What If They Had A National Fuel Cell Day & Nobody Came?

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Well, they did have a National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day last week here in the US, on October 8 to be exact. It appears that nobody noticed, not even CleanTechnica, until now that is, when we happened to stumble across it. Coincidentally, yesterday was also the day that a major announcement about fuel cell electric vehicles came from across the pond, marking a major step toward introducing FCEVs in the London transportation market.

hydrogen FCEVs

Wow, US Legislators Agree On Something!

October 8 was officially declared the first ever National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day because 1.008 is the atomic weight of hydrogen (clever, right?). Given the total chaos roaming the halls of the free world’s leading legislative body these days (thanks to these guys), it’s amazing that anybody could agree on anything, but before you get too excited, keep in mind that the declaration was by Senate resolution, not a full bill passed by both houses of Congress.

Be that as it may, we’re going to celebrate belatedly by reposting most of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day Resolution here, so in case you had any doubts that the US is committed to growing the market for FCEVs, see if you can find any clues here:

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
July 8, 2015

Designating October 8, 2015, as ‘‘National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day’’.

Whereas hydrogen, which has an atomic mass of 1.008, is the most abundant chemical substance in the universe;

Whereas the United States is a world leader in the development and deployment of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies;

Whereas fuel cells utilizing hydrogen and hydrogen-rich fuels to generate electricity are clean, efficient, resilient technologies being sold for stationary and backup power, zero-emission light duty motor vehicles and buses, industrial vehicles, and portable power;

Whereas stationary fuel cells can help reduce water use compared to traditional power generation technologies;

Whereas fuel cell electric light duty motor vehicles and buses that utilize hydrogen can completely replicate the experience of internal combustion vehicles including comparable range and refueling times;

Whereas hydrogen fuel cell industrial vehicles are being deployed at logistical hubs and warehouses across the country and are also being exported to facilities in Europe and Asia;

Whereas hydrogen is a non-toxic gas that can be derived from a variety of domestically available traditional and renewable resources, including solar, wind, biogas and the abundant supply of natural gas in the United States;

Whereas hydrogen and fuel cells can store energy to help enhance the grid and maximize opportunities to deploy renewable energy;

Whereas the United States currently produces and uses more than 11,000,000 metric tons of hydrogen per year; and

Resolved, That the Senate designates October 8, 2015, as “National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day.”

Just One Problem With Hydrogen FCEVs…

If you noticed that little thing about natural gas, that’s one of the reasons why CleanTechnica hasn’t been all over fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) with quite the same enthusiasm as we lavish on battery electric vehicles. Currently, fossil natural gas is the main source of hydrogen fuel for FCEVs, which here in the US translates into earthquakes, water resource issues, premature births, and other impacts related to natural gas fracking and fracking wastewater disposal.

However, just as battery EVs are overcoming their fossil fuel problem, FCEVs are on track to transition to renewable hydrogen sources, leaving price and fueling station availability among the other obstacles between you and your new FCEV.



 

…But Let’s Celebrate Anyways

The Energy Department’s National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day announcement highlighted some key points, including funding for research that has sliced the projected cost of commercial production for automotive fuel cells in half since 2006.

The agency also takes credit for reducing the projected cost of commercial hydrogen production down to parity with gasoline on a per-mile basis, though we’re not so excited about that because the research is specifically aimed at sourcing hydrogen from natural gas (when they start talking hydrogen from biogas, that’s a different matter).

Group hug, taxpayers — the agency’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office is in the middle of “the world’s largest independent FCEV validation project of its kind with automakers,” involving more than 215 FCEVs and 6 million miles on the road. Let’s pause to note that, with no tailpipe emissions, we can assume that none of the automakers involved in the project cheated on their emissions test.

CleanTechnica noted the launch of the national H2USA public-private FCEV commercialization initiative when it launched in 2013, and that made the Energy Department’s list of celebratory items, too.

More FCEV News To Celebrate

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory also got into the spirit of celebration by using National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day to officially dedicated a new 700-bar (bar refers to pressure) “advanced” hydrogen fueling station at its new Hydrogen Infrastructure Testing and Research Facility (HITRF) in Golden, Colorado.

HITRF is specifically focused on hydrogen production through electrolysis (that’s fancyspeak for water-splitting), building on NREL’s previous experience with wind-powered electrolysis.

Partly to help speed the installation of new hydrogen fueling stations for FCEVs, the new facility is modeled after retail stations. That enables private sector partners to use the same platform and validate new fueling systems for commercial use within a week or so, compared to the 6-to-8 weeks it normally takes.

Not to be outshined by its own research division, the Energy Department followed up on October 9 with a recap of a new $20 million round of funding for hydrogen fuel cell R&D and the release of its new 2014 Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report, demonstrating continued growth for the fuel cell industry at an “unprecedented rate.”

The $20 million will cover 10 projects, 7 of which involve hydrogen production and delivery, including something called microbial biomass conversion.

The other three are demonstration projects designed to accelerate the early adoption of FCEVs, including something we predicted a while back — namely, using fuel cells as range extenders for hybrid battery electric vehicles.

The Energy Department would also like you to know that the city of Ithaca in New York is on track to host the nation’s very first commercial FCEV fueling station, complete with hydrogen produced on site via electrolysis.

Now that we’re all caught up with the US, stay tuned for that news from London.

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Image (screenshot) via US Department of Energy.


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Tina Casey

Tina specializes in advanced energy technology, military sustainability, emerging materials, biofuels, ESG and related policy and political matters. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on LinkedIn, Threads, or Bluesky.

Tina Casey has 3140 posts and counting. See all posts by Tina Casey

88 thoughts on “What If They Had A National Fuel Cell Day & Nobody Came?

  • What an awful title to this article. It’s irrelevant to the content, other than the adoption of 10-08 as national hydrogen and fuel cell day. Other than that, the implication of nobody showing up is very bleak and fits rather nicely with CleanTechnica’s anti hydrogen agenda. It’s a HUGE disrespect to all of the people involved in hydrogen and fuel cell technology.

    Of course – this comment will likely be deleted (like all other comments i’ve had) as it’s not vehemently against fuel cells, and therefor my support must be masked and buried.

    • It may be an awful title in your opinion, but unfortunately it’s true. That “Major FCEV announcement in London” turns out to be that Toyota is to deliver 12 Mirai cars for use/test by Transport for London.
      http://www.itm-power.com/news-item/toyota-to-deliver-fleet-of-mirai-fcevs-to-london
      Not one of the news feeds picked that up – not even the BBC.

      Anti-hydrogen? Not really. For cars etc there’s a much simpler solution which doesn’t involves compression, transportation of the hydrogen etc. For certain specific uses e.g. grid storage, it would probably work OK.

      We try not to disrepect anybody – if you come here with facts and figures (including links to sources), we’ll have a good discussion of them and who knows, some others may also become converts to the fuel Cell.

      • “It may be an awful title in your opinion, but unfortunately it’s true”

        It’s not ‘true’ – it’s a hypothetical! Unless you’re a master fortune teller, have a time machine, or something similarly as fictional, it’s not possible to say this is ‘true’ – again, it’s simply a hypothetical.

        As far as announcements in UK – how about the recent addition of a fully operational retail H2 station that sources its hydrogen from wind power. (Is that not ‘clean technica’ type of material?)

        Or how about the deal the UK based Intelligent Energy landed in India? It’s a $1billion+ deal to get thousands of communication towers off of the horribly unreliable grid in India. Is that not significant?

        And what do you think will have to happen when we see this: “Mayor of London’s plans to introduce the world’s first ultra-low emission zone from 2020”

        • On the 8th July, October 8 2015 was designated as ‘‘National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day’’. Ah that was it – US only. Nothing in the international press about it and I’m in the UK. What did you do to celebrate the day?

          Have you got some links for those announcements please?

          I can find the H2 station in Sheffield which is going to be upgraded – Is that the one you’re referring to?

          The other one could be significant – got some more details?

          • Thanks for the link – Yes it is interesting providing backup power for communications towers.

            I know we have some indian commenters on here – anyone care to put it into perspective for me?

          • considering the blackouts happen almost everyday, I’m sure the citizens will be thrilled to have more reliable communications rather than the severe intermittent nature they are currently experiencing.

          • Yes, in extreme cases sometimes one has to pay more.

          • Is Walmart an extreme case? They are constantly retiring battery electric lift trucks, and being replaced by hydrogen fuel cell lift trucks. They have no option but to have ‘zero emission’ vehicles in their monster warehouses. So if it must be zero emission, why is Wal-Mart not going to more batteries instead of fuel cells?

            Wal-Mart operates with about a 3% profit margin. Cost is everything to this business.

          • Forklifts are not cars.

            H2 fuel cell forklifts make sense in some situations. One does not want to be pumping CO or CO2 into a closed space.

            Whether H2 forklifts have a long term future is questionable. The selling feature (aside from no carbon emissions) has been refilling times. Batteries might catch up, at least enough that the cost savings of running on electricity might move the market.

          • CO2 is not the worry…..

            It’s nitrogen emissions that are the real hazard.

            BTW, we were talking about power generation, not specifically cars (although cars need power generation as well)

          • CO2 is not an issue in a closed space?

          • No, it’s not. CO2 is not a toxic gas. I’m not sure why all the BEV advocates are obsessed with CO2. Notice, the volkswagen scandal has NOTHING to do with CO2 emissions…..

            The problem with combustion is not the release of carbon, it’s the inherent flaw that it also takes in 79% nitrogen into the process, and explodes that into more dangerous molecules that causes cancer and smog.

            We’d be converting vehicles to run on methane fuel cells if they didn’t have to run at ridiculously high temperatures…. That’s why the market gravitated towards H2 fuel cells – they operate at less than 200 degrees.

            And your efficiency / heat waste figures are also a little skewed. The Mirai gets around 60% thermal efficiency, which is DOUBLE that of an average internal combustion engine. If the huge air scoops are needed to ‘cool’ it down like you claim, how do regular internal combustion engines operate without DOUBLE the air flow as the Mirai?

            Here’s the real reason…. it’s nothing to do with heat. At high speeds, the scoops provide a natural air pressure that reduces the need for an air compressor on the ambient side of the fuel cell. It doesn’t eliminate the need for the compressors, it just makes them more efficiency. Modern vehicles do the same thing to give positive air pressure into the filter, thereby letting the engine not work as hard to get its needed ambient air.

          • So, Ben, if I put you in a closed room and converted all the availble oxygen to carbon dioxide you’d be fine?

            “how do regular internal combustion engines operate without DOUBLE the air flow as the Mirai?”

            Exhaust pipe, Ben.

            ” give positive air pressure into the filter”

            Increasing the amount of energy needed to move the vehicle forward.

          • I was more thinking about how the FC compares with other systems for backing up the communication towers in areas like installation cost, reliability, useability etc.

          • http://www.telegraph (dot) co (dot) uk/cars/green-cars/first-zero-emission-hydrogen-filling-station-opens/

          • Yep, missed that one also – I don’t normally read the Telegraph.
            However, I had a giggle at the last sentence of the last paragraph in the article:-

            “Under the terms of the £31 million EU HyHive program, 15 partners,including five car makers (Toyota, BMW,
            Daimler, Honda and Hyundai), have been working to maintain a total of 110 different fuel-cell vehicles on the road, testing, educating folk and working out what falls off.”
            🙂

          • Only £282,000 per car! 😉

            Imagine if BEVs ever saw that kind of funding.

          • It’s a much better approach then outright selling cars for $100k and working out the kinks as drivers are stuck on the side of roads

          • See my earlier replies in this thread for a link to a slew of activities that happened around the country. It took seemingly all day to have the comment approved, otherwise I would link it again for your here.

      • It really is an awful title though. There was a slew of announcements, stories, and events around the country that were actually well attended. It just looks like the author did not do their proper research.

    • Ah yes… the “anti hydrogen agenda” otherwise known as the ability to do basic math.

      Fuel cells are a fine technology, but they don’t belong in cars. By comparison to BEVs, FCEVs are terribly inefficient, and hyper-expensive to build and run. The idea of using electrolysis to split water and losing at least 50% of the power immediately and much more in distribution when you could have… you know… charged a battery is a farce.

      Compressed h2 is downright dangerous, it needs to be stored at low temperatures and high compression. It’s reactive and embrittles metal and seals. It’s also takes quite a while to fuel and pressurize an FCEV’s hydrogen tank, in many cases up to 15 minutes.

      95% of people’s driving in EVs is covered by home charging, at night while they sleep. For long trips rapid charging just doesn’t take long, and you need to stop for 20-30 minutes every 300-400km anyway to take a piss or grab a coffee.

      I drive 50,000 km in my EV every year, that’s more than double the average mileage of my countrymen. I’m on my second BEV. There are rapid chargers every 25km along every major and minor route, and literally no point on the map is more than 40km from a rapid charger.

      Hydrogen costs almost twice fossil fuels. Electricity (charging at night like most people do) costs 7.4 cents per kWh which is not just cheaper it’s 20 times cheaper than running an FCEV.

      • Totally agree with you. I’m really interested in links showing fuel cell output/cost comparison to the model s pack. Also, I had no idea hydrogen fuel pumps were so expensive, so a link to that info would be eye-opening.

      • woah man…..

        first off; I don’t get 7.4 cents / KWh…. In fact, I pay nearly double that once I topple over the 1000KWh mark every month, and with 3 kids, that’s basically guaranteed. You have to calculate the cost at the most expensive KWh rating, as that’s where the cost addition will come in; right at the most expensive bracket.

        Second; how do you quantify that its 20X cheaper to run a BEV per mile? Serious question – I am very curious how such an extreme figure could be concluded

    • Ben, what is your target date for taking delivery of your fcev?

      • Great question. I actually plan to take employment in UK once all my kids are school age. That should be 2018-2019 time frame. When I go there, I do plan to get a lease on a fuel cell vehicle.

  • Why did the author of this piece purposely leave out four lines from the resolution?

    • Tina Casey is most likely being threatened with her authorship on this site if she doesn’t get more negative about fuel cells / hydrogen.

      • Over the line, Ben.

        • but probably true.

          • Over the line.

            Cut it out unless your intent is to flame out.

          • Thank you Bob and Ben. No worries Bob, your concern for my authorship is appreciated but unfounded.

          • Tina… no offense to you. I have seen you constantly ridiculed on this site for being the only one who doesn’t hate on fuel cells.

            Now, suddenly, you are making claims against the subject that are not true. For instance, in the first line of your article : “It appears that nobody noticed” in reference to 10/08 as the national hydrogen and fuel cell day.

            Here’s a little problem…. The day has only been enacted since … one week before that day.

            And yet despite that, the day was full of events in multiple states. There was even the grand opening of a hydrogen station in Colorado to honor the day. Doesn’t seem like “nobody noticed” if you ask me…..

          • Did you flip Ben and Bob or am I highly confused?

  • I’m so impressed with our Republican overlords finding time to tip the hat to hydrogen and fuel cells.

    It’s not like the country has any important problems they might need to address….

    • Tonko is a Democrat from New York and 6 out of the 7 co-sponsors on the House Resolution appear to be Dems as well…

      • just curious…. do you have over half of your comments deleted off this website?

        • I dont think so, but I normally dont chek I guess. I typically refrain from commenting on Clean Technica since its authors and commenters are tend to be aggressively anti-fuel cell / hydrogen.

          • Here’s something for you to think about. One might not be a supporter of H2 FCEVs for a couple of reasons.

            1) They are “aggressively anti-fuel cell / hydrogen”. Or,

            2) They are looking at the facts and coming to a reasoned conclusion.
            The thing one should look for is whether a commentor is basing their opinion on facts or on “desire”.

          • I think the issue is more that people have made up their minds at this point and are not willing to look at new evidence. I know a lot of folks still hold to Chu’s four miracles statement or “The Hype About Hydrogen,” both of which are severely outdated at this point, and are not really willing to admit that the industry and the technology is not where it was a decade or more ago.

          • “The risks of climate change are very, very real, but if the solution costs three times as much, it’s not going to be used. It really has to be competitive with fossil fuel,” Chu said.

            Chu says it has to work like fossil fuel, which is the goal of this lab, using the sun’s energy to recycle carbon dioxide into a liquid that burns like gasoline.

            “I’m confident that electric vehicles will become a very big deal, I’m less confident we’ll be seeing electric airplanes in the near future or or electric boats and long haul trucks,” Chu said.

            http://abc7news9(dot)com/science/berkeley-lab-unveils-new-solar-energy-facility/743731/

          • I’m confused – You quoted Chu (Whoever he/she is) that “…it has to be competitive with fossil fuel” and then you say that “it has to work like fossil fuel” – Why does it HAVE to work like fossil fuel? why not use a better/simpler/cheaper method?

            Electric ships:- First seen in 2013
            http://cleantechnica.com/2013/07/19/planetsolar-worlds-largest-solar-boat-reaches-nova-scotia/

            Electric airplanes:- Again we’ve seen them
            http://cleantechnica.com/2013/06/21/new-electric-airplane-shown-off-at-paris-air-show-video/

            Electric Trucks:- More recent but they exist
            http://cleantechnica.com/2015/07/10/bmw-scherm-pilot-40-ton-electric-truck/

            What was Chu’s timescale for the “Near Future”? Looks like we’re about there already

          • ” Why does it HAVE to work like fossil fuel?”
            Chu is referring to infrastructure.
            Chu is talking about a liquid fuel and/or synthetic gasoline made from the sun, water, and air.

            You don’t remember David Chu?

          • David Chu the clothing designer or David Chu the bistro owner or David Chu the ophthalmologist?

            Steven Chu was the Secretary of Energy from January 21, 2009, to April 22, 2013. He’s the person who foretold $1/watt solar and talked about how batteries were likely to rapidly develop.

          • Thanks Bob.

          • Steven Chu is now working in the battery field. With the Stanford group, I believe.

          • Sorry, I don’t know any Chu’s.
            However, a quick google shows two David Chus – One’s a fashion designer and one’s a US politician – I assume you mean the US politician.

            I’m from the UK.

            Infrastructure – hmm,
            Wind/Solar power to generate electricity,
            electricity into squeezing Hydrogen into Fuel Cell.
            Fuel Cell into car
            hydrogen from fuel cell into electricity
            Electricity to drive motor/wheels?

            Or…
            Wind/Solar power to generate electricity
            Electricity into car battery
            Electricity from car battery
            Electricity to drive motor/wheels.

            Can’t really see the need for any infrastructure with the second method.

          • I’m sorry Steven Chu.

            Chu served as the 12th United States Secretary of Energy from 2009 to 2013. At the time of his appointment as Energy Secretary, Chu was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where his research was concerned primarily with the study of biological systems at the single molecule level. On February 1, 2013, he announced he would not serve for the President’s second term and resigned on April 22, 2013.

          • Thanks for the info – As he resigned in 2013, it looks like he’s been caught out by the speed of progress as has most if not all commentators/predictors at that time.

          • We already have an existing infrastructure for fossil fuels.
            With synthetic gasoline there is no need to buy an EV.

          • We already have an existing infrastructure for electricity as well. I’ve got one in my house. With EVs there’s no need for gas stations etc.

          • Correct. We’ve got 75% of the generation and transmission and a bit over 50% of the charger outlets we would need for 100% EVs/PHEVs in place.

            H2 FCEVs would mean replacing 100% (100%+?) of our current gasoline infrastructure and those costs would have to be added into the “2x to 3x as much electricity per mile” cost to drive FCEVs.

          • as long as you ignore everybody who doesn’t own a home….

            For instance. (in my job) i was asked to help a Chevy Volt owner to figure out how to charge their car. they lived in an apartment, but they did have a garage. Problem is, all of the outlets were 20amp except for the one going to fridge / washing machines.

            I had discovered it was going to be impossible to keep the vehicle charging without tripping unless we upgraded the circuit breaker going to the garage.

            The apartments denied. So I asked why. The answer was very enlightening…. The whole building of 16 units was only wired with a certain amount of allocation of power for each unit. They carefully calculated this to work the load down as much as possible, because if you notice, there are no power lines in modern apartment buildings. The lines are buried under-neath the concrete / parking lot. They would NOT allow any units to get an upgrade for their allocation, because it could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. If they allow it for one person, they have to allow it for anybody who asks.

            Basically, this Chevy Volt owner drives on gasoline nearly all the time, with the exception of when she goes to her parents house, they let her charge there. She’s still keeping the car because it gets decent mileage, but it appears she may have shelled out lots of extra money for nothing.

          • Ben, no one disputes that somewhere around 45% of all drivers do not currently have a place to plug and charge. For those who live in apartments or park on the street it will take some work to hook them up.

            But note. The grid is there. It’s a matter of more or lrager breakers, some wire and an outlet.

            Contrast that with the almost 100% of drivers who have no access to a hydrogen station. And think about the fact that if we built those stations we’d have to build all the electrolysis and compression plants to supply them. And build a fleet of gas tankers to move the hydrogen.

            I think you understand the scope of the problem of building a hydrogen infrastructure. Or at least you should be able to understand it with some thought.

          • It is a not very intelligent suggestion to produce expensive synthetic fuel and then burn it with 20% efficiency.

          • Do you think we’ll see H2 fuel cell ships and airplanes?

            H2 packs very, very little energy into volume compared to jet fuel (kerosene) and bunker fuel.

          • airplanes and ships aren’t worried about volume as much as they are worried about weight. There is a lot of hollow space throughout the wings of an airplane, or in the hull of a ship. It’s the weight that is counter-intuitive.

            Do your cross comparison of fuels to batteries, and compare the ‘mass’ not the ‘volume’ – it shows a very dark reality for batteries.

          • Give us some data on the range of a passenger jet or container ship on H2.

            Passenger planes already carry fuel in their wings. And there’s a lot of ‘stuff’ inside those wings. You might want to check that out.

            With cargo ships carrying significantly larger volumes of fuel means less cargo carried.


            I didn’t say a thing about battery powered airplanes and ships.

          • That’s the point Bob. Currently fossil fuels have a much larger market than just automobiles. For starters, How do you suggest we generate hydrogen for the fertilizer without sourcing from fossil fuels? We could convert every single vehicle to battery electrics tomorrow, and it may slow down, but wouldn’t stop the pump and burn habits of the fossil fuel industry. Hydrogen is the only thing that can actually replace almost anything oil can do. In the event oil is extremely hard to get in the future, even if just for material and not energy, we can actually create blue crude from hydrogen generated via renewable sources.

          • I’d suggest we generate ammonia for fertilizer.

            Listen, Ben, there are often more than one ways to skin a cat. The market will go with the cheapest, everything else being the equal. And the market may pay more if there are additional advantages.

            Stirling engines and vertical axis wind turbines work. But they don’t work well enough to find a role because we have other technologies which work better.

            Hydrogen might replace some oil uses. But there are no known reasons for paying a larger premium in both purchase price and operating costs for personal transportation.

            I laid out what I think is a very clear series of issues in the form of questions. You’ve not been able to bring any facts that answer in the affirmative for hydrogen. You’re pretty much an “expert” when it comes to H2 FCEV, you are present in many, many of these H2 FCEV discussions and should be up to speed on all hydrogen facts.

            If you don’t have the needed facts does that not put you in a rather tenuous position as an advocate of H2 FCEVs when there are so many obvious reasons why they would be a poor alternative for fossil fuels?

          • Ben: “How do you suggest we generate hydrogen for the fertilizer without sourcing from fossil fuels?”

            Bob: “I’d suggest we generate ammonia for fertilizer.”

            Do you even know how we create ammonia? (hint; it requires pure hydrogen)

          • Yes, Ben, it’s called the Heber process.

            But we don’t make H2 for fertilizer. We make H2 as one step in making ammonia for fertilizer.

            Ben, no one has stated that hydrogen is good for absolutely nuttin’. The topic under discussion is hydrogen as a replacement for petroleum in personal transportation.

            Here’s a hint, Ben. If you find yourself having to go off topic or engage in other obfuscations you probably need to step back and do a bit of self-analysis.

            Ask yourself if perhaps you’ve put yourself in the position of defending the undefendable.

          • What about “Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers”? Hopeless or a contender for at least hydrogen FC cars?

          • I make a concerted effort to attend to new facts and adjust my opinion as needed. How about we do this. You, Ben and Joseph who seem to be our H2 FCEV supporters in attendance in this thread put together some facts for us.

            1. We are told that it takes 2x to 3x as much electricity per mile to store energy as H2 than to store it in batteries.

            a. Is there a known route to bringing the electricity use (and cost) per mile down to that of EVs?

            2. We know that were we to adopt H2 FCEVs we would have to build a system of electrolysis plants, compressors, tanker trucks, and filling stations.

            a. Is there a known route to making the per mile cost of H2 FCEVs competitive with EVs?

            b. Would it not take many more tanker trucks than we now use for gasoline/diesel since H2 so “non-energy dense” in terms of volume?

            c. Might it take even more filling stations since H2 FCEVs are likely to have shorter range than the ICEVs we drive now, which would mean more frequent filling?

            3. We know that H2 FCEVs would have a modest advantage on very long driving days as they could fill up quicker than EVs can currently charge.

            a. Is that trip time difference very important once one adds in meal and potty breaks for the FCEV driver, something that the EV driver can deal with while charging?

            b. For the rest of the year the FCEV may spend 10, 12 or more hours filling up. Is that a disadvantage over EVs which just need to be plugged in when parked?

            4. We are told that Toyota is likely losing money on their Mirai being sold at ~$55k. And that, IIRC, manufacturing volume would need to reach 100,000 units per year to bring the cost down to ICEV levels.

            a. Is that data correct as best you know? If there is better data can you link it?

            b. What might be the route to selling 100k FCEVs per year when they cost more to operate than ICEVs and would likely have to be filled more often?

            If you would bring facts to the discussion it would be appreciated.

          • “. We are told that it takes 2x to 3x as much electricity per mile to store energy as H2 than to store it in batteries”

            That’s completely irrelevant when large power generators are throwing away energy (in Texas, we sometimes have a wind problem that murders the price of wholesale energy) – it has been so bad, the price of electricity goes into negative territory. you think any more wind power will be getting developed at this point? From the energy collective: “The U.S. has an energy efficiency of 42 percent, which means 58 percent of all the energy we produce is wasted! How can this happen?!”

            “2. We know that were we to adopt H2 FCEVs we would have to build a system of electrolysis plants, compressors, tanker trucks, and filling stations.”

            This would slow down the constant re-investment we have in current automobile fueling infrastructures. The term “six one, half a dozen another” is very true in this situation. If you take gasoline drivers off the road, the savings can be used towards a different infrastructure.

            “3. Would it not take many more tanker trucks than we now use for gasoline/diesel since H2 so “non-energy dense” in terms of volume?”

            I don’t disagree with the density issue of transporting large masses of H2. Fortunately, many labs and businesses are hard at work, and the most recent solution I have seen is an actual solid state form of storage. “Hydrexia distribution trailers deliver hydrogen to smaller customers situated around the Hy.GEN hub, which would otherwise not be good candidates for onsite generation. Ground-mounted, solid-state storage systems provide buffer and backup storage for the HyGen backup operations, at about half the CAPEX of traditional hydrogen tube trailers”

            “4. We are told that Toyota is likely losing money on their Mirai being sold at ~$55k. And that, IIRC, manufacturing volume would need to reach 100,000 units per year to bring the cost down to ICEV levels.”

            The fact that costs CAN be brought down with volumes of scale is enormously promising. the 18650 was already a bulk commodity produced in the millions and the price was going down before Tesla jumped in on the market. Toyota’s fuel cell only weighs about 126 lbs (2.0KW / kg – 114KW fuel cell). Compare that to the weight of a battery in a Tesla, and it has a 1:10 weight ratio (Tesla’s big pack weighs more than 1300 lbs) I hope I don’t have to explain the obvious manufacturing advantages to this wide gap.

          • “That’s completely irrelevant when large power generators are throwing away energy”

            No. There’s very little electricity being “thrown away”. Significant times of negative wholesale prices is a myth.

            Furthermore, aAs EVs and storage comes on line that surplus will be quickly sucked up.

            ” From the energy collective: “The U.S. has an energy efficiency of 42 percent, which means 58 percent of all the energy we produce is wasted! How can this happen?!””

            Because we use a lot of fossil fuels and use it very inefficiently. As we move away from internal combustion engines and thermal generators that heat loss percentage will quickly shrink. I’ll stick a graphic on the bottom so you can get on top of that issue.

            BTW, are you aware of how much waste heat FCEVs produce? That’s why the front end of the Mirai has such huge air scoops. That’s part of the reason it takes 2x to 3x as much electricity per mile. FCEVs are inefficient. They produce a lot of waste heat.

            Your #2 answer is nonsensical. We can’t turn in an unneeded gas station, get a refund and build a hydrogen fueling station.

            Rebuilt gas stations cost money and that cost is passed on to gas purchasers. They aren’t like Midas mufflers, you have to pay for the replacement.

            Your #3 answer depends on something perhaps being invented in the future. There are no guarantees for finding results later.

            Your quote says that someone figured out how to possibly bring down the cost of another way to transport hydrogen. There’s no cost data. Would it be cheaper than the way we do it now? Has it been proven to be? Or is this hope?

            Perhaps there’s a small savings in there somewhere, but you don’t bring any numbers.

            Your #4 “The fact that costs CAN be brought down with volumes of scale is enormously promising” holds no promise.

            There’s a problem of moving production from a few per month to more than 8,000 per month. That means finding customers willing to pay a premium purchase price and then pay a premium price per mile. Where does one find 8,000+ new buyers a month for a car that costs far more to own and drive than a $25k Toyota Camry while offering no advantages over the Camry?

            100,000 per year is a massive number, Ben.

            Very quickly the car collectors and university test labs will have bought their one Mirai each and that market segment will dry up. Toyota needs more volume than Tesla has now covering and Toyota is (apparently) losing money on each car while Tesla has a very high GPM.

            and finally –

            “I hope I don’t have to explain the obvious manufacturing advantages to this wide (weight) gap.”

            I’m afraid you do. The weight difference between a FCEV and an EV will have some impact on price. It generally costs more to ship heavier objects than light objects. But clearly the weight difference is not significant enough to reduce the manufacturing cost of a FCEV to an ICEV. It’s not enough to reduce the manufacturing cost of Toyota’s FCEV to Tesla’s luxury EV.

            Sorry, Ben, I found no real facts in your comment. Nothing that moves the needle.

            Perhaps the needle twitched a tiny bit….

          • Thought I’d check out the EV/FCEV weight difference and see how much extra weight there might be driving final costs higher.

            Comparing the Toyota Mirai and Tesla ModS. The Mirai is a smaller car than the ModS so it would be reasonable to expect some additional weight?

            The Mirai has a curb weight of 1,850 kg (4,078.6 lb).

            The Toyota has a curb weight of 2107.98 kg (4,647.3 lb).

            That’s not a huge difference (14%) considering the size differences. Shipping will be mostly volume (truckloads of lithium or finished cars).

          • Here’s some more, Ben. In terms of length and width the Tesla S is 22.8% larger than the Mirai. I’d guess that explains some of that 14% weight difference.

            Tiny needle twitching dampened….

          • Listen, Ben. If you wish to change opinions which are based on facts then you’ve got to bring facts.

            Fact based people’s opinions are based on the facts available.

          • The only reason it’s so much larger and heavier is to house that monster battery pack.

            It’s not like Toyota used an aluminum frame to desperately cut weight. In Comparison (steel to aluminum) the newer F150’s cut over 600 lbs by switching materials.

          • Ben, I’ll grant you that EVs are likely to be heavier than FCEVs, at least for a while. But you need to realize that weight is not a major problem when it comes to EV range.

            Most of the energy used to put the weight in motion is recovered via regenerative braking.

            Something that is important is aerodynamics. FCEVs likely have a problem in that they need to move large amounts of air around the fuel cell in order remove waste heat.

            Not being able to use a clean “snout” and all the resulting turbulence puts a higher drain on energy with FCEVs.

          • “Sorry, Ben, I found no real facts in your comment. Nothing that moves the needle.”

            If you can’t find “Facts” in what I just said, I’m sorry I can’t help denial. Many of the presented facts are directly quoted….. should be very easy to highlight, right click, and hit “Search Google For ….”

            Also, I never once said you can ‘turn in an un-needed gas station’ – I simply said that as demand for gasoline goes down (whether from h2 or BEVs) it will free up money / resources that would have otherwise been re-invested in the continuity of the gasoline infrastructure. Are we having comprehension issues?

            If you’re so convinced BEVs are the way to go, why is it you hear things like this from the world’s Number 1. producer of battery electric vehicles (Nissan) :

            This is from NISSAN’s Chief Operations Officer: ““Fuel-cell technology is suited for use in large vehicles and long-distance driving.”

            Nissan Head of R&D “Fuel cell electric vehicles are the obvious next step to complement today’s battery electric vehicles as our industry embraces more sustainable transportation.”

          • Ben, list the facts. 1., 2., 3.

            Just list a word or two and I’ll go back and read the details out of your earlier post. Save you some time.

          • Hi Bob,

            I got tied up last night and did not have time to respond to any of your questions.

            >1. We are told that it
            takes 2x to 3x as much electricity per mile to store energy as H2 than to store
            it in batteries. Is there a known route to bringing the electricity use (and cost) per mile down to that of EVs?

            I’m not sure where exactly you are getting this 2-3 times number from. The issue here as I see it is that most hydrogen right now is not made from electricity for the vast majority. It is
            made from natural gas reformation, which is an efficient and clean process. When electricity is used to make hydrogen, it
            is from renewable sources. If we are using free and clean electricity to make hydrogen for an FCEV, I don’t really
            see any issue here. In addition, hydrogen is a much better large-scale storage mechanism than electricity in
            batteries as it increase storage capacity for hydrogen, you just scale up a
            bigger hydrogen tank. For batteries you require thousands of pounds of additional batteries and a much larger amount of
            space.

            >2. We know that were we to
            adopt H2 FCEVs we would have to build a system of electrolysis plants, compressors, tanker trucks, and filling stations.

            a. Is there a known route to making the per mile cost of H2 FCEVs competitive with
            EVs?

            Again, I’m not sure where you
            are getting you cost-per-mile numbers, so if you have sources you would like to
            share I would be happy to provide my thoughts

            b. Would it not take many more tanker trucks than we now use for gasoline/diesel since H2 so “non-energy
            dense” in terms of volume?

            As hydrogen can be generated onsite via electrolysis or by connecting a reformer directly to any of our nation’s extensive natural gas pipeline infrastructure, I highly doubt we will need more tankers than we currently use, in fact I would estimate it would be much less and eventually near-zero as onsite production picks up.

            c. Might it take even more
            filling stations since H2 FCEVs are likely to have shorter range than the ICEVs
            we drive now, which would mean more frequent filling?

            The Mirai FCEV has a range of 300 miles. The Honda FCEV coming out next Spring also has a similar range of over 300 miles. That is the same as an average ICE.

            Are you sure you have seriously looked into these cars before? The 300+
            mile range and 3-5 minute fueling time are their biggest marketing factor at
            this point in addition to the zero-emission driving.

            >3. We know that H2 FCEVs would have a modest advantage on very long driving days as they could fill up quicker than EVs can currently charge.

            a. Is that trip time difference very important once one adds in meal and potty breaks
            for the FCEV driver, something that the EV driver can deal with while charging?

            I think it is very significant. You can fill an FCEV in 3-5
            minutes and drive 300 miles and do it again. You are looking at adding at least an hour to an extended trip, if not
            more with an EV compared to an FCEV. Not to mention the whole fighting over limited numbers of chrargers – www (dot) nytimes (dot) com/2015/10/11/science/in-california-electric-cars-outpace-plugs-and-sparks-fly.html

            b. For the rest of the year the FCEV may spend 10, 12 or more hours filling up. Is that a disadvantage over EVs which just need to be plugged in when parked?

            People are used to going to a
            filling station when they need to refuel their car. It takes just a couple of minutes. If it takes 5 minutes to refuel an FCEV and you refuel once a week, that is 4.3 hours a year. Its really not that much time, especially if you are doing it when you are already out driving. You are also forgetting about the large
            number of consumers that do not have access to a garage for home charging. An FCEV can be used by those with and without access to a garage.

            4. We are told that Toyota is likely losing money on their Mirai being sold at ~$55k.
            And that, IIRC, manufacturing volume would need to reach 100,000 units per year to bring the cost down to ICEV levels.

            a. Is that data correct as best you know? If there is better data can you link it?

            I have not seen any real data
            on whether the Mirai will or will not be losing money. The thing is, it will likely be used as a halo vehicle. Meaning it will draw in people to dealerships to look at who will then likely buy another car. Even if they lose some money, they are
            investing in the future of transportation and I highly doubt they will be hurt
            by this.

            Isnt Tesla and likely nearly
            every other auto losing money on every BEV they sell?

            b. What might be the route to selling 100k FCEVs per year when they cost more to
            operate than ICEVs and would likely have to be filled more often?

            They do not cost more to
            operate nor do they have to be filled more often. There are no moving parts in a fuel cell, maintenance on the vehicle is similar to a BEV.

          • 1. –

            Hydrogen from reformed methane is not acceptable.

            There is no free electricity. Electricity costs something which means that it costs far more per mile to drive an FCEV if it takes 2x to 3x more.

            FCEVs are range limited by the physical space it takes to store hydrogen. As battery capacity increases (which is highly likely) EV range will move past FCEV range.

            2.-

            If it takes 2x to 3x as much electricity and the H2 infrastructure prices have to be rolled into the cost of H2 then the cost of FCEVs will be higher.

            Hydrogen production on site is a possibility. But it’s not clear that it’s practical. It isn’t working too well with Japan’s first stations which cost a couple of million dollars but can fuel only a few cars per day.

            The Tesla S90 has a 300 mile range. As battery capacity grows EV ranges can be increased. FCEVs have pretty much hit the range cap without taking up interior space with fuel tanks.

            3-5 minute fills are useful only on days of long drives. The FCEV driver, if they also stop for a meal and later for a pee, whatever, will arrive a few minutes earlier than the EV driver who eats and pees while charging.

            The rest of the year the FCEV will have to take 10-15 minutes (or longer) out of their day in order to fill up.

            One does not fill up in a couple of minutes. The clock starts when one leaves their intended route until they return.

            4 –

            I do not have any data on how much Toyota is losing per Mirai sales (if any). That is why I stated that it was what I had heard. It is something that I have read multiple times but I don’t have a like to what I would consider a high quality source.

            Tesla has one of the highest gross profit margins of all car manufacturers. That means that Tesla sells their cars for far more than it costs to manufactures them. Roughly, on a $100,000 car Tesla’s profit is over $20,000. (below)

            If it costs far more per mile to drive a FCEV (which Toyota admits) then it costs more to operate. Fuel is an operational cost.

            FCEVs will need to be filled over 40 times a year if one is a 13,000 mile driver Over 43 if you run the tanks dry. Leave a 30 mile cushion (when the warning light comes on in many ICEVs) and you’ll fill up 48 times. Fill up when your tanks are down to one quarter full and you’ll fill up 58 times a year.

            EVs will charge once or twice on long drive days (~500 miles), which for many people are quite rare.

          • Mr. Future.

            Can you provide any answers?

            As I explained, I attempt to be open minded and driven by facts. If I’m not presented with facts how can I reform my opinion?

            (BTW, I’m aware that fuel cell technology has improved over the last few years. I’m also aware that we’ve seen (at least) potential improvements in electrolysis. I’m not in H2 FCEV denial. ;o)

          • Yea – the department of Energy, they must be too stupid and not coming to your same ‘reasoned conclusion’ – or how about companies like Honda, Hyundai, Daimler AG, Toyota? What about companies like Black and Veatch, Panasonic, Linde. These are multi-national companies that have a history of being profitable, progressive, as well as leading future advancements in technology.

            Why is it, none of these large multi-national companies have not ‘looked at the facts and come to a reasoned conclusion’ – and then drop out of the hydrogen fuel cell market?

          • I asked a series of questions. I presented no “reasoned conclusion”.

            You provided no information or answers for any.

            Are you able to answer any of the questions, Ben?

          • i edited my comment to be clear about what I was replying to. As far as your questions, see below.

          • Please don’t change content. If you wish to say something different then put it at the bottom as an eta: or make a new content.

          • I didn’t change content, I simply added in a quote from you, as to be clear which question I was answering. You seem to be confused as to what I was responding to….. Your original comment had no question, it was two of your reasons why people hate FCEVs, of which the second seemed to not make any sense. You seem to be implying the large, multi-national companies I mentioned are not “looking at the facts and coming to a reasoned conclusion.”

            You may think I’m ignorant in not agreeing with you, but apparently I am with great company (no pun intended). Nissan doesn’t even come to the same conclusions as you, and they are the worlds largest producer of BEVs. It appears Elon Musk is actually quite lonely in his views if you don’t count his religious following (mostly from conspiracy theories / big oil / blah blah blah)

            Carlos Ghosn was ‘resistant’ not because his company can’t produce / create fuel cell vehicles, he was just convinced the stations were never going to come. That argument is flying out the window though, and thankfully for Nissan, they have been very well invested into fuel cells. Other than the lack of stations, there wasn’t any other reason Nissan was not pushing as hard as Toyota. And now, Nissan, Toyota, and Honda are partnered in the support of hydrogen stations for Japan.

          • “You may think I’m ignorant in not agreeing with you,”

            No, not at all, Ben. I think you have sufficient intelligence. But for some reason you seem to be content with being a “believer” to the extent that you have put up a shield against facts.

            ” I am with great company”

            Make a list of all the companies producing PHEVs and EVs and a second list of all the companies producing FCEVs. Measure that great company.

            “Carlos Ghosn was ‘resistant’ not because his company can’t produce / create fuel cell vehicles, he was just convinced the stations were never going to come.”

            I’ve never heard that before. You have a link?

            Can you explain why Japan seems to be supportive of H2 FCEVs? And in doing so, you’ll need to address my four questions I presented you earlier.

          • Thanks for deleting my comments; again.

            That’s not moderation, that’s called manipulation.

          • haha. touche. I suspect our support will be getting filtered shortly after we won’t notice the deletions.

    • Republican Overlords? Does that include governor Jerry Brown, once he signed Assembly Bill 8 in 2013?

      • Bob wants to turn this into a political discussion.

        • Bob got off topic.

          Bad Bob.

    • They could always try to repeal health care for the 60th time.

Comments are closed.