Hydrogen fuel cells: Savior or boondoggle?

3 replies [Last post]
dwinter@wardsauto.com's picture
Joined: 2011-08-08

A new generation of hyrdrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles will soon be hitting the highway from a variety of auto makers. Bob Lutz blogs that fuel cells won't succeed any better than they did last time. What do you think?



dwinter@wardsauto.com's picture
Joined: 2011-08-08

The latest Tesla controversy over battery range explains why auto makers are introducing a new generation of hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicles. They have longer range and can be refueled quicker, but there still is a huge infrastructure problem. I'm not sure they are they are the answer.

Jefe von Q's picture
Joined: 2013-02-12

Infrastructure doesn't have to be the biggest obstacle to implementing this technology. We have the ability to make it happen within a decade without too much discomfort. If the vehicles can be produced in a way that makes them similar, or superior to current types, people will buy them in the metropolitan areas. In time, that will expand outward. BMW had a great option in the 7-series a few years ago. They actually developed an internal combustion engine that ran on hydrogen. That's how you get peoples attention. Not a drastic change, but an incremental one.
Those of us in rural areas need range. We also need them to handle all types of adverse weather.

dwinter@wardsauto.com's picture
Joined: 2011-08-08

You make some valid points Jefe von Q. Proponents argue a hydrogen refueling infrastructure would not cost more in today's dollars than what the Alaskan pipeline cost in the 1970s. Hydrogen offers many benefits over batteries such as longer range and faster refueling, but drawbacks as well. I drove the ICE BMW you mention and it drove well, but it ran on cryogenic hydrogen that would warm and vent into atmosphere if it was parked for any length of time. Today, favorite is gaseous hydrogen compressed at very high pressure. Still imperfect solution.


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