Skip to comments.Hydrogen cars: Fuel-cell technology coming on fast
Posted on 06/20/2008 7:04:57 AM PDT by Red Badger
Cost of gasoline bleeding you dry? Air pollution taking your breath away? Worried to death about auto-induced climate change and the future of your planet? You should be. Our oil addiction is a drain on our wallets, a threat to our health and national security, and a major contributor to the global warming that threatens our planet. And with world-wide demand for oil increasing and supplies dwindling, it's a problem we can't drill or dig our way out of. But there's a solution somewhere over the horizon. Hang on, folks. Hydrogen, the most abundant element on Earth, is on the way. Honda's new hydrogen fuel cell car rolled off the assembly line in Japan this week, en route to Southern California. It runs on H2 and, instead of spewing CO2, CO, NOx, Pm2 and other pollutants, it will emit good old H2O - water vapor - out its exhaust pipe. It's a limited production model; only 200 will be leased in the next three years. It's expensive to build; Honda won't say how much. And fuel will be hard to find; there are only three hydrogen fueling stations in California. But it's another step in the right direction, with a potential equal to that of electric cars. While Honda built a better mousetrap, hydrogen-powered automobiles are nothing new. Many manufacturers have prototypes, and General Motors built its first working model in 1968. But gas was cheap, oil was plentiful, the air was tolerable, demand was non-existent, climate change wasn't part of the vernacular. And the incentives - economic, governmental, environmental, ethical - were somewhere far into the future. Now the future has arrived. Auto manufacturers are working feverishly to produce affordable, efficient fuel cells. Energy companies are working on ways to economically compress or liquefy hydrogen without using fossil fuels, and laying plans to put infrastructure - production plants, pipelines, fueling stations - in place. And research and development facilities, many utilizing government grants, are ramping up and achieving results. We're not telling you to sell your electric-gasoline hybrid, surrender your bus pass or park your bicycle. A hydrogen-powered car won't appear in your driveway overnight. The technology is still primitive; the costs are still prohibitive. But the incentives, the demand, and the desire on the part of consumers, manufacturers, energy companies and government entities are in place.
Not unless we import a few zillion tons of it.........
ok so we have a bunch of H cars, how are we supposed to buy one. We wont be able to trade our old one in.
why does this sound like Dick Tracy, “the nation that controls magnetism will control the universe?”
Whats more abundant that Hydrogen? Water perhaps? :)
Actually its iron isnt it?
Glenn Beck said 200m to build 200 cars (there's your limited production)
Finally. I remember when Mr. Bush was first elected, pre-9/11, there was lots of talk about hydrogen fuel. Then nothing until now...an important election year.
Invest in desalinization industires.
I will never understand why greens say CO2 will destroy the planet and then they embrace Hydrogen which produces water vapor and is recognized as the #1 cause of the greenhouse effect.
Dont get me wrong. I think Hydrogen would be fine if it could be produced cheaply.
I just don’t get the libs arguments about greenhouse gases.
Lemme see now ... Big Oil will buy Honda and put the technology in a safe place, never to be heard from again for at least a generation or two. When Big Hydrogen controls the resource, this technology will be ‘re-invented’.
Folks, don’t sell your pickup yet. These waterbug-sized cars are not in our immediate future.
We’re gonna make clean hydrogen from dirty coal.
You're right on the money, but he also says a lot of other untruthful statements. To whit:
Well, really the entire first paragraph
This article is so misleading on so many levels that it is hard to know where to start.
If the car is using fuel cells, then it is an electric car that uses hydrogen to produce electricity.
Hydrogen in water has to have more electric energy put into it than the hydrogen it liberates allows you to use later, in other words, a net energy loss, not a gain.
Hydrogen may be a good way to store energy for transport, but it is not a *source* of energy.
They’re both non-issues. There are natural cycles to take care of water and CO2 in the atmosphere.
Water is naturally cycled through weather. CO2 is used by plants during photosynthesis.
“General Motors built its first working model in 1968. But gas was cheap, oil was plentiful, the air was tolerable, demand was non-existent, climate change wasn’t part of the vernacular.”
Today’s air is ten times cleaner than in 1968.
And the vast majority of it is bound to either Carbon, or Oxygen. The former is an energy source, the latter is not.
What such articles rarely mention:
Hydrogen is to energy what wire is to electricity - a conduit, not a source.
Yes, hydrogen is hugely abundant. Problem is, it’s usually connected pretty firmly to something else (usually oxygen), and to acquire H2 requires expending more energy to extract it than will be obtained via fuel cell (which just puts the H2 and O back together again).
Oil is a great energy “source” because a lot of easily-released energy is trapped therein, and we just have to pump it out of the grounda and refine it a bit to be really useful.
Hydrogen is nowhere as useful because (to oversimplify) we essentialy have to put the energy _into_ it before we can get useful energy _out_.
Unlike oil, there is very little “free” H2 out there. We don’t have to make oil to use it; making H2 is very costly.
That's because you're accepting their argument at surface value.
The true agenda is control of, and reduction of, your energy usage, your lifestyle, and ultimately, your freedom.