Alternative Energy has a good description of hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen is not an energy source, but an energy carrier because it takes a great deal of energy to extract it from water. It is useful as a compact energy source in fuel cells and batteries. Hydrogen’s potential has not been realized even partially mainly because of storage and commercial production difficulties. The post looks at promising research that may one day make hydrogen fule cells a viable part of our energy supply system.
NDTV Profit tells us hydrogen cars will be on the market next year. Last month at auto shows in the US and Japan, three automakers unveiled hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to be delivered to the general public as early as next spring. Hyundai Motor Co. will be the first to the mass market in the US with a car due out in 2015. Toyota has promised a mass-produced fuel cell car by 2015 in Japan and 2016 in the US and Europe. Unlike electric vehicles, the auto makers say they have the range of a typical gasoline car and can be refueled quickly. Consumers can expect costs in line with some luxury models of internal combustion engine vehicles. See also CARBUZZ, Hyundai Tucson Will Have Unlimited Free Fuel, Torque News, Five Facts About the Hyundai Tucson Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle and Bloomsberg, Hyundai to Lease Fuel-Cell SUV for $499 as Hydrogen Race Widens.
Mercedes-Benz has plans for a hydrogen vehicle according to Hydrogen Fuel News. The vehicle, to be launched in 2017, will be based on Mercedes-Benz’s B-Class F-Cell vehicle, which successfully traveled the world in 2011. The automaker says it will have a driving range of 248 miles. The vehicle will also be equipped with a lithium-ion battery that will be used to provide extra power to its front wheels.
From autobloggreen we learn that Volkswagon thinks hydrogen is the “most efficient way to convert energy to mobility”. However, this only works with plug-in EVs with hydrogen extenders. Rudolf Krebs, group commissioner for electric drive systems for the VW Group, says:
“Hydrogen mobility only makes sense if you use green energy”, but when you start from there, you need to convert it first into hydrogen “with low efficiencies” where “you lose about 40 percent of the initial energy,” Then, you have to compress the hydrogen to 700 bar and store it in the vehicle, which costs more energy. “And then you have to convert the hydrogen back to electricity in a fuel cell with another efficiency loss so that in the end, from your original 100 percent of electric energy, you end up with 30 to 40 percent.”
The US state of California is giving $30 million to projects to develop hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the state. Green Car Congress reports the money will provide funding to construct, to upgrade, or to support a statewide network of hydrogen refueling stations to accommodate the planned “large—scale” roll—out of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles beginning in 2015. As noted above, both Hyundai and Toyota plan on introducing hydrogen vehicles into the US (primarily California) starting next year. See also Hydrogen Fuel News, California’s hydrogen fuel infrastructure gains momentum.
Daily Finance asks: Do Hydrogen Vehicles Have a Future? The author sees a battle shaping up between electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles and explores who will win the future. Hydrogen’s great advantage may be its refueling time, which can rival that of petrol infrastructure.
For hydrogen, it’s all about refueling time. If drivers can go to a hydrogen station to fuel up in a few minutes, rather than waiting hours for their cars to charge, it will be much easier to make the switch to hydrogen.
The French postal service is testing hydrogen fuel cells as range extenders the its electric delivery vehicles.