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Fuel-Cell Car Racing Series Aims To Spur Green Motoring

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the li-ion-batteries-of-course dept.

Transportation 254

Anonymous Cow writes "The world's first international fuel-cell powered motor racing series kicked off in Rotterdam over the weekend. The organisers hope that 'Formula Zero,' like Formula 1, can become a forum for competing technology as much as anything else, helping green consumer cars to become better."

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first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24750105)

post

w00t

Definitely would help image (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24750141)

This is a good idea, part of the problem with non gasoline cars is the image, and cars that look like the prius don't help this.
So if people can see electric cars with real performance that would even surpass the petrol counterpart it should make people more likely to change.

Re:Definitely would help image (4, Funny)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750159)

I'm not sure that six tiny fuel-cell powered go-karts going around a 500 meter track is going to help the image of alternatively-powered vehicles.

Re:Definitely would help image (3, Insightful)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750295)

I'm not sure the ipod will ever catch on. No wireless, less storage than a nomad - lame.

While I'm at it, I'm sure that man will never fly. That's the realm of angels and birds.

Oh, hold on, you mean those bicycle mechanics were actually on to something?

It's odd that on a place like Slashdot, it's seen as cool to by cynical, and cynical is seen as non-critically putting down anything that hasn't been out and about for 5+ years. Who would have thought 10 years ago that Formula 1 would be leading the way in development of mechanical (flywheel) hybrid powertrain systems?

Re:Definitely would help image (3, Insightful)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750507)

Whoa, troll? Didn't see that one coming! It was meant to be a serious point - uncritically destroying every new technology is no better than hand waving beliefs in "technology will solve all our problems."

The first flight was hardly in a useful plane, yet 15 years of development later, we had large, multi passenger transport planes. Just a point.

Re:Definitely would help image (0, Offtopic)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750767)

It seems, that the trolls now are the moderators.
You were right. They modded you troll because they were trolls.

That's what you get from feeding them all the time.. ;)
Especially a certain split personality gets his name mentioned often and many reactions. :\

Re:Definitely would help image (2, Insightful)

jebrew (1101907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750963)

I didn't mod you, but I'd have said it was your delivery. Being a jackass doesn't win you positive karma, regardless of you message.

Don't believe me? Did being called a jackass get you a little riled up? Did you miss the rest of the message on your first read?

Re:Definitely would help image (3, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750613)

Did I say that fuel cell was a dead technology that won't go anywhere?

No. Quite the contrary - I think it is a very promising technology that has great potential.

However, the GP I was replying to said that maybe this will help the "image" of alternatively-fueled vehicles. And frankly, a bunch of tiny go-karts doesn't have much hope of beefing-up the wimpy image of the Insight, Prius, etc.

Re:Definitely would help image (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751333)

Well, people keep talking like fuel cells are a novel idea. Airplanes took 15 years from first flight to the fighter airplanes of WWI. Fuel cells have been around a long time (see Apollo 13 for implementation), and haven't really "taken off".
What I really like about this usage is that they are using atmospheric oxygen. That's solving the half of the problem. The other half is the use of hydrogen as fuel, that one is a dozy of a whopper. Inefficient as in storage, by volume and by temperature requirement, dangerous in enclosed spaces, and inefficient in production.
What they don't mention is what temperatures their cells are running at. A lot of the cells I've seen have high operating temperatures, making them inefficient e. g. in city driving. The future might belong to a hybrid system, battery for short term use (augmented by a "plug-in" possibility), and a methanol fuel cell for long distance power.

Re:Definitely would help image (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751485)

Here in the EU, with gasoil at 1,40 per litre, Prius sell like hot cakes. Suddenly, the macho truck doesn't seem so manly anymore.

Re:Definitely would help image (1)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750487)

I'm not sure that six tiny fuel-cell powered go-karts going around a 500 meter track is going to help the image of alternatively-powered vehicles.

Agreed, but public competition is a strong motivator for the teams to improve.

Re:Definitely would help image (4, Insightful)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750641)

I think you do not deserve your 'insightful' one bit. Development platforms for a new technology do not have to be related in shape or function to the end product.

The length of the road on which they function has nothing to do with the length that they could be going to on real roads.

These are just abstractions, and in fact simplify the development process considerably. Think about how much more costly this would be if all these experimental vehicles had to conform to regular road standards and had to take a full complement of passengers.

Re:Oh The Humanity! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751371)

I dunno, a little car loaded with a hydrogen pack fuel cell could really create a spectacular explosion if done properly.

Sort of like a little Hindenburg disaster.

Re:Definitely would help image (4, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750695)

cars that look like the prius don't help this.
So if people can see electric cars with real performance that would even surpass the petrol counterpart it should make people more likely to change.

Just a tought, but maybe the major car makers WANT this? It seems to me that they produce ugly,slow cars that won't appeal to the masses with a reason. After all, electric cars need much, MUCH less maintenance and spare parts than a petrol car ... Lets hope the smaller manufacturers see the gap in the market.

Re:Definitely would help image (2, Insightful)

hardburn (141468) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751065)

Yeah, cause the Prius' looks are clearly stopping every single one from being sold the day it comes into the dealer. Clearly, the Prius looks longingly at the turnaround time for truck inventory [gminsidenews.com] .

Re:Definitely would help image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751093)

Check out the Lightning GT (google for it). It's a seriously impressive, fully electric car. And it has looks, too.

Re:Definitely would help image (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751113)

There's no need for conspiracy theories at this point. Electric cars are constrained by real-world problems enough as it is. Batteries are space-inefficient and don't provide enough power to make a fast car that has a decent range.

Not pompous enough (2, Interesting)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750203)

People aren't going to take green technology seriously until it wins in rally or 24 hour le mans or somethign similarly awesome to win. Having to make a special competition just for green cars seems like, well, these cars are cool and all, but just not actually competitive with already existant technology. This isn't good for the public image.

Re:Not pompous enough (3, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750263)

People aren't going to take green technology seriously until it wins in rally or 24 hour le mans or somethign similarly awesome to win.

or until they actually drive a electric sports car. I think they'll change their minds then :)

Re:Not pompous enough (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750423)

or until they actually drive a electric sports car. I think they'll change their minds then :)

Whoosh splutter... 0-60 in 3 seconds, and then the battery goes flat.

Yeah. Great. Tell you what, I'll stick with my conventional petrol-engined car that gets 32mpg and can travel for 500 miles on a tank that takes a minute to fill. Come and talk to me when you've got the range and ease of "refuelling" of existing vehicles.

just wondering..at what point... (2, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750645)

...would the gallon of gas have to reach before you'd reconsider something other than that? $10 a gallon, $15? And how about rationing (which I remember occurring before), if it ever got that that, say you could only get a few gallons a week due to some expanded mideast war disrupting huge amounts of the global supply? The reason I ask is I see this sort of sentiment a lot, the 500 mile range drawback, but I am wondering how often people actually drive that sort of distance on a regular basis, say at least once a week or so. My point is, for regular around town and commuting, I don't think you (a very general "anyone you") need that sort of range, and for the odd trip, there are always rentals.

Re:just wondering..at what point... (1, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750815)

I'm in the UK, so I already pay around $10 per gallon - which isn't a lot of money at all. I really can't understand why USians are crying about petrol at $5 per gallon, at all. I don't use my car for commuting, because it's much quicker and easier to get to work on the train. I typically drive a few thousand miles per month, most of it long runs where there is very little public transport. I have absolutely no need of a car that can only do very short distances around town, or accelerate from 0-60 in the blink of an eye - I need a car that can accelerate from 0-90mph in a reasonable time (say, less than about 20 seconds) and hold that speed for several hours.

Re:just wondering..at what point... (3, Insightful)

fprintf (82740) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751405)

You answered your own question from a point of ignorance. You can't understand why USians are crying about petrol at $5 per US gallon because I don't think you understand what it is like to live here. #1, most of the US population does not live within metropolitan areas well served by public transportation. Most of us *can't* put the car in the garage because it is easier or quicker on the train. The trains don't exist. Moving from the suburbs/country to the city is not easy. It is much easier to whine about the cost of fuel.

If you only need a car that can accelerate from 0 - 90 in a reasonable time (why 90? Don't you know that traveling at a slower speed is more fuel efficient? How wasteful of you!) then I propose that we need no more new cars. Heck, even a VW Golf from 1978 had that type of performance and got 35 miles per gallon.

Anyway, you don't need transportation. But there are plenty of people who do, or at least think they do. Infrastructure doesn't spring up overnight, and given the distances in this country, it is unlike to be a 100% solution when it gets here, but if fuel prices continue to rise I think there will be more public transporation.

BTW, I started taking the bus to work a few months ago. I drive 6 miles roundtrip per day to a commuter lot, then spend 45 minutes on a bus each way. Overall my commute time is 30 minutes longer per day but infinitely more enjoyable. So I agree in concept that people would be better off finding a mass transit option, if one exists, and pushing for one where it doesn't.

Re:just wondering..at what point... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751487)

If you only need a car that can accelerate from 0 - 90 in a reasonable time (why 90? Don't you know that traveling at a slower speed is more fuel efficient? How wasteful of you!) then I propose that we need no more new cars. Heck, even a VW Golf from 1978 had that type of performance and got 35 miles per gallon.

I don't much care about fuel efficiency, I care about not taking all day to get there. Funny you should say "1978", though, my daily driver is either (depending on which is more suitable for the job) a 1981 or 1988 Citroen CX, the '81 being a Break. No, I don't want a smaller, more efficient car. It's hardly more efficient if I can't get everything I need to carry into it.

Re:Not pompous enough (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750679)

oh, they'll come and talk to you alright, but first they have to do this bit called development. And since this is 'news for nerds' and not 'topgear' I think it has its place here.

Re:Not pompous enough (1)

aeson25 (1314667) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751345)

How about 0-60 in 3.9 sec and 220 miles per charge? http://www.teslamotors.com/ [teslamotors.com] Hey, I'm all about muscle cars. I'm talking big engines, not dinky engines with coke can mufflers. But you can't ignore what's coming.

Re:Not pompous enough (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751455)

220 miles isn't 500 miles. Assuming it was a genuine 220 miles on an average run, it would run out of juice almost within sight of my destination, and leave nothing for the return trip.

Re:Not pompous enough (2, Informative)

objekt (232270) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750597)

http://www.teslamotors.com/ [teslamotors.com]
0-60 mph 2.9 seconds
256 mpg equivalent
220 miles per charge
less than 2 cents/mile

Re:Not pompous enough (2, Interesting)

theM_xl (760570) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750745)

I can't help but note they carefully avoid answering how long it actually takes to refill the batteries beyond 'over night'. That's not going to help much if I find the battery's low when I want to be at home for dinner and find the battery's a bit low.

Re:Not pompous enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751053)

Great, In fact I would love to drive a electric sports car. Thing is - where does this electricity come from?!? Treehuggers conveniently forget about this and If you take Coal away - I'll get around faster in a horse and buggy. Or at least until they outlaw that cuz my horse would fart and pollute.

Re:Not pompous enough (1)

Tungbo (183321) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750287)

At some point, they will be good enough to compete in regular Formula One race. THAT would really raise awareness. OTOH, to really promote competing technology, the race should include all vehicle designs with zero on-street emission. That would include electric, flywheel or whatever.

Re:Not pompous enough (2)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750347)

How about when all Formula one cars get full hybrid powertrains (mechanical regenerative breaking) in 2013? Or how about when BMW and Honda implement hybridisation in 2009, 4 years before the deadline, giving head to head competition between hybrid and conventional drivelines?

Here's something for you to chew on - people already are taking green technology seriously. Less so in the US than other places, but even that said the majority of the 1,000,000 Priuses sold so far are in the US.

Re:Not pompous enough (1)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750449)

And yet Priuses aren't all that awesome because of how they're manufactured all over the world and assembled someplace where everything comes by wasting huge amounts of carbofuels.

The problem, I think, isn't that people aren't taking these green vehicles seriously, it's that they're doing it just because they're frugal and that's the wrong reason if you ask me. Buying an expensive car just because it's frugal doesn't equate to buying an expensive car because it helps the environment.

Re:Not pompous enough (1, Insightful)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750569)

Very true. It's been said that a Prius is delivered with the carbon-emissions equivalent of 20,000 miles already on the clock, due the the extremely high technology and manufacturing costs.

Assuming it uses 2/3 of the fuel, this 'debt' is only paid off once 40k miles are on the clock. And at 50-60k, you'll need to replace the batteries, at a cost of around $10,000 (and who knows how many carbon-miles that's equivalent to).

So yes, the Prius isn't the green saviour people maybe think it is. But it is being taken seriously, selling in large numbers and helping to mature the technology to a point where it can be more useful.

And there are other technologies on the horizon (from the minimal manufacturing costs and fully recyclable mechanical flywheel systems to the fuel cells mentioned in the summary) which may have much more scope for genuinely reducing the lifecycle emissions of vehicles.

Re:Not pompous enough (5, Funny)

El Yanqui (1111145) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750353)

People aren't going to take green technology seriously until it wins in rally or 24 hour le mans or somethign similarly awesome to win.

Or until Jeremy Clarkson uses one to ride over a delicate ecosystem.

Re:Not pompous enough (4, Interesting)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750469)

Well, diesel engines have already won Le Mans three years in a row (only been allowed for three years) despite having a smaller fuel tank than the gasoline cars, yet the public opinion is that diesel engines are useless for any kind of fast car and especially race cars.

So no, winning Le Mans in a "green" car is hardly going to change the image.

Re:Not pompous enough (2, Informative)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750719)

Go take a ride in one of bmw's top of the line turbo d's, it'll make you cry. A friend of mine has one and I've *never* ever been in a car that had more torque, a shorter 0-100 time or top speed.

Re:Not pompous enough (2)

jambox (1015589) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750991)

Yeah they're massively popular in Europe, two thirds of all Audis are sold with TDIs IIRC. I can't remember why the US has lagged on Diesel, I think it's something to do with (bizarrely) emissions standards.

They do have all the torque if you look at the PEAK figure, however the curve tends to be worse and they often don't rev as high. Therefore you usually get bugger all torque at lower revs, then when you hit the boost you get a huge surge of the twisty stuff, then you've hit the limiter. All within a narrow rev band. Cue lots of changing gear.

Re:Not pompous enough (1)

mordred99 (895063) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751187)

The US lagged for simple reasons. 1) Diesel is not as "clean" as traditional gasoline, where it is cut with Ethanol to reduce emissions. Diesel does not pass emissions in several states unless it is a "work" or "farm" vehicle. 2) In the 70's the US car companies tried to make good diesel engines, but they were spectacular failures (they were unreliable and broke down frequently, and they did not last more than like 70k miles before dying permanently). 3) Due to the current refinery system in the US, Diesel costs more because we make less of it versus traditional gas. The cost now is almost $5 a gallon where I live, versus $3.50 for traditional gas.

Re:Not pompous enough (2, Informative)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751399)

They do have all the torque if you look at the PEAK figure, however the curve tends to be worse and they often don't rev as high. Therefore you usually get bugger all torque at lower revs, then when you hit the boost you get a huge surge of the twisty stuff, then you've hit the limiter. All within a narrow rev band. Cue lots of changing gear.

I drive a diesel ('06 VW Golf TDI) and I am pleased with it's performance. At 45mpg average, it out performs pretty much every other compact car on the market off the line.

As for the Torque curve, it's perfect for road use. I mean, honestly, how often does anyone see 5k RPMs when driving on the street? The 1.9l TDI pulls strong from 1800 to 4000 RPMs, which is well above what any normal driver is going to be doing and is just fine for spirited driving. Sure, I'd love to cruise around in a Lotus, but running it up to 6000 RPMs just to get off the line in a hurry at every single stop light really sucks.

As for the shifting, again, big deal. VW's new DSG tranny provides the convenience of an automatic with the fuel efficiency of a manual and up shift times that are faster than Lambo's auto shift manual (down shifts are slightly slower, but still far faster than any human).

Poor perception has been a big problem limiting diesel sales in the US. Thanks to the crap that GM produced back in the 70's. Emissions has been another limiting factor. Thanks to the EPA dropping bins 9 and 10 in 2007, even though there was no ULSD fuel on the market yet (needed for more clean burning Diesel technology), there was only 1 model of diesel sold in 2007. Fall of 2007 required all Diesel to be ULSD, so we've got a few more options on the road in 2008, and a bunch more product lines should be coming to market in 2009-2011.

-Rick

Re:Not pompous enough (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751479)

"Emissions" isn't just CO2. It's carbon monoxide and nitrates, too. Nitrates cause smog, and CO is a far worse greenhouse gas than CO2. Diesels have little hope of ever meeting California emissions.

Good news is that with direct injection, we could see gas engines with the compression ratios of diesels. Combined with a flywheel hybrid system, this should kick those pompus Prius owners straight in the teeth.

Re:Not pompous enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751051)

We know they "can" make fast diesels, but that doesn't do any good if they don't produce them.

Re:Not pompous enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751245)

Because most people know that european car manufacturers lobbied to "bend the rules" in favor of diesel engines:

(from kuro5hin, other sources confirm)
"The concessions afforded diesel-powered cars at Le Mans this year are numerous. Compared with a turbocharged gasoline-fueled car, the diesels enjoy a 50-percent larger displacement limit, a 52-percent larger intake restrictor, and an absolute boost pressure limit nearly twice as high. Additionally, the diesels are allowed variable nozzle turbines in their turbochargers. It is also rumored that Audi successfully lobbied to raise the minimum weight to accommodate the R10's massive powerplant."

Several pilots in classic gasoline powered cars complained that running with 200 less horsepower (due to regulations only) did not seem very fair to them, and were quickly silenced...

Also remember the incredible Mazda rotary 787b that won before they banned rotaries from official competition.

It's all about the power of marketing, if european lobbies behind Le Mans want to promote fuel cell powered cars, be sure that they'll change the public perception... the power of propaganda is always strong.

Uh, racing ain't going to sell it. (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750515)

These are stunts, nothing more than to attract some advertising dollars. You would be lucky to even hear about it on page 2 of the sports section.

People will take green technology seriously under two events.
1. Non-green sources skyrocket in price
2. Its unobtrusive.

More of the latter than anything else. The way you get people to go green is to make it a non-event. You just quietly swap out the technology.

Special Olympics for cars (1)

Lucid 3ntr0py (1348103) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750591)

This competition seems like that on one hand however, it opens up a whole new world for hobbyists.

When small users start taking things into their own hands, and then it becomes publicized, this is when companies often join up if they were hesitant earlier. This is especially true of the automotive industry. Think of hot rods, chopped cars, and custom bikes. Even ricers began as small custom tuners and now the industry really takes these niches seriously.

Racing is often a great proving ground for technology. Have you driven a paddle shifter recently? Much, much better than the old "semi-automatics".

Re:Not pompous enough (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751231)

Same as people only buy Ferraris or other sports cars ? /sarcasm

Re:Not pompous enough (1)

PrivacyDeath (1186903) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751327)

People aren't going to take green technology seriously until it wins in rally or 24 hour le mans or somethign similarly awesome to win. Having to make a special competition just for green cars seems like, well, these cars are cool and all, but just not actually competitive with already existant technology. This isn't good for the public image.

Winning an existing competition will be difficult, if not impossible. Most of the sponsoring organizations have very detailed rules that cover almost all technical aspects of the car build. It may be possible to organize an event to invite many of the existing types of race cars, but I suspect that would take a very large amount of funding. Even if the funding is there, just participating in such an event for the typical racing team would probably violate a rule by the sanctioning organization. Of coarse you could probably get a car built to the specifications, but unless they are beating a well know racing team, even that doesn't have much appeal. Until fathers and sons and building fuel cell cars in their garages for Saturday night racing events, it probably wont have the social appeal that is needed to draw global attention.

Formula Zero? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24750221)

I'm sure Captain Falcon will be in on this in no time.

Zero Emissions? (4, Interesting)

allcar (1111567) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750223)

Do fuel cells really produce no carbon emissions?
Granted, the cars themselves should produce nothing but water, but how do we produce the hydrogen? Does that not require energy? I simply don't believe that all of the hydrogen plants are powered by nuclear or hydroelectric energy.
I am not against these ideas at all, but let's not get carried away. I've no doubt that fuel cells are much cleaner than internal combustion, but provide the real facts, please.

Re:Zero Emissions? (3, Interesting)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750357)

Why did this get moded Troll? Concerns over just how much energy is being spent in actually PRODUCING these types of green cars are very real and shouldn't be censored just because they go against the current mob mentality.

My sources may be wrong, but I've read that producing green cars is more wasteful than they end up saving. For now at least, but if we ignore this issue improvement will never be made.

Re:Zero Emissions? (1)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750625)

Someone got mod-points on a bad hair day and has gone all over this thread with the troll-mod; there is no way the gp, who asked a well worked, polite and very important question, is trolling.

Please, moderators - "troll" is for posts like "OMGZERS L00zers tihs is teh craps ur all so dum sheeple." Not for "Interesting technology, but how much impact will it really have?"

Re:Zero Emissions? (4, Interesting)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751265)

A large amount of the carbon footprint of producing so-called zero emission transportation comes from not yet having zero emission transportation. That is, shipping lines still use diesel engines. Once we've got fuel cell or whatever transportation nailed down, shipping the parts all over the world to assemble more fuel cell cars won't incur such a huge carbon cost because the shipping lines will also be zero emission.

The other big carbon cost is of course the production of the hydrogen, which is generally AFAIK done using electrolysis, powered by whatever power plants happen to be around, most of them high emission plants. Changing this is not so directly tied to producing the fuel cell cars, but once this issue is fixed, fuel cell (or whatever) cars will approach much more closely to zero emissions.

In short, the carbon footprint of producing the cars and the fuel is in part a separate issue. Fixing the cars themselves will probably come first, and the rest will follow.

Re:Zero Emissions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24750361)

Jesus, who modded parent troll? He's perfectly correct - that hydrogen had to come from SOMEWHERE.

Re:Zero Emissions? (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750371)

Does it really matter? You have a point in that carbon must be generated somewhere because at some point there's a coal or gas plant feeding energy into the national grid, which may be used to create a fuel cell, but that energy is going to be produced regardless as to what it's used for.
At least this technology can ultimately replace a lot of devices that produce a lot of carbon, narrowing down the areas you have to target in order to solve the (supposedly) looming energy crisis.
Imagine 10 or 20 years down the line all new vehicles use these fuel cells, you immediately reduce a large amount of carbon output and can then target our energy production structure, possibly replacing the carbon-generating power plants with natural/renewable sources (which we already have the technology, such as solar, it just needs to be refined and propagated a bit more). It wont be as simple or easy as that, but every step we take, no matter how small, is at least a step in the right direction.

Parent has a point: Troll or not. (3, Insightful)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750445)

Excuse me, but every time I see any sort of hydrogen powered (burning it or using it for some sort of chemical reactions) car, the source of hydrogen starts off with fossil fuels or using other forms of energy to extract hydrogen from water. We should be careful that we're not causing more pollution in one area just to lessen some in another area - maybe having a net increase in greenhouse gases.

We all know the BS about ethanol and how it takes more energy (all oil) to just to grow the corn than you get from burning it and that doesn't even include the distillation and shipping costs!

Re:Zero Emissions? (4, Informative)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750471)

Most commercially viable fuel cells contain a first stage catalyst which break down a hydro-carbon fuel (petrol or similar) to produce hydrogen and CO2. Obviously for racing, the extra weight of the first stage is avoided by loading up on pre-prepared hydrogen.

The difference in emissions is from the efficiency of the whole system - somewhere under 35% for a conventional IC engine drivetrain, and around 85% upwards for a hydrocarbon/fuel cell drivetrain. Meaning far more than twice the power delivered carbon emissions created.

Longer term, it is easy to replace the first stage with out-of-car hydrogen generation, if and when clean hydrogen becomes cheap and easy to transport. The second stage (the actual fuel cell) remains unchanged.

As with all technologies, it is an incremental process. However, a >50% cut in emissions is a breakthrough - once cells become viable, stable and maintenance free for long term use (still a number of years off), they will be everywhere. In the mean time, the electric drivetrain components are already being implemented, and constantly improved, in full electric cars and hybrid electric vehicles.

Re:Zero Emissions? (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750611)

Additionally, methanol is increasingly being used in portable as well as automotive technologies as a fuel. Methanol reformers are by now a well-understood technology, and methanol has much less CO2 emission (to energy) than conventional fuel.
Most importantly, methanol can be generated from biomass, hence creating a zero-emission cycle.

Re:Zero Emissions? (1)

ElysianAudio (651965) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750839)

it is easy to replace the first stage with out-of-car hydrogen generation, if and when clean hydrogen becomes cheap and easy to transport.

That is of course the whole issue with the hydrogen cars. Manufactures can build small runs of hydrogen (be it ICE, ECE or fuel cell) cars as a technology showcase and to buy political/marketing points without having to worry the cars will actually be able to be fueled. Nocera at MIT and other have done great work to make certain non-fossil hydrogen production more viable, but this has not solved the practical aspect of hydrogen handling, storage and transportation. The construction of high temperature nuclear reactors will also enable thermal cracking of water.

Hydrocarbons are easy to store and transport and have a much higher energy density. Continuing development of biomass (especially algae based) and synthetic liquid fuels offers the ability to reuse most of the current national fueling infrastructure and still close the carbon cycle. There are other benefits as well. Algae reactors connected to smoke stacks absorb not only the CO2 but also nitrogen oxides. The pressed algae can be used as a non-fossil fuel based fertilizer.

Obviously hydrogen energy transport and fuel-cell vehicles hold some promise. But I am very concerned with the hype and almost religious defense of all things hydrogen "the ocean is full of hydrogen" especially when there are many other technologies that are closer or even in deployment that we can use right now.

Re:Zero Emissions? (5, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750593)

Granted, the cars themselves should produce nothing but water, but how do we produce the hydrogen? Does that not require energy? I simply don't believe that all of the hydrogen plants are powered by nuclear or hydroelectric energy.

Well here is the deal:

1. Even if you have to use a coal power plant to produce the hydrogen, its extremely more efficient than using petroleum in terms of releasing CO2 in the atmosphere.

2. And speaking of, this also means we don't have to rely on foreign oil.

As a small time investor, one of the odd things I've noticed is that currently the Brazilian economy is booming. Most Brazilian stocks are going through the roof. Now it could be that the US and China just aren't doing as good as they used to, but it also dawned on my that Brazil has almost ceased the need to import energy from foreign sources due to its aggressive ethanol campaign.

Now, IMO ethanol isn't the solution for the US, but anything that reduces the need to pay foreign sources for energy simply keeps the money in the US rather than someone overseas.

Can't be a bad thing.

Re:Zero Emissions? (1)

fprintf (82740) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751259)

Take a look at the rate of deforestation in Brazil, you know that pesky little Amazon basin rainforest that helps moderate the earth's climate/CO2 levels. The expansion of the Brazilian economy *and* its reliance upon a land-intensive fuel source (methanol) will only continue to eat away at the edges of the rainforest. Unfortunately, there is no way to compensate the Brazilian's for something that is necessary and desirable for the health of the entire human population. Ecotourism ain't it either.

Re:Zero Emissions? (1)

TroyM (956558) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750759)

Most hydrogen today is actually produced from natural gas, which releases carbon. Using electricity is too costly. Also, it takes a lot of energy to compress the hydrogen enough that you can store a decent amount. Not sure where that energy comes from.

Yes, parent is a troll... (1)

objekt (232270) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750805)

...or is at least using typical troll tactics. I've seen this before every time a discussion about electric cars or alternative fuels comes up; a clean(er) technology comes along and suddenly it's held to a higher standard.

So here's the answer: of course you CAN use polluting or non-polluting energy to produce hydrogen.

From http://www.nrel.gov/learning/eds_hydro_production.html [nrel.gov]

Hydrogen Production

The simplest and most common element, hydrogen is all around us, but always as a compound with other elements. To make it usable in fuel cells or otherwise provide energy, we must expend energy or modify another energy source to extract it from the fossil fuel, biomass, water, or other compound in which it is found. Nearly all hydrogen production today is by steam reformation of natural gas. This, however, releases fossil carbon dioxide in the process and trades one relatively clean fuel for another, with associated energy loss, so does little to meet national energy needs. For high purity needs, a small amount of hydrogen is produced by electrolysis, but this again is only as good as the energy source used to produce the electricity used. There are, however, many possible ways to produce hydrogen with renewable energy. Some of the most promising are the following:

Thermochemical Hydrogen

Heating biomass (or fossil fuels) with limited or no oxygen present can gasify it to a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide known as synthesis gas or syngas or liquefy/pyrolyze it to a liquid known as pyrolysis oil or bio-oil. Syngas can then be catalytically converted to increase the amount of hydrogen with a "water-gas-shift reaction." Pyrolysis oil can be converted to hydrogen using steam reformation and the water-gas-shift reaction.
Electrolytic Hydrogen

Electrolysis can electrochemically split water into hydrogen and oxygen in essentially the reverse of the reaction in a fuel cell. To make sense for large-scale use, this process must use an inexpensive source of electricity. Because wind energy is currently the lowest cost renewable energy, it is the leading candidate. It is also an intermittent source that would benefit from being able to produce hydrogen when its electricity is not needed and to add fuel-cell generation when electricity demand exceeds what the wind turbines can provide. The combination also benefits because electrolyzers require direct current and wind turbine power must be converted to direct current before conversion back to alternating current suitable for the electric grid.
Electrochemical Photolytic Hydrogen

How about short-circuiting the process to have renewable energy such as solar power produce hydrogen directly? Photoelectrochemical (PEC) hydrogen production replaces one electrode of an electrolyzer with photovoltaic (PV) semiconductor material to generate the electricity needed for the water-splitting reaction. The efficiency loss of separate steps is done away with, as is the cost of the other components of a solar cell. PEC is elegantly simple, but finding PV materials both strong enough to drive the water split and stable in a liquid system presents great challenges for researchers.
Biological Photolytic Hydrogen

Another way to directly tap solar energy for hydrogen production is to take advantage of ways in which nature does so. Certain microalgae and photosynthetic bacteria do sometimes use photosynthesis to make hydrogen instead of sugar and oxygen. Among challenges here is the fact that the algal enzyme that triggers the hydrogen production is inhibited by oxygen, which of course, the organism also normally produces. Another biological research avenue is to develop microorganisms that will ferment sugars or cellulose to hydrogen instead of alcohol.

Re:Zero Emissions? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750909)

Please see image at this page [nanosolar.com]

For a breakdown of efficiencies.

Of course, being Nanosolar, they will have a solar slant, but their thin-film technology is supposed to be light on manufacturing costs. Given that you can go solar direct to drive or battery, why would you want to go through he process of using it to split H and O apart? (And then recombine it?)

Re:Zero Emissions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751271)

"wind power was used to electrolyse water and produce the hydrogen that powered the carts, making the races ý if not the whole event ý sustainable."

Re:Zero Emissions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751361)

wind power was used to electrolyse water and produce the hydrogen that powered the carts, making the races "if not the whole event" sustainable.

F-Zero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24750389)

Nintendo will sue this people for using their F-Zero name.

I was there... (1)

colinRTM (1333069) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750397)

...and while it was interesting enough, this will never get any major recognition or earn a place in the public mindset unless they start using it in ralleys, or other high-profile automotive sporting events.

Re:I was there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24750489)

I wish I could, but I was *there*. I wasn't here in a class room, hoping I was right, thinking about it. I was up to my knees in rice paddies, with guns that didn't work! Going in there, looking for Charlie, slugging it out with him; While PUSSIES like you were back here partying, putting headbands on, doing drugs, and listening to the goddamn Beatle albums!

Re:I was there... (1)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750929)

Trolls like this bring a smile to my face. Especially in a thread where so many informative posts have been modded troll and this one is sitting happily unmodded :)

Re:I was there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24750971)

It's not a troll, it's Sam Kinison from "Back to School". I was just riffing on "I was there".

The old is new again (5, Interesting)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750413)

From 1982 to about 1990, the Group C prototypes ran with regulations that basically allowed any engine as long as the fuel consumption didn't exceed ~60 l/100 km. Then the FIA fucked up and changed the rules to mandate F1-style engines, ending the series' popularity.
There were a few races that ended in drama as the leading competitor ran out of fuel, but on the whole it was rather successful, with wildly disparate cars running very close races. You saw 7-litre naturally aspirated V12s, 5-litre turbocharged V8s, 3-litre turbocharged flat-6s and Wankel engines.
It'd be interesting to see a revival of this idea. More interesting than a fuel cell-only class, I'd wager.

Re:The old is new again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751161)

How I wish I could mod you higher than +5. Group C from this era was THE height of motor racing in my opinion, and it got me excited. Now, I have lost the interest, even though I'm still an avid motor sports fan and grease monkey constantly working on my (ancient) Porsche 928 S4.

Le Mans was the one and only sport that I would battle sleepiness to watch.

Um...yeah. (2, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750419)

No matter HOW efficient car racing gets, it is still 100% waste.

Don't get me wrong: most hobbies, including mine, are a waste of energy. Rather, I / someone gets enjoyment in return for the energy expenditure...but in the end, little / no actual work is done.

Even if a NASCAR race can be done with 1 gallon of gas...in the end, 1 gallon is gone, and all the cars are where they started.

Re:Um...yeah. (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750559)

some mod on crack is reading this thread - whats with all the troll mods? This isn't a troll!

Re:Um...yeah. (1)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750667)

If your theoretical NASCAR race competitors really manage to get 100 cars round a track on 1 gallon, then I'd sure think that was one gallon well used when the same technology gets into my next Matiz.

Re:Um...yeah. (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750873)

No matter HOW efficient car racing gets, it is still 100% waste.

Don't get me wrong: most hobbies, including mine, are a waste of energy. Rather, I / someone gets enjoyment in return for the energy expenditure...but in the end, little / no actual work is done.

Even if a NASCAR race can be done with 1 gallon of gas...in the end, 1 gallon is gone, and all the cars are where they started.

Considering how many people are alive today thanks to technologies developed in racing...think ABS, Traction Control, etc.

Think of racing as the ultimate stress test for new automobile technologies, extending this to green tech only makes sense.

Re:Um...yeah. (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751029)

This is a good example of the broken window.

Most of our medical trauma information, techniques, and technology today come from the military's lessons in battlefield medicine.

Considering how many people are alive today thanks to soldiers bleeding to death in the back of an FLA going to the BSA...etc.

Just cause a kid breaking a window makes work for the window maker doesn't mean it's not a waste.

Re:Um...yeah. (1)

imbaczek (690596) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751253)

life is a waste, too, then. "ashes to ashes", that stuff.

Re:Um...yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751393)

Well in that case I suggest you stop doing anything, including breathing, if it doesn't create something.

You're ignoring, however, that even Formula 1 is a test bed for new technology that eventually finds its way back down into production cars, and I'm not only talking about those "sports cars". Active suspension, Antilock Brake Systems, HID head lights, anti-roll passive weights, and a lot more originated from the complete waste you speak of. Carbon fiber brake rotors have made it to high-end luxury GT cars, and I expect that in a few years they will be an option to most other cars as production costs go down. (The benefit is longevity as well as increased performance, which in the real world means you can have smaller wheels and smaller/lighter brakes on a commuter car without sacrificing anything.)

NASCAR may not be that much of an "innovator" compared to many other Euro based races, but even then... how many kids do you think saw those races, got excited, and decided to take up engineering as a career?

And the way to finance this development, is through a sport that a lot of people will pay money for (either actively or passively in the form of advertisement).

*Snicker* (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750483)

Formula Zero,' like Forumula 1, can become a forum

I have to wonder, was that on purpose?

Fuel Cell (0, Offtopic)

Evildonald (983517) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750521)

I've got a fuel cell in my car. I call it the "gas tank".

creators' newclear powered transport ready now (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24750543)

no gadgets required. fear is unprecedented evile's primary weapon. that, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' greed/fear/ego based hired goons' agenda. Most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'war', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid scheme. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

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whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

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& pretending that it isn't happening here;

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all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

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I don't get it... (1)

cwAllenPoole (1228672) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750557)

They've been having turtle races for years. Is this the nationals or something?

Re:I don't get it... (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750779)

the tgv that did 574Kph (357 mph) did use an electric motor.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

cwAllenPoole (1228672) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751139)

And the ThrustSSC went over twice that speed: 1228 km/h (763mph). All things being equal, petroleum makes a faster vehicle.

What is Forumula 1? (1)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750635)

The organisers hope that 'Formula Zero,' like Forumula 1, can become a forum for competing technology as much as anything else, helping green consumer cars to become better."

Can't sleep from jetlag and /. editors are my new favorite punching bag :o. (I heart you T, just not kdawson :o).

Re:What is Forumula 1? (1)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751047)

A competition to see who can get "FRIST POST" in their favourite Forum?

but could they carry gas anyway? (5, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750651)

I'm ok with them using fuel cells just so long as they also include some manner of flammable liquid in the vehicle so that they keep the wrecks interesting.

Re:but could they carry gas anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24750701)

I think you are on to something.

Re:but could they carry gas anyway? (1)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750723)

Would a small, but very high pressure, tank of hydrogen add the required spice?

Might only go off in 2% of crashes, but boy, you'd better duck when it does ;)

Re:but could they carry gas anyway? (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750901)

Include an emergency ejection system for the fuel cell that launches it a 100 feet into the air "to protect the driver" for added fireworks ;-)

Re:but could they carry gas anyway? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751473)

You are proposing to put a rocket engine.. right next to the hottest part of the car.. a part which also happens to contain stoichiometric quantities of liquid hydrogen and oxygen?

Re:but could they carry gas anyway? (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750945)

Some of the latest F1s carry flywheels to store kinetic energy while braking around corners. I think that's gonna make for some interesting explosions (think shards a high way up or drums bouncing through the closest city at high speed).

A good step (1)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750653)

I think this is a step in the right direction.
Most of our modern performance and safety technology came out of racing.
Better engine technology, suspension, and braking.
Early cars were basically street going tractors.
By racing electric/fuel cell cars, it will create competition, which will foster innovation.
Better electric motors, batteries, charging systems etc will be developed.
I agree with Jonnythan and Swizec - it can't be a 500 meter go kart track. It has to be a gruelling race to really prove the technology.

F-Zero eh? (2, Funny)

VTMarik (880085) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750671)

Today it's fuel cells, tomorrow it becomes hovercars, then next thing we know we're racing down a magnetic track against aliens and clones of ourselves.

The future is now!

F ... Zero? (2, Insightful)

Van Cutter Romney (973766) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750687)

Granted, this is a step in the right direction. I'm all for anything green and this will a good initiative. Having said that, when you talk about racing, you'd expect to see cars and not go-karts. That's what gets the adrenalin pumping in men and replaces their shriveled you-know-what's. Men in little go-karts racing around in a bumper track is not going to get people excited about practical fuel cell technology.

Re:F ... Zero? (2, Insightful)

JayAitch (1277640) | more than 5 years ago | (#24750903)

you'd expect to see cars and not go-karts.
I'm thinking this is a result of the expense and interest in the technology. The expense to build one of these cars is greatly reduced by making it a go-kart. If this type of race can raise interest you then get your big players and corporate sponsorship to fund R&D in big boy cars.

Re: (1)

gormanw (1321203) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751009)

As mentioned above, it still takes considerable energy to produce the hydrogen for the fuel cell. What we aren't asking is what is the goal? Is the goal to replace petroleum as the fuel for mobility? Is it to reduce vehicle emissions? If we ask these questions, then the proposed solutions can be evaluated on their merits and whether they meet their desired goals.

Formula 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751521)

The organisers hope that 'Formula Zero,' like Forumula 1, can become a forum for competing technology as much as anything else, helping green consumer cars to become better."

If they want to mimic Formula 1 they should get a race organizer who's into kinky sex [wikipedia.org] .

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