By on January 28, 2015

2016 Toyota Mirai

Remember when Tesla CEO Elon Musk declared that Toyota was a fool to invest in hydrogen? Twice? Toyota had a few words to say in return last week.

Ecomento reports Toyota Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations Bob Carter took Musk to task regarding comments made during the latter’s annual Tesla shareholders meeting last June, as well as those made earlier this month at the Automotive News World Congress, when Musk suggested methane or propane as a better energy storage mechanism while declaring hydrogen “an incredibly dumb one to pick”:

I’m a little disappointed in Mr. Musk’s comments in Detroit last week. But I understand. If I was in a position that I had all of my eggs in one basket I would perhaps be making those same comments. When you take a look at the future, [FCVs are] not a 24- to 36-month play. When you start looking in the 2020s, anybody that would deny [the potential of] moving from an oil-based economy to a hydrogen-based economy [isn’t] looking at the future correctly.

Carter’s response, made last week during the J.D. Power Automotive Summit in San Francisco, come on the heels of Toyota’s unexpected response to its Mirai FCV. Though not due in U.S. showrooms until later this year, the automaker received over 16,000 requests for information on the car. Meanwhile, the FCV has 1,500 confirmed pre-orders in its home market of Japan, with Toyota likely to boost production as interest in the Mirai grows.

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61 Comments on “Carter To Musk: Hydrogen Just One Basket For Toyota’s Eggs...”


  • avatar
    ydnas7

    moving from an oil based economy to an hydrogen economy

    ha ha ha ha

    street lights went from oilly to gas to electric a long time ago.

    my phone plugs in, not refills

    no one ever is moving to a hydrogen economy, ever

    Toyota is absent from future energy vehicles,

    absent

    • 0 avatar
      STRATOS

      You must be worried about your shares in Tesla.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        If I owned TSLA, I’d sure be worried about them and not because of fuel cells. There isn’t a big push on to build EVs because there’s not much profit in it and TSLA is proving that now. When the majors decide to enter the market, they have a lot of talent and capability and TSLA could be road kill.

        There’s a lot to be admired about Musk and Tesla but they’ve got to find a way to make actual profits to stay alive.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    What would Mr Carter say to the myriad other critics of FCVs who have no dog in the EV hunt?

    FCVs are more about politics than viability. It’s telling that Toyota is asking states to pony up the money for filling stations, while Tesla is paying for their own.

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    Hydrogen is energetic bovine excrement, and any Toyota engineer knows it. They do it because there are government officials who don’t, and its a small enough cost to greenwash the gov-types.

    A hydrogen car is effectively no better than a conventional hybrid like a Prius in terms of CO2/mile if the CO2 is from methane (CH4 + 2H20 -> CO2 + 4H2). It would be significantly worse than an LNG-powered Prius.

    While if the H2 is from electrolysis, its about 1/3rd the efficiency of a direct drive electric car.

    The ONLY advantage hydrogen has over a straight battery electric car is that you can fill a hydrogen tank faster then you can charge a battery. So it would only make sense if you have a 40+ mile plug-in range first, since a hydrogen car is a hybrid to begin with, and you want to take advantage of the much cheaper direct-electric: after all, the energy difference directly translates into per-mile fuel cost.

    But if you want a “fast charge electric” like that, you, well, build a PHEV with a conventional engine, and take advantage of those megawatt fast-charges all over the place called gas pumps.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “Hydrogen is energetic bovine excrement, and any Toyota engineer knows it.”

      Me and my portable tokamak disagree.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      “The ONLY advantage hydrogen has over a straight battery electric car is that you can fill a hydrogen tank faster then you can charge a battery.”

      And, yet, that remains an important consideration for many people. It also helps that a given volume of H2 (liquid or compressed) has a lot more potential energy than that same volume of batteries. This may, someday, change but that day is not yet in view.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        With EV fueling at home and at work, I don’t even have to bother spending the 5 minutes or whatever it takes to fuel a gasoline or hydrogen car. The other problem is that even though the hydrogen fill might be faster, it’s not much of advantage if you have to travel an hour out of your way to find a station.

      • 0 avatar
        ydnas7

        “The ONLY advantage hydrogen has over a straight battery electric car is that you can fill a hydrogen tank faster then you can charge a battery.”

        no, If Tesla used Toshiba SCIB cells then it would charge faster than many h2 refill stations.

        But so far, no one seems interested in paying Tesla P85 prices to get Tesla S-60 range, wonder why?

        pure EVs could charge as fast hydrogen, but their manufacturers don’t seem to think that NEW car buyers care about that if it means reduced range or performance.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          It’s only an issue with public charging. Even with my Leaf, I rarely need to hit a public charger – even on a 100 mile trip (50 miles each way – I charge at my destination). With a P85, I’d probably need to public charge maybe three or four times a year. Even then, my bladder would barely last the 3 hours it would take to get to the limits of a P85’s range.

          EV charging is unattended. You don’t have to stand there with your hand on an electron pump. Plug in, go inside, have some coffee or a meal. Things you might do anyway on a long trip in an ICE equipped car.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            mcs: “It’s only an issue with public charging. Even with my Leaf, I rarely need to hit a public charger – even on a 100 mile trip (50 miles each way – I charge at my destination).”

            mcs: “Plug in, go inside, have some coffee or a meal. Things you might do anyway on a long trip in an ICE equipped car.”

            You have a strange idea of a “long trip.” For us, anything under 300 miles is pretty much non-stop.

      • 0 avatar

        The same volume of liquid H2 – that’s a good one. Sums up the magical thinking of proponents of hydrogen nicely. It’s going to be totally awesome and will kill all the stupid batteries if only we ignore that one little physical property of LH2, which surely engineers can work around – is what we’re hearing. ULA can’t even keep LH2 from boiling in freaking space, and these guys want to pour it into cars.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      There are other advantages of hydrogen, particularly weight. We may one day power airplanes with hydrogen, but we’ll never see them powered by batteries.

      Also, for BEVs the expense is in the batteries themselves, so to add range, you have to add more of the expensive stuff (and it adds extra weight that has to be carried around all the time). FCVs only need a larger tank, and the tank isn’t the expensive part.

      That said, yes, I see a niche for hydrogen, but for the majority of vehicles and the majority of roles, batteries are the superior option.

  • avatar
    wmba

    “Toyota Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations Bob Carter”: Ah, a well-known expert on hydrogen, then. No doubt has reams of published technical papers on the subject.

    What is it about unqualified people who have risen to a position of power that makes them pontificate on subjects they know f all about?

    Or “stars” offering their views on wacko medicine theories to be lapped up as gospel by the normal grunties of this world?

    Or the Prime Minister of Canada, loaded to his intellectual gills with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, ignoring advice to shut down a nuclear reactor because it was unsafe, and then firing the head of the nuclear agency for disagreeing with him? A scenario repeated in other areas by this genius.

    With “experts” like this in charge, reason left years ago. So,for once, I’m in agreement with Musk, who actually has a technical background. When we all have a thorium reactor purring away in the utility room, sure we can dream about the “hydrogen” economy.

    Toyota can go and take its ridiculous ideas with it. And next time, try and dredge up someone with more clues than the Global Head of Door Latch Assemblies to express their thermodynamic theories.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      “Toyota Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations Bob Carter”: Ah, a well-known expert on hydrogen, then. No doubt has reams of published technical papers on the subject.

      Toyota has plenty of people who do understand the subject and they’ve briefed Carter. He is fully qualified to explain Toyota’s strategy and interest in hydrogen.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Though not due in U.S. showrooms until later this year, the automaker received over 16,000 requests for information on the car.”

    And today, I made 4 requests for information! Two for the Ghost, and two for the G55 AMG.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Battery electric will win big, especially with emerging battery tech right now. What a waste of money. Even methanol fuel cell had more ultimate promise (but its own drawbacks) than hydrogen fuel cell, due to the extreme energy densities of methanol as it is a liquid hydrocarbon.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      What “emerging battery tech” is that?

      Before you see $10K stacks of miracle-cells in what GM would like to be a $20K car, you’ll see those miracle-cells in use in higher-value applications, like the iPhone, where 3-4 year lifespan is adequate.

      As of this moment, iPhones run on Li-Ion. When your miracle-cell reaches the iPhone, you can start a 5-year timer on automotive applications.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        There are a lot of different breakthroughs being made in research every single day. Japan power plus carbon ryden battery being used in formula e is probably the closest to making it to passenger cars. Also, no, what is good for phones isn’t necessarily good for cars, different applications have different needs. It would be ridiculous to think a phone needs to be charged at 150,000 watts.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Actually, nickoo, Tesla’s cars run on the same battery technology as today’s better laptop computers. So what’s good for the computer IS good for the car.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            I know what Tesla uses. You missed the point I was making that there are different needs and requirements to make battery electric more acceptible vs phones, not of what is currently being used.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Are they really that different, Nickoo? Are they really?

            If the needs and requirements are so different, how is it that Tesla has managed to get away with using these batteries for FIVE YEARS?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        You mean like Li-po–lithium polymer–batteries which are now what the iPhone carries?

  • avatar
    suspekt

    I love how most of the board here on this article think Toyota is wrong here. They are not choosing a path that is limiting them, IN ANY WAY, from other options.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      They are wrong because they are wasting considerable time and money chasing government incentives. If the gov of Japan pulls those, they are boned. Meanwhile electric cars are almost to the point where they will not need incentives.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Toyota is wrong in that while their vehicles may have zero emmissions, their true efficiency well to wheel is far, far worse than battery-electric, as explained in a separate comment below.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        And I’m not yet convinced that emitting water vapor is actually “zero emissions.” When I was in school, CO2 was still not considered a pollutant (and no one really cared about carbon emissions). It is entirely possible (albeit I make no claim to the probability) that water vapor emissions are found to have unexpected environmental consequences.

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          Your gasser already emits water, among other things. It’s continually evaporating off the surface of all the planet’s bodies of water.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            Of course I know that. I also know what effect not flying planes over the US for a week(!) after 9/11 had, and that those results are theorized to be the results of contrails (clouds, i.e., water). I also know all too well the effects of humidity and how it varies in different locations.

            I’m not being dense, I’m keeping an open mind about things I do not definitely know instead of making assumptions.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I’m glad to see I’m not the only person to witness that phenomena that week–or at least willing to acknowledge it.

            An example of what could happen if HFC vehicles become common:
            1: Desert — Desert highways, especially freeways, develop new plant growth along the corridor. Over time, the plant growth attracts life–insects, small animals, larger animals. Roadkill becomes much more common. In the cities, they almost become oases that encourage the incursion of more desert life, both benign and deadly. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Until you begin to realize your swamp coolers don’t work as well as they used to.

            2: High humidity areas — Increased fog along roadways causing more heavy fog events that typically involve dozens of vehicles. More and longer fog warning areas that force highway drivers to slow down even more than they want. In the cities, high humidity makes for insufferable working conditions and force more energy usage in the form of de-humidifiers to try and make workspaces more livable. Air conditioners will work harder to pull humidity out of their affected areas–with coil freezing becoming much more common.

            3: Snow Belt — With increased water vapor in the air, snow events may become more prevalent, but worse will be the effects on the roads. Few living outside of snowy areas understand the term, ‘Black Ice’, for what it means. It’s a layer of ice on the road effectively invisible to the driver, letting them think they’re on dry road. That is, until they hit the brakes or try to take a curve and go into a slide. Modern anti-lock technology is good, but it is not a panacea for bad driving. Once your car is sideways, anti-lock is effectively useless. Water emissions from the tailpipe could make the issue worse by settling on cold road surfaces that are otherwise clear.

            Too many people refuse to acknowledge that even a minor shift in environmental conditions can have a major effect on their lives. I’ve lived through several such extreme changes where I’ve lived in both desert and humid environments. Some of them were large-scale changes that affected miles of highway or tens of square miles of city, while others were more localized, but clearly evident to those willing to recognize them. I’m not saying that water vapor coming from cars WILL do these things, but I can definitely see the potential for them.

          • 0 avatar
            carve

            Vulpine: Fuel cell vehicles will emit less water vapor than normal cars. They’re a bad idea for other reasons, but your fear-mongering is ridiculous.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Carve, learn how to comprehend what you read. None of that was fear-mongering but rather projections on what COULD happen, not what WOULD happen. As yet, I see no proof that HFCs release less water vapor than ICEs. Just as my own argument is an extreme example, your’s offers the opposite extreme while ignoring the real energy cost of producing that hydrogen in the first place.

          • 0 avatar
            carve

            But it couldn’t happen. Gasoline has .16 mols of hydrogen atoms per milliliter, while LIQUID hydrogen has .07 grams of hydrogen atoms per milliliter. That’s right- gasoline has over twice as much hydrogen per volume than pure, liquid hydrogen! Counterintuitive, but because the carbon atoms pull the hydrogen atoms in tight (greatly increasing density, although most of the density is carbon), it’s true. Combine that with the fact that IC engines are less efficient than fuel cells and you have a lot more water vapor in the air. So no- what you say is not something that “could” happen.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Never, but NEVER say something “can’t happen”, someone, somewhere, will go out of their way to prove you wrong.

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

            A fuel cell system operates by burning hydrogen in oxygen. It CAN and HAS exploded–in one case very famously. Or maybe you forgot about how Apollo 13 failed due to a fuel cell explosion that subsequently forced the crew to live in the lander. Pretty much everything you say can’t happen has already happened at least once, and you’re proposing that we permit millions of these potential explosions on the road.

          • 0 avatar
            carve

            What does a fuel cell explosion have to do with increased water vapor emissions? I’m just saying humidity won’t increase if everything was fuel cell- it’d go down. If two comparable cars are driving down the road, one driven by a fuel cell, the other by gasoline, the gasoline car will emit more water vapor.

            Also, the fuel cell didn’t explode on Apollo 13- it was a liquid oxygen tank explosion caused by a short on a wire in the tank. The burning insulation quickly made the tank exceed its pressure limits.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “What does a fuel cell explosion have to do with increased water vapor emissions?” — Irrelevant question; you’re trying to tie two different arguments together.

            “Also, the fuel cell didn’t explode on Apollo 13- it was a liquid oxygen tank explosion caused by a short on a wire in the tank. The burning insulation quickly made the tank exceed its pressure limits.”
            — Accepted. I didn’t bother to watch the movie (and I’m glad I didn’t after reading some of the commentary) and the reports given to the public were that it was fuel cell related at the time. And as a matter of fact, it was, since that particular liquid oxy tank fed the fuel cell.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Their rhetoric is limiting them. It would be pretty surprising if Toyota ever produced an EV and backed away from fuel cells.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Not at all.

        Why aren’t they building one today? Because the Leaf, which is about the best effort out there, has a range of 80 miles under good conditions, costs twice what a compact car costs and with $7500 in tax credits is selling at a rate of 3K/month and probably losing money doing so.

        Could Toyota compete with that? Sure. But why bother? As technology advances, they’ll consider it.

        They’re putting more traction batteries into more cars as they go along; they’re getting plenty of experience in the critical technologies necessary to compete, when they’re ready.

  • avatar
    phippsj

    Toyota can keep their hydrogen experiments.

    Just export the 70 series Land Cruiser to the states already!

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    “When you start looking in the 2020s, anybody that would deny [the potential of] moving from an oil-based economy to a hydrogen-based economy [isn’t] looking at the future correctly.”

    I’m not going to argue that hydrogen fuel cells will make it big in the future–but it will do so far more on propaganda than on real science. About the only time HFCs offer a real advantage is when you simply don’t have access to electricity in any other way–such as the old Apollo moon flights where they were going to be away from an electric plug for two weeks or longer. Even now, spacecraft are running on batteries and solar, not fuel cells.

    Don’t get me wrong; the fuel cell itself is quite an efficient means of generating electricity. But the means of obtaining the hydrogen is extremely energy intensive. Plants use far more electricity to crack, isolate and compress the hydrogen than any one electric car would use to drive the same distance compared to an HFC car. And this doesn’t even go into the costs of shipping and storing the fuel which need specialized tanks to carry the cryogenic liquid hydrogen.

  • avatar
    redliner

    Putting all your eggs in one basket (ala Tesla) is risky. Toyota is simply limiting risk. I say good for them. The faster we can get away from oil, the better.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    If battery technology improves, Toyota will be able to mass produce EVs in nothing flat.

    If substantial advances to battery technology are made, then they will probably come from a government research lab, university program or private company that specializes in battery technology, not from an automaker.

    There isn’t much reason for TMC to spend much effort on battery development. Let someone else do it first, if that’s possible.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “If substantial advances to battery technology are made, then they will probably come from a government research lab, university program or private company that specializes in battery technology, not from an automaker.”

      True. Said new technologies are already being studied by exactly the groups you name and, wonder of wonders, one such group has demonstrated up to 4x the capacity while another has demonstrated more than double the charging rate–both technologies likely available to the open market within two to three years–just in time for the Tesla Gigafactory to manufacture them for the Model III and existing cars.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Tesla wants to sell everyone batteries. They would gladly sell Toyota as many as they need to mass produce their next EV.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Believe me, redav, if Tesla becomes able to produce more batteries at a lower cost (economy of scale, if nothing else), those hybrid and EV manufacturers will come running to Tesla for their batteries. If Tesla also adopts these new technologies that improve energy density and charging rates while keeping the actual cost of the manufacturing down, they’ll be able to achieve several goals almost simultaneously.

          4x energy density could mean twice the range with less than half the weight of the battery pack or four times the range with the same size battery pack. Imagine an 800-1000 mile BEV. But the greatest advantage there would be offering a 200-mile-range ‘compact’ car that would meet almost 100% of drivers’ everyday needs at lower cost than today’s Leaf.

          2x-4x recharging rate would mean shorter charging times. That 1,000-mile Tesla could charge 800 miles in roughly one hour or 200 miles in less than ten minutes. A shorter-range vehicle might be able to charge to full in five minutes or less–little, if any, different than modern refueling at a gas station. However, since most charging is done at home, there will be far less need for recharging stations at every street corner, allowing for more individualized small businesses or even more family housing at lower costs as land becomes available.

          If these things are integrated and given effective computer control, you could program your car for a selection of range goals where your everyday driving may only use a fraction of the battery’s overall capacity and charge itself accordingly while setting a specific destination in memory would have it calculate a series of routes for GPS and charge the battery to accommodate the trip, highlighting available chargers alone each route. Tesla’s system already includes some of this capability and it wouldn’t take much to make it almost completely self controlled. The concept itself is fairly simple, the execution may be more difficult but is not impossible.

  • avatar
    carve

    “….anybody that would deny [the potential of] moving from an oil-based economy to a hydrogen-based economy [isn’t] looking at the future correctly.”

    HAHAHAHA! What an imbecile. Oil/fossil fuels are a source of energy- it takes less energy to extract, produce and distribute them than they provide, so you can run an economy from them. You need to take the energy from a source, which is usually a fossil fuel with it’s own whole supply chain, and this is one extra step. Hydrogen is an alternative to batteries- not fossil fuels! It’s just a way to store energy you got from an actual source.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Given hydrogen’s innate properties, it is a Houdini escape artist. One aspect of this problem is that there are severe storage losses. The other face of this problem will show up after a few explosions in underground parking garages. Then insurance companies will ban them from using the garages. Which they should do now rather than wait.

    Hydrogen as a car fuel is a stupid idea, and probably its promotion can be traced back to oil interests delaying development of true alternatives.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I’ve often thought to myself that if the automobile were to be introduced today, many people would be fearful of the fact that it runs on explosions provided by a carcinogenic petroleum based substance that also has the side effect of creating air pollution… However not much of this knowledge was present when Henry Ford (and others) were rolling these out over 100 years ago.

      That said, I think yours is the only post that has approached the safety angle with hydrogen as a fuel. The idea of some quantity of hydrogen exploding somewhere is an awful thought. I would hope that local governments and private institutions that have parking garages ban these from underground parking immediately. Additionally, I’d hate to see what happens when a hydrogen FCV gets squashed by a tractor-trailer in a snowstorm (like we had a few weeks ago up here in W. Michigan).

      As neat as a FCV sounds, the technological realities that go along with it are understandably why no company has really put a lot of engineering muscle behind it. How you get the hydrogen from water or nat gas becomes prohibitively expensive. At least for now, PHEVs or hybrids make more sense.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        I’m still kind a freaked out by the fact that the tanks are 10,000 psi. Initially, I had the same sort of fears about lithium batteries in EVs and managed get over that. I’m not sure I can get past the 10,000 psi issue. Even pure atmospheric air at that pressure is scary to me.

        Sure, the tanks from Toyota can handle the pressure and Toyota’s quality control is infallible (/sarcasm), but Toyota has released the patents. That means Chinese suppliers entering the picture – replacement tanks from the Lee Ki Tank Works, or more likely components for the pumping stations. Maybe your local neighborhood discount hydrogen station will decide to save some money and get their equipment from Shandong. How many of you are willing to pump 10,000 psi hydrogen into your car using this pump?:

        http://www.aliexpress.com/item/hydrogen-gas-booster-pumps/693653911.html

        What about the inspection and maintenance. Are state inspectors going to be trained? How often will these stations be inspected? What’s this going to cost? What do they look for and what would a failure be like? How reliable are these Chinese pumps (see the link above) that will more than likely find their way into stations?

        Then, there’s the issue everyone seems to be avoiding. What about individuals that would deliberately detonate one of these. Has anyone tested one to see how destructive an intentional detonation will be? 10,000 psi of hydrogen in a vehicle that could be parked anywhere without suspicion. Maybe it wouldn’t be worse than a conventional car bomb – I really don’t know enough about the subject. But, it’s a question that the industry and government needs to answer.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          While I agree about the potential misuse of the fuel tank in a car (likely a very easy weapon for the amateur terrorist), I would be far more concerned about the storage tanks used to refuel the cars. Why detonate a mere three or four cubic feet at that pressure when you could detonate three or four THOUSAND cubic feet? The effects would be far more widespread and affect people long after the initial explosion due not only to the damage done but also making it more difficult for innocent drivers to get a refill until that station is replaced. The potential for societal disruption is far higher.

          Battery packs, on the other hand, are far safer and can not affect anything beyond an extremely localized area.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            By the way, for those who think I’m fear-mongering, think again. If I can imagine it, I’m absolutely certain other can as well. In fact, I’m almost certain I’ve read novels where something similar has occurred and we’ve all already seen what happens when a standard gasoline station catches fire. Hydrogen, especially when it finds oxygen, will be far more energetic.

    • 0 avatar
      carve

      Like you said- it’s an escape artist. It tends not to build up in a particular area. Also, when it bruns it burns upward and quickly. Most of the passengers survived the hindenberg disaster. Gas just becomes a puddle burning underneath you. I would be concerned with high-pressure tank-rupture in an accident though.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        To be fair, the passengers on the Hindenburg were *already* underneath the fire to begin with…

        Point taken however. I really don’t want to be injured in a fire and neither method sounds particularly palatable to me…

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Worse however is the fact that the Hindenberg was a gas bag; the hydrogen tanks that burned were soft balloons under low pressure when it burned, and burn it did–quickly. Now, try to imagine that same energy going up in a single blast from a high-pressure container–Like the space shuttle Challenger, where nobody survived.

        • 0 avatar
          jhefner

          “Now, try to imagine that same energy going up in a single blast from a high-pressure container–Like the space shuttle Challenger, where nobody survived.”

          It would most likely be a BLEVE event — highly catastropic.

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

  • avatar
    carve

    Here are details on why hydrogen fuel cells will never be more than about 1/3 as efficient as a battery electric vehicle. Think about it…you’ll need to build 3-4x as many power stations to accomplish the same thing; that’s huge!

    http://phys.org/news85074285.html

    In the mean time, since we currently make our H2 from natural gas, burning the natural gas directly in combustion cars will offer similar or perhaps better efficiency, the infrastructure is already in place, and it can be implemented for a tiny fraction of the price (perhaps <5% when you consider the cost of the car mods plus infrastructure), making adoption an order of magnitude quicker. So…what's the point of hydrogen fuel cells?

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