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Battar
User Rank
Platinum
Three steps back
Battar   2/11/2014 2:44:57 PM
NO RATINGS
"...Refuelling in 3 minutes at 10,000psi..." 

I would take 3 steps back from the car while refuelling is in process. That is, if I can find anyone willing to pay the insurance premiums demanded for storing hydrogen at 10,000 psi on the premesis.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Nice-looking car
Elizabeth M   1/28/2014 11:54:49 AM
NO RATINGS
Well I guess that is a noble goal. I just feel like cost shouldn´t be an issue at this stage of the game but apparently, as you say, it still is. Hopefully this problem will be solved soon.

CharlesM
User Rank
Silver
Re: Nice-looking car
CharlesM   1/27/2014 10:43:22 AM
NO RATINGS
Fuel cell cars are essentially pure EVs, except instead of having an imperfect battery there is a small chemical plant to convert hydrogen to electricity. The infrastructure problem of lacking hydrogen fuel stations is much worse than the lack of EV charging stations for EVs and there's the question of where the hydrogen comes from. Using clean renewables to produce hydrogen is extremely inefficient, energy intensive, and therefore expensive. Using fossil fuels to do so cancels out the reasons for having FCVs in the first place.

If a breakthrough to cheap, clean, and sustainably produced hydrogen occurs (and before EV batteries become practical for the mainstream) and these little chemical factories (fuel cells) can be made reliable, safe, and affordable (a huge order), then someone please wake me up then.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Nice-looking car
Charles Murray   1/15/2014 8:57:02 PM
NO RATINGS
Liz, the issue has been, and continues to be, cost. I believe the infrastructure would eventually spring up if the cost model were right. That hasn't happened, though, because the cost is still too high. One industry analyst recently told me that the unspoken goal in the auto industry is to get the vehicle cost below $50K.

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Road Test
NadineJ   12/24/2013 1:00:45 AM
NO RATINGS
The "guilt free" status symbol trend has been around for a while now.  Companies like Tesla exist because of it.  Celebrities like Woody Harrelson and brands like Nudie Jeans paved the way.

And, agreed, it's a good looking car.

bdcst
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Nice-looking car
bdcst   12/19/2013 12:06:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Most electrics get less than 300 miles per charge.  While a half hour charge might be fine for daily commutes, it's way too long for serious travel even with pit stops.  Swapping those huge heavy batteries?  If they can be dropped from the bottom of the vehicle frame they can also be damaged by collision with foreign objects as has been recently demonstrated in the real world.  I can just see trying to release a battery whose, frozen under ice, clamps won't let go.  And the frequently exercised high current connectors will become another point of failure especially if moisture can get in during changeovers.  Just thinking about the handling and or robotics required and the drive through shelter to enclose this operation, the massive scale of parallel drive through stalls in comparison to standard gas station islands, makes me question the efficiency or efficacy of battery swapping.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Nice-looking car
Elizabeth M   12/19/2013 10:26:59 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, Chuck, so the question remains, as it does with a lot of these new fuel-efficient or alternative car designs--what took them so long to get to market?

Andrew P.
User Rank
Silver
Re: Fuel cell car
Andrew P.   12/19/2013 12:10:56 AM
NO RATINGS
"Hydrogen is great for filling buoyant balloons, welding specialty metals, and talking in a funny voice, but not for driving your car to work and back."

That would be helium, not hydrogen.

The practicality of hydrogen as a fuel for internal combustion engines was demonstrated in the 1970s and 1980s by Dr. Roger E. Billings and his Billings Energy Corporation (founded in 1972).  He promoted the concept of the "hydrogen homestead", whereby solar and wind energy could be used to split water and store hydrogen under relatively low pressure in tanks containing metal hydride.  Billings Energy had pretty much worked out the details of the technology that would allow an individual to live completely off-grid and produce all the hydrogen necessary to light and heat one's house, cook, and provide hydrogen fuel for one's automobile to commute to a job and run errands.  As I recall, threats were made on his life and he sold the business in 1985.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Nice-looking car
Charles Murray   12/18/2013 6:51:18 PM
NO RATINGS
You're right, Liz. The first hydrogen fuel cell car that I'm aware of was quite some time ago. GM built its Electrovan in 1966. I believe the GM Heritage Center has video of its operation. 

benmlee
User Rank
Gold
Re: Nice-looking car
benmlee   12/18/2013 4:13:23 PM
NO RATINGS
Battery does take longer to recharge than gas. However, is not an issue we cannot overcome today. Teslar showed a battery swap idea. Their cars have bottom mount battery so it can be swapped out quickly in less time than it takes to fill a tank.

Second, fast chargers are in place already. 30 minutes to charge the battery. Every 3 hours of driving you have to wait 30 minutes. Between the two solutions, there are ways around battery issue right now.

Platinum on the other hand, there are no ways around the cost right now. We are all fighting to get the little bit of platinum. We would be exchanging limited resource of oil with the more limited resource of platinum. Lithium on the other hand for batteries are plenty.

When you are making an engineering decision, you look at what you can compromise and things where there are no way to compromise, and is a deadend. Platinum is a deadend. Cost is too high. Once you hit a deadend, don't think about it, go on to another solution. Don't dwell around wasting time. Battery on the other hand is a compromise, but can be overcome.

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