Hydrogen cars lack fueling stations

Discussion in 'FCV or Fuel Cell Vehicle' started by xcel, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Automakers say zero-emissions vehicles can't advance without solid infrastructure.

    [xfloat=left]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2008_Honda_FCX_Clarity.jpg[/xfloat]Christine Tierney and Bryce G. Hoffman – Detroit News – Sept. 26, 2008

    2008 Honda FCX Clarity

    Doubtful that we will see FCV’s anytime soon due to more than just a lack of refueling stations :( -- Ed.

    PORTLAND, Ore. -- After investing money, time and effort to develop ultra-clean hydrogen prototypes, automakers are frustrated that they're not seeing more fueling stations for these vehicles.

    Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., General Motors Corp. and Daimler AG have developed road-ready hydrogen models but there's hardly any infrastructure to support them, Bill Reinert, national manager for advanced technology at Toyota Motor Sales, said at a conference here organized by Toyota. "They're all tethered to areas with these pathetically few stations," he said. "We haven't learned how to establish a hydrogen infrastructure anywhere in the world."

    The U.S. government and California pressed automakers hard in recent years to develop zero-emission vehicles, he said, "and then everybody walked away."

    His remarks were echoed by other auto executives in the United States and in Germany, where BMW and Daimler have tested hydrogen-powered vehicles in fleets and want to start marketing them to individual customers.

    "We certainly would like to see hydrogen infrastructure development move faster," GM spokesman Pete Barkey said. "We have been very public that we need energy companies and governments to accelerate their efforts." … [rm]http://www.detroitnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080926/AUTO01/809260331/1148[/rm]
  2. Earthling

    Earthling Trying to be kind to Mother Earth

    "We certainly would like to see hydrogen infrastructure development move faster," GM spokesman Pete Barkey said. "We have been very public that we need energy companies and governments to accelerate their efforts."

    Why on Earth should taxpayers have to pony up for hydrogen fueling stations, when it is highly doubtful that any hydrogen car will be available for sale for less than $50K? Or is that $500,000?

    Prove that fuel-cell cars are viable and make sense economically, and then and only then should taxpayers be hit up to finance fueling stations.

    Quit yer whining and give us fuel-efficient vehicles, and not smoke-and-mirrors BS.

  3. jhu

    jhu Well-Known Member

    Because governments (eg California especially) have been mandating clean cars for over a decade. And they've had to make concessions on the laws passed in part because of the reasons mentioned in the article. The problem seems to be an issue of laws being passed that are too optimistic for the current and near-future issues.

    Although I have to take issue with this part of the article:
    While it does shift the CO2 problem elsewhere, it's easier to make large-scale efficiency changes in one central location than make those changes on every single car being sold. Additionally, if/when nuclear/fusion power comes on-line, there won't be a CO2 problem anymore.
  4. koreberg

    koreberg Junior Member


    Or if we figure out that pesky perpetual motion thing to power all our volt sucking toys.
  5. pdk

    pdk Beacon of Sanity

    I agree with you on that. Won't one of the major sources (possibly the major source) of hydrogen be electrolyzing water? In that case, it's no better than using straight electricity, in fact it will amplify all the issues of electricty that since a fuel cell is only about 40% thermodynamically efficient, electrolysis is about 30-80% efficient depending on the methods and scale), and it's an isolated system (Water -> H + O -> Water), meaning at best you could get as much work out as you put in. In other words, it's not a very good energy ROI.

    Hydrogen has always struck me as being an energy middleman. It would be a good secondary fuel, but I don't think that it could be very sustainable as a primary fuel.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2008
  6. Earthling

    Earthling Trying to be kind to Mother Earth

    And you still have the problem of the affordability of the vehicles. How much will a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle cost?

  7. Parasite

    Parasite Well-Known Member

    I think the main place we get large scale Hydrogen is from Hydrocarbons, not water. Electralisis works, but as you said it's expensive. Guess where the Hydrocarbons come from.. Yep, OIL.
  8. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    One of the interesting things I've heard discussed is that hydrogen might someday be a good off-peak or off-grid energy storage medium for nuclear/wind resources. A few years back the gov't was touting the hydrogen/electrolysis idea as the way to arbitrage between different energy sources to always select the most efficient to power our cars. Practical fuel cell/hydrogen vehicles still seem to be stuck at the halfway working "if there only weren't these other problems" vaporware stage.
  9. koreberg

    koreberg Junior Member


    Actually the cheapest and easiest way is natural gas which is not the same thing as oil. It also causes a lot less pollution, hence the natural gas civic is the most environmentally friendly vehicle.
  10. pdk

    pdk Beacon of Sanity

    Interesting indeed. I've also heard potential for off-peak storage in things like water pumps and the like. I think that would still relegate hydrogen to a secondary fuel, but that's sort of an idea that I like anyway.

    True, but that's not really the same as a hydrogen car or an FCV. I'd argue in this case that you should just burn nat. gas if you're going to go this route (because hydrogen is, again, sort of being the middleman).
  11. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    I may have some inside info on the hydrogen infrastructure, this place I'm getting into is the only place in the us working on this as I was told by them. :)

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