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Toyota Announces Plans For Fuel Cell Car By 2015

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the power-up dept.

Transportation 115

puddingebola writes "Toyota has announced plans for a fuel cell powered car at the Tokyo Motor show. From the article, 'Satoshi Ogiso, the Toyota Motor Corp. executive in charge of fuel cells, said Wednesday the vehicle is not just for leasing to officials and celebrities but will be an everyday car for ordinary consumers, widely available at dealers. "Development is going very smoothly," he told The Associated Press on the sidelines of the Tokyo Motor Show. The car will go on sale in Japan in 2015 and within a year later in Europe and U.S."'"

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they've had this place since what 2010? (4, Interesting)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year ago | (#45478551)

I remember at least 2 years ago, Toyota had this plan. Hydrogen isn't as bad as people make it out to be. You just need special materials to work with. If you go steel, it just gets owned. So special materials are expensive in the short run until they're manufactured. Hydrogen itself is just made with electricity and water. It isn't much different than electric cars in that regard. The main difference is electric cars need expensive batteries. Hydrogen cars only need a pressurized tank. I think in the long run hydrogen cars can win out. Do go investing in hydrogen refilling stations just yet though like that electric car got ahead of the curve.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (4, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#45478601)

If they use hydrocarbon fuel cells the cars may be able to use the existing fuel stations (likely to need filters to prevent poisoning from impurities). They'd probably still release CO2 but be more efficient.

Far more convenient than cars with hydrogen tanks.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (3, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#45478949)

If they use hydrocarbon fuel cells the cars may be able to use the existing fuel stations

They don't. Toyota is using hydrogen fuel cells in these cars. They will not be able to use existing gas stations. They will require fueling with compressed hydrogen. There are a handful of hydrogen fueling stations in Los Angeles, and 100 more are planned, with the $1M/station paid for by the state of California.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about a year ago | (#45479227)

The technology is great, but I hope those $1M payments are via cashier's check or out of state escrow, as the state of California is dancing on the fine edge of bankruptcy.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479385)

Citation or GTFO.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (0)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about a year ago | (#45479515)

Roger that:

As soon as you're done reviewing that information, plus what you can find with a simple Google query, kindly go fuck yourself.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about a year ago | (#45479555)

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about a year ago | (#45479583)

Oh really.

The legislative analyst projected surpluses of $2.4 billion by June 2014 and $5.6 billion by June 2015. Reserves are projected to continue growing to nearly $10 billion by June 2018.

Yeah, I've seen "projections and promises" like those off and on for nearly two decades on the part of many states. Oddly enough, it doesn't wind up working out. Attempting to counter with Future Money (TM) is no counter at all. Nice try, though.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#45481205)

G.W Bush had them in his first two budgets which also was scored to be ballanced by the gao and the cbo.

I point this out because it is an obvious point of failure in some projections. The problem with projections lile these is that the economy and often influences completely outside their control can collapse them without any consideration.

This is a fault of government trying to pay with future revenue to. It easily racks up debt when those projections don't materialize or fall short of its goals. Your comment is spot on.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#45480407)

Californian government would have more money to work with if they stopped supporting Ag loans to any farm/ranch with over $10 million in gross revenue. Google it.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about a year ago | (#45480677)

You can be sure the usual suspects will blame "Green Peace and environmentalism" for the failure of green technology with a system that is designed to make conglomerates more filthy rich rather than solve anything.

It takes a lot of tech and containers to condense Hydrogen to a good energy density. And then we get it from Natural Gas which would be EASIER to make part of the fuel system given current infrastructure.

I'm waiting for the Corn-to-Hydrogen plan so that ADM can get subsidies to make a product more expensive and polluting than what it replaced.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45481619)

green technology with a system that is designed to make conglomerates more filthy rich rather than solve anything

Please explain how that's true of hydrogen.

we get it from Natural Gas which would be EASIER to make part of the fuel system given current infrastructure

But it's less efficient. Burning natural gas in ICV's means the inefficiency of ICV's is part of the equation. Fuel cells are much more efficient:

Moreover, in the future hydrogen can be produced using electricity and water. It's ideal for power sources like solar and wind, since the hydrogen can be produced only when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, and stored in a tank.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#45480957)

No, California found ways around the "starve the beast" ideologues (or Norquist fundamentalists, or faux-conservatives, or whatever you want to call them), made cuts in spending, and/or got lucky. Whatever the case, California is actually doing much better budget wise. [latimes.com]

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (2)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#45480123)

I think that's actually worse than the Tesla/Nissan Leaf pure battery model. Since you can charge battery cars in far more places.

We would still need hydrocarbons because I doubt our airliners will be hydrogen or battery powered. So it'll be great if we can figure out a practical path for "green energy" (e.g. wind/solar) or nuke to hydrocarbon, and hydrocarbon powered electric cars.

If fuel cells aren't up to it yet, maybe small gas turbine generators could do: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/electric/jaguar-hybrid-micro-turbine-engineering [popularmechanics.com]
http://www.thechargingpoint.com/opinions/James-Allen-on-EV-The-Whisper-turbine-charged-electric-car.html [thechargingpoint.com]

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (2)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about a year ago | (#45480473)

This is like the creation of the Internet; taxpayers pony up $500 Billion to create the infrastructure, and ISP's create toll gates to charge us for getting on the on ramps.

If the gas companies ever make a profit from Hydrogen stations, will they remember who paid for it?

Also -- I think of Hydrogen fuel as the Ethanol of the future; wildly wasteful and expensive corn will probably be burned along with natural gas in order to create the hydrogen. We will probably lose at least 20% of the energy in processing and just leaks. Why not just natural gas vehicles or MORE electric cars? I suppose that would be too easy and a cartel couldn't pretend to be green and then get paid on the back end.

I always thought we'd only get alternative energy if someone could continue to keep their cartel and their stranglehold on it -- and nothing seems to say; "big multinational conglomerate" more than Hydrogen.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#45481391)

If they use hydrocarbon fuel cells the cars may be able to use the existing fuel stations (likely to need filters to prevent poisoning from impurities). They'd probably still release CO2 but be more efficient.

And you can even take your hydrogen source, grab some CO2 out of the air, and use membranes (see George Olah's work) to convert it into methanol, which is a liquid compatible with the existing infrastructure.

Sure, it releases CO2 on the other end, but it's the CO2 you just borrowed from the atmosphere last month. Sure it takes a bit more energy, but if you get that from solar or safe nuclear, it's much less energy than trying to re-build the entire world's fuel distribution infrastructure and trying to contain hydrogen.

You could even take an oil derrick that's had a well gone dry, cover it with solar panels, start pumping in sea water and start pumping out methanol. We have the technology. That particular arrangement may or may not make financial sense, but we have what we need to do it (aside from the fuel cell cars that would make the best use of it).

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year ago | (#45478611)

Horrible typos I had:
Title was supposed to be: They've had this plan since what 2010.
and Don't go investing in hydrogen refueling stations just yet.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#45478635)

Damn. Just bought 1,000,000 shares in Bob's Hydrogen Fuel Stop & Rob - Coast to Coast.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year ago | (#45478693)

Maybe you can bank on the government regulating helium. Then kids balloons would be filled with hydrogen. :)

I actually figured it'd be pretty easy to make a hydrogen refilling station. All you'd need is a tank to hold the hydrogen and a pressurization tool that is also resistant to embrittlement. This stuff isn't cheap right now, but once the materials science and manufacturing is out on the best materials to store hydrogen with, it will be cheap. So hold off until they're cheap. Then you're just looking at turning tap water and grid electricity into fuel.

To conclude: the cost per mile of driving a hydrogen car is cheaper than a gasoline powered car if you just use grid electricity by maybe around 1/10th. But hydrogen just isn't there yet mostly from materials science and manufacturing lag. Give it some time and it will come around naturally. Toyota getting a car jump starts it though so there is more demand.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (4, Insightful)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about a year ago | (#45478613)

Hydrogen itself is just made with electricity and water.

Yes, except that is not really how most of it gets made.

Frankly, one of the cheapest sources for hydrogen is from natural gas:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_production#Steam_reforming [wikipedia.org]

Besides, where is all the electricity going to come from to do from pure water? Coal fired power plants? Yea, that sure fixes the problem!

So either you take it from natural gas, which is about 80% efficient, or you take it from water which isn't efficient at all and get the electricity from coal power plants, which isn't clean either.

I'm all for replacing oil and gas as our fuels, but unless we use nuclear energy to power the Electrolysis to pull it from water, this isn't solving anything.

BTW, less than 5% of hydrogen is actually obtained from water, 95+% is obtained from fossil fuels.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year ago | (#45478717)

I heard the math on regular grid electricity electrolysis is about 1/10th the cost you'd pay in gasoline. It is about the same cost of an electric car's fuel.

The key is the grid would get pummeled if these cars came out cheap. But this would incentivise more people to get personal solar power arrays at their homes. What you'd pay in solar panels would be much less than you'd pay in gasoline and utilities in about 5 years. Then after that it is like free fuel. :)

I think the only other loser besides the oil companies here are the people who liked some semblance of a non crowded highway. Everyone's going to be driving everywhere when the price of fuel is 1/10th what it is today! I bet retailers would even have to rethink their strategies on sales since a poor person can drive from store to store where before the gas money was a road block.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

luther349 (645380) | about a year ago | (#45478863)

guess you never saw a tesla it has 4 charge modes the slowest being a normal household plug the 2nd and most common is the 220 dryer plug and the last there own charging station. the last is the super charging station would would use to recharge the car in like 15 minutes. in other word it does not pummel the grid recharging its no worse then a electric dryer or in the slowest mode a space heater. anything else would be a dedicated recharge source.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479337)

guess you never saw a tesla it has 4 charge modes the slowest being a normal household plug the 2nd and most common is the 220 dryer plug and the last there own charging station. the last is the super charging station would would use to recharge the car in like 15 minutes. in other word it does not pummel the grid recharging its no worse then a electric dryer or in the slowest mode a space heater. anything else would be a dedicated recharge source.

Fucking BREATHE, asshole. Why all the run-on sentences? You can't tell me you're new with a 6-digit uid, so you're obviously read a fair few posts in your time. So why haven't you learned how to form a cogent sentence yet? How much time needs to pass before you notice how retarded your posts sound? Pull your head out of your ass and learn some basic grammar, fuckwad.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479809)

I concur. Also, would you consider sharing your cocaine with me?

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45478971)

Honda is already working on a Home Refueling Station. They also have FCX vehicle is leased for $600/month for 3 years (Thats $21600). And anyone in the specific area can lease it because the refueling stations are there.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (3, Insightful)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about a year ago | (#45479061)

Source?

Electrolysis is terribly inefficent, if it was worth doing, that is how we'd get our hydrogen.

No matter how much better it might or might not be than gasoline, the fact is it costs FAR less to pull hydrogen out of natural gas than it does from water.

So using your numbers, it would be almost FREE to power our cars with hydrogen from natural gas.

Except, that it wouldn't be, there are a few laws of thermodynamics you're breaking there. We already have natural gas cars and they are good, but not nearly 10 times better than gas cars. You sure aren't going to get further improvement beyond that by using hydrogen.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (4, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#45479693)

Just to put some numbers on this:

Natural gas power plant: 60% efficient
Electrical transmission from plant to home: 98% efficient
Battery charging: 75% efficient
Net efficiency: .6*.98*.75 = 44%

Natural gas power plant: 60% efficient
Electrolysis next door to power plant: 65% efficient (this is about the best you can get in a lab, so I'm being generous)
Hydrogen fuel cell: 75% efficient (again being generous - they've gotten over 90% in a lab, but anything over 50% commercially is good)
Net efficiency: .6*.65*.75 = 29%

Gasoline engine: ~30% efficient

Yes the gasoline engine suffers additional losses when operating outside its optimal RPM, and the transmission. But electric motors are the same when not run at their optimal RPM. So I've omitted the last step in the power transfer to the wheels.

The only way hydrogen fuel cells make sense compared to regular gasoline cars (never mind EVs) is if you don't use electrolysis and liberate the hydrogen directly from petrochemicals like natural gas. If gasoline-like refueling is an important market factor, I think biofuels are going to end up the winner, not hydrogen.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about a year ago | (#45479979)

Electrical transmission from plant to home: 98% efficient

Not in the US it isn't... It is about 93% efficient overall, but this of course varies from place to place.

Regardless, the whole point is being missed. Why go to hydrogen in the first place? What are we trying to accomplish?

Is it to just replace gas? If so, why do we want to do that? Is it to be "green"? Frankly, hydrogen isn't green unless you use completely green energy to crack water to get it.

Since we already don't have green energy for our basic needs, what makes everyone think we're going to have green energy for this? Even if we suddenly gained 20 gigawatts of green energy tomorrow, that would be best used to power our general electrical grid and replace coal power plants.

This entire idea is insane, either it is just a PR stunt by Toyota trying to appear "green" or someone is trying to pull a fast one.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (2)

dcw3 (649211) | about a year ago | (#45480323)

This entire idea is insane, either it is just a PR stunt by Toyota trying to appear "green" or someone is trying to pull a fast one

Yup, and most of the auto industry is out to get us. Just look at this from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_vehicle [wikipedia.org]
At the 2012 World Hydrogen Energy Conference, Daimler AG, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota all confirmed plans to produce hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for sale by 2015.[6] General Motors said it had not abandoned fuel-cell technology and still plans to introduce hydrogen vehicles like the GM HydroGen4 to retail customers by 2015....In 2009, Nissan started testing a new FC vehicle in Japan.

So, maybe, just maybe, you're overlooking something.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

dave420 (699308) | about a year ago | (#45480689)

It can be more green without being entirely green. Not having massively-inefficient gasoline-burning engines running around crowded city centers is a good thing. It's far easier to apply new cleaning techniques at centralized locations than on every single car on the road. Green is a sliding scale, not a binary state.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year ago | (#45481535)

Net efficiency: .6*.65*.75 = 29%

As always happen with untested tech, there are some steps missing from this calculation. Transportation of gasoline is about 98% efficient, but for hydrogen that number will be lower. Refueling with gasoline has some 9s of efficiency, but with hydrogen you can get it either fast at near 90% efficiency, or fill your tank overnight. Gasoline losses are almost nil, but hydrogen leaks away from the tank when you are not using it.

My opinion is that hydrogen is only fit for rockets. With a lot of breakthroughts, it may become a nice aviation fuel, but for anything less dependent on weight, it's completely unfit. By the way, in the limited space of a car, making a 50% efficient hydrogen fuel cell is an incredible feat, 15% is a way more realistic number.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (2)

e70838 (976799) | about a year ago | (#45479731)

Electrolysis is not the more efficient, but hydrogen production by electrolysis is probably the more effective way to store electricity.

Nuclear plants have often excedents of electricity that they burn in resistors in order to avoid overloading the grid. If they could generate hydrogen instead of wasting energy, their efficiency would improve. IMHO nuclear remains the cleaner energy (less harm to our planet) and the safer (http://nextbigfuture.com/2008/03/deaths-per-twh-for-all-energy-sources.html). I think that nuclear and hydrogen should have a good synergy.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

orzetto (545509) | about a year ago | (#45480369)

Electrolysis is terribly inefficent, if it was worth doing, that is how we'd get our hydrogen.

Huh, no, electrolysis is actually very efficient, 70-90%. The problem is that you need to provide the electricity yourself instead of using a energy-rich feedstock (natural gas).

We already have natural gas cars and they are good, but not nearly 10 times better than gas cars. You sure aren't going to get further improvement beyond that by using hydrogen.

Incorrect, you are going to get a significant improvement with hydrogen. Hydrogen can be converted with current fuel cell technology with 50% efficiency into electricity (and from there mechanical power), natural gas or gasoline cannot come anywhere near that, mostly because they need to go through combustion.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (3, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#45478895)

esides, where is all the electricity going to come from to do from pure water?

Seems like a good application for solar.

Possibly eventually even bypass the electricity step and just use solar energy to produce hydrogen directly.

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/09/27/solar-hydrogen-production-efficiency-world-record-broken-wormlike-hematite-photoanode-crushes-old-record/ [cleantechnica.com]

5% efficiency so we're not exactly there yet, but its a possible direction for future breakthroughs.

In the meantime, solar electric arrays to power electrolysis seems like it beats "coal plants".

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about a year ago | (#45479045)

Seems like a good application for solar.

Yea, I thought of that too, but when our main power grid is already only about 0.17% of our total electric usage, that would be pointless, we'd be better off using solar to replace coal fired power plants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_the_United_States

Solar keeps getting talked about, it gets a ton of media attention, but it isn't even close to prime time.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about a year ago | (#45479049)

Grr. That should have said:

Yea, I thought of that too, but when our solar power generated in the US is only about 0.17% of our total electric usage, that would be pointless, we'd be better off using solar to replace coal fired power plants.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#45479651)

Solar is not great for powering the grid, where the supply and demand must be balanced and where you want to put the supply and demand close together to minimise transmission losses. It's much better for workloads that are effectively charging batteries. If you stick big solar collectors in the middle of the desert, connecting that up to the grid for the rest of the USA is pretty difficult and you'll still have the problem that there are big demand spikes just as the solar sun starts to set. In contrast, if it's all producing hydrogen (or charging batteries), then you can build up a small surplus to cover times when demand spikes above production temporarily and you just need pipes to ship the water in and trains to ship the power out.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about a year ago | (#45479953)

The power grid as a whole loses about 7% to transmission losses. Not ideal, but not terrible either.

There is a world of difference between proof of concept and scaling something up for everyone.

Solar is a great proof of concept, but scale is hard to get. Doesn't really matter if you want to power the grid, charge batteries, or produce hydrogen, the amount of power you get for your dollar with solar is just terrible.

Where solar makes the most sense is on roof-tops, providing power during the peak time of day when it is hottest and all the AC units are running.

The real benefit there is it takes some of the peak load off the power grid and this is why so many power companies are providing rebates and credits for the installation of solar panels. It doesn't really make all that much sense, but it does save some stress on the grid during peak demand times.

For cars? Pure electric is clearly the future there, hydrogen is simply not a solution. It is hard to store, hard to ship, explosive, and expensive to produce in volume.

Yes, the expensive part will get a bit cheaper if you do volume, but the only way to do real volume is to take it out of natural gas. That isn't exactly clean, so what is the point?

To take it out of water, at a scale that would matter, would require a power grid far larger than the one we have. We'd have to build hundreds of new power plants to crack all that water to make hydrogen for the millions of cars.

The whole idea is insane, clearly this is just marketing being done by Toyota to appear "green", I can't imagine they actually believe this will be the future, it takes 30 seconds of critical thinking to see all the problems with it.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#45479971)

The grid losses are about 7%, but that's because the distances are kept quite small. Most consumers are in the same state as their power stations, and often a lot closer. There's a reason power stations are built quiet close to cities. Try powering the coasts from a solar array in the middle of the USA and you'll see much bigger losses. And the middle of the USA is exactly where you want to have large-scale solar collectors: where you have lots of empty space with lots of sunshine.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#45481511)

Try powering the coasts from a solar array in the middle of the USA and you'll see much bigger losses. /If/ the power generation is cheap enough, then it's actually cost effective to use superconductors along the long-distance paths and pay with the power to keep them cool. There is a superconducting cable feeding NYC now, for example, kept cool with liquid nitrogen. Getting such power lines down the East coast and then over to the nearest desert is just a function of relative costs.

Fusion society (1)

arsefactor (3439785) | about a year ago | (#45480011)

Not happening anytime soon but when we have fusion power stations then what will be the best distributed fuel source? Would hydrogen not be a good choice then?

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

s122604 (1018036) | about a year ago | (#45481247)

There doesn't seem to be much of a point in using natural gas to produce hydrogen, to produce electrical energy, to produce mechanical energy.

Why not just use the natural gas in an existing internal combustion engine.
Thats what the nat gas civic does, and its available today, for less than 10k more than the gasoline version, has a 250 mile range, and the natural gas pipeline structure is already built. All we need to do is solve the 'last mile' problem by having more nat gas filling stations, which is easily solvable with today's technology

Hydrogen only seems to make sense if we started a WW2 scale effort to build dozens of new Nuclear power plants, producing an abundance of electricity and removing coal from the mix.. Which we should do, but won't

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year ago | (#45481593)

Why not just use the natural gas in an existing internal combustion engine.

That depends. Are you willing to put a turbine with constant rotational speed inside your car? The difference in efficiency between a small internal combustion engine and a big turbine is huge (but hydrogen as an intermediary makes no sense).

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45478643)

If you think it is bad when a Tesla eats a pickup truck's tow ball, just wait until you have a tank that requires 10,000 PSI, and when that thing ruptures, it will make a pretty sizable explosion. Ever see the YouTube videos of rednecks sticking a 20 pound propane tank on a campfire, then hitting it with a rifle round. That times a hundred. In a crowded city.

No thank you.

CAPTCHA: Roulette. Very fitting.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479351)

CAPTCHA: Roulette. Very fitting.

Why do you fucking boneheads think we care about your CAPTCHA?

But there you are, you stupid little tards, dutifully reporting the word the machine gave you. YES, we understand the CAPTCHA probably pertained to the subject at hand, maybe even obliquely. It's taken from the comment text! How many times do we have to have this goddamn discussion? Endlessly it seems, as you, cackling deliciously, type up the CAPTCHA to your own response: CAPTCHA: kitten. Oooh, how cute!

Maybe it's time someone brought up laser weapons again. Then we could all have a spooge-fest as all the fuckwits predictably begin chirping on about how missiles will start coming out with mirrors attached! Pure genius!

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

ubersoldat2k7 (1557119) | about a year ago | (#45479547)

Do you know what a crowded city is? Well, Sao Paolo, Mexico D.F., Bogota, Caracas are crowded cities which have something in common: a whole bunch of cars running on CNG or LNG with the this tanks holding up +3.000 P.S.I.

OTOH, just wait until all oil has ran out, you won't care if you have to carry the freaking hydrogen tank on your lap.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

hamburger lady (218108) | about a year ago | (#45478697)

special materials are expensive in the short run until they're manufactured.

The main difference is electric cars need expensive batteries.

doesn't the first statement also apply to batteries? if manufacturing will bring down the prices of more expensive and exotic materials needed in a H2 fuel cell, wouldn't it also make batteries less expensive?

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (3, Insightful)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year ago | (#45478861)

Batteries are a much more complex technology than a simple canister. Batteries might still have manufacturing advances, but in general they should be more costly than a simple container. Also batteries have been advanced significantly over the past 60+ years to where they are now. There will be improvement in battery arrays, but it just isn't on the same rate a new technology can be advanced. A battery array today costs several thousand dollars(and sometimes needs to be replaced), but a canister that holds compressed air isn't much more than its scrap metal price. You're looking at thousands of dollars at a battery array against maybe what can come down to into the low hundreds.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479591)

Only somewhat. The special materials in batteries include stuff like lithium, which is mined, not made.

Using more of those things are likely to drive prices up, not down, unless we find wast reserves of the stuff, like we did with oil decades ago.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

jmv (93421) | about a year ago | (#45478703)

If your electricity comes from burning hydrocarbons, then using hydrogen is a bit silly since you get a loss in the heat->electricity process, plus in the electricity->hydrogen process.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#45478777)

emitting pollution in one well maintained power plant reduces pollution in the cities.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about a year ago | (#45479073)

Emitting no pollution in one well maintained nuclear power plant reduces pollution everywhere.

Any physical pollution created can be put in sealed storage and monitored as long as required.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

flex941 (521675) | about a year ago | (#45479327)

Until it goes kaboom! Or slowly leaky-leaky.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about a year ago | (#45479531)

Nuclear waste doesn't go kaboom...

It also doesn't leak, if you simply monitor it correctly. Even better, use reprocessing and breeder reactors to cut the waste even more, but most of that is illegal in the US because we are stupid.

Frankly, I wouldn't bury it in the ground, you can't watch it that way. I'd put it 20 feet into the air on raised concrete platforms, so that you can see under the storage if it is leaking or not. That way, no one can claim "oh, we missed it" when you can drive a bus under the platform if you wished to.

Re:they've had this place since what 2010? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#45479819)

Hydrogen itself is just made with electricity and water. It isn't much different than electric cars in that regard.

FALSE. Hydrogen itself is made by expensively cracking natural gas, a fossil fuel. The process is energy-intensive, which means that it's polluting (where does the energy come from? the usual places.) It isn't much different than electric cars in that regard. Hydrogen CAN be made via electrolysis of water, but it isn't. It isn't for two main reasons. One, you need very clean water for the process, or you produce undesirable outputs. Two, the process is even less energy-efficient than cracking natural gas.

The main difference is electric cars need expensive batteries. Hydrogen cars only need a pressurized tank.

Oh, is that all? A tank which is higher-pressure than anything else they own, which is lined with an expensive barrier, and which will have to be periodically recertified? Only that?

You are telling lies. Stop it.

Fuel Cell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45478553)

Fuel Source?

*Yawn* (3, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | about a year ago | (#45478579)

Wake me up when this has a chance of actually being a viable product. I doubt they can create the thing for a reasonable (non-heavily-subsidized) cost. Given that we are STILL waiting for laptop fuel cells which have been perpetually "around the corner" since literally the Dawn of Slashdot, I'm not holding my breath.

And once you have the car, you need the Hydrogen. There are currently zero economic ways of creating the stuff. You can either crack it off of Hydrocarbons (and if you are going to do that, why not just burn the damn things in a conventional car?) Or you can electrolyze it. Which is tremendously energy-inefficient. And then you have to compress it for storage/transport/delivery, wasting even more energy.

Hydrogen cars make sense if we have bountiful free electricity. Until that happens, electric cars make more sense, and neither will seriously challenge the dominance of the ICE.

Re:*Yawn* (1, Interesting)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year ago | (#45478609)

I was going to say wake me when they make a Toyota that can actually keep me awake. They truly make the most boring mass market cars on the planet to drive. Quite an achievement IMHO given their resources.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#45478923)

They have their uses. A Prius is nice in the city because you are not grinding away fuel when stopped at lights or in a traffic jam. Plus, it does work well as an emergency generator in a pinch. Priuses won't win any drag races... but in a crowded city, the point is moot anyway.

Now, if they would bother selling the plug-in models in my neck of the woods, it would be great.

Re:*Yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45478977)

I was going to say wake me when they make a Toyota that can actually keep me awake.

Wake up [vimeo.com]

Ah, it's a hydrogen car! (1, Flamebait)

Ecuador (740021) | about a year ago | (#45478583)

Don't you just hate it when the summary is so useless that you actually have to RTFA (or, more realistically, skim through it)? Fuel cells can mean natural gas, gasoline, diesel etc, all of these significantly less interesting since they have been powering cars for 100+ years and done so by converting chemical energy directly to mechanical energy, without going through the electricity step. But hydrogen is interesting. And finally some competition for Tesla - let's see, what happens to a hydrogen fuel cell when you hit debris on the road!

Re:Ah, it's a hydrogen car! (2)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#45478767)

But hydrogen is interesting. And finally some competition for Tesla - let's see, what happens to a hydrogen fuel cell when you hit debris on the road!

They are going to avoid that situation by putting the fuel cell on top of the roof. It'll be perfectly safe.

Re:Ah, it's a hydrogen car! (3, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#45478959)

To me, why not just use a natural gas or propane fuel cell? It would save having to make hydrogen from CNG.

If the fuel cell could handle both CNG and LP gas, the technology for storing propane is fairly mature, so it would be useful, not just for keeping an electric car's batteries topped off, but for a UPS or emergency backup generator.

I read a lot of hype about hydrogen, but that is an expensive road, and I wonder if the gains from it are worth it compared to better electric grids and higher capacity batteries.

Re:Ah, it's a hydrogen car! (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about a year ago | (#45479089)

I read a lot of hype about hydrogen, but that is an expensive road

It also has the side effect of exploding when released under pressure and sparks are applied.

http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/h.htm [lenntech.com]

Physical dangers: The gas mixes well with air, explosive mixtures are easily formed. The gas is lighter than air.

Chemical dangers: Heating may cause violent combustion or explosion. Reacts violently with air, oxygen, halogens and strong oxidants causing fire and explosion hazard. Metal catalysts, such as platinum and nickel, greatly enhance these reactions.

Re:Ah, it's a hydrogen car! (1)

hey! (33014) | about a year ago | (#45479251)

While it is true hydrogen *can* explode, the fact that it is lighter than air means it seldom will achieve sufficient density to support significant explosions. The gas used to heat homes is also lighter than air, which is why though gas service is very common in homes, explosions are exceedingly rare. Hydrogen is even lighter and diffuses faster.

Which is not to say it won't explode from time to time, but large explosions will probably be rarer than homes demolished by gas explosions.

Re:Ah, it's a hydrogen car! (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about a year ago | (#45479505)

The gas used to heat homes is natural gas, far less explosive than hydrogen is...

Also, last time I checked, my house doesn't crash into other houses all that often, it rather tends to stay in one place.

The forces in a crash, the small size of cars (compared to houses), the higher compression required for hydrogen to be able to carry enough of it, the whole thing sounds like a mess to me.

Yes, cars have gasoline in them now, but gas tends to burn, not explode. It actually takes a lot of effort to get gas to explode rather than just burn.

Hydrogen is the other way around, it will explode if not burned in a controlled fashion.

Re:Ah, it's a hydrogen car! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45480641)

You've still got CO2 at the tailpipe, which is the whole purpose of alt-cars.

Re:Ah, it's a hydrogen car! (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#45481909)

Very true. However, with current hydrogen techniques, you just move the CO2 burning to the electric plant.

I'd rather see higher capacity batteries. No, it won't approach the energy density of hydrogen, but by replacing the wasteful Otto cycle engines with electric motors, a battery technology within an order of magnitude of gasoline for energy density per volume may be "good enough".

With batteries, energy production is completely decoupled. The battery charger can be powered by a wood pellet stove, a solar panel, a wind turbine, hydroelectric... you name it. CO2 is no longer a "mandatory" part of the equation.

Costs to Make the Hydrogen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45478593)

AFAIK, it takes *lots* of energy to make the hydrogen. Anybody have the latest scoop on the costs for this? What would the "hydrogen stations" be charging for it? What would the $/mile comparison be between a hydrogen car and a gas one?

Re:Costs to Make the Hydrogen? (1)

hey! (33014) | about a year ago | (#45479315)

Well, presumably you get most of the energy back when you burn it, minus thermodynamic losses of course. You can't compare gasoline to H2 in this respect: gasoline is an energy *source*; H2 is an energy *transfer medium*.

As a transfer medium it has many advantages and disadvantages. The chief disadvantages is that it doesn't pack much energy in per volume at a reasonable pressure, and that it is difficult to transport. I've seen suggestions that the hydrogen atoms be bound to some kind of molecule that is liquid at room temperature, but yields up the hydrogen more easily than water does. This could be handled much as gasoline is handled.

Re:Costs to Make the Hydrogen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479919)

What if we were to use variable length carbon chains as a hydrogen carrier? Varying the length of the carbon chain would allow the production of various compounds tailored for different uses (volatility, energy density, freezing point, boiling point, etc).

Many of these "hydrated carbon" products would even be liquid at room temperature. Very easy to work with...

Yeah, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45478619)

Toyota plans on selling the first hydrogen powered fuel cell car in Japan in 2015, and in the US and Europe in 2016. Which won't sell very well if the first hydrogen filling stations are planned for 2020. Does anyone have any real plans for those?

I'm sure the welder supply shops will love the business, but they aren't usually open on weekends.

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#45478649)

Toyota plans on selling the first hydrogen powered fuel cell car in Japan in 2015, and in the US and Europe in 2016. Which won't sell very well if the first hydrogen filling stations are planned for 2020. Does anyone have any real plans for those?

I'm sure the welder supply shops will love the business, but they aren't usually open on weekends.

If there's demand there will be supply. That's Capitalism.

Now if some billionaire starts applying to build these stations near urban and inter-urban areas, that's Capitalism.

And when lobbyists buy legislators to keep the 'Dangerous Unproven Fuel Stuff Stations' from going up, that's Capitalism, too. The kind where you can buy government.

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

couchslug (175151) | about a year ago | (#45478739)

While I'd love to have my local welder supply open on weekends. they aren't equipped with safe separate areas for filling gaseous hydrogen tanks on vehicles.

You'd need something laid out like a gas station unless the vehicles were equipped to carry standard cylinders in which case swaps wouldn't be technically difficult. I don't see that working well thoughas conventional high pressure cylinders are thick and heavy.

Semi-OT but interesting vintage NASA liquid hydrogen gear.
Love the violin "tuning method":

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4404/ch4-4.htm [nasa.gov]

I don't get it (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#45478647)

In the TFA it say hydrogen costs $3 for the same equivalent range as a gallon of gas (which is about $3/gallon where I live).

Except that it requires hydrogen --- which is complicated to store --- and requires an infrastructure we don't have in place. And the hydrogen probably takes up more space than a gallon of gas (a guess --- does someone know?).

Questions:

1. What are we destroying to make the hydrogen? Hydrogen doesn't occur naturally --- it would need to be stripped off a molecule. What is the byproduct of this process?

2. Why is investing in a new infrastructure -- hydrogen distribution --- a good thing?

3. The byproduct is "water". Which sounds harmless enough -- but if you go back 50 years ago the idea of carbon dioxide as a byproduct sounded harmless. Does this process change the net amount of water in the ecosystem in a way that would have impact in 50 years?

I ask these because I don't know, and every time I've read about fuel cells in the last 10 years I just never understood what the attraction is supposed to be.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45478685)

1. What are we destroying to make the hydrogen? Hydrogen doesn't occur naturally --- it would need to be stripped off a molecule. What is the byproduct of this process?

We oxidize water, meaning we burn water to make the hydrogen. The energy has to come from somewhere.

Another thing I really enjoy about the hydrogen-is-the-greatest articles is they neglect to say that containing the tiny hydrogen molecules is difficult and expen$ive.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45478731)

Don't you mean "reduce"?

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479369)

Making hydrogen from water is deoxidizing it.

Re:I don't get it (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45478689)

1. I think the hydrogen will come from dead puppies and kittens who were slaughtered for their hydrogen.

2. Absolutely! It'll be paid for by the Government and not cost us a penny!

3. Excellent point! All this water will have to go somewhere - i.e. eventually into the oceans! And God knows what will happen if we start dumping water into the oceans!

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45478733)

I don't get it either...but you can just about cue the NY Times article by Tom Friedman plugging Toyota as the visionary market leader and the US companies as lo-tech has-beens.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45478751)

California made a few fuel cell busses, an attempt at the government taking the big costs to reduce it for future owners. I believe each bus cost $250,000 and only lasted 6 months before the $125,000 fuel cell had to be replaced. In addition, hydrogen was more expensive than gas at the time, much more expensive. All in all, the program cost like 5x what they had projected and it never brought any of the costs down in any way during the program.

You are asking a lot of questions, but are not asking about fuel cells specifically. They are VERY expensive and don't last in road use. However, BMW did make a hybrid gas/hydrogen internal cumbstion engine car a few years ago. It could run a normal engine on hydrogen, similar to those propane buses, and I thought it worked pretty well except for the hydrogen issues you bring up.

I think they should make an internal cumbustion engine running on hydrogen first. Easier to fix, cheaper to make, and just as clean as a fuel cell. Then once you get the infrastructure in place, then try for fuel cells.

hydrogen combustion is dead (1)

spage (73271) | about a year ago | (#45480065)

The hydrogen combustion car is dead, dead. It combines the chicken-and-egg problems of hydrogen fuel distribution with all the inefficiency of blowing stuff up to make heat and a little forward motion. At least fuel cells are efficient.

The BMW 7 series and Mazda rotary hydrogen ICE demo cars came out years ago. Nothing serious since. Periodically some lame manufacturer without access to fuel cells or batteries converts an engine to burn hydrogen, but it's a stunt that goes nowhere.

Re:hydrogen combustion is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45480503)

Not dead, and more likely than fuel cells for cars.

There are propane cars/busses everywhere. Same idea, but hydrogen is more difficult than propane and we already have propane infrastructure.

I noticed you said it was dead without giving an actual reason. The reason is propane is accessable and hydrogen is not.

Re:I don't get it (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45478765)

sure it costs the same.

if you don't tax the hydrogen at all and have 50-100% tax on the petrol(and make the hydrogen from oil).

brilliant!

change amount of water? uhmm.. it wont make a difference at all. what does make a difference is how you get that hydrogen though... but for changing humidity at all? not really more than what comes out of your cars tailpipe when burning oil.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479381)

not comfortable with this whole water thing. before you know it water will be all over the place, hanging in the air and just laying around on the ground. wait long enough water will just fall from the sky!! i think i will stick with petrol thank you very much.

Re:I don't get it (3, Interesting)

orzetto (545509) | about a year ago | (#45479575)

I am a researcher working in hydrogen & fuel cells, so I'll just spill the beans:

And the hydrogen probably takes up more space than a gallon of gas (a guess --- does someone know?).

It does, but not so much. Storing H2 at 700 bar requires a hefty pressure tank. They are fairly safe but that doesn't make them lighter. That's why hydrogen is suited for larger vehicles (family wagon, SUVs, long-range trips, trucks etc.). Short range is better served by batteries.

What are we destroying to make the hydrogen?

If you have cheap electricity, then it's water. You electrolyse it at the station and do not need to ship hydrogen around or build a gas network. You can also reform natural gas, which is cheaper, but then you need to clean the hydrogen really well: requirements on purity are 99.99% hydrogen, and other components are very severely limited (e.g. sulphur down to 4 parts per billion). It is debatable whether the purity standard is really necessary, though, it may be unnecessarily strict.

Main reason not to use electricity directly, as in batteries: batteries are heavier, and if you want to double energy storage in a battery car you need to double the batteries (which is not going to double the range—the batteries are heavy too). If you want to double the energy storage in a hydrogen car, you only need to double the hydrogen storage, the fuel cell (the expensive part) is still the same. And hydrogen storage is not nearly as heavy as its battery equivalent, also factoring in that fuel-cell conversion is about 50% efficient.

Why is investing in a new infrastructure -- hydrogen distribution --- a good thing?

As I said above, a good alternative is not to have the infrastructure, but to produce and compress hydrogen locally at the station. The idea is that even with all the losses (hydrogen production, compression, fuel cell) the system is still more efficient that oil (drilling, extraction, transport, refining to gasoline, transport, combustion engine). More importantly, hydrogen can be produced starting from anything: natural gas, oil, solar, you name it. Gasoline comes only from oil (or coal if you want to go Fischer-Tropsch, but that's not really efficient and has large emissions).

Does this process change the net amount of water in the ecosystem in a way that would have impact in 50 years?

No, the quantities are minimal compared to the oceans. Any day you will have far more water passing through your shower than out of your exhaust. 100 km of travel in a fuel-cell Mercedes B-class (yes I drove it :-) produce about 9 kg (i.e. 9 liters) of water. Besides, that hydrogen was produced from water from the biosphere anyway, so no balance is disrupted.

Re:I don't get it (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#45479835)

If you have cheap electricity, then it's water. You electrolyse it at the station and do not need to ship hydrogen around or build a gas network. You can also reform natural gas, which is cheaper,

...and which is the actual way that virtually all of our hydrogen is made. But you sought to disguise that fact in your comment.

You also need very clean water, which is not free.

Re:I don't get it (1)

orzetto (545509) | about a year ago | (#45481541)

But you sought to disguise that fact in your comment. You also need very clean water, which is not free.

Aside from the fact that I did not disguise anything, water is absolutely not a significant cost. You just need a simple deionising unit. Compared to the rest of the plant, it's peanuts.

prices will go down when? (1)

Locutus (9039) | about a year ago | (#45478947)

When precious metals are replaced? Really? And just how long do they think fuel cells have been around and very expensive too? FYI, fuel cells have been around for many decades and have been in use for about the same period. Mostly by the space, aerospace and defense industries. TFA seems to throw out the concept of a quick reduction in price when it's an old/mature industry and technology already.

It made me wonder if another Bush wasn't in office somewhere pushing this hydrogen stuff again as a distraction to the growing BEV market. Like George and Dick did back when HEVs(hybrids) were hitting the market.

LoB

misguided attempt. (2)

musixman (1713146) | about a year ago | (#45478981)

1) It doesn't matter if it has the "range of a regular gasoline car". Because you would have to drive like 500 miles to find a hydrogen refilling station!

2) Hydrogen is expensive... at least as much as gasoline in most of the US.

Another year, another disappointing Toyota... (1)

Zimluura (2543412) | about a year ago | (#45479343)

Another year, another disappointing Toyota...

the green(ish) vehicle we want is the SARD Supra HV-R
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SARD [wikipedia.org]
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/Toyota_Supra_HV-R_02.jpg [wikimedia.org]

so why won't they build a few?!?!?!

Re:Another year, another disappointing Toyota... (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about a year ago | (#45479565)

They have a few. People just aren't willing to pay the seven figure price for them. They expect a half-life on costs of under 12 months though, which by 2015 means you might see something in the $200k range. ...all for something getting 60mpg equivalent?!

feasible but zero demand (3, Interesting)

spage (73271) | about a year ago | (#45480141)

All the comments about H2 efficiency and explosive risk completely miss the point. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have been feasible for years, there have been a few Honda Clarity and Mercedes B-Class FCVs driving round Southern California (which has the ONLY public refueling stations in the entire USA) for several years.

The problem is demand. If you care about the environment you plug in for your regular commute. You can can already buy a plug-in hybrid for half the price and lower running costs than these 2015 cars. As Volt owners gleefully report, most drivers travel for hundreds of miles recharging at home, but for long trips the car has the quick refueling of gasoline that's available everywhere.

There's a market of people who don't want any tailpipe emissions and can't plug in and regularly drive long distances and live near the handful of H2 stations and are willing to spend a lot of money on a new technology, but it's vanishingly small!

Eventually fossil fuels could be so expensive or restricted that H2 will be the range-extender we use for our plug-in vehicles, if ethanol from biomass doesn't work out. But that's a long way away. Meanwhile Toyota and Hyundai are very cagey about whether you can plug in their HFCVs; it seems the answer is No. Their cars have a battery and motor so plugging in is the cheapest way to drive the first few miles, and I think soon consumers will reject a motor-driven car that you can't plug in. The comparative reviews of the first HFCVs against 2015's plug-in hybrid cars will be brutal, and there will be dozens of "gotcha" pieces, wherein the brave reporter drives out of Southern California and gets stranded.

It will inevitably lose to battery in the long run (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about a year ago | (#45480463)

If we look to the car of the future, it's surely going to be battery. And I don't just mean 10 years from now. I'm thinking 100 years, even 1000, heck even 10,000 years from now.

We're seeing around 8% improvements in battery capacity year upon year. Everything is going solid-state for reasons down to reliability, size, capacity, latency, noise, efficiency, (and eventually) cost to produce. You just can't beat raw instantaneous electricity as a power source.

Re:It will inevitably lose to battery in the long (1)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year ago | (#45480765)

You can't predict what's going to happen 10 years from now any more than you can predict a 10,000 year future. Weather reporters can't even get tomorrows weather accurate, so what makes you so sure?. Our battery future is now, in 10 years we may have some advancements that rival battery power. The resources of Earth are not infinite, whatever the future holds it has to be renewable or bust.

Re:It will inevitably lose to battery in the long (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about a year ago | (#45480907)

I meant even in principle, battery is better than any other power source. It has to be. The only statistic it currently falls short on is capacity, but imagine a battery that stores 10x as much energy as today's batteries. That's almost inevitable, and by itself makes it much better than any other option. Now imagine 100x more capacity. You get the idea...

Re:It will inevitably lose to battery in the long (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year ago | (#45482107)

I meant even in principle, battery is better than any other power source.

Except for fuel cells. In practice batteries currently beat fuel cells, but nobody knows for how long.

fossil fuels in disguise (1)

DriveDog (822962) | about a year ago | (#45481689)

By far the cheapest sources of H2 today are fossil fuels. Big gas/oil don't mind fuel cells because it still means sales of their product. But mostly they don't mind because it's a distraction from real alternative fuels. The real threats are renewables, and little of the energy from them will go into producing H2 in the foreseeable future, because those processes are currently so inefficient. Energy from renewables will be stored as biodiesel, butanol, or other liquid fuel for which there's an existing distribution system and existing vehicles that can use them or distributed as electricity. Battery electric vehicles are somewhat of a threat because the efficiency, even after converting the fossil fuel energy into electricity, distributing it, storing it in batteries, and converting it back into motion is much more efficient than refining it, distributing it, and burning it in a mobile ICE. Fuel cell cars with onboard reformers might be a real alternative, as there's already a distribution system for natural gas, and storing CNG isn't so bad. Storing LNG is even better, but a system for distributing and dispensing it en masse doesn't exist, whereas LNG only needs a dispensing system.

So... don't be distracted. Room temperature liquid fuels and electric battery storage are in the near future, but not much hydrogen.

Re:fossil fuels in disguise (1)

DriveDog (822962) | about a year ago | (#45481705)

I meant CNG only needs a dispensing system.
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