Some very good points you have stated. Yes fuel cell might have higher efficiency than a diesel or gas engine and might also be more environmental friendly, but due to its limited production and cost makes it far from practical. The main challenge will be how to obtain hydrogen for the fuel cells very cheaply and make it readily available. Fuel cells will definitely play a very key role in the future, but still there is a long way to go before this technology can be made common to the public.
Yes, far911, cost and infrastructure are huge hurrdles. As I understand it, automakers are talking about a magic number of $50,000 a vehicle, after it goes into volume production. We're still a long way from that. That's why Navigant sees the size of the market reaching just two-hundredths of one perpcent six years from now.
You're correct, far911. Nissan started looking at fuel cells as far back as 1996. We have a slideshow coming up next week that includes early fuel cell technology from GM and Nissan, as well as the recent work done by Hyundai, Honda and Toyota.
far911, you are correct. The infrastructure is a real issue. I have seen the designs. I worked with a construction contractor that was doing this for BP. It will be expensive and complex. You will probably have a whole other set of stations.
All fuel sources require energy to put them into a form that can be used for transprotation. Whether that be transporting and refining oil and then transporting the refined products, or whether it be the electricity that is used by BEVs, there is no movement without expending energy preparing to move. The real question is how much energy and where the feedstock comes from. Hydrogen is available everywhere. Therefore transport of the raw materials will not be a cost. Those materials are safer to handle. Power plants can be used off peak to produce hydrogen, therefore they run more efficiently. It is a complex equation, but one that can be evaluated.
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