Hydrogen Fuel Cell Equinox: 30 Minute Refill

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
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hydrogen fuel cell equinox 30 minute refill

While the mainstream media ( with the help of some freelancing bloggers we could name) are happy touting alt fuel/laptop-powered concept cars and prototypes that will (supposedly) free us of our dependence on the sweet crude crack, the reality is often much less exciting. It's nearly impossible to find out the answer to the obvious follow-up questions about these vaporware or one-of-a-kind models. Infrastructure costs? Safety? Range? Recharge/refuelling time? Thanks to Reuters, we have a little real world information about GM's Equinox hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle, and it is drastically different from the manufacturer's press release specs. I'll pause while you recover from the shock… While Motor Trend pleasantly regurgitated GM's estimate of three to five minutes for refueling, Nichola Groom of Reuters observed that the fuel "only lasted about two days." She drove to one of four locations in Los Angeles where you can refuel the Equinox. "A GM engineer refueled for me, a process that took about 15 minutes for half a tank." For aspiring Fields Medal winners, that's 30 minutes to refuel a tank of gas. As the keys click away to comment that "You gotta start somewhere," remember that the first gen [1997 Japanese market] Prius took exactly as long to fill-up as any other car. What really rankles is that GM must know this, and intentionally or not, mislead the press/public. That's not how you build support for new technology, or enhance your credibility in this or any other field. In case you didn't know it.

Justin Berkowitz
Justin Berkowitz

Immensely bored law student. I've also got 3 dogs.

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  • KixStart KixStart on Jun 19, 2008
    menno wrote, "Kix start, I’m glad to get your heads up on water vapor having both warming and cooling effects. I hadn’t read any scientific papers on it, and I’ve just been curious as to why it wasn’t written about by the global warming crowd, since I’d read that water vapor was a far bigger global warming culprit than CO2. So at least we don’t have to worry about a massive global warming for our grandchildren who might be lucky enough to be driving around in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles." Well, menno, I'm not sure I get your point. I'd have to take a guess as to what you do and don't know and what you do and don't think you know which ain't so, which is a problem all in itself. The fact of the matter is, whenever I hear someone going on a little mini-rant about global warming alarmism, if often has, at the core of it, some such BS notion that responsible people looking at the prospect of AGW haven't noticed that the atmosphere is made up of - gasp! - more than one gas! And it really cheeses me off that people who feel fully entitled to throw these little mini-rants (often fuelled by reading clearly political screeds written by people who also don't have a clue) haven't taken the time to read and make an effort to understand what scientists are actually concerned about and why they think this gas which, admittedly, makes up a very small percentage of the atmosphere by volume or mass (and no one is hiding this, they will cheerfully tell you it's 385ppmv) turns out to be extremely important. When you started to go on about water vapor in the atmosphere, did you really think that nobody on the IPCC panel ever looked out the window one day, noticed it was raining and said, "Hey, guys, there's moisture in the air! Do you suppose that should have any effect on our calculations?" And, if someone actually did suggest this, did you think that the rest of his buddies would say, "No, there's no way water, which causes the atmosphere to bank heat in interesting ways,which we've known about for centuries, could have any role in atmospheric heat retention or that those white fluffy clouds could reflect solar radiation back into space or longwave infrared radiation back to the ground or act as insulation or any of that, so forget that water business, close the blinds, get over here and help us figure out how to use the CO2/AGW bogeyman to destroy Western Civilization and please our Chinese masters?" Other things that I just love to hear: "CO2 has risen and fallen in the past." No shit. However, apes with larger-than-normal-but-not-quite-big-enough brains have never dug up, wholesale, what Mother Nature thougtfully sequestered over the last billion or so years and rapidly FORCED CO2 levels up (or down, either, for the matter of that) in the past. It's a big science experiment to do this and we're all participants in it! Fun! Hey! But, surprise surprise surprise... This is actually considered in the IPCC report! People are looking into this all the time! "The Earth has warmed and cooled in the past." No shit. However, it also hasn't done it really, really fast before (which is our current concern) or in response to anthropogenic manipulation of CO2 levels and the pace of extinction and evolution is very likely to be forced ahead. What is arable land today might be desert tomorrow. Of course, what is desert today might be arable land tomorrow but - here's a news bulletin for some - desertification is the faster of the two processes. Hey! Surprise surprise surprise... This is in the IPCC report! People are looking into this all the time! "There's this big ball of fire in the sky that rains down heat upon the Earth and drives heating and cooling cycles." No shit. Hey! Surprise surprise surprise... The impact of the Sun is also covered in the IPCC report! People are looking into this all the time! Now, it MAY be that the sunspot cycle or perturbations in Pluto's orbit or the strength of cosmic radiation or the frequency of supernovas in M31 or something equally interesting and remote has an effect but a) none of this stuff has been carefully observed for a very long time b) no GW theories have been proven in relation to any of those things and c) anyway, none of it would explain why CO2, which has a known heat-retention capacity would NOT cause temps to rise. Now, menno, if you'd like to start doing your "research" somewhere besides Rightard web sites, perhaps some progress could be made in dialog.
  • Jl1280 Jl1280 on Jun 19, 2008

    Where to start? Where to start? There is so much nonsense that I need to get my hipwaders on. Wait a sec I meant my chest waders. "just drill for more oil", "water vapor is worse than CO2", "get ready for the next ice age since it's been cold this spring in Washington". The only thing I didn't hear was about the mystic telling me that god has a plan for all of us. But I do have just a few simple questions about the magic of hydrogen: first, how do you intend to produce the hydrogen? what is your source of energy? how do you make it more cheaply than oil? secondly, what are the capital costs and timing to build the infrastructure required to convert from gas to hydrogen. By the way, I've got a copies of early 1960's issue of Popular Science that gives the definitive picture of hydrogen future in the 1990's.

  • Reclusive_in_nature Reclusive_in_nature on Jun 19, 2008

    Has anyone suggested genetically engineering plants and trees that can absorb more CO2 than they normally would? If we can get a mouse to glow in the dark is that really too big of a challenge? I'm tired of all this 'you can't have your cake and eat it too' logic. This logic is like blaming a good meal for a dirty kitchen. Why not have the best of both worlds by applying a little innovation (maybe a little elbow grease too) and cleaning up our messes. People could have un-neutered cars and a healthy environment too. I guess that's just too bipartisan for some people.....

  • KixStart KixStart on Jun 19, 2008

    reclusive_in_nature, Yes, people are looking into that. The problem is that plants need a variety of things besides CO2 (sunlight, proper temperature, space, water in the right amounts, trace elements) to thrive and their growth is paced by a number of things, some of them internal but this is one of the reason reforestation is a topic - and deforestation is another. Paper companies have developed trees that grow faster but principally to reharvest faster for paper. And such trees don't make for a diverse ecosystem. Also, warming affects how plants live and thrive... there's a variety of beetle that seems to be taking off in the west that's just ripping the forests apart. Insects can easily derail efforts to sequester carbon in trees and plants.