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Toyota talks hydrogen at CES

  • Toyota (TM) execs painted a bright picture for the fuel cell industry in the U.S. during an energized press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show.
  • "Hydrogen-powered vehicles will be in our future much faster than many people believe, and in much greater numbers," predicts management.
  • On the question of scale, Toyota notes that 68 charging stations stretching from San Francisco past Silicon Valley to Southern California could support 10K fuel cell vehicles. A rough estimate of a 2015 launch date is still in play.
  • What to watch: Toyota says it has drastically reduced the estimated cost of the FCV concept sedan but isn't being real specific about numbers. The automaker's market entry point, production run totals, and range claims will all be watched by EV sellers such as Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Honda (HMC), and Tesla Motors (TSLA).
Comments (76)
  • andrewr1
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
     
    Did they address the $8 per gallon issue?
    6 Jan, 07:37 PM Reply Like
  • rkw29
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    Gallon? Hydrogen is a gas.
    6 Jan, 07:50 PM Reply Like
  • Leigh Christie
    , contributor
    Comments (72) | Send Message
     
    $PGE = $/gallon equivalent (on an energy basis including efficiency gains).
    6 Jan, 08:03 PM Reply Like
  • rkw29
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    Hydrogen can range from $4 to $12 per Kilogram which has been widely equated to 1 Gallon. However, the fact is Hydrogen fuel cell cars are much more efficient mileage wise at around 2.5 times efficiency of gas so it equates to about 1.60 to 4.80 per gallon. This is also without mass production of hydrogen which would decrease costs.
    6 Jan, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • pbmat
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    that was world war II
    Hydrogen for fuel cell car will be available at gas stations
    6 Jan, 11:02 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3443) | Send Message
     
    They have been mass producing hydrogen for the Space Shuttle and other space rockets for decades.
    7 Jan, 10:02 AM Reply Like
  • chfp
    , contributor
    Comments (529) | Send Message
     
    rkw29 "Gallon? Hydrogen is a gas."

     

    Gallon is a measure of liquid capacity, and any matter can become a liquid under the right environment. You don't actually think hydrogen would be transported in the tank as a gas, do you? That would last all of 1 minute driving down the road.
    7 Jan, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • chfp
    , contributor
    Comments (529) | Send Message
     
    Tdot "They have been mass producing hydrogen for the Space Shuttle and other space rockets for decades."

     

    That's a poor argument for economic feasibility. Sure the technology has been around, but the cost is high. It only works for space travel because of the high budgets and lack of alternatives.

     

    It's amazing how people can criticize the cost of EVs on the one hand while trumpeting much more expensive fuel cell technology.
    7 Jan, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • joeinslw@gmail.com
    , contributor
    Comments (571) | Send Message
     
    How does that cost compete with FREE? Tesla has Superchargers that are free to Tesla Model S, X, or Gen 3 owners, and I agree they are not everywhere YET, but one day in the next three years they will be.
    So my question still stands, in the next three years (It will take Toyota three years to get there Hydro cars selling) how will the Hydro costs compare with FREE?
    7 Jan, 04:07 PM Reply Like
  • joeinslw@gmail.com
    , contributor
    Comments (571) | Send Message
     
    chfp do ya know why they are praising hydro now and downplaying EV's? They are shorting the stock and they are desperate for the price to go down.
    Many have admitted that they missed it when it was cheap enough to buy, but now they can't afford to buy it so they short it in the hope it will come down and they can"get in" then.
    In the mean time they are loosing their shorts, shorting tsla, and it hasn't really tanked enough for them to make any money so they keep trying to talk the stock down.........
    7 Jan, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    "They have been mass producing hydrogen for the Space Shuttle and other space rockets for decades."

     

    The lives lost in that tragic error find meaning only if that warning is heeded to head off a far greater tragedy for the whole of mankind.

     

    http://bit.ly/1cOvhso

     

    Soberly, sincerely and respectfully. Mankind as a whole cannot and must not allow itself to be duped by the oil industry on the scale envisaged by hydrogen smokeless mirror scandal.
    8 Jan, 12:38 AM Reply Like
  • John Bingham
    , contributor
    Comments (805) | Send Message
     
    Thank you, Ford, a sad day we all remember.

     

    For all who hear the hype around hydrogen fuel cell cars please remember this. The Challenger had two types of propulsion units, two solid fuel boosters (like giant skyrockets) and the three primary engines powered by hydrogen / oxygen liquid fuel.

     

    A small leak in one of the solid fuel boosters (which continued to operate) caused the hydrogen and oxygen tanks to rupture. It was the ignition of the hydrogen in the presence of oxygen that caused the explosion.

     

    A HFC car carries ultra-highly pressurized hydrogen. The current cars use about 340 atmospheres pressure but proposals are in place for up to 700 atmospheres pressure. In simple terms this means that the tank in the car actually holds enough hydrogen to fill a volume up to 700 times larger if it escapes through even the tiniest leak.

     

    You will hear that hydrogen is safe because it is a light gas and will rise away from any leak. This is true, but it can also rapidly fill a confined space, such as the inside of a car or a garage. Hydrogen needs only a very small ignition source to cause it to burn in the presence of oxygen, which we have all around us in the atmosphere. At only 4% concentration hydrogen is explosive in the atmosphere. At slightly higher concentrations, as may happen with a leak into the body of a car, hydrogen can cause asphyxiation.

     

    There is no doubt that hydrogen and HFC systems have proven to be invaluable in space applications, but there is absolutely no reason to use them in domestic vehicles where an electric drive train (still needed in every HFC car) is simpler, safer and much more efficient.
    8 Jan, 04:29 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3443) | Send Message
     
    That, Ford, is both a horrible and ignorant argument. Shame on you for invoking the lives of dead NASA astronauts in your faulty argument.

     

    It was the solid rocket booster that failed (bad O-rings and bad seal design) and caused the destruction of Challenger. The booster's lower mount was melted by the escaping burning solid rocket fuel and broke, allowing the nose of the solid rocket to pivot into the hydrogen tank, rupturing it and causing the explosion that blew the shuttle apart. Essentially the solid rocket booster became a missile that then destroyed the rest of the ship. It does not matter the type of fuel in the tank - Challenger was doomed, being struck by it's own "ordnance".

     

    You cannot blame the hydrogen fuel for getting hit by a missile. Gasoline or Natural Gas or Diesel or whatever would have had the same result.

     

    If the Shuttle system had no solid rocket boosters, and only had the main engines burning pure hydrogen and oxygen, everything else being the same, the Challenger accident would never have happened.

     

    The reverse is not true: if the shuttles only had the strapped-on solid rocket boosters, and no hydrogen-oxygen main engines, everything else being the same the accident would have still happened.

     

    The solid rocket fueled boosters took out Challenger, not the Hydrogen.
    8 Jan, 05:22 AM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    Tdot. You are correct and I apologise.

     

    The Shuttle Challenger was evoked in this video: http://bit.ly/1a7UVII

     

    And I was sloppy in not double checking the point of ignition.

     

    The point was well meant. Of that I promise. Unless you are willing to bet the future of all of us on less than 1% of scientific consensus (in other words the ones that imagine 400ppm atmospheric CO2 and rising exponentially is a good thing). Highlighting, understanding and avoiding the monumental scam implicit in Fuel Cell Vehicles is pretty darn vital.

     

    This is an oil industry initiative aimed at usurping the "green energy and transportation" resources of governments, markets and maybe consumers too and divert those resources from their intended purpose towards funding a fossil fuel based economy that is end to end horribly more destructive than gasoline. If the 99% are correct this is absolutely the fastest way possible to achieve the worst possible case scenario funded by defrauding those who would offer up resources in good faith to solve the problem they would be contributing to.

     

    Again I apologise for means. As for ends, that is another matter.

     

    I will explain the science and business case underpinning the above statements at length in due course.
    8 Jan, 07:43 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3443) | Send Message
     
    And I was harsh with you in my reply, and I apologize as well.

     

    As for Hydrogen, I am by no means a huge fan of Hydrogen fuel in the hands of civilians. But I am much more concerned about potential terrorists, criminals, and uneducated or insane folks (never mind teenagers) having access to high pressure bulk storage hydrogen gas tanks (or liquid hydrogen for that matter).

     

    The relatively small amount of hydrogen stored in a fuel cell vehicle in most crash safety studies and such has proven to be relatively harmless to occupants and pedestrians, as compared to liquid gasoline or diesel fuel spilled on the ground and splashed around and ignited in the interior of a crash vehicle. As explained elsewhere, once hydrogen is released from the fuel tank, it escapes with a rapid WHOOSH! and is gone in a matter of seconds, taking any flames along with it to the sky away from the vehicle, occupants, and pedestrians.

     

    As for slow leaks in garages and such, onboard sensors can detect and report leaks as well as the build-up of hydrogen in the garage, and a simple roof vent can deal with it. Any escaped hydrogen from the vehicle would immediately "puddle" in the top of the roof and escape. With essentially 1/4th the mass and density of helium used in balloons, it wants to rise up to the highest possible point as quickly as possible.

     

    But again, I would be deeply concerned about untrained civilians and others handling bulk hydrogen gas fuel. Hopefully the NHTSA or other regulatory bodies in cooperation with Homeland Security would require professional refueling by licensed handlers of bulk gasses.
    8 Jan, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • dnorm1234
    , contributor
    Comments (828) | Send Message
     
    >How does that cost compete with FREE? Tesla has Superchargers that are free

     

    Free to the users doesn't mean there is no cost associated with it. You can't be that naive; electricity isn't free.
    8 Jan, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    "Free to the users doesn't mean there is no cost associated with it. []electricity isn't free."

     

    At risk of a petty answer. Following the capital cost of installation of a solar panel, the actual energy for solar does enter the system about as free as anything gets.

     

    Hydrogen is very different. There is literally no free hydrogen deposits in nature, at least not on this planet. The closest viable thing we do have deposits of is Natural Gas. If you take natural gas and burn off 25~35% of its energy content in a steam reformer then you can have some Hydrogen and some CO2 and some hydrogen sulphide.

     

    As soon as you dump the CO2 and H2S....... you can go ahead and use up another 5% to 10% of the energy content in a compressor or a freezer and now you have compressed or liquid Hydrogen.

     

    With that you can get in a truck and drive the Hydrogen to market (20%).

     

    BUT when you get there you can pretend it is a clean alternative energy fuel.

     

    Which is flipping' hilarious scam when you consider it. Now you have something the Greenies and Liberals are ready to throw green energy $$$ at, for the benefit of the THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY for taking a filthy fracking product whose "global warming hoax" environmental problems were such a big freaking deal - and making it literally twice as bad as it was to begin with gets you some of the environmental grant dollars that would otherwise have gone into making the world better!

     

    Oh get this. Now we have a version of Natural Gas with only HALF of its energy content remaining - why not use it to screw those boys with the 90% efficient EVs.

     

    What do you think could possibly be an oil and gas industry's wet dream on that score? A battery you can put fuel in of course!! Oh and it gets even better. Maximum practical efficiency of a fuel cell about 50%.

     

    So now we have 50% of 50% for a grand total of 25% of the energy of Natural Gas remaining. Then you can run it through the mechanisms of a 90% efficient EV and end up with something in the order of 23% well to wheel efficiency. Subsidised by the government, invested in by wide eyed liberals and greenies wishing for a better world without oil, and sold to - well hopefully there are some green freaks left with no education or access to Google.

     

    But you see that last bit does not even matter. The whole point of this entire scam is to distract the media with phantom competition to EVs, divert government funds intended to help find environmental alternatives to fossil fuels and waste them on a pipe dream under the banner of green energy, and rip off green energy investors so royally that they will never put another penny into valid alternative energy project ever again. Voila c'est manifique!

     

    Toyota, bless them can just waive a prototype around with a water-vapor exhaust. Never actually need to sell a single one of them. The second to worst thing after a Solar + EV economy that can possibly happen to the oil industry is having to actually operate a hydrogen economy. Why? See above. When the green subsidies have died out Hydrogen is so wasteful that it is at least double the cost per kWh of just shipping Natural Gas. If it turns out to be possible to screw up real progress with a Fuel Cell ruse like they did in the late 1990s (pre universal Google access), then just as they did back then, the oil industry can just go back to business as usual. Pretty sure the $200 Million of Hydrogen infrastructure donated by the taxpayers of California will work just fine for selling Natural Gas.

     

    Anyway, considering this is an investment forum and not a Greenpeace convention. I would strongly suggest talking the oil industry's money on fuel cell stocks for a few months and then getting the heck out of dodge before Greenpeace or more likely the Tesla Gen III actually shows up to ruin the party. Last time the poster child for the ruse was Ballard Power (BLDP) - look at that chart around about the year 2000 - that was their part in the Who Killed the Electric Car. This time it looks as though Plug Power Inc (PLUG) is blessed with big-oil's green advertising dollars. Enjoy.
    8 Jan, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • nswanberg
    , contributor
    Comments (109) | Send Message
     
    This has been an interesting thread. One technology that has not been considered in this thread is the storing of hydrogen in the form hydrates that when immersed in water produce hydrides and release hydrogen from the separated water. Some of the scenarios I have studied will actually store hydrogen more densely than if it was stored in a cryogenic liquid form. Again, this is not an energy source of hydrogen but rather an energy storage system for hydrogen. The hydrates still have to be reclaimed by adding energy to the hydrides. Even so it could still place free hydrogen in the hands of those who would do harm with it, however, it is even easier to do such harm using gasoline.
    9 Jan, 01:50 AM Reply Like
  • Tom McClennan
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    A Fool-cell car is basically an electric vehicle where stored hydrogen is the energy carrier. The hydrogen needs to be stored in a 5,000 PSI tank to get respectable range ( .. good luck with that).

     

    The daft thing is that making hydrogen needs high grade electricity for an electrolysis process that is LESS than 25% efficient, and that’s before all the energy needed to compress it.

     

    Surely its far far more efficient to forget all the electrolysing and simply store the electricity in the first place …

     

    Afterall, synthetic hydrogen as an energy carrier cannot be more efficient than the energy from which is it produced !! Renewable energy is far better distributed by electrons than any hydrogen method.

     

    There's no rational engineering or ecological or energy argument that comes close to justifying fuel cell cars … except profit generation for existing petrochemical companies, and enslavement to tax raising methods for governments, using the existing petrochemical distribution infrastructure which will one day be redundant give reducing oil reserves..
    6 Jan, 07:45 PM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (664) | Send Message
     
    Tom Mc you are aware the hydrogen is used to make electricity. That same inefficient electricity is used to charge those those plug in electric vehicles. I have been wrong many times before, but my money goes to fuel cells
    6 Jan, 08:00 PM Reply Like
  • Leigh Christie
    , contributor
    Comments (72) | Send Message
     
    Bear Bait: your comment is so far beyond ironic, I'm simply baffled.

     

    First of all, the electricity that is generated from stationary fuel cells is dominated by just three companies:
    -FuelCell Energy (MCFC, 300 kW+)
    -Bloom Energy (SOFC, 200 kW)
    -ClearEdge Power (PAFC, 400 kW... formerly UTC)

     

    None of these are PEM fuel cells... the type used in automotive applications by Toyota, Daimler etc...).

     

    The MCFC, SOFC and PAFCs are run at much higher efficiencies, higher temperatures and usually lower power densities than automotive applications. You're comparison makes no sense.

     

    The other reason why your comment is ironic, is because electric vehicles are vastly more efficient than PEM fuel cell systems. While it is possible to opperate a PEM fuel cell pack at 80%+ efficiency, this is waaaaay too far to the left on the IV curve... in other words: very low power densities... which is not good for automotive. The curve for battery packs and electric motors, however, is much more flat. You can pump out 100kW+ and only suffer a few % points of ohmic losses.

     

    cheers.
    6 Jan, 08:19 PM Reply Like
  • nwdiver
    , contributor
    Comments (308) | Send Message
     
    Stationary fool cells like the Bloombox can be economically viable due to a higher capacity factor... a 10kW fuel cell will pump out 8700 kWh/yr using cheap natural gas. Most FCEV drivers would generate ~4500 kWh with a 100kW fuel cell annually. 10x more expensive 50% less production. I suppose if you could plug your car into a gas line and 200amp outlet then it might be viable...

     

    Using Hydrogen now is pure propaganda since fool cells can use Nat Gas and 90% percent of H2 is produced from Nat Gas. At least BEVs can use solar PV.
    6 Jan, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • Raymondalpha
    , contributor
    Comments (76) | Send Message
     
    GM built a fleet of Fuel Cell Equinox vehicles in 2008 and they were quite efficient to run, since they were running on electricity generated onboard by a hydrogen fuel cell and stored in a a smaller battery, and as a fact were the first electric powered SUVs ever produced. But after five years, GM concluded that the hydrogen infrastructure was too expensive to create (who will buy a FC vehicle if there is no hydrogen to fuel it). The vehicles were retired and that ended GM's experiment. If GM couldn't make it work, why does anyone believe that Toyota will?

     

    Does Toyota have a hydrogen generating system that is cheaper than buying gasoline? And if you are on highway and run out of hydrogen, does AAA have hydrogen fuel trucks to resupply you?

     

    Pure battery powered vehicles are much better, have very little maintenance, have no environmental issues, and are quite simple. How many of you played with battery powered toys, or gave them to your children? Now just scale them up to carry human passengers, and you have it! Finally, you can make your own electricity with wind turbines or photoelectric panels and charge the battery for free. Can you generate your own hydrogen fuel?
    6 Jan, 09:02 PM Reply Like
  • Raymondalpha
    , contributor
    Comments (76) | Send Message
     
    Tom., you are 100% correct!
    6 Jan, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • fiwiki
    , contributor
    Comments (359) | Send Message
     
    Pure battery powered vehicles…… have no environmental issues, ************REally ?
    6 Jan, 10:39 PM Reply Like
  • omarbradley
    , contributor
    Comments (966) | Send Message
     
    not an expert but if the drive systems are all the same (the "ev" part) then who cares? you could get all three...solar battery, tesla style lithium and a fuel storage fuel cell type. if the drive system is all they all would have the same effect...namely increasing range, power, efficiency etc. I think we're fast approaching such a few basic engine technologies in the fuel space as well--standardized v-8's, v-6's and 4 cylinder diesels. should be interesting to see what effect this all has on mechanical drive systems as well...don't see why you can't have just one there as well.
    6 Jan, 11:03 PM Reply Like
  • omarbradley
    , contributor
    Comments (966) | Send Message
     
    it all sounds good for "refineries"...those that refine the gas, those that refine the metal, those that refine the oil...you name it.
    6 Jan, 11:04 PM Reply Like
  • Mr. Cat
    , contributor
    Comments (105) | Send Message
     
    I like your 1st paragraph. Excellent point to make.
    7 Jan, 01:17 AM Reply Like
  • John Bingham
    , contributor
    Comments (805) | Send Message
     
    Raymondalpha,

     

    Mostly right, except the first electric SUV was the first generation pure electric Toyota RAV4-EV from 1997 to 2003. Happily some 700 of these cars were sold, and not leased, so they survived the mass crushing (literally!) of EVs back in the early 2000s and most of them are still being driven today. The destruction of what could have been the start of an EV future was due to a concerted effort from the Detroit Three and Big Oil in overturning CA's zero emissions regulations.

     

    Toyota have no interest in EVs as such. The first RAV4-EV had a drive train designed by Panasonic, and the second generation car has a Tesla drive train. Both were bought-in by Toyota and both are "compliance cars", made in just sufficient numbers to get them off the zero emissions penalty hook. Promising an HFC vehicle with a 300 miles range (just watch for when the official performance figures are released) gives Toyota more zero emission credits than a range restricted EV!

     

    One of the smoke and mirror tricks in the past to take our collective mind off pure EVs was to promise a cheap future with, guess what, HFC vehicles!

     

    To add to what Raymond has already said:

     

    Producing and compressing hydrogen are both energy intensive and hazardous operations. Transporting highly compressed hydrogen is an extremely hazardous operation - but this is what you have to do in every HFC vehicle!

     

    Sure we are being promised a hydrogen refueling infrastructure (and have been for some 20 plus years), but electric refueling stations are already there in every house!
    7 Jan, 04:59 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3443) | Send Message
     
    Ford also experimented with a fuel cell fleet several years ago. The technology demonstration is there; it is the production cost and refueling that has been impractical.

     

    If Toyota has gone and found a way to produce and sell FCVs without having to essentially give away the fuel cell electrical generation system (the rest is no more complicated than a Leaf), then good for them. Chances are though that Toyota will be writing off billions in development and production costs (they have many tens of billions in cash reserves from all those Americans buying their Camrys) and actually leasing out the hydrogen fuel cell powerpacks, as opposed to selling the vehicle outright. But who knows - they have more free cash than most of the other automakers put together.
    7 Jan, 09:15 AM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    Tdot

     

    "If Toyota has gone and found a way to produce and sell FCVs without having to essentially give away the fuel cell electrical generation system......."

     

    This is a 100% Oil Industry PR stunt. There need not be any production-ready technology nor any rational economics in evidence.

     

    Look at it a second: Totota announces a car that goes 0-60 in 10.5 seconds and instead of paying for gas you have to pay for Hydrogen. Are you excited to buy it under any circumstances?

     

    Is there any statement of interest in this car that is not from Toyota?

     

    Yes! California's Green Energy Grant issuing office to the tune of $200 Million.

     

    Is it a green energy vehicle?

     

    NO!

     

    It is a complete fraud that is powered by 50% energy-depleted Natural Gas!

     

    To make matters worse it has a 50% down conversion in efficiency to around 25% before there is anything left over to charge the Prius battery onboard. About 23% from Fracking Rig to Wheel.

     

    How to build a green and altogether better car with 70% end to end efficiency - Scrap the Fuel Cell and increase the battery size of course. Without the oil and gas industry there is no such thing as a Fuel Cell, and their only interest is to hinder the progress of initiatives that stand to cut the consumption of fossil fuels.
    9 Jan, 04:11 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3443) | Send Message
     
    All I can say is Someone needs to do an official peer-reviewed cradle-to-grave carbon footprint analysis of Toyota's new vehicle and fuel system, and compare it to all the other options out there for a similar size class vehicle (gasoline, diesel, hybrids, CNG, LPG, etc.).

     

    The rest is fluff, politics, and carnies shouting at rubes.
    9 Jan, 05:18 AM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    There is a pretty good article about it here:

     

    http://bit.ly/TVJ2mi

     

    It shows a flow chart postulating inputting 100kWh of renewable electricity into a 75% efficient electrolysis process and taking it from there. Result 19~23% end to end efficiency depending whether the H2 is compressed or liquified.

     

    This document about steam refining: http://bit.ly/1abnN31

     

    States the typical figures of 65~75% efficiency for steam reforming natural gas. If we are to be generous (75%) then the end result is exactly the same 19~23% end to end efficiency.

     

    Toyota did not announce a Fuel Cell Vehicle hoping that it will be powered by scrounging methane from land fill or hoping the owners of a wind farm would agree to a 75% cut in earnings. This is a Natural Gas fuelled product based on a mature and existing process of the oil industry where 95% of Hydrogen already comes from. http://1.usa.gov/1abnOE3

     

    Here is a nice abstract from a study done in the United Arab Emirates proudly dismissing the cost comparison of any other way of making Hydrogen for the likes of Toyota's FCV.
    http://bit.ly/1abnOE5
    9 Jan, 08:22 AM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (873) | Send Message
     
    Hydrogen fuel cells were the rave about 10 years ago and then they faded away. There were huge concerns with flammability as hydrogen is more flammable then gasoline. Just ask any chemistry teacher. The best car would be a plug-in hybrid with a big electric range of 50+ miles. If they could build and sell that for under $40,000 that would be a huge success. I drive a C-Max Energi and love being able to drive on electric only.
    6 Jan, 07:48 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3443) | Send Message
     
    One of the interesting features of hydrogen "flammability" is that, in case of a substantial leak, there is a brief "Whoosh!" and all the gas shoots upward toward the sky with nearly invisible flames (if ignited), and is gone in seconds. This as opposed to gasoline, which dumps on the ground or splashes around, saturating and sticking to everything (including people), as it burns, burns, burns for many minutes until it is gone.

     

    Will all respect to those who perished, the "Hindenburg" image that many folks have regarding hydrogen safety is a bit of a misleading myth: the burning you see in the historical footage is the fabrics, gas bags, and other materials and framework that made up the structure and interior. The Hydrogen, which was essentially evenly distributed in bags throughout the structure, certainly helped accelerate the spreading of the flames, but it was very quickly gone once released. The visible flames were the other stuff that made up the dirigible.

     

    By comparison, isolated hydrogen fuel cell storage tank in modern road vehicles would be well isolated from anything flammable or alive, and again it would be gone in seconds in the case of a catastrophic release.

     

    The real question is going to be - who should be allowed to handle the bulk hydrogen used to refuel these vehicles? People frequently spill gasoline and diesel fuel while refueling their cars now. One can easily imagine terrorists and teenagers working out creative ways to use hydrogen fuel destructively.
    7 Jan, 09:38 AM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (873) | Send Message
     
    Take some sodium and throw it into some water and watch the explosion. I have done this numerous times for my students. As you can imagine they love it! What is exploding? The hydrogen gas that is coming out of the H2O
    10 Jan, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    Here is a pre-taste of a vehicle fire when the vehicle is running on compressed flammable gas.

     

    http://bit.ly/1c01Kfi
    10 Jan, 04:43 PM Reply Like
  • jstack6
    , contributor
    Comments (50) | Send Message
     
    Toyota doesn't seem to believe in 100% electric cars that are here and real. Yet they are taking hype about Fuel Cells that cost 10 times as much and can't run on solar ,wind or even hydro. 90% of hydrogen is made from fossil fuels. A Fuel cell car needs batteries to start, store regenerative braking so why not just use batteries?
    6 Jan, 07:55 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3443) | Send Message
     
    The fuel cell in a fuel cell vehicle is essentially in the role of the gas engine generator in the Chevy Volt. The fuel cell generates electricity to charge the main battery - essentially storing electrons in capacitors and the battery, to be distributed as needed to power the drive system and accessories.
    7 Jan, 09:48 AM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana
    , contributor
    Comments (1793) | Send Message
     
    So Toyota gave us a number; 68 stations needed for 10 K vehicles.

     

    So we know each of those stations cost ~1 Million to build.

     

    So, where is the economic incentive to build the stations, or where is the economic incentive to purchase hydrogen?

     

    The running costs must be lower than a regular car to justify the price.

     

    Secondly, I love it when people cite "green hydrogen"
    First off- most hydrogen comes from the oxidation of hydrocarbons.

     

    Yes, it can come from water, BUT the input energy needed is roughly 5x as the energy contained in a hydrogen molecule. Also you need to compress it. Also to do electrolysis it has to be pure water- you have any bit of sodium chloride- you form chlorine gas.
    6 Jan, 08:19 PM Reply Like
  • Mr. Cat
    , contributor
    Comments (105) | Send Message
     
    Dan, thanks for the tuition on chemistry. Can't imagine why Toyota is so determined to promote Fool cell vehicle. I had been long for quite some time on Clean Energy (clne) who provides liquefied and compressed natural gas and the infrastructure. Just gave it up recently because it is obviously too slow and expensive to build the natural gas station. Hydrogen has much more technical issues and cost of getting it than natural gas. Let's forget Toyota.
    6 Jan, 11:02 PM Reply Like
  • omarbradley
    , contributor
    Comments (966) | Send Message
     
    I think Los Angeles already has the infrastructure built out. there is a question of just how cheap electricity can be had for.
    6 Jan, 11:05 PM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana
    , contributor
    Comments (1793) | Send Message
     
    Yes, California has a quasi amount of station built out; enough to handle ~10,000 vehicles. In many states there is no hydrogen stations. Selling cars in a populous state is good, selling and making cars exclusively for one state is horrible.

     

    There in lies the problem. In order for hydrogen to become mainstream, you need all the states to have enough hydrogen stations.

     

    Hydrogen is attempting to compete with two preexisting infrastructures, electricity and gasoline.

     

    There is 3 issues with Toyota:
    Culture- shame associated with admitting failure
    Gambling- they get 9 CARB credits for a Fuel cell vs 3 to 7 CARB credits for an EV
    Milking- Milking Prius tech for all it's worth

     

    I think in 20-30 years this is going to make an interesting case study for a MBA program. They are following the entrenched players dilemma perfectly.
    7 Jan, 02:38 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3443) | Send Message
     
    Dan - That is an interesting point. Toyota is also already making big profits in "selling" their extra CARB credits to other automakers who miss their CARB targets.

     

    One can envision those enthusiastic CARB auctions as the market sets the price and the targets become more severe.
    7 Jan, 09:53 AM Reply Like
  • surferbroadband
    , contributor
    Comments (952) | Send Message
     
    Dan, excellent point.

     

    "following the entrenched players dilemma perfectly"

     

    That is why in 10 to 15 years they will all be bankrupt. i.e. Toyota, GM, Chrysler ( Fiat), Ford, etc...
    7 Jan, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • hneumann
    , contributor
    Comments (560) | Send Message
     
    EV more convenient,,efficient and safer than hydrogen powered cars. I'm with cbroncos and jstack6
    6 Jan, 08:27 PM Reply Like
  • myztiX
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    Solar power and EV is the way to go
    6 Jan, 08:29 PM Reply Like
  • nwdiver
    , contributor
    Comments (308) | Send Message
     
    +1
    6 Jan, 08:53 PM Reply Like
  • myztiX
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    Set up solar panels at strip malls. People get x minutes to park (voucher), people shop at strip malls. Not rocket science. KISS
    6 Jan, 09:03 PM Reply Like
  • tomfrompv
    , contributor
    Comments (3078) | Send Message
     
    Looks like ICE manufacturers have nothing to worry about for a long time.
    6 Jan, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3443) | Send Message
     
    Interestingly hydrogen also makes a very good fuel for conventional IC engines. There are fleets of airport shuttle buses that use hydrogen for fueling a regular engine.
    7 Jan, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    "Interestingly hydrogen also makes a very good fuel for conventional IC engines. There are fleets of airport shuttle buses that use hydrogen for fueling a regular engine"

     

    The Natural Gas feedstock used for making hydrogen is considerably better from a performance and end to end efficiency perspective.

     

    Granted there are special use cases like airport shuttle busses and indoor fork-lifts where the added energy costs are offset by a major benefit in not having noxious exhaust fumes in local proximity to the vehicle.
    10 Jan, 05:02 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3443) | Send Message
     
    That is a good point - the chief motivation for hydrogen fueled vehicles of any sort are the relatively mild emissions, generally just warm water vapor. This advantage over burning hydrocarbon-based fuels is especially useful in crowded pedestrian areas and enclosed spaces and such.
    10 Jan, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    Indeed. It goes without saying that electric busses and cars are the end game that trump all from the perspectives of efficiency, emissions, safety and pre-existence of infrastructure.
    10 Jan, 06:30 PM Reply Like
  • RussNC
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Two words: Gas O Line.
    6 Jan, 09:30 PM Reply Like
  • Zorro Trades
    , contributor
    Comments (82) | Send Message
     
    One things certain. More hype and attention given to fuel cells will surely benefit resurgent companies Plug Power, Ballard Power, and Fuel Cell Energy.
    6 Jan, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • kevin roman
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
     
    you forgot mantra energy a fuel cell that's formic acid based the fuel cell of the future
    13 Jan, 12:00 AM Reply Like
  • kevin roman
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
     
    you forgot mantra energy who are developing a fuel cell that will make them all obsolete using formic acid as a base from capturing co2 from big polutors like Lafarge cement
    13 Jan, 12:00 AM Reply Like
  • fiwiki
    , contributor
    Comments (359) | Send Message
     
    Fuel cell vehicles are nothing if not another ruse to extort more Obama " green initiative " tax dollars.
    6 Jan, 10:42 PM Reply Like
  • MrVincent
    , contributor
    Comments (230) | Send Message
     
    Fuel Cell much better than electric cars which are a huge failure. Toyota is right once again. They were right with Hybrid and will be proven right with this technology. You can talk all you want about pure electric cars, but people just don't want them.
    6 Jan, 11:27 PM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana
    , contributor
    Comments (1793) | Send Message
     
    Yes, people don't want battery operated cars.
    That is why Tesla has a wait list; depending on the configuration of up to 3 months.

     

    That is why the Tesla is outselling the corvette and outselling many other large luxury vehicles. Last I heard Tesla had ~17,500 US sales in 2013, more than other cars in it's price range.

     

    Even the lowly Leaf, 22,000 US car sales this year. That is not bad considering a sub 100 mile EV for that price.

     

    Let me correct your sentence- " No one wants EVs that are limited because they are built purely as compliance cars; built on existing platforms, and offer no advantages and or lack features (excluding range) over their ICE counterparts, one such example being the Ford Focus EV"

     

    You can't slap batteries in the back, motors in the front; take away lots of trunk space, and price it above competitors- that doesn't work for sales. No one want that type of EV, but EVs that are designed with a front and back trunk- well, there is a demand.
    7 Jan, 05:55 AM Reply Like
  • fiwiki
    , contributor
    Comments (359) | Send Message
     
    You conflate "want battery operated cars" with wealthy individuals that have nothing in common with the average middle class driver or an interest " greening the planet".
    10 Jan, 06:54 PM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    @fiwiki

     

    That respectfully is an excessively short term perspective.
    10 Jan, 07:57 PM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana
    , contributor
    Comments (1793) | Send Message
     
    fiwiki
    It's not about greenness, specifically with the Tesla.
    People want the car because it is nifty and fast, and you can charge it at your home.

     

    There was a little web crawler survey, Tesla owners and fans are not actually interested in greening the planet. They tend to be more of the "wild bunch" who are interested in Whiskey, fast vehicles, hate traffic, and interested in economics.
    22 Feb, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • King Rat
    , contributor
    Comments (567) | Send Message
     
    Recent weather in the northern midwest and east US exemplify conditions where current electric technology is not quite up to par with ICE. However is hydrogen the answer? Water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas, is it not? Also it is hard for the public to rally around too many multiple standards. The US already has 3 octane choices plus diesel. Now you add electric and hydrogen and the picture gets crowded. 1 or 2 of those standards will likely get phased out.
    7 Jan, 01:21 AM Reply Like
  • nswanberg
    , contributor
    Comments (109) | Send Message
     
    On this planet hydrogen is not an energy source. We recently had a president that wanted to burn fossil fules to produce hydrogen to save fossil fuels.
    7 Jan, 02:22 AM Reply Like
  • evjohn
    , contributor
    Comments (113) | Send Message
     
    Will H be FREE when you need to refill? NOT IN A MI LLION YEARS! Tesla is building the FREE transportation system of the future. H vehicles no matter what they cost initially WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO COMPETE WITH FREE! Once again PV (read renewable energy) and EV is the future of transportation. More and more car companies will be offering solar electric systems when they sell their 100% EVs.
    7 Jan, 04:37 AM Reply Like
  • gen3
    , contributor
    Comments (296) | Send Message
     
    Fill up time for Hydrogen

     

    250 miles range 12 to 14 minutes

     

    350 miles ranges 16 to 18 minutes

     

    You CANNOT make hydrogen pour at the same speed as gasoline as it freezes.

     

    And unlike a TESLA SUPERCHARGER that is working while you enjoy a nice
    coffee and sandwich in a warm place you would standing in the freezing cold
    for 16 minutes filling up your hydrogen.
    7 Jan, 09:55 AM Reply Like
  • evjohn
    , contributor
    Comments (113) | Send Message
     
    MrVincent,
    Once EVs have a range of up to 1000 miles (and there are already prototypes in real life today) people will be lining up for them. The media keeps lots of people from wanting them because of the false premise of "range anxiety". I have owned 4 electric vehicles and I have never had any issues with range. If I knew I needed to go out of the EV range I would simple swith to my ICE vehicle. EVERY household in America should own at least one EV today because the other vehicle will normally be an ICE with unlimited range. Fair enough?
    7 Jan, 04:44 AM Reply Like
  • winfield100
    , contributor
    Comments (705) | Send Message
     
    fool cells. take natural gas (which would run a vehicle), CH4, steam refine to strip the carbon (really hot), then freeze it squeeze it at 1,000's of atmospheres into a metal container that gets VERY brittle due to the cold, the H2 can leak out of the container through the metal, and in the process LOSE 90% (ninety percent) of the usable energy THEN turn it back to electricity in a fuel cell that gets contaminated in a few years and dies.
    OR buy an EV or a PHEV and plugin to the literally billions of electrical outlets already in place in the entire country as we have an electrical grid already in place for fueling them.
    (like my PHEV)
    7 Jan, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • azgog
    , contributor
    Comments (157) | Send Message
     
    True that. Every household with 2 or more cars should make the second one an EV, and in time they will. Hydrogen is just stupid/expensive and will fail.
    7 Jan, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    Also for heaven's sake don't park a Hydrogen-powered vehicle indoors.

     

    After a hundred years of trying these guys can't even produce a vehicle that can be relied upon not to leak something 1000 times more viscous (oil).

     

    Odourless invisible and explosive gas mixtures around the garage light fittings is not a surprise I would want to wake up to. No polite please pull over safely message for this puppy. Just Morning sucker! Boooom.
    7 Jan, 03:46 PM Reply Like
  • chfp
    , contributor
    Comments (529) | Send Message
     
    Toyota is behaving like a narcissist screaming "look at me!" for nothing more than a publicity stunt. Well, I guess there's the CARB credits. Whenever an established gasser manufacturer backs an unrealistically expensive technology when a more viable solution is available now, it's clear that they're stalling.
    7 Jan, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • Jolinar_cz
    , contributor
    Comments (195) | Send Message
     
    are they kidding?
    68 stations to power only 10K vehicles?? Tesla has already similar number in California and only 12 SuperChargers which costs them fraction of cost to build these hydrogen stations. Who will pay for these H2 stations? My bet is on tax payers, definitelly not a Toyota...
    7 Jan, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • weccman
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    Toyota may be doing well today with its vehicle business, but I would not rely on them to predict the design that will win out in the future. I am currently experiencing using a rental vehicle made by Toyota that is powered by diesel and has a push button to turn the engine on. The power windows and other accessories can only be operated when the engine is running! So when you stop somewhere, everyone needs to get out of the car and roll the windows up before you turn the engine off. When you get back in, no one can roll down their window until you turn the engine on, so if it is hot, folks get very uncomfortable until the car is pumping out smelly exhaust. There is no ability to have someone go in for a quick errand while the remaining passengers wait unless you either keep the engine running so the AC and radio will work or everyone suffers in the heat. What a great design!
    7 Jan, 11:22 AM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    This is nice. Enjoy the temporary blip in Fuel Cell stocks but beware the last time the auto and oil industries pulled this little stunt that Ballard Power for example died on the vine as soon as the EV1 went away and there was no more need for some BS alternative alternative.

     

    This time it won't be different. Fuel Cells will die on the vine when it becomes clear that Tesla will not go away.

     

    This is Hydrogen production in sequence:

     

    1. Fracking for Natural Gas.
    http://bit.ly/19QvUaw

     

    2. This is a steam reforming plant:
    http://bit.ly/19QvUax

     

    3. Here is a very basic picture of what happens inside (hydrocarbons, water and energy in, hydrogen and CO2 out):
    http://bit.ly/19QvWiy

     

    NOTE: Wellhead natural gas contains by-products H2S (Hydrogen Sulphide) CO2, Nitrates as well as heavier hydrocarbons and sometimes significant amounts of mercury vapour. All of these must be cleaned from the Natural Gas and the heavy hydrocarbons re-cycled to the burner ultimately dumping everything along with the CO2 from the steam reforming process into the environment. Note also, the CO2 produced is just a hidden exhaust pipe. The same exhaust would come from burning Pipeline Natural Gas directly in the vehicle, however owing to the consumption of additional natural gas to power the burner for the steam, the total CO2 production from Hydrogen Fuel Cell powered transport is at least double that of simply and honestly burning the Natural Gas in the vehicle instead of trying to con consumers, investors and politicians to imagining that Hydrogen is a Clean Alternative Fuel.

     

    4. Finally, here is the worst, most despicable con-trick of a supposedly environmentally friendly vehicle on the face of the earth whose ONLY SOLE PURPOSE is to dilute mind-share for EVs:
    http://bit.ly/19QvUaD
    7 Jan, 02:43 PM Reply Like
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