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Discussion Starter #1
There is constant discussion about why fuel cells "won't work," with a great deal of the misinformation coming from Elon Musk and people who tend to listen to him closely. But it's a bit of sticking ones head into the sand, because batteries are most likely a transitional technology in EVs.

FCEVs need battery but a MUCH SMALLER buffer one which doesn't weight as much, FCs WILL decrease in size and weight and already have (in fact let's see what happens as three major manufacturers at least are pouring engineering resources into it as we speak), and that actually its a red herring to say generating hydrogen released CO2, that is one method of generating it. With wind/solar power it is easily possible to generate hydrogen from, yup, water. It is not as efficient but that's not the point. Also as hydrogen is being deployed as a better way to store excess wind power in Germany things may change.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-05/better-than-a-battery-big-energy-backs-hydrogen-power-storage

https://insideevs.com/hyundai-audi-fuel-cell-technology/

Also there are very real environmental and sourcing problems with creating LiIon batteries, including disposal.

There may be other chemistries or approaches (even one day maybe super capacitors that can charge very rapidly and hold a lot of charge but right now they would be huge) but the water->H+O2->water cycle seems like the ideal reusable energy source, if the generation is from renewable energy. The efficiency argument only matters if we can not generate enough hydrogen from renewable and have to resort to C02 producing energy and/or methods that generate C02.
 

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Electrolysis breaks both the H energy of the bond and the O energy. Unless you are collecting the O2 for a specific reason and recovering energy from it, it's incredibly wasteful.

In any case I don't want a 7,000 lb 400HP sedan that is reliant on air quality to insure it's performance and FC MTBF. Yes, fuel cells wear out because air is more than just pure clean oxygen.
 

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I don't want a 10,000 psi vessel near me on a regular basis. Yes efficiency is poor at best and the fuel cell does degrade. Yes efficiency matters because if you need 1 acre of solar to power ten EVs you need 5 acres of solar to power 10 hydrogen vehicles. Batteries are also improving. Hydrogen is just wishful thinking for now and for another 20+ years. Might work in a few niche applications but not a day to day consumer vehicle. JMHO
 

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I honestly thought H2 Fuel Cell would be the way to go. But it's 2018 and this is what state of the art is so far -

2018 Toyota Mirai:
151 HP
MSRP >$59,000 (most likely sold at loss, note $350/m x 12k mi x 3 yr lease, means they know they are losing money on the sale alone, not to mention production costs)
Price of the core Fuel Cell element - $11,000 production cost per Toyota. Need to add battery, inverter, electric motor, and high pressure H2 tank.
Weight 4,100lb.
Performance 0-60mph in 9.4s (C&D)
Range (EPA style test) - 312 mi. Oddly, it does not get better urban mileage than highway mileage.
 

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Is a Hydrogen storage facility any more likely to go FOOM than an underground Gasoline Tank/Refinery?

Granted, there'd be a lot less smoke.
 

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Is a Hydrogen storage facility any more likely to go FOOM than an underground Gasoline Tank/Refinery?

Granted, there'd be a lot less smoke.
More explosion, less longer burn >:)

Yeah, hydrogen storage requires either ultra-low temperatures such that it's a liquid (not commercially feasible I think) or high pressure. A gasoline tank is not high pressure. Gasoline is liquid at room temp.
 

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The New Toyota Mirai, Oh the Humanity! >:)

 

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OK it is just clean water and still I am bugged driving behind a Mirai and the water drops out and vaporizes behind it.
I can't imagine being behind a Nikola One. Will I need my wipers on?
 

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Wait until there are aftermarket aroma additives ... you'll be smelling roses and violets! And for those who miss their ICEs there will be a hydrocarbon smell option too. (The CO additive will be illegal, sorry.)
 

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I don't want a 10,000 psi vessel near me on a regular basis. Yes efficiency is poor at best and the fuel cell does degrade. Yes efficiency matters because if you need 1 acre of solar to power ten EVs you need 5 acres of solar to power 10 hydrogen vehicles. Batteries are also improving. Hydrogen is just wishful thinking for now and for another 20+ years. Might work in a few niche applications but not a day to day consumer vehicle. JMHO
The OP is correct to point out the issues with batteries, as it stands now but Time2Roll hits the nail on the head. Exactly what I was thinking when I read this post.

The efficiency argument only matters if we can not generate enough hydrogen from renewable and have to resort to C02 producing energy and/or methods that generate C02.
You cannot generate enough hydrogen from renewables and it does matter. There seems to be this idea that renewables will catch up by some bit of magic.

"Renewable" is also a bit of a misnomer. Wind and solar also degrade and have disposal issues, not to mention that you need steel (coal) and oil to make wind turbines. That's just glancing off the top of the challenges. Have a look at what it takes to transport and erect a wind turbine.

I don't have a problem with wind turbines per se, but I do like to have the whole picture - not the dream-inspired meme that's commonly regurgitated.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is not regurgitated meme my friend. Germany is generating a great deal of power from wind, the rate is growing and that’s before we talk about using nuclear power as a non carbon producing source.

Talk of high pressure hydrogen tanks is similar to FUD of runway thermal batteries. Sure if you don’t engineer the right system it’s dangerous. But we have designs that can withstand any accident. Also many studies if leaking hydrogen shows how truly difficult it is to build up explosive concentrations.

It’s very interesting to me the fear and false pushback on hydrogen fuel cells. I know where a lot of the talking points come from. In my opinion it’s an engineering problem that is very solveable and for cars fits much better for long range models (including public transport and long haul trucking).

Fortunately in 5-10 years we can all see where we land.
 

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This is not regurgitated meme my friend. Germany is generating a great deal of power from wind, the rate is growing and that’s before we talk about using nuclear power as a non carbon producing source.
I'm sorry if you took offense to my characterizations, but I run across it a lot and they do apply.



I look these things up. It's that "whole picture" thing for me. Almost half of the net electricity generated in the EU in 2016 came from combustible fuels.

Germany has a problem in winter. Their investments in solar produce next to nothing, and the lignite plants spool up. Note in this and other charts that Germany's yearly lignite consumption hasn't changed since the mid-90s. In fact they've been talking about condemning and evacuating entire towns just because they sit on a lignite seam.

Here you can see just how volatile their energy production/consumption is just in one week:

https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm?source=all-sources&year=2018&week=1

Of course none of this gets clicks, so it goes mostly unreported. You have to work to find truth.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I understand, but you do see how it is increasing and despite volatility wind is a significant portion of the production. So I guess I am missing the point here. Unless its 100% renewable its not worth having fuel cells?

Every study and analysis I have seen shows that energy stored in batteries and hydrogen from renewables produces LESS carbon that burning fossil fuels in cars (of course depending on the mix). If there was an actual attempt to build nuclear power without peoples irrational fear then this would be even less carbon producing.

Is the point that unless hydrogen production is as efficient as LiIon battery storage that it is not worthwhile?
 

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I understand, but you do see how it is increasing and despite volatility wind is a significant portion of the production.
Sure, and there's no reason to be anti-any source of power within reason. I just don't go in for this "Germany is doing so well" line I keep reading. I did investigate. Their 'renewables' are increasing as I showed. But it's hardly taking over any majority of supply.

So I guess I am missing the point here. Unless its 100% renewable its not worth having fuel cells?
I think I did glance over the point that nothing is 100% 'renewable'. It's a label put on things to make them sound nicer. Kind of like "Smart Water" (look it up). A bottle of water won't make you smart.

The issue raised that concerns me (safety aside) is that it's an energy loser. You're not going to make enough power with wind and solar to change that. As it is wind and solar aren't up to the task of today's energy needs, or they'd have swept the world by now. What IS sweeping the world (where it's readily available) is natgas. The US already has much cleaner air thanks to natgas (OH HORROR - HE"S PROMOTING A FOSSIL FUEL!!!).

;-)

Every study and analysis I have seen shows that energy stored in batteries and hydrogen from renewables produces LESS carbon that burning fossil fuels in cars (of course depending on the mix). If there was an actual attempt to build nuclear power without peoples irrational fear then this would be even less carbon producing.

Is the point that unless hydrogen production is as efficient as LiIon battery storage that it is not worthwhile?
Regarding batteries, and I know this isn't a popular thing to do on any EV forum, but you might want to read this. You were right to put a finger on the unspoken costs of batteries and here's further information to that subject.

The Dirt on Clean Electric Cars
New research shows some drivers might spew out less CO2 with a diesel engine.


And thank you for a fair discussion while I'm at it. Some folks in the "EV community" are pretty hostile to seeing the whole picture, or at least listening to a different viewpoint.
 

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And thank you for a fair discussion while I'm at it. Some folks in the "EV community" are pretty hostile to seeing the whole picture, or at least listening to a different viewpoint.
You want to see hostility in the EV community bring up the idea that range DOES matter and we still don’t have a BEV that can cover distances as conveniently or easily as an ICEV???
 

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You want to see hostility in the EV community bring up the idea that range DOES matter and we still don’t have a BEV that can cover distances as conveniently or easily as an ICEV???
LOL - been there done that. Well, witnessed it anyway. I may or may not be ready for a really nice Jaguar (still thinking about it TBH), but this isn't my first rodeo.

The Teslarati are especially immune to reason.

I can't wait to see how they try to bash Jaguar, now that there's a real Tesla killer on the market being delivered to customers. On second thought, I CAN wait. :wink2:
 

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The key thing about energy policy is that it should be aspirational. Fossil is not a long term solution; maximizing renewables is the only way humanity is going to have a civilized future. Gas is transitional for electricity generation. Also, Germany is phasing out nuclear, which is problematic due to its insane cost.
 

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You want to see hostility in the EV community bring up the idea that range DOES matter and we still don’t have a BEV that can cover distances as conveniently or easily as an ICEV???
Bigger hostility than that even? Try convincing them the most pragmatic solution to EV range is an Extended Range Electric Vehicle. Not to be confused with a hybrid in operation.
It drives on pure electricity most of it's life. However, it will beat any EV in showdown of over 100 miles. It requires no infrastructure expansion, and refuels in under 5 minutes virtually anywhere. But >90% of it's miles for most commuters is on electricity alone.

But the truth about EV range is a dirty little secret. EVs are mostly purchased by people with a family income of ~$175,000 who own 2 or more cars. They are not cost efficient for most people.
A Tesla Model S 100D with a range of 335 miles (cough) is still not as good as an ICE at certain things in today's world. Like interstate travel or any trip more than 335 (cough) miles. Or any trip where this not dense infrastructure.

Retirees brag about driving their Teslas everywhere in the US, "every bit as easy as my Mercedes". This is a fabrication coming from a zealot. Even today, we do not have 100% coverage, and in the areas that ARE covered, it is not unusual to have to plan your trip around SC locations, or make side trips to charge. We don't do this in gasoline cars. We never even consider refueling infrastructure. If we are seriously paranoid, we put a gas can in the car. We can go places in an gas/diesel 4x4 that are only a fantasy for EV owners.
 
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LOL - been there done that. Well, witnessed it anyway. I may or may not be ready for a really nice Jaguar (still thinking about it TBH), but this isn't my first rodeo.

The Teslarati are especially immune to reason.

I can't wait to see how they try to bash Jaguar, now that there's a real Tesla killer on the market being delivered to customers. On second thought, I CAN wait. :wink2:
I think Jaguar took a more pragmatic approach to the luxury-priced EV. Tesla focused nearly entirely on 0-60 times, outside body styling (from a distance), and science-fair experiment features like gullwing doors or power opening passenger doors. To keep prices in check, they skipped many common features found in $35k nicely trimmed cars.

Jaguar did put enough muscle in it to wear the Growler badge without heresy, they put a nice enough interior in it so you don't have to apologize for it, and they put USEFUL features in the car that people expect in 2018 (or 1968), like coat hangers and grab handles. Heck, they even put a HUD and blindspot side mirrors in it! Useful stuff instead of Easter Eggs.
 
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