Aug 20

Is the future hydrogen? Hyundai prepares for initial launch of ix35 FCEV this year

 

By Philippe Crowe

Last week in London, Hyundai showcased its latest-generation hydrogen fuel-cell technology which it aims to launch to select fleets this year, ramp toward volume production by 2015, and along the way the technology will find its way to the U.S.

The occasion was the “Investing in Future Transport” conference held at London’s City Hall and the news was given by Dr. Sae Hoon Kim, Hyundai’s principal fuel cell research engineer to an audience of policy makers, investors and industry representatives.

To these decision makers, he explained the company’s sustainable future mobility strategy and presented its zero-emission Hyundai ix35 (Tucson) fuel-cell electric vehicle.

Hyundai_ix35_HFCV
Kit Malthouse, deputy mayor of London and chairman of the London Hydrogen Partnership stands by the Hyundai ix35 hydrogen fuel cell car.
 

The ix35 FCEV is Hyundai’s third-generation fuel cell vehicle. The company says it presents a strong case for being a truly viable everyday car, retaining the safety, equipment, convenience and performance of the conventionally-powered ix35, yet producing zero exhaust emissions.

Equipped with a 100-kw fuel cell stack and two hydrogen storage tanks capable of operation down to -25 degrees Celsius, the ix35 FCEV can travel a total of 325 miles on a single refueling and reach a maximum speed of 100 mph.

Last year Hyundai Motor Group signed a memorandum of understanding with four Northern European countries to operate test fleets of FCEVs following tests already done in Korea and Copenhagen. Hyundai did not elaborate on how those went, but they obviously went OK.

In London last week it was said plans are to take it to the next step and commercialize the ix35 FCEV by the end of 2012 with an initial production run of 1,000 fuel cell vehicles. Hyundai will supply fuel cell vehicles to government and private fleets leading up to mass production, scheduled for 2015.

Among those who tested the hydrogen-powered car last week was Kit Malthouse, deputy mayor of London for Business and Enterprise and chairman of the London Hydrogen Partnership.

 

Posted September 2011, this outlines more pros and cons as Londoners look to a sustainable future.


From February 2012
 

“I am really glad that Hyundai is making such a commitment to hydrogen because I firmly believe that it is a vital part of the energy future of the globe, particularly where vehicles are concerned,” said Malthouse. “It solves all sorts of problems; oil dependency and emissions; but aside from everything else, you can’t stop the advance of technology and the fuel cell is the future of mobile power. Finding a company that has the courage to make such a commitment so early is fantastic.”

Also present at the conference was Dr. Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power, a company which – along with Hyundai – is involved in a project to ensure the UK is well positioned for the commercial roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. The program – UKH2Mobility – brings together three government departments and industrial participants from the utility, gas, infrastructure and global car manufacturing sectors to evaluate the potential for hydrogen as a fuel for Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles in the UK.

Hyundai did not talk about price, although it has taken steps to cut costs and says this can be viable. Also needed will be more refueling locations and the cars in first fleet applications will continue to have range focused around limited hydrogen stations.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 20th, 2012 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 61


  1. 1
    nasaman

    +23

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (6:27 am)

    “BIG PETROL” is recklessly & irresponsibly flexing its muscle throughout the industrialized world!!!…

    The ONE issue this topic/videos doesn’t resolve (or even discuss) is how hydrogen can be produced —RENEWABLY— then distributed to owners of H2 fuel-cell powered vehicles! And this is really the one issue that completely dwarfs every other challenge, including the cost of vehicular fuel cells!!!

    To the best of my knowledge, none of NASA’s most recent research —nor that of any other agency, government or private labs anywhere in the world— looks even remotely hopeful that this extremely fundamental problem can be solved. Big Petrol knows that, and is confident they’ll continue as the only real source of hydrogen. Extremely expensive, non-renewable hydrogen derived by the same mature processes being used now —steam reformation, electrolysis, etc, etc is very much under the thumb of Big Petrol …thus the global con game involving even car makers & governments continues!

    / http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/consumer/hydrogen/basics/production.htm


  2. 2
    xiaowei1

    +8

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    xiaowei1
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (6:37 am)

    If we can make hydrogen out of natural occurring chemical reactions from none rare earth materials with minimal energy input (i.e. Hydrogen energy > electricity to make it) , great.

    However, if we use electricity to make hydrogen providing less energy return, then the hydrogen is just a highly volatile storage battery. Perhaps I am missing something, but at 100kw per 325 miles, that’s not a very good conversion of energy density just yet.

    I really hope they can pull this off at an affordable price with minimal electrical input used to make the hydrogen – but I will believe it when I see it.


  3. 3
    Chris C

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Chris C
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (6:41 am)

    Once BEVs get to 300 miles per charge and are charged quickly along with cheaper batteries, I don’t see a need for small fuel cell vehicles. Why spend energy to create hydrogen just to change it back to electricity again to power the vehicle. Not to mention the infrastructure build out that would be needed. Maybe this could be a solution for tractor trailors or something, but with the momentum we have going with BEVs and EREVs I don’t see the sense. But I suppose all solutions are welcome at this point.


  4. 4
    Eco_Turbo

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco_Turbo
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (6:50 am)

    There should be a crash program to get large numbers of these vehicles in the Midwest US. The farmers could use the extra rainfall their tailpipes might produce.


  5. 5
    Loboc

    +11

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (7:23 am)

    I don’t see hydrogen consumer vehicles any time soon. Just the infrastructure problems will take decades to overcome. Not to recap the H2 source issues.

    Any alternative fuel must eventually compete with existing methodology.


  6. 6
    James McQuaid

    +11

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    James McQuaid
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (7:30 am)

    While it is great that companies are still researching and testing this technology (i.e. http://www.hydrogen2hawaii.com/), I have to agree with the sentiments others have expressed here.

    Those of us who have experienced the level of convenience afforded by plug in cars aren’t going to give that up. Using hydrogen or CNG as a primary fuel source (i.e. having to refuel at a gas station-type place) is unappealing.

    With respect to dual drive trains, CNG is certain to beat hydrogen in the race to supplant gasoline.

    Hydrogen may find a niche in the market in some corporate fleets, on Hawaii, etc., but CNG will become the fuel for large trucks.


  7. 7
    Koz

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Koz
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (8:10 am)

    The Volt replaces 70% of gasoline consumption TODAY!!! BEV replaces up to 100%TODAY!!! They do this much, much more efficiently. They do it much, much more affordable. They are only in the first generation or have just started gen 2. They are just hitting the market and are already improving even more.

    What makes the folks in England think hydrogen is a solution? They are barely buying Volts or Amperas as it is. If a 60 mile biofuel EREV or 40kw natural gas fuel cell EREV were being proposed, I would be interested to hear more.


  8. 8
    Nelson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Nelson
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (8:20 am)

    nasaman,

    I’ve lived in NJ all my life 40+ years. As long as I remember we have heated our homes and cooked with “Natural Gas” supplied by our utility company. In my youth, I always thought other parts of the country had the same gas delivery infrastructure as NJ. In some parts of rural NJ where the infrastructure does not exist homes have large exterior propane tanks that get refilled once a month. I would think hydrogen can be stored and delivered much like natural gas and propane.

    Making Hydrogen, unlike “fracking” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_fracturing , can be accomplished cleanly using – un-needed night time wind turbine energy. The more the wind blows the more hydrogen is created and stored for later use in fuel cells. It’s a no brainer.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671


  9. 9
    Roy_H

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Roy_H
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (8:30 am)

    Big Oil wants you to keep buying from them. They will loose out if BEVs become the norm. Their alternative is Hydrogen. This would be ok in my opinion if they funded everything, since they are going to get the profits BUT they want the governments to foot the massive bill for the distribution and conversion of gas stations to add Hydrogen pumps, as they have already convinced governments around the world to fund research into Hydrogen Fuel Cells.

    Now I know many are going to point out that the governments have been funding battery research too, but it has been for a much shorter time period and with much less money.

    Tesla has already got a 265 mile range car, and battery research is on-going and promising. Hopefully in a few years we will have low cost 300 mile range batteries for cars.

    Creating Hydrogen, storing, shipping, and using fuel cells to turn it into electricity will always be less efficient than using electricity directly, so ultimately the cost will always be higer. Just like Ethanol, with enough subsidies, there will be an introductory period where it will appear to be cheaper.

    BEVs will ultimately “win”, but a successfule FC program will put the date off for another 50 years or so and will cost the taxpayer many $Bs more than going straight to a BEV future.


  10. 10
    Roy_H

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Roy_H
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (8:36 am)

    Nelson: I would think hydrogen can be stored and delivered much like natural gas and propane.

    Hydrogen is much more difficult to store. It makes conventionsal containers and pipes brittle and porus. There are solutions, but as always this increasts costs.


  11. 11
    Roy_H

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Roy_H
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (8:40 am)

    Eco_Turbo:
    There should be a crash program to get large numbers of these vehicles in the Midwest US. The farmers could use the extra rainfall their tailpipes might produce.

    Ha, ha, there is so little that it wouldn’t make a difference!


  12. 12
    kdawg

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (8:59 am)

    Chris C,

    That’s what I was going to say. Let’s assume hydrogen & electricity are both free and available everywhere. When the energy density of the battery becomes larger than the hydrogen + hydrogen fuel cell, and when you can refuel just as quick, the fuel cell approach becomes obsolete. There may be a small window for hydrogen, but really why bother.

    (disclaimer: this is barring any major breakthroughs in HFC’s. If hydrogen truly was available everywhere, I’d prefer a HFC range extender vs. an ICE)


  13. 13
    Tim Hart

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tim Hart
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (9:01 am)

    It is hard to imagine that fuel cell technology will catch and surpass the simplicity and affordability of the plug in option. It could happen but I seriously doubt it.


  14. 14
    Tall Pete

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tall Pete
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (9:44 am)

    From the article : “Hyundai did not talk about price, although it has taken steps to cut costs and says this can be viable.”

    I’d really like to see under what circumstances it can be viable. Also, define viable : how many have to be manufactured and sold for the technology to pan out ? How much will it sell at that volume ?

    Too many problems are still to overcome : no hydrogen distribution infrastructure and no way to produce hydrogen cheap. Contrary to oil, you don’t extract hydrogen from hydrogen sands or by drilling a well.

    BEV and EREV (or EVER, whatever) are already possible at a price many can afford. As soon as the battery technology evolves, and it will, we will be able to bring them to masses and the charging infrastructure is already at home.

    So why we bother with Fuel Cells is beyond me.


  15. 15
    Texas

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Texas
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (9:48 am)

    It is not going to happen, not in any significant number. Yes, maybe for a few specialized applications but as time goes on, the hydrogen game is looking more and more like a total loser.

    It is just too expensive to generate, store, transport and use this energy storage system than it is for alternative technologies. Fuel cells are just too complex, rare resource dependent and will be very hard to maintain.

    Just remember, fuel cell production models are always 3-5 years out and many companies and governments are spending huge amounts of money to make this happen but in the end, it is very hard to push technology on markets, especially when other technologies are better, cheaper and more efficient.

    With that said, I think it is well worth the effort to research and develop any and all options. The shotgun approach is our best path forward.


  16. 16
    lousloot

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    lousloot
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (9:50 am)

    Why the hostility to Hydrogen?

    Hydrogen is easy to make-at-home.
    No infrastructure is needed, make it at the freeway-filling station. No need for local gas stations since everyone will be getting it in their garage.

    A Fuel Cell is a “battery” With the anode/cathode being pumped in. The lithium air battery IBM is developing is 1/2 a Fuel Cell.

    Every one of these will have an electric motor/generator — that should drive prices down nicely if/when? they catch on.

    I hope these have some battery to capture regenerative breaking — and will be rechargable.

    I LOVE it!


  17. 17
    statik

    +10

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    statik
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (9:52 am)

    hyd***n!

    *must* control *fist* of *death*


  18. 18
    ronr64

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ronr64
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (10:19 am)

    “Kit Malthouse, deputy mayor of London and chairman of the London Hydrogen Partnership” I don’t buy it. I think he is a bot controlled by big oil. What tipped me off was that antenna crudely disguised as a pirate earring sticking out of his head.


  19. 19
    nasaman

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (10:44 am)

    nelson #8 and lousloot #15: Don’t be deceived by Big Petrol/Oil; based on mature technologies…

    “Hydrogen produced by steam reformation costs approximately three times the cost of natural gas per unit of energy produced.* This means that if natural gas costs $6/million BTU, then hydrogen will be $18/million BTU. Also, producing hydrogen from electrolysis with electricity at 5 cents/kWh will cost $28/million BTU — slightly less than two times the cost of hydrogen from natural gas. Note that the cost of hydrogen production from electricity is a linear function of electricity costs, so electricity at 10 cents/kWh means that hydrogen will cost $56/million BTU.”

    /*95% of all hydrogen is produced by reformation. From the same reference link I posted in #1
    //And cost is only the first issue; distribution, storage & delivery to customers is a HUGE problem


  20. 20
    Mark Z

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mark Z
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (10:46 am)

    The key comment in the first video is that government must build the infrastructure for hydrogen.

    Private enterprise is funding CNG NOW.

    For the fastest adoption of alternative fuels for ICE cars, CNG is the natural choice since the cars can operate on both CNG or gasoline while the private companies install CNG tanks and pumps at more filling stations.

    “The drawbacks of hydrogen use are low energy content per unit volume, high tankage weights, very high storage vessel pressures, the storage, transportation and filling of gaseous or liquid hydrogen in vehicles, the large investment in infrastructure that would be required to fuel vehicles, and the inefficiency of production processes.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_vehicle


  21. 21
    unni

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    unni
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (11:18 am)

    Toyota is also going to have production hydrogen vehicles by 2015. Honda already have a line. I expect by 2015, things may change a little more. Nissan also have fuel cells getting ready. Ford and Benz works together.

    One thing i didn’t hear was where GM is now on this. the status of project drive way ( i cant even find a web page for that. The last time GM talked on fuel cells was in 2010.


  22. 22
    Tall Pete

    +6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tall Pete
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (11:37 am)

    Enough already with this nonsense. We already have an infrastructure to bring electricity everywhere, we just have to improve that a little and voilà.

    P.S. I posted earlier but it seems that it was lost somehow. It was pretty damn good post, if I do say so myself : -))


  23. 23
    Jeff Cobb

    +6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jeff Cobb
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (11:48 am)

    Tall Pete: P.S. I posted earlier but it seems that it was lost somehow.

    Found and cleared it. Not sure why it was filtered.

    This site does get a ton of spam attempts, so protocols are high. We also get attempts by hackers pretty often.

    Sorry if some of you get culled from time to time.


  24. 24
    CaptJackSparrow

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (11:49 am)

    I have already seen a few Toyota HFC SUV’s on the roads here in Sacratomato & Elk Grove.

    Seen a Hyundai HFC too.

    Looks like it’s a sloooooowww transition but it’s still better than sending $$$ to OPEC land!!!


  25. 25
    pjkPA

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    pjkPA
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (12:24 pm)

    I like the idea of home solar power generating Hydrogen with excess power generated … refuel from your own hydrogen. I think Honda is working on a home unit. GM also had/has a fleet of hydrogen CUVs … not sure the status of that effort.

    I do think Hydrogen is the future… and I’m sure there will be a lot of opposition from existing energy suppliers.


  26. 26
    Skotty

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Skotty
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (1:45 pm)

    I am not convinced that there is a sustainable supply of natural gas. As such, I don’t see natural gas being anything more than a temporary, less than ideal solution. Natural gas should be spared for home heating and cooking if possible.

    I’m not sold on Hydrogen fuel cells for personal transport either. From what I have seen, it is exceptionally expensive, and since you have to create the Hydrogen, I don’t ever see it being as efficient as using battery electric cars.

    However, I could see Hydrogen fuel cell technology eventually filling certain needs better than battery electric. As someone else mentioned, it may end up being good for use in heavy transport. I can envision most cars being BEVs while tractor trailors and buses use fuel cells.


  27. 27
    Jackson

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (2:28 pm)

    Is hydrogen the future?”

    Maybe the remote future; when:

    1) There are ubiquitous, clean, highly concentrated forms of energy (fusion reactors?) which can break down the water molecule directly using extremely high temperatures (and use the leftover heat to power turbines);

    2) When hydrocarbons become too expensive to break down for hydrogen, compared to alternative methods.

    I don’t look for practical hydrogen to come until sometime next century. Even at this, batteries will continue to develop and mature in the meantime; providing ever greater competition for any new energy storage system. Yes, hydrogen is not energy itself, but is an energy carrier; a fact that many of it’s proponents fail to realize.

    Those hoping to make hydrogen at home from solar or other means face a needless economic hurdle, in my opinion. Just use batteries. Re-graded, used EV batteries will be available much sooner than reasonably-priced hydrogen storage.

    The only possible exception I see to all this is aircraft, for which weight plays a major role in efficiency. Hydrogen is the lightest possible form of jet fuel; and this may somewhat mitigate it’s higher cost. It’s possible that coal could be reformed to make syngas from which hydrogen is extracted, while still providing enough heat to run turbines (another two-for-one proposition). This would perhaps allow the line representing costs to cross the line representing gains for reduced weight, at some point. If hydrogen ever makes it to the airport, the fuel cell will find it’s way into airport service vehicles, stand-by power, aircraft onboard power, perhaps even taxis and local delivery vans.

    Frankly, I’m not holding my breath.


  28. 28
    koz

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    koz
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (2:52 pm)

    Even if the hydrogen came free from excess wind, solar, and nightime nuclear it still doesn’t make sense. Look at the details:

    -What psi does the hydrogen need to be stored at to supply 250 miles of range in a consumer vehicle form factor?

    -What is the energy involved in obtaining this necessary compression?

    -What is the cost of the high psi vehicle storage tank?

    -What is the cost of the fuel cell?

    -When can fuel be readily available enough for the general population to be able to utlilize a fuel cell vehicle more practically than a BEV?

    Is there any hope of overcoming these obstacles to the point where it is more viable than BEV and EREV? From the numbers I have seen it isn’t even close even if you ignore the “elephant” of where is the hydrogen going to come from. If someone has differing information, please provide it.


  29. 29
    Jackson

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (2:53 pm)

    The greatest reason to oppose hydrogen on this site is GM’s persistent and expensive quest to develop fuel cells for automobiles. It was very hard for Bob Lutz to obtain permission for the Volt project in the first place; most likely from the H2 zealots there (for whom “hydrogen” is always “ten years away”). There has been a tangible enmity between the two camps since the Volt was greenlighted. Back in the Dennis Days, there was an online chat with a GM executive who worked on the fuel cell project: He was asked if they would ever be used in an EREV. The answer was a flat and unambiguous “no.” If GM ever feels that hydrogen cars are a “go,” Voltec could disappear overnight.

    If GM ever comes to feel that hydrogen cars are practical in the 21st century, it is doomed. The numbers just don’t add up, and won’t for quite some time. It’s hard to let all those millions and decades of research go, so the temptation to “cash in” will always be there.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.


  30. 30
    Bonaire

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Bonaire
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (3:00 pm)

    No, H2 FCs are not the future of transportation. A gaseous battery will never do better than a future-design of a physical substrate battery. I think plasma-drive engines probably have a more viable future than H2.

    Even CNG futures are limited. 100 maybe 200 years maximum. If “we” includes our great-great…grandchildren – then we have a problem where Oil, CNG and easy transportation will cease to exist. The only answer to sustainability of humanity on this planet in this millenia is growth of sustainable renewable energy sources. And either a mass concious effort to maintain 1 child per couple – or the other inevitables of mass-starvation, wars, both, etc.


  31. 31
    Streetlight

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Streetlight
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (3:05 pm)

    nasaman,

    Fuel Cells (FC) make sense with certain kinds of fleets and in-door portable power, fork lifts, cranes and so forth. Other immediate markets are container ship shore power, grid back up and like specialty apps. For home to work, VOLT sets the gold standard for EV transition. And just look at the formidable market resistance VOLT’s overcoming.

    Hydrogen debates aside, the book on FC’s has been–and still is–durability. Its been some time since we last heard from GM, who with Ballard (Canada) are the only real credible
    claims. Not that I don’t believe Hyundai — but GM passed this point 2008-2009. (325+ miles per tank(s).)

    However, we will be seeing an EV alternative to batteries.


  32. 32
    MrEnergyCzar

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MrEnergyCzar
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (3:21 pm)

    Making hydrogen is very simply a net-energy loser…. the energy used to crack the hydrogen from water would be better off being directly inputted into the vehicle i.e. nat gas or the electricity….
    Don’t the car companies know this?

    MrEnergyCzar


  33. 33
    kdawg

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (5:16 pm)

    Jackson: The only possible exception I see to all this is aircraft, for which weight plays a major role in efficiency.

    Hydrogen has already been used in aircraft. And that didn’t work out so well :)

    The+burning+wreckage+of+the+Hindenburg+(LZ+129).jpeg[img


  34. 34
    Noel Park

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (5:43 pm)

    unni: The last time GM talked on fuel cells was in 2010.

    #21

    Because they finally realized that they were going down a blind alley IMHO. I agree that it isn’t going to happen any time soon, if ever. More EREVs please!


  35. 35
    koz

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    koz
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (5:44 pm)

    Perhaps they should be researching making a bigger more stable hydrogen atom that liquifies at relatively low pressures and still carries enough energy.


  36. 36
    Jackson

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (5:58 pm)

    koz:
    Perhaps they should be researching making a bigger more stable hydrogen atom that liquifies at relatively low pressures and still carries enough energy.

    Check out the power bill for the Large Hadron Collider: Making customized matter is the ultimate net-energy loser. ;-)

    If you’re talking molecules, it’s hard to beat methane; which has one carbon atom to hold four hydrogen atoms together (and it’s already around). There are even fuel cells that run on methane, but this isn’t being widely considered for cars … for some reason …

    kdawg,

    Ha, ha.

    BTW, did you know that over half those on the Hindenburg survived? Did you know that of the fatalities, most leaped to their deaths? The burning hydrogen mostly escaped upwards; leaving the metal-particle-infused skin to make the bright, scary fire (hydrogen burns invisibly).

    A plane carrying liquid hydrogen as jet fuel would likely have spherical tanks inside the fuselage, where it would be better protected than kerosene carried in the wings (maybe ;-) ). In a crash, I’m guessing more passengers would be flash frozen by the cryogenic liquid than burned to death by exploding hydrogen gas.

    … either way, it would be better to take the bus … wait, will they be hydrogen powered???


  37. 37
    unni

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    unni
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (6:03 pm)

    Noel Park: #21

    Because they finally realized that they were going down a blind alley IMHO. I agree that it isn’t going to happen any time soon, if ever. More EREVs please!

    A fuel cell car is an electric car where the battery is being replaced with a fuel cell. Only difference is instead of grid, you are using hydrogen to create electricity.

    There are multiple models possible for fuel cells to complement also.
    ex:
    Quick charge stations for BEVs powered by fuel cells.
    Battery shaped fuel cells with storage so that for long trip, some one can swap the battery with this one.

    The good part will be on electric shortage times ( ex: grid failures, earth quakes etc ) a liquid/gas model of fuel will help easy fill up.

    Cars are now going through the stage of TVs some years back ( from Tube to LCD,Plasma,LED, OLED etc) . The problem with new technologies are there are a lot and all comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.


  38. 38
    smithjim1961

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    smithjim1961
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (6:05 pm)

    Virtually all commercially available hydrogen comes from the reforming of natural gas. CO2 is released to the atmosphere during this process but that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is the main component of natural gas. Initially, methane has about 75 times the warming effect as CO2 but methane breaks down in the atmosphere over time. When the breakdown of methane is taken into account, methane has about 25 times the warming effect as CO2. If the methane leakage rate is between 2% and 3%, natural gas has the same warming effect as burning coal. Some experts believe the leakage rate is 4% or higher but nobody knows for sure because the natural gas industry is suing the EPA to keep leakage data from being made public.

    http://www.npr.org/2012/05/17/151545578/frackings-methane-trail-a-detective-story

    http://americanenergycoalition.com/2012-news/emissions-from-natural-gas-drilling-may-be-underestimated


  39. 39
    Gary

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Gary
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (6:25 pm)

    koz,

    Larger, more stable hydrogen particle? You are you referring to gasoline (ie hydrocarbons)?


  40. 40
    Dave Phoenix

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave Phoenix
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (6:36 pm)

    Chris C,

    While I like EV’s. I certainly do not see current EV progress as a reason to give up on hydrogen.

    I have concerns about us ever being able to have the 300 mile range with fast charging at the same times.

    For today’s small EV’s, it takes 75 KWH to go 300 miles. Even with the fastest of public charging systems, it is a tall order to charge 75 KWH in a short amount of time. For residential systems, it is near impossible. For larger vehicles it may take 100-200 KWH to travel 300 miles. For buses and semitrailers, it is not even worth counting how much power they will need.

    I guess my point is that EV’s, will be able to perform many functions, an all electric world is not realistic. There will always be a need for some vehicles that contain some type of liquid fuel that can be refueled in about 5 minutes. Hydrogen still remains a viable option to become that liquid fuel some time in the future.

    Are there still challenges? Sure… But we have seen more progress with hydrogen in the past 5 years than in the previous 25 years. We are definitely getting closer. Solutions are being developed to overcome the road blocks, including rare earth material cost, hydrogen production issues, etc etc…

    Most auto makers are making long term strategic plans for HFCV’s around 2020 or so. I see no reason to abandon those efforts. I think that target is still reachable.

    No. I see no reason to give up on hydrogen…. No reason at all.


  41. 41
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (6:51 pm)

    Dave Phoenix:
    Chris C,

    While I like EV’s. I certainly do not see current EV progress as a reason to give up on hydrogen.

    I have concerns about us ever being able to have the 300 mile range with fast charging at the same times.

    For today’s small EV’s, it takes 75 KWH to go 300 miles. Even with the fastest of public charging systems, it is a tall order to charge 75 KWH in a short amount of time. For residential systems, it is near impossible. For larger vehicles it may take 100-200 KWH to travel 300 miles. For buses and semitrailers, it is not even worth counting how much power they will need.

    I guess my point is that EV’s, will be able to perform many functions, an all electric world is not realistic. There will always be a need for some vehicles that contain some type of liquid fuel that can be refueled in about 5 minutes. Hydrogen still remains a viable option to become that liquid fuel some time in the future.

    Are there still challenges? Sure… But we have seen more progress with hydrogen in the past 5 years than in the previous 25 years. We are definitely getting closer. Solutions are being developed to overcome the road blocks, including rare earth material cost, hydrogen production issues, etc etc…

    Most auto makers are making long term strategic plans for HFCV’s around 2020 or so. I see no reason to abandon those efforts. I think that target is still reachable.

    No. I see no reason to give up on hydrogen…. No reason at all.

    Did you used to post here as “Michael Robinson?”

    There are proponents for every new technology, and I understand that. If it were practical, I might even think that hydrogen power was a pretty cool idea. If it were practical (awesomely big “If” in my opinion).

    If all the cost and safety problems could be solved by 2020, there is still the issue of developing the necessary infrastructure. The only way to introduce a new hydrogen powered car under those conditions would be as a neither-fish-nor-fowl approach like current-day EREV (fuel cell plus large battery) to make the most of what infrastructure already exists. GM has said that it isn’t interested in developing such a car. Perhaps by 2020 (with no other possibility for introduction of it’s fuel cells) they’ll change their minds. Or, maybe it will be Hyundai instead.

    Frankly, I think you are being overly optimistic. I haven’t given up on hydrogen BTW, just on it’s becoming a practical reality during my lifetime. I’ve already had to wait 40 years for an ordinary EV …


  42. 42
    Roy_H

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Roy_H
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (6:54 pm)

    MrEnergyCzar:
    Making hydrogen is very simply a net-energy loser…
    Don’t the car companies know this?

    MrEnergyCzar

    Of course they know. Researching HFCs for auto companies is profitable. The government pays so much that they don’t care if it is efficient, or enen if it succeeds.

    To be fair, an energy system does not have to be most efficient to become popular and successful if it has other redeeming properties like convenience. A lot of people are already convinced that hydrogen is the future of transport, so there is a ready and waiting market.


  43. 43
    Jeff

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jeff
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (6:55 pm)

    xiaowei1:
    Perhaps I am missing something, but at 100kw per 325 miles, that’s not a very good conversion of energy density just yet.

    Yes, perhaps you are.

    100kw is the POWER rating of the fuel cell. Note that they said “kw” and not “kwh”. “100kw per 325 miles” has no practical meaning. I’m also scratching my head over what a “conversion of energy density” means. You could use a calcukator to convert from kwh/lb to MJ/kg, I suppose, but that won’t make any automobile more efficient.

    And even if you meant “100kwh per 325 miles”, that actually IS pretty efficient, as it comes out to 308 wh/mile — better than the Volt’s 350wh/mile.


  44. 44
    Raymondjram

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Raymondjram
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (7:35 pm)

    Eco_Turbo:
    There should be a crash program to get large numbers of these vehicles in the Midwest US. The farmers could use the extra rainfall their tailpipes might produce.

    You don’t need the FCEVs to get “rain” from water vapor. Just burn the hydrogen gas directly in a barbecue or gas stovetop instead of propane or CNG. The food will cook cleaner!

    Kidding aside, we need a fuel cell that works with room-temperature gases, with no super-cold storage needed. This why a gasoline fuel cell is a first step as a range extender substitute for the ICE, because gasoline is common and it isn’t burned in the fuel cell. Hydrogen is too expensive to generate and dangerous to handle. Even the 2008 Fuel Cell Equinox has its special procedure for fill-ups (I have the Owners Manual).

    Maybe a ethanol fuel cell could be the next step.

    Raymond


  45. 45
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (8:53 pm)

    Raymondjram: Maybe a ethanol fuel cell could be the next step.

    The only potential problem with hydrocarbon fuel cells is the tendency towards “coking” (the carbon builds up in the cell stack). Ideally you should release the carbon as CO2, but inevitably, some of the molecules don’t “get the message.” You either use a separate “reformer” (perhaps allowing it to ‘coke up’ instead of the cells), or you greatly increase the operating temperature (or perhaps you use more expensive catalysts). Perhaps even now, some lab is testing a solution to all this; but who knows? This is one reason why I like methane; only one carbon per molecule to fool with, and it liquifies at relatively low temperatures (or perhaps a pressurized-gas tank would be sufficient for an automobile).


  46. 46
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 20th, 2012 (9:28 pm)

    Jackson: and it liquifies at relatively low temperatures

    relatively high temperatures, duh :-P


  47. 47
    omnimoeish

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    omnimoeish
     Says

     

    Aug 21st, 2012 (1:14 am)

    This article sums up the hydrogen hoax pretty well. http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-hydrogen-hoax

    tl;dr – Without government subsidies hydrogen costs twice as much as gasoline and the infrastructure that it would require (much more involved than oil which can be stored and shipped in relatively normal pipes) would cost trillions and be much less efficient than direct to your outlet over the power lines.


  48. 48
    Dave Phoenix

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave Phoenix
     Says

     

    Aug 21st, 2012 (1:26 am)

    Jackson,

    Chris,

    I have no idea who you are asking about. I’m actually a Volt owner. I own a Volt and not a pure EV because I’m aware of the limitations that still face us with EV’s.

    Like you I’ve been watching hydrogen making empty promises for 40 years. Unlike you, in seeing some of the progress the past 5 years, I do think we will see hydrogen in our lifetime.

    I don’t feel a hydrogen infrastructure will be as big an issue as some think, mainly because their are options to make hydrogen on site rather than transport it…

    I’m not saying we will see hydrogen taking over the whole market by 2020, but I think it is realistic to think it is possible that hydrogen will have the same market penetration that EV’s have today.

    The 2000′s was the decade that hybrids began to grow. The 2010′s will be the decade for EV’s to grow. The 2020′s will be the decade for hydrogen to grow.

    Better late than never…..


  49. 49
    xiaowei1

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    xiaowei1
     Says

     

    Aug 21st, 2012 (3:36 am)

    Jeff,

    HI Jeff,

    For energy density, I was thinking of petrol when making a comparison.

    The model S however at the top end has a 85kw battery and goes about 265miles = 3.11miles per Kw. In the hydrogen corner we have 100kw to travel 325miles, that equals 3.25miles per Kw. However, if you consider a lot of energy is wasted to create hydrogen (correct me if I am wrong, but I thought it was about 50%), then you really are wasting a lot of electricity. Surely this must be factored in. I realise some energy will be lost in transferring to batteries, but hydrogen will suffer the same fate if its converted back to electricity to be put in to a battery which inturn will power an electric motor. Admittedly you can probably store more for the same volume of space taken up, but your expenses will be twice that of plugging in a battery – and we have yet to discuss infrastructure and on-going delivery of hydrogen/storage.

    So that is what I thought was meant by 100kw per 325miles. What am I missing?


  50. 50
    Koz

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Koz
     Says

     

    Aug 21st, 2012 (4:21 am)

    Jackson: Check out the power bill for the Large Hadron Collider: Making customized matter is the ultimate net-energy loser.

    If you’re talking molecules, it’s hard to beat methane; which has one carbon atom to hold four hydrogen atoms together (and it’s already around).There are even fuel cells that run on methane, but this isn’t being widely considered for cars … for some reason …

    I was being fascetious to try to point out the fundamental flaws with H2 as a fuel source for light duty vehicular transportation.


  51. 51
    Darius

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Darius
     Says

     

    Aug 21st, 2012 (5:50 am)

    NASSAMAN explained very clearly that there is no point from energy efficiency point of view of hydrogen usage for transportation. When producing hydrogen from electrolysis you have at least 50% ENERGY losses and then you have to compress transport and distribute this hydrogen stuff. Fuel cell efficiency is not more than 50%. Finaly you get 20% electricity to wheels efficiciency in comparison with BEV efficiency. All FC automobile development paradigm “HOW TO WAIST MORE ENERGY”.

    FC based on natural gas has very good market niche as backup power source for short operation periods (hospitals and etc). And I see FC potential being natural gas transformer directly into electricity. But in that case cost and durability shall be increased.


  52. 52
    jeffhre

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Aug 21st, 2012 (12:05 pm)

    nasaman: BIG PETROL” is recklessly & irresponsibly flexing its muscle throughout the industrialized world!!!…
    The ONE issue this topic/videos doesn’t resolve (or even discuss) is how hydrogen can be produced —RENEWABLY— then distributed to owners of H2 fuel-cell powered vehicles! And this is really the one issue that completely dwarfs every other challenge, including the cost of vehicular fuel cells!!!

    Yes that is a problem. A big problem. Yet, I don’t believe that problem dwarfs the fact that running on hydrogen generated electricity is three times more expensive than on electricity from a plug. Another big problemIMO.


  53. 53
    jeffhre

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Aug 21st, 2012 (12:10 pm)

    Dave Phoenix: The 2000′s was the decade that hybrids began to grow. The 2010′s will be the decade for EV’s to grow. The 2020′s will be the decade for hydrogen to grow.

    It looks like 2015 is actually the year they start to grow. Before that it was 2005. Before that it was 1995. Before that its was 1985. Before that it was…


  54. 54
    lousloot

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    lousloot
     Says

     

    Aug 21st, 2012 (12:47 pm)

    hmm, i will defer to nasaman — since rockets are the main use of hydrogen…

    Confused — if hydrogen is expensive to make, why the push for it? conspiracy??

    that and I cringe from a possible fist-of-death


  55. 55
    lousloot

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    lousloot
     Says

     

    Aug 21st, 2012 (1:15 pm)

    cracking water to get hydrogen seems expensive. Oxygen is a nasty grabby atom. Surely other things are easier — oh, hydrocarbons burn nice in current ICEs… but what about… PEOPLE!

    Make hydrogen from people!


  56. 56
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 21st, 2012 (2:07 pm)

    Koz,

    I kind of figured, but I thought it a good opportunity to throw methane in there as a feedstock for fuel cells. It actually has a lot in common with hydrogen, but with few of the drawbacks. Most hydrogen is made from methane, after all. I made this clearer in comment #45, 46.

    Sorry if I seemed insulting, that wasn’t really my intention.

    lousloot,

    Guys, try using smileys ( ;-) , :-) ) for those of us who are a bit slow. :-P

    “Green H2 is people! Green H2 is people!” — obscure?


  57. 57
    Jackson

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 21st, 2012 (2:16 pm)

    lousloot: if hydrogen is expensive to make, why the push for it? conspiracy??

    Um, yes.


  58. 58
    Dave

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave
     Says

     

    Aug 24th, 2012 (10:04 am)

    nasaman,

    In the near term, hydrogen will be produced from reformed natural gas, coal gasification, and possibly gasification of bio waste.

    In the long term, hydrogen will be produced by steam electrolysis or the SI process driven by nuclear heat.

    There is the possibility of thermolysis using concentrated solar or bio processes. But I seriously doubt they will compete with the economics of nextgen nuclear produced hydrgen.


  59. 59
    Dave

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave
     Says

     

    Aug 24th, 2012 (10:09 am)

    jeffhre: It looks like 2015 is actually the year they start to grow. Before that it was 2005. Before that it was 1995. Before that its was 1985. Before that it was…

    Feel free to peruse the history of hydrogen vehicles and show us the ’85 and ’95 vehicles that major automakers (not crackpots like Jack Nicholson and pals) were going to sell.

    http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/hydrogencars1807-1986.htm

    http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/hydrogencars1990-1998.htm

    Even in ’95, fuel cell vehicle research was in its infancy and the OEMS were looking at methanol as well as hydrogen.


  60. 60
    Dave

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave
     Says

     

    Aug 24th, 2012 (10:11 am)

    xiaowei1: So that is what I thought was meant by 100kw per 325miles. What am I missing?

    Youre missing the fact that lots of energy is wasted to produce electricity.


  61. 61
    Dave

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave
     Says

     

    Aug 24th, 2012 (10:18 am)

    Hydrogen is produced quite inexpensively for use in fertilizer (ammonia) production and in petroleum refining.

    I repeat – Production is cheap! Transportation (liquefaction and trucking) is expensive.

    For that reason, hydrogen must be produced on site or piped to the site.

    http://www.praxair.com/praxair.nsf/7a1106cc7ce1c54e85256a9c005accd7/6ab6d5e94b785c508525656300433215!OpenDocument

    http://www.hygear.nl/hydrogen-and-gas-processing/on-site-hydrogen-generators.html