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Why Li Ion Beats Hydrogen Fuel Cell For Vehicles

Jan. 14, 2014 11:27 PM ETTSLA, TM, HMC, NSANY
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Whether using li-ion battery or hydrogen fuel cell a preliminary energy supply costing can be based upon power & storage.

acceleration + range

which for EVs and Fuel Cells leads to

power + storage + cell series + packaging

Li Ion battery vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Orange represents where battery vehicles have better cost

Cyan represents where Hydrogen Fuel cell vehicles could have better cost

Purple is where both Hydrogen and Batteries vehicles have similar cost

The third box represents a Fuel Cell vehicle with an HEV battery for acceleration benefits, this is the most representative of the fuel cell vehicles as hydrogen fuel cells have latency (like an severe turbo lag) and require battery assist for decent acceleration. It is also required for efficiency reasons, hydrogen fuel cells have an efficiency band but vehicles operate at different power requirements (stop, accelerate etc)

Aside from both hydrogen generation and distribution challenges, future hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are unable to compete with today's li ion vehicles, particularly high performance vehicles (like Tesla)

Using a commodity 18650 pricing initial modeling could be $200/kWh and $20/kW


Fuel Cell pricing is more opaque, but at $40/kWhequiv and $100/kW

$40/kWhequiv is due to H2 Fuel Cells being approx. 50% efficient on road applications (ie a $20/kWh H2 tank becomes $40/kWhequiv after fuel cell efficiency is accounted for) This roughly equates to automotive H2 storage costs at full scale. www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcell....pdf

$100/kW was chosen as a convenient figure, it roughly correlates to production run of more than 1,000 units p.a. but less than 10,000 units p.a. Production runs at less than 1,000 units p.a. could be around the $200/kW for fuel cells www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/review13/fc... with production runs to 500,000 units p.a. around $66/kW.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Additional disclosure: None of these companies are on the ASX.

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