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To: Wonder Warthog
Even if you derive the hydrogen from oil or natural gas, the increased efficiency of the total fuel cell-electricity-electric motor-mechanical energy combination cycle is still sufficiently more efficient than the thermal engine-mechanical motion (gasoline or diesel)cycle to make it cost effective.

But you first have to as you say "derive" the hydrogen from oil or natural gas. Remember most of your electricity produced in power plants is also derived from oil and natural gas. This factor was consider in many efficiency studies for those developing electric vehicles (so called Zero Emission Vehicles) because you gotta make the juice (burn oil, gas and coal) to charge the batteries.

Overall energy efficiency (from the power plant through the vehicle) was a little better. The problem was the technology for the batteries ain't there. Pure electric vehicles were argued to be "cost effective". Problem is they lack the PERFORMANCE of today's vehicles. In addition, the MAINTENANCE cost were also determined to be incredible. I wouldn't look for mass production of fuel cell or electric vehicles for several decades.

This is more likely a diversion from more promising near term solutions (hybrids - which are on the market)so the oil kings can continue to pull in the money. They don't want you to buy less.

Believe it or not there are also safety concerns with these vehicles (electric and fuel cell). Just a couple examples: you have to lighten the body of the vehicle and most are too "quiet" (can't hear em coming).

14 posted on 01/09/2002 4:57:49 PM PST by Down South P.E.
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To: Down South P.E.
Hadn't thought about the 'too quiet' angle, but culturally I suspect you're correct. Undoubtedly a safety regulation would require boom boxes to be installed and heard a block away, over a 1.0 quake.
24 posted on 01/09/2002 5:28:52 PM PST by Cvengr
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To: Down South P.E.
"But you first have to as you say "derive" the hydrogen from oil or natural gas. Remember most of your electricity produced in power plants is also derived from oil and natural gas. This factor was consider in many efficiency studies for those developing electric vehicles (so called Zero Emission Vehicles) because you gotta make the juice (burn oil, gas and coal) to charge the batteries."

Completely irrelevant. The conversion from gasoline or natural gas to hydrogen is done by a thermal reformer directly in-car or by a similar thermal process (coal gasification, for instance). We aren't talking about charging batteries.

"Overall energy efficiency (from the power plant through the vehicle) was a little better. The problem was the technology for the batteries ain't there. Pure electric vehicles were argued to be "cost effective". Problem is they lack the PERFORMANCE of today's vehicles. In addition, the MAINTENANCE cost were also determined to be incredible. I wouldn't look for mass production of fuel cell or electric vehicles for several decades."

WHAT batteries?? The only "battery" in a fuel cell car will be the relatively small (compared to pure EV's) battery that will run the accessories, electronics, soak up current generated by the regenerative braking, and provide booster current for passing acceleration. You seem to have confused the pure EV with a fuel-cell/EV car--the "high maintenance cost" disappears with the need to regularly replace all the batteries. Fuel cells require no maintenance to speak of, and of course the electric drive motors are far more reliable than a gasoline engine. Probability is that the fuel-cell/EV will be far MORE reliable than a gasoline/diesel fueled vehicle.

I don't think pure EV's will EVER happen, as the battery technology won't ever be developed sufficiently. Fuel-cell EV's will leapfrog that problem. I fully expect to see fuel-cell cars on the road in less than 10 years. Fuel-cell BUSES are already there.

26 posted on 01/09/2002 5:29:17 PM PST by Wonder Warthog
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