Hyundai Makes Push Towards Fuel Cell Trucking

Hyundai has begun shipping fuel-cell based heavy duty trucks to face off against battery-electric trucks in the commercial hauling market.

Battery electric vehicles, more commonly known as electric cars, have finally begun to take on the world in real numbers. However, they’re not the only game in town when it comes to green transportation. Fuel cells that use tanks of hydrogen to generate electricity with H2O as the main byproduct have long promised to take the pollution out of getting around, without the frustrating charge times. Thus far though, they’ve failed to make a major impact. Hyundai still think there’s value in the idea, however, and have developed their XCIENT Fuel Cell truck to further the cause.

400 km on 32 kg of Hydrogen

Not just a one-off prototype, Hyundai is already shipping the vehicles in bulk lots to lease customers.

Hyundai has invested significant resources into the project, with the first 10 fuel cell trucks already shipped to Switzerland for use by commercial haulage firms, with plans for another 40 trucks to join in the field tests by the end of this year. The aim is to have 1600 trucks in service by 2025, meaning that there’s scope for production on the order of hundreds of units a year. This remains a drop in the ocean compared to global sales of millions per year for trucks in this class, but nevertheless shows a strong commitment to developing the technology.

With a range of 400 km on 32.1 kg of hydrogen, the trucks should have more than enough range between stops to do some serious work. While they’re unlikely to compete with diesel big rigs in the near term, short refueling times overcome one of the showstoppers present with all-electric vehicles. Hyundai’s next goal is to reach 1,000 km between refueling stops, which should come close to the average trucker’s shift length. The trucks use dual fuel cells capable of putting out 95 kW each for a total power of 190 kW. While this isn’t a huge number, the more important thing for such vehicles is torque. With the instant-on twist offered by electric motors, the Hyundai prime movers should hold their own against their classic diesel counterparts in this regard.

The Nexo is a modern SUV packing the latest in fuel cell technology. You may find it hard to buy one, however, unless you’re in an area with the right infrastructure.

The company is no stranger to fuel cell technology, however. Like Toyota, they have had a presence in the marketplace for several years. The first major milestone for the Hyundai was the development of the Santa Fe FCEV, way back in 2001. Since then, they’ve forged ahead with new models in select markets around the world. The Nexo is the latest offering, with a 570 km driving range from 5.6kg of hydrogen. Despite being production ready, it’s not yet on open sale across the world. Limited infrastructure means owners in the US will have to relocate to California for the privilege.

Viability of Alternative Fuel Trucks

Cities around the world are pushing to eliminate fossil fuel vehicles, for the sake of both global climate and local pollution. While battery electric vehicles have traditionally been presented as the solution to this problem, their long recharge times and expense continue to draw detractors. While infrastructure is being built out around the world to support them, there remain significant edge cases that hamper take up for many.

Fuel cell vehicles have attractive qualities that circumvent some of the hangups people have about their battery-reliant cousins. Unlike a battery that can take, at best, tens of minutes to get a meaningful charge, fuel cell vehicles can replenish their hydrogen tanks in a similar time to that of conventional fossil fuel vehicles. In the ideal hydrogen-powered world, there’s also no need to have your own charger at home — simply drive to the hydrogen station and top up! Additionally, they maintain positive qualities like having no carbon dioxide output, not to mention other harmful pollutants like oxides of nitrogen and particulates. This is key for dense city centers that need frequent delivery of goods while maintaining strict emissions standards.

There remain two major bugbears of fuel cell technology. The first is infrastructure. As it stands, there are only a scattered handful of hydrogen refilling stations around the world. Despite fuel cell vehicles being on the market since 2014, only a few locations in the world actually have the necessary installations to make them usable. With a smaller installed base than their electric counterparts, this doesn’t look likely to change any time soon. The other is hydrogen production. Steam reforming techniques are cheap, but involve hydrocarbons that make the process dirty from an emissions standpoint, somewhat eliminating the gains of what is supposed to be clean transportation. Alternatively, electrolysis of water is a way to produce hydrogen that’s as clean as the electricity generation used to power the reaction. However, this is more expensive, and less efficient than simply using the electricity directly to charge a battery-powered vehicle.

Battery-electric vehicles like the Tesla Semi will be the primary competitors of Hyundai’s fuel cell trucks.

The heavy haulage application of Hyundai’s trucks is a great opportunity for fuel cell technology, however. The problem of infrastructure is lessened for vehicles used in a commercial fleet. As they regularly operate out of depots, a small number of filling stations can be installed in a freight network at a more affordable cost, versus having to install hydrogen stations everywhere for the commuter population. Additionally, it’s possible for the companies involved to ensure that their hydrogen is sourced from clean processes in order to maintain the climate benefits of the project. It’s also a promising way for heavy vehicles to continue their work in and around cities that have banned more polluting vehicles. Battery-electric trucks are competing hard for this market, but for companies that wish to do away with the hassle of slow charge times, fuel cells will offer a compelling alternative.

The chances of fuel cells beating out battery electric vehicles in the commuter market seems slim, with offerings from the likes of Tesla, Nissan, and other automakers outselling their hydrogen rivals thousands of times over. However, the battle for clean trucking is only just beginning. With a viable solution to the recharging problem, and the possibility of building out hydrogen infrastructure along major freight roadways, there’s a good likelihood that the trucks hauling your next online order could very well be powered by fuel cells!

102 thoughts on “Hyundai Makes Push Towards Fuel Cell Trucking

  1. Hydrogen fuel cells sounds remarkable until one faces reality.

    Producing hydrogen is remarkably inefficient. (the best process currently used doesn’t even touch 60% efficiency…)

    And fuel cells, well, they aren’t any more efficient. (it is honestly a debatable topic if the hydrogen would have been more efficiently used in an internal combustion engine at current than in a fuel cell… Though, peak theoretical efficiency of a fuel cell is around 83%, but that isn’t what you get in current gen fuel cells, especially in practice…)

    So what is the appeal of this technology?

    Generally the hope that we might some day in the far flung future make it dramatically more efficient to start competing with batteries that has a charge/discharge loss of only about 10-30%.

    Downside with batteries is their relatively high cost and weight, but their efficiency blows fuel cells out of the water.

    Hydrogen though comes back with low self discharge unless you have a gass leak. (But self discharge of batteries is fairly non existent if you use the stored energy a day or two later… Storing the energy for months or years is a different story, but you don’t really have that charge/use pattern for a car/truck…)

    How “hydrogen fueled” vehicles are even considered “environmentally friendly” is frankly beyond me.

    And at the rate that super capacitors are improving, we might see them have a larger impact on electric cars/vehicles in general as well.

    (BTW, I am Not saying that Fuel cells are a dead end that we shouldn’t explore. They do have their usage areas where they make a lot of sense, and long term energy storage for power grids would be one such place. (though, flow batteries are kinda taking that area with storm at the moment… And to be honest, flow batteries are likely going to conquer electric vehicles in general in the future.))

    1. Why does everybody who talk about battery efficiency just silently forget that any rechargeable battery have very limited cycle count? Rechargeable battery is absolutely awful for EV. Nobody with sane mind will buy a car that need a “fuel tank” replacement (not even a repair with some cheap replacement parts) every few years for the half price of vehicle just to keep the “fuel tank” “volume” to specs. That’s without talk about low temperature degradation and impossibility to use full battery capacity draining it to zero even in emergency situations.

      Fuel cells are not a winner too. They also have cycle limitations and sensible to temperature and the quality of both fuel and oxygen source. Fuel cell couldn’t be repaired cheap too.

      EV is nice, but all current power source solutions are completely absurd. Even diesel-generator assembly looks much better in the terms of reliability and repairability.

      1. We run a fleet of over 250 electric buses of several types. The types I work with (VDL Citea LLE 9.9m and BYDK7u (9m)) are meant to last 10-12 years with one battery replacement. They charge on average (over the entire fleet) 3.2 times per day, meaning 7884 charges over one battery life, after which the battery will have lost 15% of it’s usable capacity. However, with the batteries now 2 years old and buses running more km and charge cycles than contracted, we see that the battery capacity reduction is less than predicted.

        Oh, and we also have buses that fast charge (250kW charge, a full top-up in 19 minutes, and up to 30 fast charges between “balancing charges”). These buses are used on average 19 hrs/day and also outperform expectations.

        1. 8,000 cycles on anything but lithium-titanium says you were sold a bunch of horses### and it’s just a matter of time when reality hits the fan.

          But even if it is a titanate cell, the wear-out of the battery is not linear but exponential, and having both long shelf-life and cycle-life is not possible, and those cycle numbers are highly optimistic. These things are simply so new that you simply don’t see the batteries break down – yet. I give them 8 years max with that sort of use.

          1. It’s possible that the busses are using LiFePo4 cells with a very high cut-off voltage when it comes to discharging. This would manage to get that high cycle life at the cost of extra range.

            The other possibility is edision cells but given their energy density that is unlikely.

        2. And after those roughly 8000 discharge cycles, the cells from the VDL busses are planned to be used in powergrid load offset applications (https://www.vdletg.com/en/news/archief/2017/first-v-storage-energy-storage-system) where their reduced capacity is still plenty for this application. These are not really battery systems for long duration grid replacement or backup power, but intended for “peak shaving” to reduce the spike in power in the morning when a whole bunch of milling machines switch on, the lighting goes to full power and the air systems for the offices and cleanrooms switch to day mode.

          @IIVQ, how do the VDL Citeas compare to the BYD K7u’s? I’ve never had a chance to look at a BYD up close and have heard differing stories on how well they are build. (Those working for VDL Bus and Coach of course tell me they are the worse. Those outside seem indifferent)

          1. Again, not gonna happen. That’s just marketing talk, and ten years hence they’ll just say “Oops, didn’t work, sorry.” Sold you the batteries though…

            The reason is that lithium battery capacity does a quick nosedive after it gets to the end of the calendar/cycle life. The Solid Electrolyte Intrerface is a protective layer that prevents the electrode from dissolving into the electrolyte, and it has tiny pores that allow the lithium ions to pass. The SEI grows and gets thicker with more deposited material both by the age and the number of charges through the battery. Eventually the pores start to close up, and when that happens, the battery will start to increase in resistance and lose capacity at an accelerating rate. From 100% to 80% may take ten years, but from 80% to 50% takes just months.

            It’s difficult to build a large bank of batteries with random recycled cells that vary their capacity by the month. You can’t keep them balanced because they’re all changing properties very rapidly. Everyone’s talking about the second life of batteries as if it’s a done deal, but nobody’s actually done it yet with EV batteries that have really been used to the end of their life.

          2. The electric performance of the BYD’s is a lot “better” then the VDL’s, but that’s more a problem with BYD vastly underpromising their electric range, and the chargers we bought for the VDL’s are a lot more complicated and they caused a lot of trouble.

            “Bus”wise it is clear that VDL is a better coachbuilder and BYD makes good electric drivetrains but is a relative beginner in coaches. The cockpit is too small for drivers with long legs, the left mirror gets dirty with mud and we had a problem with mysterious black powder which turned out to be road dust sucked into the cabin via a wheel well. And there are a few rattles that you’d expect on older buses. Nothing a can of polyurethane can’t fix, but VDL’s buses are just… “good”.

            But the BYD buses were delivered on-time and we have had one empty battery — on it’s delivery run. The VDL’s were bought later as we originally had a smaller bus from VDL but they couldn’t deliver and we have had a lot of empty batteries or batteries not lasting their “block” between charges.

            What is your relation to e-buses? Hobbyist or professional?

          3. Oh, and to all the naysayers:

            We have a warranty on the battery and make sure we stay within the warranty parameters. And the buses will have a rebattery after 5.5 years of usage (hoping the next battery tech will last 6.5 years) for a total of 12 years of bus life. The transport contract we have is 10 years with 2 years prolongation possible. So we don’t keep the batteries for 8 years.

            And about the technology: I know it’s lithium-something, but it isn’t made public (to me) what exact type of battery.

          4. >the buses will have a rebattery after 5.5 years of usage

            That makes so much more sense: 3-4,000 cycles and 5-6 years sounds plausible for heavy duty operation with the better chemistries like Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt. Lithium-titanate is really tough, but also very expensive, and LiFePO4 is just too heavy with less than half the energy per kg.

        3. That just means that they sold you a buses with 100 liters “fuel tank” but you could use only 10 liters from it, then the bus stops and require refuel. For any battery you could exchange cycles with real capacity and vice versa. Using only 10% of charge you could get, say, 5000 cycles instead of 500. But if you do so, the 90% of your batteries became a useless ballast. You use only 10% of battery, but pay for 100%. This just shows unefficiency of batteries as power storage again, nothing more.

      2. For the first time it dawned on me that in the not-so-far future transport will look very differently and way more expensive, it’ll be more likely that we have to adjust to the available technology instead of the reverse.

    2. > (the best process currently used doesn’t even touch 60% efficiency…)

      That’s grossly incorrect. PEM electrolysis reaches 82-86%. These devices can also operate under pressure at 100-200 bars, reducing the need to spend energy to compress the hydrogen after the fact. It takes fraction of the energy to pressurize the intake water than the output hydrogen because you don’t need to change the volume very much.

      1. The 82-86% figure you quote there is actually an expected figure that could be reached somewhere around 2030. So not really “current technology”.

        But I do have to say that the process looks far better than the other technologies I have seen within the field.
        Since the PEM electrolysis has some systems reaching towards 80% efficient in current operation.

        So that at least solves a large portion of the hydrogen generation side of the puzzle.
        Then there is just the fuel cell efficiency, storage solutions, transportation and safety adding to the puzzle.

          1. Fuel cells don’t burn anything. If you have a reformer to convert hydrocarbons to hydrogen and carbon dioxide, they can run on that hydrogen. Hydrogen is by far the easiest thing to run a fuel cell on. I worked for years on reformed methanol fuel cell systems.

          2. When you put fuel and oxygen together and have them react, that’s called burning.

            And solid oxide fuel cells don’t need reformers. They can technically be made to run on carbon monoxide if that’s what you want.

        1. Alexander is correct. PEM electrolyzers easily have 80% electrical efficiency or even much much higher, it all depends on how high of a current density you want to run them (i.e., capital cost vs efficiency). Furthermore, as a result of moving a proton through the membrane they are able to not only create the hydrogen but compress the H2 at near theoretical efficiency. Finally, they are also making pure O2 which is a very high-value byproduct.

    3. >Downside with batteries is their relatively high cost and weight, but their efficiency blows fuel cells out of the water.

      Batteries are not actually efficient. See ESOEI.

      A battery can be cycled to store a certain maximum cumulative amount of energy in its lifespan. Compared to this best-case scenario, a lithium battery takes about 10% to manufacture. When you are not using the battery in the most optimal way, the cost to manufacture is typically 30-40%.

      For example, if you have a 200 mile battery that lasts 2,000 cycles OR 12 years, and you drive 40 miles a day, you do 175,200 miles out of a possible 400,000 which means you’re only driving 44% of the miles. That means the efficiency of the battery as it is used is about 77%

      Add in the inefficiency of charging and discharging, and it starts to look exactly the same as the fuel cell, except of course the battery weighs about a ton more and uses up more energy to move around.

      1. Charge/discharge efficiency is a different can of worms compared to “energy returned on energy invested”.

        So your “Add in the inefficiency of charging and discharging” is what I were actually talking about.

        Secondly, a lot of battery technologies have nearly endless cycle life if treated properly. Lithium for an example hates being near max cell voltage, or near 0 volts for that matter. Lead acid cells loves being at 1.85-2.1 volts (within this span you also find about 80% of the cells capacity). Not to mention that batteries have lower charge/discharge losses if handling smaller currents in proportion to their own capacity.

        Then all batteries and even capacitors suffers from metal slowly penetrating through the dialectic… (self healing capacitors are a great example of this.) And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the same is true for fuel cells.

        But I as of current wouldn’t say that a fuel cell solution is all that efficient if looking at the bigger picture. In 5 years, might be a different story, but currently, batteries have the upper hand in terms of charge/discharge efficiency.

        Then it is even the question if a fuel cell can deliver the same power density. So even with them, we might still roll batteries by the side, or capacitors.

        And in the end, a large portion of the up front investment in lithium batteries is getting all the raw materials, so far, recycling efforts haven’t gone all that well. But when recycling solutions for lithium batteries gets into full swing, then the up front investment is going to plummet. Especially if more countries were to start recycling batteries to start with.
        (Lead acid batteries are a “reasonable” example of this, they have very small up front investments due to their relative simplicity and composition. And the low melting point of lead is likely of help too. A large portion of their cost is just shipping due to their weight. Despite this, over three quarters of all lead acid batteries gets recycled making it the most successful recycling program in the world.)

        1. i have a feeling that lithium battery recycling is a matter of packaging. lead acid recycling works so well as you really just crush the casing and dump the things in a water tank, lead sinks, plastic floats, and the acid stays in the water. the plastic is probably the least recyclable. even the acid can be pumped off purified and concentrated for reuse.

          if lithium batteries would adopt similar up-scaled construction and packaging rather than relying on a very large number of tiny hard to recycle cells then you might be seeing an improvement. lead acid batteries are designed with recycling in mind where as lithium cells are designed to be throw away. the crush method wouldn’t work out so well and you cant use water to separate the electrode materials (lithium floats and reacts with water). so a cell designed for disassembly with reusable casing and non destructive removal of the electrodes and draining of the electrolyte, you might get a better recycling than lead acid.

          1. Lithium batteries are so reactive that when processed for recycling, they have to bee frozen with liquid nitrogen before they are put into the crusher. Alternatively, they’re thrown in a big furnace, but then the separation of materials from the flue gasses and the slag becomes difficult and expensive.

            All in all, the recycling of LiB costs more than making new ones, which is why almost nobody is doing it. Presently only around 4-5% of all lithium batteries are recycled, because the industry is trying to make them cheaper first and expand the market. There’s no shortage of materials – yet – so it doesn’t pay to recycle, and the recycled batteries wouldn’t sell anyhow because they’re more expensive.

          2. Yes, current lithium recycling is a rather pathetic thing to say the least.

            We just got to hope that someone comes down the road and states, “Well, why are you doing this? You should be doing X, Y and Z instead.”

            Also hope that such an individual also either has the capital to make it, or get proper founding/investments/support from others.

            Also, what other recycling process to use I don’t know.
            But it would surprise me if there isn’t a way to make it work.

          3. The thing is, to make batteries cheaper and lighter, the energy density must go up, but that makes the reactivity go up as well and they start resembling bombs – even more difficult to recycle, and arguably too dangerous to use as well.

            The battery-electric vehicle is like the steam car of the early 20th century – a relatively good solution, since nothing better was available for the moment. Fuel cells will surpass batteries in every metric that matter: price, weight, safety, range. Efficiency doesn’t really matter because it’s twice better than ICE anyways.

            Consider that the average person in the EU is already paying over a dollar per kWh of output energy from an average internal combustion engine using gasoline. Competing against a dollar per kWh can tolerate a hilariously inefficient conversion chain from, say, solar power to methane. If your base cost is 5c/kWh electricity, and you spend 50 cents on the conversion, you can lose 90% of the energy along the way and STILL you’re at parity with gasoline prices.

          4. >“Well, why are you doing this? You should be doing X, Y and Z instead.”

            No can do. The greenies and the left have already decided that anything which outputs CO2 for any reason is strictly verboten. No gas cars, no fuel cell cars, only hydrogen and batteries.

          5. All of this ignores the heavy metal pollution from batteries also – both in disposal, and production – and the heavy dependence on a few countries with the heavy metals, who have questionable worker safety and human rights.

        2. >Charge/discharge efficiency is a different can of worms compared to “energy returned on energy invested”.

          It is, but it still is energy that you have to spend, and it is often neglected when comparing efficiencies. That’s why I re-formulated it in terms of efficiency. If I have a 100% efficient device that nevertheless costs me half as much energy as I will ever process with it, then the real efficiency of the SYSTEM is about 66%

          1. The efficiency of the system would need to include things like distribution costs as well, wouldn’t it? For fuel cells I could imagine many small hydrogen factories, or few centralised ones, each would need, power, water, and trucks to distribute to fuel stations. For batteries there are those losses you’ve outlined, and power line losses.

          2. >things like distribution costs as well,

            Yes, but it’s just getting worse for the batteries. Grid loss, average generator efficiency, peaking generator efficiency… etc. it gets a little complicated to estimate.

            >For fuel cells I could imagine many small hydrogen factories

            Any home connected to the town gas grid already has hydrogen on tap, in the form of methane and up to 30% hydrogen in the mix. Higher partial pressure of H2 starts to leak out of the pipes. Any home that isn’t can still have hydrogen with propane tanks. The distribution network for hydrogen already exists – it’s just a matter of using SOFC instead of PEM fuel cells to make use of the infrastructure.

        3. >a lot of battery technologies have nearly endless cycle life if treated properly

          Lithium doesn’t. It’s inherently unstable, and the battery will eat itself within 10 years, 20 years for the best of them (but they have other compromises). The only way to stop that would be to freeze the battery, but then you can’t use it.

          1. I said “most”, lithium is just one of them.

            And yes, lithium has some rather large disadvantages of degrading over time, especially if left fully charged. (and why UPS solutions prefer to use lead acid, since lead acid when fully charged doesn’t really degrade, other then the electrolyte boiling off if one overcharge them, or evaporates over time, but one can top them up as a bit as routine maintenance. Though, lead acid is really heavy for the amount of energy stored…)

            Lithium is though the one that makes the most amount of sense for applications where weight is of concern as far as batteries goes. And its reasonably cheap compared to other options that also have high energy density.

            But if treated properly, it can do a lot more charge cycles within the time it takes for it to degrade. So the statement “battery that lasts 2,000 cycles OR 12 years” isn’t really true.

            After all, lithium degrades the fastest when getting closer to the extremes of its max/min voltage. In a very large portion of the area in between it won’t really degrade noticeably faster and will largely have its expected battery life in years, not cycles. (To a degree, rapid discharge/charge will cause other issues.)

            Secondly, the rated number of charge cycles is how many cycles the battery will survive before having X% of it’s rated capacity left. Now I should be clear that the charge cycle rating is from max rated voltage to lowest rated voltage and back, and how many times you can do that. (Degradation is though usually a bit exponential, but even when reaching “end of life” they still have a lot of useful life left in them, unless they have shorted out.)

            Discharging partly and charging partly isn’t a charge cycle. But it still stores a certain amount of energy. So we can make it as an “equivalent charge cycles” and compare that to what the spec would indicate. In short, we might only use 80% of the capacity per charge, but get twice as many charges into the battery before it degrades by the equivalent amount. This means that we have charged it with about 60% more equivalent charge cycles. And if we were to use an even smaller portion of its capacity and only keep the battery in the range were its the most “happy”, then we can see even less charge related degradation.

            Though, as your first post indicates, all of this is pointless if the battery is too big for the application to start with. (And why electric car manufacturers should aim at having more capacitor banks for supplying power for acceleration/regenerative breaking. Instead of putting in a quarter of the motor power as battery capacity.)

            And a lot of lithium ion battery recycling is about reusing them in areas where energy density isn’t as crucial. (So the first user might only use half of what it has to give, but then someone else uses most of what is left.)

          2. >After all, lithium degrades the fastest when getting closer to the extremes of its max/min voltage.

            Yes, but there you’re actually talking with a different definition of a “cycle”. If you don’t use the “full” capacity of the battery, it lasts more recharges, but this is not the comparison.

            Of course if you seriously over/under charge the battery, keep it in temperature extremes, it’s going to get damaged a lot faster, but the principle still applies. Once you go down from the very extremes, it’s not going to significantly increase the absolute maximum energy throughput or calendar life you could have, and by trying to maximize the cycle life by only using the middle portion of the charge window, very soon you are under-utilizing the battery as I explained.

          3. >Though, as your first post indicates, all of this is pointless if the battery is too big for the application to start with.

            That is correct, and here I’d like to add: this is necessarily the case.

            The “proper” size for the battery is pitifully small – we want cars that can go 300-400-500 miles a charge because not only does it mean we can go anywhere we like whenever we like, it means we have autonomy in time between charges so it is not immediately necessary to plug in every single night. If a winter storm throws the power lines into a pretzel, or you forgot to plug in, or a distant lightning tripped your ground fault interrupter and disrupted the charging over night, you’re not stranded in your home without a means of transport because there’s always enough power to go.

          4. Whilst having a ~500mile range may be necessary in some parts of the US, in cities, and in most of Europe, we don’t need that range. And in most of Europe we have good infrastructure where power cuts are almost unheard of. And if we’re stranded, so what? We can walk or cycle to facilities if we have to.
            In that context, my car with a 400mile range just means I only fill it every few weeks. I never drive that distance. And even if I did, I’d definitely want to stop for a break for long enough for it to fast charge.
            I saw some stats for the U.K. once; second cars in particular have extremely short journeys, and could pretty much be supercaps.

          5. >in cities, and in most of Europe, we don’t need that range

            As I said, it translates to not having to recharge that often, which means greater flexibility for both your daily travels and for the electric grid. For example, you can wait for that average once per week when wind power is really cheap to fill up your battery, as opposed to being forced to charge every (other) night even if it cost you 50 cents a kWh.

          6. >I saw some stats for the U.K.

            I also saw the stats, and the 97% trips served was somewhere around 24 kWh battery size, but the same study pointed out that very few people never take trips longer than this. For the average driver, that battery size would still leave them stranded or forced skip a trip once a month on average.

            24 kWh (70-80 mi) battery size is exactly the cost-efficient optimum EV battery size for 40 miles an average day over 10 years. In the UK, the median daily commute is around 10 miles so the most efficient battery size for the common daily run would be absolutely tiny, and basically would not serve anyone.

            Anything the size of a Tesla Model 3 battery is way overkill in most of Europe. You really have to go out of your way to make use of even a small fraction of the lifetime potential capacity.

          7. > if treated properly, it can do a lot more charge cycles

            Also note that when a manufacturer quotes something like 2,000 cycles, they’re already assuming you’re treating the battery “properly”, i.e. not taking advantage of its maximum possible energy density, nor subjecting it to temperature extremes, high dis/charge currents etc. They’re quoting you the best case number, trying to give you the greatest energy per cycle multiplied by the greatest number of charge cycles.

            Of course it’s also very common to cheat and report the energy capacity according to the highest and lowest charge voltages, and the cycle life according to some arbitrarily narrower voltage range. There is no rule or standard how it should be reported; expect this from Chinese manufacturers.

    4. 60% doesn’t sound great until you realize that internal combustion engines are closer to 25%.

      instead think of hydrogen as energy storage. batteries dont have the energy density for trucks but fuel cells do. like any other battery if you source the energy from something environmentally friendly, and then you got something you can work with. build some damn nuclear power plants and you can have environmentally friendly shipping.

      1. A lot of people quote that 25% figure, but if one actually looks into the fuel efficiency of various internal combustion engines one can see that 30-35% is actually not that uncommon.

        And some can reach towards 40% efficient. (And if one starts using the waste heat for various things as well, then efficiency can move towards 60-70% rather easily, though most waste heat isn’t all that usable, since most is useful for heating but most cars runs where heating isn’t even desired…)

        1. That’s peak efficiency. It usually happens at about 90% torque, 90% load, so unless you go up steep hills at 3000 RPM all day, you never see it. In order to achieve peak efficiency at highway/motorway speeds, cars need to have engines that are 1/4 to 1/3 the size and peak power output.

          Cylinder deactivation isn’t a bad idea in this respect, but it doesn’t show much gain in the gas-brakes-gas-brakes standardized economy tests, and it gives the uneducated the heebie-geebies to drive if they can “feel” it at all, so the marketing guys make the engineers neuter it until it’s barely effective also. (i.e. twitch the gas pedal a millimetre and all cylinders are back on again.)

          1. Not quite. Load is relative to engine speed.

            For example, the Toyota Prius engine achieves the best efficiency between 70-90% maximum torque at a given RPM. The hybrid drivetrain loads the engine so that it is working at the optimum cylinder pressure region over a wide range of output power. When less power is needed, it simply runs the engine slower and keeps the torque up.

          2. When you can vary valve timing, you’ve got in effect, a hundred different engines. For conventional valve trains, most are tuned for peak torque in the middle of the RPM range.

      2. Is that 60% figure representative of the whole process or just electrolysis or just conversion in the cell or what? To be fair I fully understand that the efficiency figures of conventional engines also doesn’t factor in inefficiencies in production or shipping either, just curious.

    5. Well,
      You have to put all in the balance, from production to consumption to talk about “efficiency”

      How efficient is it to drill oil 10Km below the surface? go to war cause the country we drill is not yours?
      bring this back, stock it, refine it, and distribute it?

      Hydrogen production just need water and electricity…
      https://www.nrel.gov/hydrogen/hydrogen-production-delivery.html

      I will prefer this for now.

      Tell me if I’m wrong, but flow battery are quite huge for the power they deliver.
      To power 2 x 40 kw motors at 400 volts DC a zinc bromide flow battery installed in a shipping container would weigh 22 tonnes…

      1. Comparing hydrogen to OIL when replying to someone comparing Hydrogen to BATTERIES isn’t really staying on topic… But, drilling, refining, and transporting oil is also a lot more efficient than producing, storing and transporting electricity at current. But, burning literally millions of tons of oil each year isn’t all that sustainable long term, and that is the main problem there.

        Working with electricity that can be produced by more sustainable methods is more expensive, and generally less efficient to both store and move. But it doesn’t have the big downsides when it comes to polluting the environment.

        And yes flow batteries aren’t really there yet when it comes to delivering power. But neither are fuel cells to be fair. (Searched around and could only find “2 W/cm^2” as a “peak” figure.)

        Not that the flow batteries nor fuel cells needs to be the main power source, but rather the main energy source.
        When I say “power source” I mean short term.
        And “energy source” being long term.

        Cars, trucks, trains, airplanes and even cities have both short term high power demands, and long term demands that are typically a lot lower. For an example, accelerating a vehicle requires a lot of power, but keeping a given amount of speed on the other hand requires far less.

        In other words, we can use a flow battery, or fuel cell as our main energy storage.
        And then use a normal battery or a capacitor bank for supplying peak power.

        The main thing keeping Lithium batteries back is the fact that we haven’t figured out a good way to recycle them yet. Fix recycling and they can likely be produced at a much lower energy cost, not to mention that lithium batteries have had some fairly major improvements since first introduced, and have a fair bit of potential left.

    6. Then consider the inefficiencies of producing electricity. The Hydro dams in NZ use turbines that are moved by water and rotate in a magnetic field. said to be 25% at most. Then each and every transformer from the generation plant to the is said to lose about 5%. In a small country there would be at least 3 transformers between the turbines and customer. Losses in power lines are said to be (by the companies) 10%. So; 25 * 0.95 * 0.95 *0.95 * 0.9 = 19.3% efficient electricity from the wall socket at best! (The figures I used are approximates in textbooks read during my education). Now the problem is efficiency of the electric vehicle. With all batteries there are losses made in every charge/discharge cycle. I don’t know the figure for lithium, so lets just say 10% loss. Now the best permanent magnet dc motors I hear are at best 30% efficient. so, 19.3 * 0.9 * 0.3 = 5.2%

      So, for every electric vehicle, 94.8% inefficient from turbines to tyre! (And being very generous with the calculations at best!)

    7. You’re wrong and lack some information. Fuel cells are much better solution for heavy vehicles, for their bring much less additional weight, which means – more range with less additional mass. Plus, you don’t require “all day” to recharge the batteries… Producing hydrogen is actually REMARKABLY efficient, at least in theory (for the time being).

  2. H2 production should be part of a combined cycle, using low grade heat from nuclear or natural gas* plants. While infrastructure isn’t there, I would think the push for adoption should be best focused on local/regional distribution hubs, where they could have their own bulk tankage even maybe local production, for use in their fleet.

    * which only have politics and vested interests in the way of being bio-gas plants really.

  3. “In the ideal hydrogen-powered world, there’s also no need to have your own charger at home — simply drive to the hydrogen station and top up!”

    That’s not an advantage in my opinion. I already have all the infrastructure to charge an electric car at home and it’s the same stuff I use to charge my laptop, phone, power my toaster etc.

    Now fast charging is something I don’t have at home, but don’t need since I’m not clocking up high mileage every day.

      1. They’re going to need an “EV charger for exclusive use of occupant” box, as I think there’s a handful of ~200 unit blocks in big cities that have like 4 chargers in the basement parking garage, which will of course always be occupied if they start advertising them.

    1. I drive a Chevy Volt and charging at home is the best thing. I get home plug in and forget about it. When I wake up my car is fully charged and I am just charging on 120v 9amp.

      In my opinion charging at home beats faster refueling. Since the only time you care about charging times is if you are traveling. I am looking into buying a Tesla Model 3 and it would only take me 1 hour of charging to drive 600 miles to the coast.

      It does suck if you are unable to charge at home. But I think that will be solved as more people drive EVs.

        1. L2 charging happens at 240 Volts, so you have to change the battery management system in the car from 120 to 240 Volts. Depends on the car whether it’s built to handle both with the same circuitry. In Europe it’s more difficult still because it’s all 220-240 Volt and there’s no standard way to detect what the amperage of the outlet is, so if you set it for Level 2 then you have to make it incompatible with standard sockets or else the inevitable would happen.

          It’s kinda like USB chargers – there’s supposed to be stuff between the data lines that tells the phone how to charge, but phones use different systems and every charger tells you whatever they want, so a random phone with a random charger has a 50% probability of charging at 100 mA, 25% probability of charging with 500 mA, and 25% probability of actually detecting the correct charging amperage.

          1. The wall charger knows the current that it is capable of, the car and charger communicate and a charging current is agreed upon. This is standard stuff, not rocket science. This may be new to some of you, but 1/2 of the garages on my block have an EV.

          2. L1 charging means there is no “wall charger”. You just plug into a standard socket, and no standard socket communicates its amperage because it’s just a dumb socket. Two holes for two prongs and a grounding tab. There’s no way for the car to know how much current it is allowed to draw, so you can’t do L2 charging off of a standard wall socket.

            > This is standard stuff,

            There are at least three standards for the special sockets and communication protocols for L2 and higher, for DC and AC charging. There’s the SAE J1772 / CCS, the CHAdeMO, and IEC Type 2, and whatever Tesla is using. When you have more than one, you effectively don’t have a standard. You can pull up to a charger and realize that your plug doesn’t fit.

    2. “I already have all the infrastructure to charge an electric car at home and it’s the same stuff I use to charge my laptop, phone, power my toaster etc.”

      No, actually you don’t. You may have the wires and the outlets, but that’s not the same thing as saying you have the infrastructure.

      If any substantial portion of the U.S. automobile fleet were suddenly replaced with rechargeable vehicles, our future would be one of rolling blackouts and utility prices so high that many would no longer be able to afford to heat/air condition their homes. It is a matter of simple supply and demand.

      “We can fix that!” Can we? Solar has its place, but it is not a solution. Windmills kill birds, produce an infrasonic throb that can make people sick…even the tree-huggers don’t want them anymore. Tree-huggers don’t want hydro, either. How about nuclear? (I’m actually a fan of the molten-salt thorium architecture.) Try getting ONE of those approved in under 20 years.

      Electric drive trains are awesome…efficient, powerful, fast, great torque at low end, quiet, long-lived, and easy to control to achieve sophisticated behavior. But rechargeable batteries for anything but scheduled, fixed-route use (like postal vehicles) is ridiculous.

      The future definitely belongs to electric vehicles…*fuel-cell* powered electric vehicles. For what it’s worth I don’t think hydrogen is the way to go. The perfection of a practical methanol/ethanol fuel cell will be the kill shot for the internal combustion engine.

      1. Molten salt reactors are probably as far into the future as fusion for actual power generation. Lots of expensive research needs to be done.

        Instead, (somewhat) proven fast reactors cooled by molten metal are the way forward. Add fuel reprocessing and we a have a few centuries of power on uranium alone. By then fusion should be more then ready.

        1. Funny, people have built actual working molten salt reactors that put out more power than they took in. I am not aware of any fusion reactors that are even self-sustaining.

          1. Define “self-sustaining”. The difference between fusion and fission is that you can get a fission reaction running by accident, so self-sustaining and putting out power isn’t exactly an accomplishment. Sustaining safe and reliable operation is the benchmark for fission, and molten salt reactors haven’t yet solved the whole radioactive xenon out-gassing problem.

            Fusion reactors need RF input, but none of them have generators installed because the only run for seconds, so there’s no closed loop. No feedback chain reaction. They can’t self-sustain the way they’re built, which is exactly the point of it. Yet at least the Japanese have achieved break-even fusion product proving that the theory works, and the Wendelstein 7-X has achieved 100 second of plasma after which they had to shut it down because the reactor would overheat. Now they’re installing the cooling systems and linings so they can run it for 30 minutes at higher temperatures starting by 2021. When they reach that point, it’s basically proven that it works, and they can start build the actual reactor with turbines and radiation shields etc.

            The main issue with ITER and the other tokamaks is that they’re basically boondoggles. They’re inherently unstable and can’t run continuously – known to be unstable ever since the Russians calculated how big of a torus you’d need to make it stable – but everyone’s building them because it’s a lot of work that lasts a lifetime. They know it won’t go anywhere with this level of funding, and that’s the entire point.

      2. “Try getting ONE of those approved in under 20 years.”

        Let’s try for 50 independent approvals, they’ll either spread too thin or wear themselves out trying to stop them all. Then build the best 10 of the ones that get through and shelve any spares for later.

          1. Do you think anyone would take a proposal to build a nuclear power plant from a company that only exists as a PO box and a website?

            That’s the whole problem with all the red tape. In order to get that one permit every 20 years, you need to have a team of engineers, designs, plans, suppliers, supply chains… but you can’t do anything with it until you get the permits, so you’re simply bleeding money for 20 years keeping up the appearance of a working company. That’s why the only companies that can build nuclear plants are huge corporations like GE or EDF – who already work in the energy sector.

            The total cluster*** that was AREVA was caused by the fact that they sold the EPR without finished plans, thinking they’ll figure it out along the way, then their partners tasked to design it bailed out in the middle of the project and they were left with a nuclear power plant without automation designs.

            When Rolls Royce proposed to build an SMR in England, it was taken with a bit of a snicker and a, “Really? Seriously? Oh, you aren’t kidding!”

      3. Finally somebody looked at the whole picture rather than just your car in your garage. Meth/eth looks to be the best choice at this point but nothing significant will happen until the last ounce of gas is dripping from the nozzle. Thinking back to about 1950 “they” said we would all be in flying cars by 2020.

    3. Too right! Since we started getting supermarket deliveries I have to remember to go out to fill up the tank. Why can’t Tesco bring me fuel along with my food?! Or why won’t amazon sell me petrol?

  4. Can we all agree to just focus on getting nuclear power approved in mass. Once that’s done I’ll buy into any one of these schemes but you pretending that your electric car hooked up to the coal plant down the street is any greener then the oil refinery down the street is just silly. Let’s get some nuclear going then we can all enjoy some properly clean high efficiency energy and go down whatever road we want for cars be it electric or hydrogen (which is just using electricity to convert into a storage form for quick refueling).

    1. But nuclear is EVIL! If the watermelon (green on the outside, red on the inside) crowd ever find out the sun is basically a huge nuclear reactor they’ed start burning solar panels!

    2. While I totally agree that nuclear is the way to go electric cars charged from coal plants can be more efficient than gas cars. It boils down to coal plants not having to be portable. Without that constraint they can extract more useful work per ton of CO2 emitted than an internal combustion engine.

    3. I agree nuclear power is way to go. Proven technology that works…. Say you had the power available …. Now you still have to get the power to where it needs to go. Let a city of a million people plug their cars in over night…. The power doesn’t come out of thin air… has to be transported over wires, into substations, down to distribution levels and into the homes. I suspect some ‘changes’ would need to be made to handle the load.

    4. Having 100% coal power is rare. Coal is simply dying off in many places. In the US for example it is down to 23%.

      And EVs are cleaner than gas in 95% of the world. https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/electric-cars-better-for-climate-in-95-of-the-world

      I do agree we need to continue to build clearer power. But as it is now EV is cleaner than gas.

      It also takes a lot of power to refine oil. I don’t know how accurate it is but I’ve seen that it takes 6kWh to refine one gallon of gas. That is end to drive about 24 miles in my car.

      1. 6 kWh per gallon is… somewhat accurate. You just have to mind that a gallon contains 33.3 kWh and the energy actually goes into refining a whole lot of other petroleum products on the side, not just gasoline. The refining step is roughly 80% efficient.

  5. Since fuel is a major limit to the speed and distance of movement for any army it seems to me if there really was a practical way to replace fossil fuel in vehicles (or even a decent improvement over state of the art fossil fuel vehicles) the military (especially the U.S. military who will carpet bomb research with money on a whim) would be all over it.

    1. Military also need Reliability, availability and idiot-proof.
      As long as the country you’re invading has burnable fluids, ICE will win. I believe some army vehicles burn anything from bunker fuel to vodka.
      They’re reliable – not intrinsically more so, but just because they’re old tech now, so the problems are well understood.
      And they’re idiot-proof.

  6. >Hyundai’s next goal is to reach 1,000 km between refueling stops

    The dirty secret is that methane – for the same volume and pressure – gives four times as much energy and can immediately drive the truck over 1,000 km. Biogas for example.

    It’s just not permitted, because thou shall not emit CO2.

    1. For liquefied fuels at their boiling points LNG is approximately 22 MJ per liter, liquid hydrogen 8.5 MJ/L

      And both work with fuel cells. Just depends on the fuel cell. The trick is that certain fuel cells can pull off a water gas shift reaction with the heat and H2O they produce, so they can generate more hydrogen out of the carbon in the fuel.

      1. Not good enough, need one with a molecular 3D printer in the bottom that uses the carbon to spit out ready made graphene plates for supercapacitors and batteries. ;-)

  7. Just looked up that is 450L (size of a 3/4 ton pickup tank)as a liquid or 400 m cube( probably impractical to move with a pickup) but I get 650KM per tank in my Ford work truck. It is good groups are still exploring and developing technologies but this will not be replacing standard engines for a while.

  8. I think the best way to go forward with fuel cells is to use a catalytic reformer like Gumpert uses in their fuel cell hybrid supercar. This uses methanol as a fuel, which is much easier to store and handle than hydrogen and can potentially make for a higher range vehicle than one using pure hydrogen.

      1. Methanol as a fuel is also highly toxic, and when run through a combustion engine it tends to produce formaldehyde which is a major contributor to smog and carcinogenic. The Chinese have experience with it, since they’re reforming coal into methanol and putting it in fuels.

        When a truck carrying methanol fuel tips over and spills, you need to evacuate a mile around the crash site because the vapors can be deadly.

  9. Hydrogen fuel seems to be the latest thing pimped by PC politicians with too much tax money to spend.
    (IMHO Hyundai and others are just aiming for this tax money, not for any useful product.)

    Even very basic things are not even considered by the H2 / fuelcell fanboys:

    – fuel cells are very sensitive to their thermal environment. If they freeze, they are permanently gone. To work properly they need to be preheated. So these trucks in Swizerland need to be heated pretty much all the time, even when parked! How does that up to the energy efficiency claims?

    – Hydrogen cannot easily be stored. If you store it in a tank, this tank will lose 3% PER DAY.

    – The Hydrogen tanks have to be highly pressurized and/or heavily insulated. Diesel tanks can have pretty much any shape and use every available space that would be unused otherwise. Hydrogen tanks are always round cylinders, so they take much more space in a vehicle.

    – For most trucks, the practical loading limit is not the weight limit, but the space limit. Because of Hydrogen/fuel cell space inefficiencies, you will need more trucks to have the same transport capacity compared to diesel.

    – How dangerous will Hydrogen be at a vehicle accident/crash?

    – The Hydrogen that leaks out of tanks may react with carbon steel! The carbon steel looses its carbon over time. That makes it soft and weak.

    – Hydrogen is so dangerous to handle, the truck driver will not be allowed to refuel his own truck! (They try to build refueling robots for that…)

    the list goes on and on.

    1. “To work properly they need to be preheated. So these trucks in Swizerland need to be heated pretty much all the time, even when parked!”

      Nope :-) The Swiss Plateau where most of those trucks are designed to operate enjoy some nights higher than +20°C in the summer. Winter nights rarely go below -10°C on the Swiss Plateau and electricity at night are cheap here because of the big French nuclear production. Those fuelcell trucks are the outcome of a long project started many years ago. That particular Hyundai model was tested here in operation since 2013 and have get many improvements since.

      Those trucks are used by the main two Swiss retail companies to deliver foods and goods inside the towns very early in the morning. There want to use electrical motors to reduce the noise and reduce the immediate gas pollution inside the towns. That batch use fuelcell because there currently exists here a strategy between some companies to build a minimal infrastructure around hydrogen.

    2. Hydrogen fuel seems to be the latest thing pimped by PC politicians with too much tax money to spend.
      (IMHO Hyundai and others are just aiming for this tax money, not for any useful product.)

      Even very basic things are not even considered by the H2 / fuelcell fanboys:

      – fuel cells are very sensitive to their thermal environment. If they freeze, they are permanently gone. To work properly they need to be preheated. So these trucks in Swizerland need to be heated pretty much all the time, even when parked! How does that up to the energy efficiency claims?
      >>>> …and battery packs have internal heater pads because the manufacturer liked their style?

      – Hydrogen cannot easily be stored. If you store it in a tank, this tank will lose 3% PER DAY.
      >>>> …and batteries have a self-discharge problem, temperature variation, load-cycle memory issues etc.

      – The Hydrogen tanks have to be highly pressurized and/or heavily insulated. Diesel tanks can have pretty much any shape and use every available space that would be unused otherwise. Hydrogen tanks are always round cylinders, so they take much more space in a vehicle.
      >>>> …and battery packs come in such convenient miniature cylindrical cells that have to be connected, stacked, cooled, monitored, isolated etc.

      – For most trucks, the practical loading limit is not the weight limit, but the space limit. Because of Hydrogen/fuel cell space inefficiencies, you will need more trucks to have the same transport capacity compared to diesel.
      >>>> More trucks? Who cares if there are no emissions? (unless you get stuck in traffic in your zero emissions vehicle)

      – How dangerous will Hydrogen be at a vehicle accident/crash?
      >>>> Any more so than a megawatt-capable battery suffering catastrophic failure? Anyway, probably easier to deal with a hydrogen fire than a battery fire ;-)

      – The Hydrogen that leaks out of tanks may react with carbon steel! The carbon steel looses its carbon over time. That makes it soft and weak.
      >>>> Actually, hydrogen can “leak” from any number of different materials by permeation and diffusion (it is an escape artist) and can cause issues with some of them. Anyway, just select the most appropriate material and/or life the tank.

      – Hydrogen is so dangerous to handle, the truck driver will not be allowed to refuel his own truck! (They try to build refueling robots for that…)
      >>>> …and the problem is? It’s large flammability range? the fact for efficient storage if needs to be a cryogenic liquid? it’s easy to ignite?

      the list goes on and on.
      >>>> Of course it does… and how many battery technologies and systems do we have whilst we figure out the solutions to the issues we find?
      How many rare-earth element mines will we have to supply the planet with the novel materials needed for the batteries?
      How are we going to improve the recycling of batteries (instead of shipping them off to another country)?

      Don’t nit-pick problems. Nothing is perfect and one solution will not fit all applications.

      If you want a true zero-carbon ecology then hydrogen will have to be part of the solution somewhere unless you want to start living like our ancestors from the pre-industrial revolution era?

      1. If petrol cars were invented today, there’s no way we’d be allowed to refuel them ourselves.
        Don’t forget Zoolander lost his friends in a freak gasoline-fight accident.

        1. That’s a false argument. Many things are more flammable and more toxic than petrol, and we’re allowed to use it willy nilly. Ever filled a butane lighter? *sfoooofh… ooh what’s this cold stuff all over my hands?*

      2. >Anyway, probably easier to deal with a hydrogen fire than a battery fire ;-)

        Well, at least it’s quicker to deal with, since hydrogen fires starting from a small leak tend to go out with a bang. They’re self-extinguishing by the fact that they bring the building down on the leaking tank.

    3. While i think compressed H2 storage is ridiculous means of supplying fuel cells for transportation, for the record I have some issues with your list–

      fuel cells have no problem with low temperatures. PEM fuel cells have been tested for a lifetime of freeze-thaw cycles and can be started from frozen state (albeit is best to start them with a trickle current until the PEM has thawed to prevent non-uniform current density).

      Hydrogen storage can easily be leak-tight to a few cc/day

      Nickel metal hydride storage would be an obvious exception to compressed or cryogenic gas storage.

      there are many high pressure DOT rated hydrogen tanks as well as tested by the military under full hydrogen pressure and pierced using incendiary rounds.

      hydrogen embrittlement is, in fact, a problem

      hydrogen is much safer than gasoline due to its extremely high dispersion rate and relatively narrow range between the lower and upper explosion limits.

  10. The vast installed base of the electrical grid gives EVs a gigantic advantage over hydrogen. Also, battery technology is improving rapidly, and battery costs are dropping continuously. In applications where refueling needs to be nearly instantaneous, battery switching would do the trick.

    I don’t see much of a future for hydrogen fuel cells.

    1. Except that EV takes tiny portion of market, when you start scaling it up, you get a LOT of problems:
      1. Electrical grid and power production are not ready for this, just not enough combined capacity
      2. EV Servicing is non-existent in comparison to ICE servicing, and ICE servicing is already lacking because a lot of people neglect it
      3. Battery availability depends on global supply, which is in no great state today (and not because of COVID)

  11. What is the point of ‘pure’ EV?

    We’re not going to stop using fossil fuels as their usefulness extends well beyond powering combustion engines and the problems with ‘pure’ EV’s are insurmountable for many (apartment residents, slow recharging, range anxiety etc) so why aren’t efforts to manufacture HYBRID vehicles most prominent?

    Why this constant push for pure EV?

    Surely it’s not for the subsidies?……….. Oh, wait a minute…….

  12. With a properly trained team to distribute the hydrogen, I’d have little concern. But consider a consumer-wide hydrogen-fuel economy (regardless of the source of H2). Look at the number of people currently who smoke while fueling their cars. And the number who aren’t smart enough to remove the nozzle from the gas tank before pulling out. (Had a hugely scary incident of that during my first week as a convenience-store employee.) Consider the average user fueling with something that is explosive from 4% to 96% concentration in air.

    Nope, I don’t see a practical hydrogen energy system until people can actually be educated in the use.

    1. If only there was a way to prevent people driving off from the fueling station while plugged in, oh wait, there is! And it’s working? Wow, problem already solved! Now that was quick.

      Smoking? yeah that’s a problem, if only there was a way to prevent gas leaking… Oh, there is? Nice, another problem already solved, it won’t transport any Hydrogen unless it’s sealed, neat huh?

  13. So many people here dont seem to realize that the US army has been (ab)using fuel cells for decades. Calm down people, its already been done for many years over in several industry’s and its not like they will let the average (read: stupid) consumer near this any time soon.

    Besides that by far most fuel-cells are not even made to refuel, they are made to be swapped out, so no need to think up doom scenario’s of people driving off with the nozzle still in the fuel tank, or smoking near hydrogen, it wont get near those dumb-asses for a while, if ever. (and if it ever does reach the normal consumer you can bet your ass on the fact that they wont let people refuel the things, they will just have some easy system to swap out the cells)

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