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Cars hydrogen fuel cell FCEVs

Published on December 13th, 2015 | by Tina Casey

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Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles Get $35 Million From US Energy Dept.

December 13th, 2015 by  


If you ask the US Energy Department, hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles are on the verge of a major commercial breakthrough. You’ll get a somewhat different answer from battery electric vehicle experts, but the fact of the matter is that the Energy Department is going with its gut. Earlier this year, the agency launched a $35 million round of funding for advancing hydrogen technologies for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), and last week it doubled down with another $35 million offer covering 4 key areas of interest.

hydrogen fuel cell FCEVs

1. More & Better Hydrogen For FCEVs

Of the 4 areas of interest, we’re particularly interested in area of interest 1, which covers the production of hydrogen fuel through water splitting.

For those of you new to the topic, the hydrogen angle is key because, currently, the primary source of hydrogen fuel is fossil natural gas, which bears a tremendous amount of environmental and public health baggage linked to the direct impacts and side effects of fracking (fracking is short for hydrofracturing, a gas and oil drilling method that involves shooting large quantities of chemical brine into shale formations).

Water splitting leaps over that obstacle because the process can be powered by renewable energy. CleanTechnica has been following the connection between renewable energy and water splitting as it relates to “bionic leaf” technology as well as systems based on electrolysis, but the Energy Department has already funded projects in those areas. With the new round of funding, the agency is turning its attention to this new thing called high-temperature water splitting as a more efficient way to deploy renewable energy for hydrogen production:

One hydrogen production pathway that has not been included in recent funding opportunities is advanced high‐temperature water splitting (HTWS), including operation on renewable, low‐carbon electricity sources. HTWS used in conjunction with high‐temperature process heat offers the potential for highly efficient, cost‐effective large‐scale hydrogen production.

[snip]

Compared with low‐temperature electrolysis, the high operating temperatures of HTWS technologies offer the advantage of operating at enhanced electrical efficiencies while maintaining high hydrogen production rates (reflected in high operating current densities). In terms of feedstock costs, HTWS offers the opportunity to trade off more expensive electrical energy with generally less expensive thermal energy…

H2A refers to the Energy Department’s hydrogen production analysis model, btw.

For you nuclear energy fans out there (don’t forget these guys, too!), the Energy Department is also interested in using waste heat from nuclear power plants to power HTWS systems.



 

2. Climate Action Champions For FCEVs

With area of interest 2, the Energy Department aims to ramp up the pace of the FCEV fueling infrastructure by tackling the supply chain:

A significant cost driver of the hydrogen refueling infrastructure today is the lack of a mature supply chain for components. Most components used at the forecourt (e.g., hoses, valves, couplings, and fittings) have fewer than five suppliers worldwide. Components produced by different suppliers are often custom made, and therefore not interchangeable. Moreover, many components, such as fittings, are not certified, which ultimately limits or delays their use. The deployment of FCEVs in the commercial market is also making the reliability of the hydrogen refueling infrastructure essential. Accordingly, proposals are sought for the development of innovative, low‐cost manufacturing processes/technologies and components for hydrogen fueling stations, and demonstration of the components in hydrogen service.

Area of interest 2 also intersects with a White House initiative called the Climate Action Champions (CAC). If you didn’t know we had one of those, join the club. CAC launched right around this time last year. It consists of a group of 16 local and tribal communities that have already established leadership in “defining the frontier of climate action.” As a group, their mission is to provide a platform for peer-to-peer learning and serving as a model for other communities.

CAC communities that are already involved in the deployment of FCEVs and related technologies will be recognized in area of interest 2 with additional funding for fleet applications and refueling infrastructure.

3. & 4. Picking Energy Winners & Losers

With this new round of funding, the Energy Department is once again picking energy “winners and losers” to borrow a phrase from US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). According to Senator Cruz and the Republican Party platform, the federal government should not be funding energy projects, and with that in mind, Senator Cruz has called for the abolition of the Energy Department.

As a fundamental matter of national defense, we’re not entirely convinced that domestic energy production should rest entirely on the vagaries of the global energy marketplace, but the real point is that the fossil fuel industry has long benefited from its “winner” status in the form of various federal and state subsidies, highlighted by the establishment of the Energy Department in 1977 to promote exploitation of domestic resources.

In the latest twist, a new Deloitte study reveals how the oil and gas industry has continued to benefit from patents based on foundational research at Energy Department laboratories.

That brings us to area of interest 3, which covers just such foundational research. It provides funding for Energy Department laboratories and partners to conduct collaborative, consortia-based foundational research leading to improved fuel cell performance and durability leading to lower costs.

Relatedly, area of interest 4 provides funding for new analytic tools for measuring fuel cell performance and costs.

Now that fossil energy is on the wane, the fossil fuel lobby would like to roll up the federal funding carpet after itself. That’s perfectly understandable but as we’ve noted elsewhere, abolishing the Department of Energy will hardly do the trick. Senator Cruz will have to also abolish the Departments of the Navy, Air Force, and Agriculture among others, so good luck with that.

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Photo via US Department of Energy.






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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.



  • Joe Viocoe

    Tina Casey has long been pro-Hydrogen. She tends to bury the pertinent information, and instead parrots the company hype.
    But make no mistake….

    Power to Gas has nothing to do with Fuel Cells. It is electrolysis to make Hydrogen from renewable sources, yes…
    But what they try to downplay… is that the hydrogen is just fed into existing Natural Gas pipelines to supplement the Natural Gas system.

    People will, wrongly, exclaim that you could just use that hydrogen for Fuel Cells. It is true, but the economics of compressing, transporting in trucks to fueling stations, and wasting 45% of the remaining energy in a fuel cell conversion… makes it a loser compared to using Hydrogen as a fuel to burn in small ratios with Natural Gas.

    Hydrogen is great when it doesn’t need compression, can be transported with existing pipeline, and burned for heat.

  • Anthony C

    So I guess we’ll have to double the amount of water we’ll need to desalinate so we can waste half on breaking it into Oxygen and Hydrogen, since I doubt you can just throw any old water in there. I don’t mind them spending the money on research since more knowledge can’t hurt, but it could be seen as backing fuel cells since it’s focusing on splitting water and that’s how car companies are trying to spin fuel cells as renewable energy. However the problem of double conversion efficiency seems so obvious that trying to bring fuel cells into mass production without even a solid reason that they would be considered better than batteries are crazy. In my opinion, the fact that it takes longer to fuel up for now is not a reason, it’s a temporary speed-bump.
    Since both fuel cell cars and EVs use electric motors, what options do we have:
    A) Pair them with a battery (and then charge them from whatever type of outlet you can)
    B) Pair them with a Fuel Cell and Hydrogen storage apparatus in the car, which is paired with a Hydrogen creation apparatus somewhere(which uses a portion of the power itself), and make sure that apparatus has a ready supply of both power and water.
    Seems obvious to me, you go with A. Hopefully they eventually realize that Fuel cells are a step worse than corn ethanol in the sense of competing with a food source, cause I gotta think competing with a water source(especially in places like California, with droughts, and in other dry places) is an order of magnitude more of a problem. Especially after you start ramping up and converting all those ICE vehicles.

    • Michael G

      EVs are at 0.8% of the US market, down a bit from a year ago. This refueling time “speed bump” may in fact be a deal breaker for many people – we won’t know until we get 200-mile range cars that satisfy the third of the population that has only one car.

      Look up Biohydrogen to see ways to generate H2 that don’t require electricity.

      Your objection has been addressed many, many times. There will be (already are) times when RE generates more energy than can be used. Currently it is just dumped into the ether. You can store it in batteries only up to a point. After that, you can use it to generate something like H2.

      • Bob_Wallace

        So people won’t enjoy not having to go to filling stations 50 times a year or so?

        • Michael G

          I don’t feel required to have my own milk cow and coffee tree to have coffee and cream. I also don’t feel the need to have my own power generator to run my car.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Drunk posting?

      • Joe Viocoe

        The speed bump is really due to low gasoline prices. Which H2 is NOT a benefit, since it currently at $14/kg

        • Michael G

          And 200 mile EVs cost $90K+ right now. That will decrease, and so will the cost of H2.

          • Joe Viocoe

            Wow.. no honesty at all if you’re talking about a taxed/optioned Tesla, just to get the highest price for 200 miles.

          • Michael G

            What other 200 mile EVs are currently available?

          • Joe Viocoe

            First,… the Tesla is $70k…. So the fact that you know this, yet felt it was necessary to lie…. means you aren’t open to objective argument.

            Second, the 200 mile Nissan Leaf (or Chevy Bolt) coming soon, has almost as much availability as the Toyota Mirai. You couldn’t buy either right now if you wanted to… both automakers would politely tell you to wait.

          • Michael G

            I have been hearing “real soon now” for quite a looong while. Let’s see how accepted they are before declaring EVs are the future.

            $70K base or $90K avg., no real difference. Unaffordable is unaffordable.

          • Joe Viocoe

            Average selling price has nothing to do with it. It is a cop out. The car is available for cheaper.

            “Real soon now”… is what they are telling you about FCVs. And affordable Hydrogen.

            Will you eat crow when a 200 mile BEV is available to you before you are allowed to purchase a FCV? I suppose you would have to move to L.A. next to a H2 station to even be considered. Willing to do that?

          • Michael G

            $70K might as well be $7M for the avg. car buyer. Pointless distinction.

            I fully expect 200 mile EVs to be ready before an affordable FCV but they will be tiny and not sell enough to make any difference. Look up the top 10 or 20 selling vehicles in the US and tell me which ones will be replaced by the cute little EVs coming down the pike from Tesla, GM, etc. F-150? Silverado? CR-V? Camry?

          • Joe Viocoe

            So if $70k is unaffordable… so is $57k.
            At least with the $70k vehicle, you get a performance vehicle rivaling cars twice as expensive. Instead, a $57k that drives like a Prius.

          • Joe Viocoe

            I fully expect 200 mile EVs to be ready before an affordable FCV but they will be tiny and not sell enough to make any difference.

            A 200 mile EV will be ready and affordable before even ANY FCVs are available to you, and 99% of Americans.

            The 200 mile EV sales will be limited only by how fast they can produce them. Still limited, by way more than any FCV could hope.
            Making a difference happens with the small steps first. In 2025, when millions of EVs are on the road, they will look back and say the difference was made in 2015.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Michael, the Tesla 70D has an EPA mileage rating of 240 miles and sells for $75k.

            Try not to go overboard in your attempts to pour cold water on EVs.

            Now, give us the route to producing cheaper H2. In particular, clean H2.

          • Joe Viocoe

            And the Model S 70 (non-D) is $70k, and has a rating of 230 miles.

          • Michael G

            Nits. Who cares what the price of the Tesla is? It is so far out of the price range of the avg. buyer it might as well be a $Gazillion.

            I and many others have told you of many ways to get affordable FCVs and H2. I’m tired of telling you since you refuse to accept anything not out of Elon’s mouth so look it up yourself. Start with my other posts on this page and move on to the DoE’s web site.

          • Bob_Wallace

            ​Man, you really don’t want to give up the fuel cell dream, do you?​

          • Joe Viocoe

            Please… Tesla is selling ~50,000 vehicles per year now. So it is clearly affordable for many.

            I and many others have told you of many ways to get affordable FCVs and H2.

            Nothing realistic… just optimistic speculation.

  • Joe Viocoe

    “…the Energy Department is going with its gut. ”

    Instead of their brains.

    • sjc_1

      This money is peanuts, a dollar per year for each person who goes to Starbucks.

      • Michael G

        Or $0.10 = 1 thin dime = one tenth of a dollar a year for each person in the US.

      • Joe Viocoe

        I am tired of people just dividing the budget of every project that wastes money, by the whole population.
        They all add up, to a death by a thousand cuts.

        • Michael G

          I am tired of people citing any pittance spent on anything they don’t personally approve of as govt. stupidity.

          • Joe Viocoe

            If there were some group of citizens that were benefiting… I would not care if I personally approved of the spending. But as it stands… this is the bridge to nowhere, and benefits ONLY a painfully small minority of elites. We are talking tens of thousands of dollars per vehicle being produced, or hundreds of thousands of dollars per station being built.

            Instead of dividing $35 million across the 320 million people in the U.S…. this money is only benefiting hundreds of folks.

            A huge spending, spread out over hundreds of smaller projects is not a “pittance”. And nobody is gaining anything, other than a few green washed show pieces.

            It is not just a matter of governments spending big money… just that we Americans shouldn’t be lazy, and do the math about how much is being spent, and for what return.
            Failure to do this, means special interests lobbying government or money, can easily get away with huge sums of money… as long as it’s spread out.

          • Michael G

            Look above this message and I posted links to reports on the many, many $Billions that have gone to support EVs which now take a whopping 0.8% of the US market. EV sales are down from last year and yet you do not feel that is wasted govt. money?

          • Joe Viocoe

            Show me the collective “Billions” of public money for automotive battery cars alone… and I’ll show you more for Hydrogen/Fuel Cell cars.

          • Michael G

            I showed the billions in my reply to James Wimberly so now it’s your turn.

          • Joe Viocoe

            No, you include money “pledged” but never spent, tax incentives that were never collected, and other indirect subsidies that support adjacent industries.

            If that is your idea of crunching numbers, just say you don’t know how much has been spent.

          • Michael G

            I have provided afar more than you . Not hard since you’ve provided nothing.

          • Joe Viocoe

            I admit, I haven’t done the hard work of researching multiple federal budgets to determine what was actually spent… which would take days. But neither have you. You haven’t provided anything but misleading snippets of news of what was “pledged” at some point.

            No information, would be better than misleading information.

          • Bert

            I do feel the need to point out that EV sales this year are being hurt by the better models coming out next year such as the 2016 volt and the 117 mile leaf. Take a look at how the 2016 Volt is selling in the few places that it’s already available.

          • Joe Viocoe

            He’s looking a specific snapshot in time, to prove a preconceived notion that EVs are failing to grow.
            But this years lull, contributes to even better sales next year.

            Like a guy who is thinking he’s not going to get punched, because someone is winding back his fist. “look, I’m safe, because for this brief moment, the fist is going away from my face”.
            Oh, next year is gonna hurt.

          • Michael G

            I like the Volt and will probably buy one in a few years but the new ones have not yet reached their high sales point of a few years ago.

          • Bert

            The new one is not for sale everywhere yet.

  • Schumpeter

    Does anyone have information on hydrogen fuel costs at filling stations? I know it is more expensive, but hard to find data anywhere.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Toyota has stated that it will cost 17 cents a mile to fuel their Mirai. —
      insideevs.com/toyotas-bob-carter-next-big-thinghydrogen-fuel-cell-cars/
      One of the car mags did a test drive with the Mirai. They did a partial refill, the pressure in the filling station was not high enough to fill the tanks more than 50%. Based on the price they paid they calculated $60 for a 300 mile fillup. That’s 20 cents per mile. Can’t find the link.

      Here’s a Toyota dealer stating $50 to $60 for a 300 mile fill up

      http://www.longotoyota.com/mirai.htm

      Here’s a blog post claiming Car and Driver stated 25 cents a mile to fuel the Marai.

      http://www.fuelly.com/forums/f32/2016-toyota-mirai-hydrogen-car-18123.html

      This is from Car and Driver –

      “In two days, we stopped nine times at seven locations to draw hydrogen from four working pumps, never experiencing range anxiety. Over 400 miles we averaged 56 miles per kilogram of hydrogen, or 57 MPGe, costing us roughly $0.25 per mile—nearly four times the cost of driving a Toyota Camry hybrid. ”

      http://www.caranddriver.com/toyota/mirai

      • Schumpeter

        Thanks for the effort Bob, really appreciate it! Last but not least; is there any taxes involved in the distribution price? I want to compare it to (European) EV costs. In Europe often more than 50 % of the consumer electricity price is taxes.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I do not believe we have added the sort of taxes to hydrogen that we add to gasoline and diesel. I think it’s still being treated as “industrial”.
          I’m not aware of even a sales tax on H2. I find nothing about US taxes on H2.

    • Jenny Sommer

      I live next to the only Austrian H2 station here in Vienna. The price was 9€/kg when it opened in 2012 and 9.10€/kg when I checked the last time in 2014.

      • Bob_Wallace

        So a 5 kg fill up would cost about 45.5€. 15 euro cents per mile. 16.5 US cents.

        That’s basically Toyota’s 17 cents per mile number.

      • Bob_Wallace

        We need to remember that these prices are for hydrogen obtained by steam reforming methane. Clean hydrogen from electrolysis would cost more.

        • Schumpeter

          Thanks Bob! EV in Europe (without energy tax) drive around for about 2 Euro cents/km / 3 Dollar cents/mile. This assumes a wholesale electricity price of 4,5 cent/kWh. Wind onshore costs around 8 cents/kWh. Clean EV would in this case cost around 3 Euro cents/km / 5 Dollar cents / mile.

    • Joe Viocoe
    • Joe Viocoe

      It’s hard to find data because hydrogen suppliers are trying to obscure the costs through several means. Free hydrogen, baking the cost into the purchase/lease cost of the vehicle.
      And most reports try to omit showing the price per kilogram. Rather, show you projections of an optimistic future, when prices are very low.

    • sjc_1

      It takes less than one dollar of natural gas to make a kilogram of hydrogen, so prices could come down.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Hydrogen produced by steam reformation costs approximately three times the cost of natural gas per unit of energy produced. Then add in the cost of compression, transportation and storage.

        • sjc_1

          In other words you don’t know what it really costs.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I know what hydrogen is retailing for at the moment. In the neighborhood of $10/kg. That makes driving the Mirai about 17 cents per mile for fuel.
            That’s reformed methane, not clean hydrogen.

            What I was trying to get you to understand is that NG is only a fraction of the cost of hydrogen.

    • Michael G

      No one in the industry expects FC vehicles to be commercially viable for at least 10 years so what H2’s price now is totally irrelevant. The relevant question is what is a reasonable target price for eventual commercialization and that is about $2.60/kg.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biohydrogen#Algaeic_biohydrogen

      I mention the article on Biohydrogen because everyone here is apparently assuming it is either gas reformation (bad) or electrolysis (currently expensive). There are bacteria and algae which absorb CO2 and spit out H2 cleaning the air of GHGs while providing fuel. I believe Tina has covered these elsewhere along with other organic ways to make H2.

      Algae is already making jet fuel and bio-diesel but not competitively priced with the current unsustainably low gas prices in the US.

      I have been waiting for a decent affordable 200 mile EV for quite a while, and it looks like it is going to be an expensive car (even after large govt. subsidies – which I support) the size of a Honda Fit, if that big. This is not going to displace *any* of the top 20 sellers in the US car market.

      If we want to get rid of ICE’s we need to pursue all possibilities.

      • Joe Viocoe

        No one in the industry expects FC vehicles to be commercially viable for at least 10 years so what H2’s price now is totally irrelevant.What is the “reasonable price of gasoline”… And why does it never stay there?Future fuel prices are speculation based on optimism.The same optimism for biofuels gripped the U.S. for years. I know, I have been using biodiesel for a while.There are always promises of lower prices… but nobody can promise or even accurately predict it.

        t looks like it is going to be an expensive car (even after large govt. subsidies – which I support)

        And if you’re disappointed in high BEV prices… you should be equally disappointed in FCV prices.

        No one in the industry expects FC vehicles to be commercially viable for at least 10 years so what H2’s price now is totally irrelevant.

        • Michael G

          I’m not using the slow, slow pace of EV price drop to argue EVs are doomed to failure forever. You and others are making the current unready state of FCVs to argue that they will never be viable. That is illogical, and inconsistent.

          I don’t like the long wait, but the future is unknowable and we need to keep all avenues open.

          • Joe Viocoe

            Without knowing history, of course it would be a mistake to count out FCVs… but knowing their long history of stalling… it is the trend that seems to follow. The year of the FCV is consistently pushed back. And now that we have one for sale… it is so limited it might as well not even exist.

          • Michael G

            You could have said the same about solar panels for the many decades they were in development.

            And EVs have been in development since the 1830’s.

          • Joe Viocoe

            I haven’t followed solar panels like the EV movement, so I wouldn’t have said much.
            But really, solar panels don’t have an Infrastructure Chicken/Egg paradox… which has been my primary argument against FCVs from the start. So I doubt I could say the same thing for solar panels.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            But ten years ago, those fuel cells cost over million dollars.

          • Joe Viocoe

            No, no they didn’t.

            In an effort to make it seem like huge strides were being made… they retroactively calculated the price of each fuel cell built, to include all sunk costs of the R&D project. It is easy to inflate a budget when you only make 5 of something… just include the cost of all equipment and salaries for anyone involved.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            Not true, I remember a woman scientist at Cal Tech during Bush Administration talking about her fuel cell that could burn convention fuel. She was working on getting the price down to 5 million dollars.

            The price of hydrogen fuel cell has come down at least 10 fold. Still not good enough to compete with ICE.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That’s the cost of a research program. Not the cost to build the fuel cell.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            No, I image a lot more than that. These lab buildings are expensive and they have staff. She was on NPR.

          • Joe Viocoe

            So she builds one, and claims it costs tens of millions of dollars… if 10 were built using the same sunk costs… and just adding material and direct labor, it would cost 1/8 of the cost. Build 100… you see where I’m going.

            The fact is, people can lie by appropriation. And fuel cell advocates have been doing this for a while… just like GM Volt haters made ridiculous claims about the cost of each Volt.

          • Joe Viocoe

            No, very true.

            How many did she build? Only one, right? What were her expenses? She included the entire R&D budget, right?
            Either way, she didn’t build a Hydrogen fuel cell… because we’ve had cheaper ones in space applications for a while.

          • Frank

            FCV’s have physics problems, especially for cars where the size of the tank matters. Not insurmountable, but not efficient.

          • One-Of-A-Kind

            batteries have physics problems. To a certain vehicle size; added battery will only accommodate the size / weight demands of the extra battery itself, without actually adding range.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Capacities increase.

            More energy stored in the same space.

            Very few people actually need more range than the Teslas now have.

      • Brooks Bridges

        Even if you could produce hydrogen sustainably and cheaply there are still the problems of shipping and storing it. It’s a tiny molecule and achieving low leakage will be a real challenge. It’s a matter of minimizing leakage, not eliinating it.

        • Michael G

          Industrial H2 is a highly used commodity. Over 9 million tons of it a year are made, stored, and shipped in the US alone. It isn’t as if this is a new problem that has never been solved. It is simply a matter of getting the cost down. And there is the possibility of it being made at the point of delivery.

          Batteries are heavy and bulky in terms of energy density compared to H2 – or anything else. Replacing the bulky and heavy ICE and ancillary mechanisms in a kg-for-kg trade for short range and lighter vehicles makes it seem inconsequential for small passenger vehicles. Adding enough battery power for long range for heavy trucks and SUVs (not to mention long haul trucking, ships, etc.) is a challenge that no existing battery technology can solve.

          I’m not so much for H2 or FCs by themselves as for exploring all options until we get rid of the ICE for all uses, not just luxury cars. I don’t see batteries doing that now or in the future except for pretty small passenger vehicles. If they succeed in the future with the trucks and SUVs that dominate the US car market, great! But at the moment it is imprudent to cut off any avenue.

          • Brooks Bridges

            How many tons of H2 for millions of cars? A helluva lot more than 9 million. The connection between car and refueling nozzle has to be precision. The tanks must be specially designed for the very small molecule. And you need huge numbers of stations and they will never be as cheap as a recharging unit. And there will be accidents and they will be explosive and terrible publicity.

            You also are making arguments against batteries that are either out of date or will be an a couple of years. A company in China is already selling buses to cities in US with plenty of range. Cut out oil trains and put trucks on trains and you could solve the wasteful long distance trucking scenario. Obviously UPS and FedX could convert to battery powered trucks within a couple of years at today’s weight/cost and it keeps getting better. And taxis are an obvious EV no-brainer now or in a couple of years.

            But convince a man against his will and he’ll be of the same opinion still.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Hydrogen fans try to ignore the volume of hydrogen. It would take approximately 10x the space to store the energy contained in a gas station’s fuel tanks. It would take about 10x as many fuel tankers to deliver it from plant to station.

          • Joe Viocoe

            They like to focus on “gravimetric energy density”… and ignore the fact that any weight savings in the fuel, is lost because of the super low “volumetric energy density” which requires dense materials to keep it contained under such high pressure.
            THIS is why the Mirai is 4,100 lbs.

    • Bert

      Hydrogen
      $13.99/kg
      $70/tank (~5 kg/tank in the Mirai)
      $0.25/mile
      Cost equivalent of driving a 10mpg vehicle on the $2.50/gal gas that we have in some areas of the US.

      Fit the record:
      Electric
      Between $0.04/mile and $0.06/gallon
      Cost equivalent of driving a 42mpg to 62mpg car on the same $2.50/gal car.

  • Epicurus

    $35 million would fund how many fast chargers? At least 350.

    Funding losers is worse than trying to pick winners.

    • Michael G

      You are planning to run long-haul trucks, tanks, and aircraft carriers on batteries?

  • JamesWimberley

    What are the comparative levels of research support on fuel cells and batteries? If the former are getting pocket change as a long-shot insurance policy, fine. If the enthusiasm is crowding out good battery projects, not fine.

    As we’ve noted here before, hydrogen splitting is not necessarily tied to fuel cell vehicles. It is also the first step in a P2G pathway, IMHO far more credible.

    • Michael G

      This is so crazy. The US budget is roughly $3T and you’re deeply concerned about wasting $35M = 0.001% of the Federal budget.

      I do believe you “have the technology” to look this up yourself and get back to us (hint – Google) so I will simply point out that in addition to direct research which this article is about, there are tax incentives and subsidies for EVs.

      “…[Obama] pledged US$2.4 *billion* in federal grants to support the development of next-generation electric vehicles and batteries” from:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_incentives_for_plug-in_electric_vehicles

      -> $7.5B $1.3B <- from NV for Tesla's factory
      http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hy-musk-subsidies-20150531-story.html

      Glad to see you and many others are deeply concerned about this profligate spending by those "tax-and-spend" liberals in Washington. Saint Reagan would never allow this. President Trump will sure put a stop to it, you betcha'.

      • edward

        You said the magic word. ” Waste ” This is a direct intervention by the FED’s that is usually wastefull. Why not let the market decide what makes sense. If it makes sense to any company, they will spend research money, take a large deduction off their taxes and proceed with the R & D and develop it for the market. PS we are 18 trillion dollars in debt. I do not want my grandchildren to have to pay that bill.

        • Michael G

          So you are also opposed to any govt. subsidies for solar, battery powered vehicles, or wind generation?

          • Roger Lambert

            Finally – one other person here who understands why subsidies for green energy make sense. Welcome Michael G – you will find this a strange place – A Venn diagram with the overlap of tech geeks, renewable energy passionates, and die-hard Libertarian free-market acolytes.

          • Joe Viocoe

            It is a bit more nuanced than that….

            Many of us are indeed in favor of subsidies for green energy. But only careful application of those subsidies that guarantee results.

            Some subsidies could literally “waste” the money, without achieving any goals, or even give incentives to cheat the system… i.e. giving the money solely for effort, not results.

            Example:
            I am opposed to public subsidies for fueling infrastructure (whether for public chargers, or H2 stations)… because companies can just build half-assed stations in places that don’t make sense for the demand, skimp on maintenance, etc. Hundreds of stations, at $2million each… running the risk of never being used… is wasteful. The end goal is not to build stations… but to displace gasoline consumption and CO2 emissions. There is big risk that the stations get built, and nobody buys FCVs anyway.

            Meanwhile, a demand side subsidy, I support. Money that gets paid out ONLY when an End User takes possession of a Zero Emissions vehicle. Knowing that a driver will not be driving on gasoline, and instead drive on zero tailpipe emissions… makes the end goal successful.

        • Roger Lambert

          Don’t worry about your grandchildren, Edward. They will all be dead because Libertarian principles left their future to the vagaries of a economic-political corruptocracy.

    • green.future

      The DOE EERE’s vehicle technology program is the one which covers battery electric vehicles and is typically funded at about $300M. The EERE fuel cell and hydrogen program is funded at about $90M.

      http://energy (dot) gov/sites/prod/files/2014/04/f14/15Highlights%20%281%29.pdf

      See page 29 for budget highlights

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