost per mile to drive is much lower for EVs.

            Could you tell us on what you base your FCEV bias?

    • Doug

      I agree with Bob. Just because something is “green” and “tech” doesn’t make it a good idea. In certain uses, H2 may be competitive, and when it makes sense, H2 might have some advantages. For instance, metro buses that are near refineries. However, for personal transportation, FCEVs are irrational.

      The following reasons/facts make me 100% against H2 FCEVs:
      1. Up to $1 Trillion investment is required to upgrading refineries, pipelines and fueling stations (in the US). This is an insane amount of investment – and it currently has very few backers. Who will pay for it? There is no roadmap.
      2. H2 is not really green. Sure, the combustion of H2 is free of toxic emissions. But H2 must be extracted from methane or natural gas to be affordable – more fraking, more CO2 emissions. Not green.
      3. Renewable H2 is unrealistic – for the same amount of energy you can re-charge a BEV to go twice the distance.
      4. It’s a technology push solution. There’s no demand for it.
      5. No technological progress. FCEVs are always just a few years away…and are always unaffordable.
      6. Natural Gas vehicles are a better alternative. It takes less than half the natural gas to go a given distance as the amount of natural gas needed to be reformed into H2 to go the same distance. Why go through the extra chemical reaction steps when you can just drive a NG car in the first place?
      7. 10000psi. H2 tanks are under extremely high pressure – this is unsuitable for automotive use.
      8. You’ll need a lot of H2 tankers to service refueling stations. That’s a lot of big, hazardous trucks on the road.

      FCEV proponents usually drop out of the conversation at this point. There’s really no comeback.

      • Ben Helton

        Doug,

        Half of what you say is just bland, over the top estimates.
        $1 Trillion? What a number!! I’m sure this was precisely and expertly calculated. How many stations are we looking to build here?

        To say something like “Renewable H2 is unrealistic” is just more rhetoric. If you travel your mind out of your own bubble and a little bit over the way to Germany, the most practical way for them to quit dumping excess wind energy (which costs money) was to implement hydrogen generators. Not batteries…. hydrogen generators. It’s not only real, its practical, feasible, viable, logical, and rational. Definitely not unrealistic though. ;-)

  • http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com/ John Bailo

    A recent study showed that Hydrogen is safe enough so that a traditional gasoline station can easily add an H2 pump to its islands. Companies like Shell are poised to do so and reap the profits of the one workable clean energy solution — Hyundai’s BlueDrive.

    • JamesWimberley

      Thanks, all we needed here was another advert.

      What’s going on here is that Hyundai made a strategic error a few years back and put its green R&D money into FCEVs not EVs. They really should have thought a bit more about the gas station question. Shell have, and clearly decided it’s not worth spending billions at a loss to support a doomed technology. So Hyundai watches impotently as Kia launches the Soul. It claims it will launch its own ev in 2016 (link), very late for the party. Compare Peugeot-Citroen and Fiat-Chrysler.

      • Ben Helton

        Yes… Don’t forget who else made (and it still making) these “strategic” errors
        Volkswagen,
        BMW / Mini
        Daimler / Mercedes / Dodge / Ram / Chrysler
        Honda / Acura
        Toyota / Scion / Lexus
        Ford / Lincoln
        General Motors-Chevrolet / Buick / Cadillac / Oldsmobile
        Nissan / Infiniti

        (am I missing any?)

        So… I guess all of these members of H2USA (started by the US DoE) are all just doing this because….. they think its cool? Maybe they all just want to make super cool sports cars that run on hydrogen that go unnecessarily fast and burn through tires likes crazy (the second most toxic pollutant/emission of a vehicle)

        • Bob_Wallace

          There are times at which it’s not clear which path will lead to success. Had batteries not improved and dropped in price then FCEVs would likely be our route off petroleum.

          Remember, not long ago lithium-ion prices were $1,000/kWh. The Tesla S batteries alone would have been $85,000.

          It appears that battery prices are falling fast enough that FCEVs are likely to be an evolutionary dead branch. But we don’t know that yet. It will likely take a couple more years to be sure.

          It’s kind of how at one time it looked like nuclear energy was our route off fossil fuels for electricity. But then the price of wind and solar plummeted while the cost of nuclear rose.

          When conditions change we change horses.

    • Bob_Wallace

      ” the one workable clean energy solution — Hyundai’s BlueDrive.”
      – John “Pinocchio” Bailo

      Keep it real, John. You know very well that FCEVs, while possible, are struggling to get into the game and are likely to lose based on fuel costs.

      • Ben Helton

        No, Bob. Fuel Cells are so ‘bull $&%^’ – it’s not the cost of fuel, it’s that they are actually fake. It’s all just for marketing purposes. Billions, and billions of marketing dollars.

        • Bob_Wallace

          If you’re attempting snark, that’s a fail, Ben….

    • Doug

      The “easily” part is still a $1-2M expense for the gas station owners, mostly independents, who clearly lack the capital to invest that kind of money in H2. The H2 FCEV proponents clearly are apparently very poor chess players – unable to think more than one move ahead.

      CA will wise up soon and pull back on further state-funded H2 stations. They are proving to be an embarrassment – a waste of taxpayer $ on a folly.

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