I note your remarks on hydrogen for transport fuel. However I was interested to read a few days ago that Shell (my former employer) has started installing a network of hydrogen fuelling stations. Evidently they think this technology may still be competitive with recharging of electric batteries -or at least has enough of a chance that it is worth putting a toe into the water commercially with it.
Honda has a compressed hydrogen gas -> PEM fuel cell -> electric motor car – the Clarity
– on the market since 2008, while, as you linked to, Toyota has its Mirai
out there since 2015. Both have small batteries to store regenerative braking energy, so they’re not pure fuel cell-powered electrics.
The problem I see with both is that they are very limited in where they can be refueled, because there are very few hydrogen refueling stations – the only I’ve found in the US, using Honda’s “check eligibility” page
, are in select urban areas in California. They have limited range - 502 km (312 mi) for the Mirai, 589 km (366 mi) for the 2017 Clarity – so they’re essentially commuter cars, useless for interstate travel. They’re both expensive – about US$60,000, though Honda at least gives you $15,000 for the first 3 years of fuel, which for many commuters, would zero their fuel cost.
I’ve followed hydrogen powered cars since the 1970s. Present day ones seem masterpieces of engineering, not just the cars, but their fueling stations. First generation ones, I gather, were water + electricity->hydrogen + (waste) oxygen electrolysizers, which gave way to methane + water + heat -> CO + CO2
+ hydrogen steam reformers, which ca 1999 were about 50% lower capital and 35% lower generating cost. Since methane reformers are carbon emitters (unless they somehow sequester it), this was a bad trend, but recent electrolysizers are approaching the low cost of reformers. (source: http://www.nrel.gov/...3osti/56412.pdf
) I wasn’t able to quickly find data, but I hope this mean that present day stations are increasingly electrolysizers.
60k$ for a standard car with very common attributes...hard sell !
At that price you get a good "entry level" BMW or "low end" Mercedes.
True, but I think there’s a good market of people with lots of cash+credit who consider a ZEV a better status symbol than a famous luxury brand. Were this not so, Tesla wouldn’t have sold 50,000 of their $95,000-100,000 Model S
s – though being the fastest 0-60 MPH production car in the world isn’t a bad selling point, either!
It’s the lack of fueling stations, I think, that’s confining the hydrogen powered car to a commuter car role.
"2017 Ford Focus EV for 29 120$" http://www.ford.com/...er-all-vehicles
"2017 VW Golf EV for 28 995$" http://www.vw.com/models/e-golf/
"2017 Nissan Leaf EV for 30 680$" https://www.nissanus...tric-cars/leaf/
Good list, but I’d add the IMHO terribly underappreciated $33,170 Chevy Volt
. It’s the only mass-produced (if you consider 82,000 in 4 year to be worthy the term) “extended range electric” car, where the drive is pure electric, the ICE gasoline motor connected to a generator, not the drivetrain. I remain puzzled that systems like this, which have the zero-emission advantages of pure electrics, with the interstate capability of a pure gasoline cars, aren’t dominating the markets of all the wealthy countries.Moderation note: If nobody objects, I’ll split these hydrogen fuel and electric car posts into their own thread, since they’re off the original topic of helium generation