Shouldn't we just do away with diesel passenger cars and invest more in hydrogen fuel cell cars?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by agkm800, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. agkm800 macrumors 6502a

    agkm800

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    #1
    Hydrogen fuel cell cars have a very long way to go, but if the society is willing to give them a chance, it might as well become the best alternative to electric cars down the road.
     
  2. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #2
    Hydrogen? Why?

    It's significantly more energy intensive to power a vehicle via a hydrogen fuel cell vs. a regular battery electric vehicle - and for the battery EV's much of the 'refueling' infrastructure is already in place. Hydrogen is still being pushed in some political circles, but anyone who has owned a BEV - which is a rapidly growing number - isn't going to be interested in going back to a less efficient vehicle that can no longer be refueled easily at home and work.
     
  3. rcappo macrumors regular

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    #3
    Electric cars are the better alternative to gas and hydrogen FC cars. Battery prices are coming down and the Supercharging/Level 3 charging is a solvable problem for long distance trips.

    Compressed Natural Gas and propane are powering some larger trucks, I would think that those would be more likely to happen then hydrogen.

    The taxi, Uber, shuttle, rental cars, and pizza delivery vehicles might benefit from the H2 fuel cell with the mileage requirements, and increased usage.
     
  4. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Commercial vehicles aside, I agree that the average hatchback or sedan is not best served by diesel, but SUVs are often better served by the greater torque over petrol.

    Poseurs aside, electric is suitable for golf carts - and not much else.

    Hybrids are available for Gaia cultists, if they are prepared to put with the extra costs and maintenance problems down the road. However, on freeways, they should be restricted to the inside lane only.

    Hydrogen, as a viable fuel source, is relegated to when oil becomes unsustainable - but this way down the road.

    Like it or lump it, petrol still drives the world - and will continue to do so for a long time to come.
     
  5. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #5
    How stable would a hydrogen car be in a crash?
     
  6. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

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    #6

    See Apollo Thirteen.
     
  7. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #7
    Hydrogen fuel cells cars aren't going to be around for a long time, if ever. I think between the safety issues and the massive amount of energy required to produce pure hydrogen, Electric vehicles will be the future most manufactures look into. Hydrogen technology was really being explored 10+ years ago, but it seems everyone has moved in the direction of electric cars.

    It's great that hydrogen vehicles and electrical have no emissions... but need electricity to produce hydrogen and electricity to run electric cars. Right now, we don't have a ton of renewable energy production so you're pretty much switching emissions from vehicles to power plants. The US already has an insufficient amount of energy production on our power grid and everyone switched to hydrogen or electric cars, you'd need more power plants to support the demand. If I remember correctly (and logic might suggest), the amount of energy used to created hydrogen is far more inefficient than just directly using the storing it in a battery. I remember reading something that said currently 95% of commercial hydrogen gas is created using natural gas.

    Electric also has the benefit of being more prevalent. There is electricity everywhere. There are no hydrogen pipelines laying around.
     
  8. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #8
    Technology has this way of circling around. Electric cars date back to as early as 1837, saw a lot of interest in the late 1800's and early 1900's, faded away as gasoline became more prevalent, then saw a resurgence in the 90's and 00's. As the science advances, it is fully worth investigating new twists on old, discarded ideas.

    Will Hydrogen ever be viable? Don't know. In my eyes, it would take a leap in technology, a backlash against oil, and the stagnation of electric range for hydrogen to become a contender. But I also see a future where powering transportation involves options beyond gas or diesel. There will always be places for those engines, but I see LP/Natural Gas, Electric, and Hydrogen finding their own niches in the transportation marketplace in the future. Our power sources don't have to be all or nothing.
     
  9. ProjectManager101 Suspended

    ProjectManager101

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    #9
    You'll will end up wondering around?
     
  10. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Only if you're lucky. :)
     
  11. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #11
    If we all switch to electric cars where will all the extra electricity come from? We would have to build more coal power stations.
    So how would that be of benefit?
    I think hybrid cars are the future.
     
  12. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    #12
    That was an oxygen tank that exploded, not hydrogen.
     
  13. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

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    #13

    Yes, you are quite correct, but it was the failure of two fuel cells, resulting from the loss of oxygen, that nearly killed them. I would think that, had a fuel cell exploded, the situation would have been fatal.
     
  14. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #14
    why do we need to stop using something we already use to fund something else?
     
  15. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #15
    If that's everyone's thinking, we all still be using a horse and buggy with square wheels.
     
  16. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #16
    We had horse and buggy and cars at the same time. Diesel doesn't need a great deal of money to enhance and improve it can continue and we can invest in other technologies it's not zero sum.
     
  17. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #17
    They had steam engine way back. If they had this thinking, we wouldn't be driving gas engine at all.
     
  18. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #18
    And we had both steam and gasoline powered cars too.

    Are you intentionally trying to miss my point?
     
  19. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #19
    I missed your point entirely. It's Friday and almost (8 hours to go) beer time.:)
     
  20. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #20
    Just make sure it's not Belgian ;)
     
  21. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #21
    There are still two advantages fuel cells have over electric (battery) cars - weight, and the potential for quick refueling.

    Battery life might someday be extended to make electric (battery) cars practical, but right now the range is too limited and the "refuel" (recharge) time is too long.
     
  22. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #22
    The problem for hydrogen is that batteries are improving rapidly, even without any fundamental breakthroughs. Power density is improving by about 3% per year. That means things will look very different in just 10 years - which is an extremely short period of time in automotive terms. Further, because of the nature of how batteries work, as the capacity increases, the recharge times for a given amount of energy actually goes down - without any changes or breakthroughs necessary. 15 minutes today to get 150 miles of range will be well under 10 minutes in 5-10 years - with no fundamental change.

    And the idea that range is too limited and refueling takes too long is a statement borne by people used to the tradeoffs they assume every day with gasoline vehicles without realizing it. Most people who actually own BEV's with decent range have quickly realized how infrequently they actually need to drive 250 miles or more in one go, and how convenient it is to be able to 'fuel up' at home every night like plugging in a phone. When they do travel further distances, 15-20 minutes is generally enough range to get them moving again, which in reality is little longer than most people would take for a stop in an ICE vehicle after driving for 3-4 hours.

    The only things holding back the BEV right now are the total number of quick-rechargers and price. Both of those obstacles are rapidly being overcome, compared to the huge obstacles that hydrogen continues to face. Re-fueling with hydrogen means retrofitting every gas station in the country. With the BEV you only need a small fraction of that number of public chargers because most charging is done with infrastructure already in place.
     
  23. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #23
    Totally off topic, but what's wrong with Belgian beer? I'm enjoying my second now!
     
  24. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #24
    The technical term is it's "icky" that's likely because it's dehydrated people pee in a bottle. ;);)
     
  25. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #25
    I looked up Tesla's website to get an idea of how long a charge takes and what kind of range to expect. A typical charge gives an estimated 29 miles of range on 1 hour's worth of charge. Their fastest charge ("supercharge!") can give you "up to" 170 miles in "as little as" 30 minutes, which is a best-case scenario and probably not very true to real life. They also say that they can replentish half the battery life in 20 minutes, so a full charge ("up to" 255 miles, if my math is correct) takes "as little as" 40 minutes.

    I can fill the tank in my car in under 5 minutes, including paying and swabbing the windshield while I wait. That gives me nearly 400 miles.

    As far as how often I drive 250 miles in one go, it's not often, but my daily commute is 80 miles round-trip, and that's if I don't go anywhere else. 100-150 miles in a day is common for me. And I can't count on being able to "supercharge!" everywhere I go.

    Batteries have a LONG way to go in this regard.
     

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