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Thread: Hydrogen car coming next summer from Japan

  1. #1 Hydrogen car coming next summer from Japan 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    The FCV -- a temporary model name standing for fuel cell vehicle, which converts gaseous hydrogen in an on-board chemical reaction into electricity and water vapor -- is Toyota's first hydrogen-powered car built from the ground up. While Japanese executives have promised a 435-mile range based on their country's fuel economy tests, Toyota's American arm has quoted the FCV with a more realistic 300-mile range -- a feat that if true would outpace every battery-electric car on sale.



    Toyota prices hydrogen car at $69 000 for Japan U.S. model coming next summer - MSN Autos


    So where are the American car manufacturers with their hydrogen cars? They are just doing what the oil industry wants them to do, make gas powered cars and nothing else that is any good with milage


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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    The FCV -- a temporary model name standing for fuel cell vehicle, which converts gaseous hydrogen in an on-board chemical reaction into electricity and water vapor -- is Toyota's first hydrogen-powered car built from the ground up. While Japanese executives have promised a 435-mile range based on their country's fuel economy tests, Toyota's American arm has quoted the FCV with a more realistic 300-mile range -- a feat that if true would outpace every battery-electric car on sale.



    Toyota prices hydrogen car at $69 000 for Japan U.S. model coming next summer - MSN Autos


    So where are the American car manufacturers with their hydrogen cars? They are just doing what the oil industry wants them to do, make gas powered cars and nothing else that is any good with milage
    I thought the American car manufacturers were mainly preoccupied with not going bust under the weight of their employee pension programs. Since there is no infrastructure for supplying hydrogen, producing a fuel cell car than runs on it would seem to be little more than a highly expensive PR exercise.

    In Japan, however, there is quite a good network of methane supply for methane powered taxis - they've had them for years. So they have at least the beginnings of both a possible customer base (used to gas cylinders in the boot and so on) and a supply network for pressurised gas refilling. So, while for Toyota too it is mostly a PR exercise, one can at least see how they might recover the investment.

    There is no pressure from the oil industry to stop them trying hydrogen - that's a bobble hat myth. The boot is rather on the other foot, with the oil companies being continually pressed to meet new specs by the car makers. But certainly the oil companies are not about to make a totally speculative investment in a hydrogen distribution grid.


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    But certainly the oil companies are not about to make a totally speculative investment in a hydrogen distribution grid.
    Then , as in Japan, the government should.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    But certainly the oil companies are not about to make a totally speculative investment in a hydrogen distribution grid.
    Then , as in Japan, the government should.
    Quite so. It is governments that can make it commercial sense for private enterprise to do what is needed.
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    At least the US this isn't the role of the Federal Government, which already spends most of its budget on things not in the Constitution. Its might be able to spend on basic research and organizing standards. If there's a market for hydrogen cars, the free market will build the pumps and infrastructure needed to support it.

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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Well After I'm dead I just hope that hydrogen is still being pushed for use everywhere. It is the only fuel that we know of that is reuseable over and over with no pollution.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Well After I'm dead I just hope that hydrogen is still being pushed for use everywhere. It is the only fuel that we know of that is reuseable over and over with no pollution.
    A dubious claim, considering the toxic materials, precious metals necessary to produce/store the hydrogen, and the significant life cycle environmental impacts of the fuel cells. There is no such thing as a "no pollution" source of energy.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    It would be allot better than oil based products. Perhaps a person might find a way to split the water molecules without using any polluting mechanism.
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    Wait, are we saying that that making the fuel cells is so polluting a process that it eliminates the advantage of using hydrogen? Cause if it is we could just use the hydrogen directly in the existing internal combustion engins which will run just fine on it with minor modification.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Lets say that moat average road miles driven per year is 15,000. Now most cars get 20 MPG on average or less. Gas is averaging say $5.00 per gallon to make things simple. That would mean that you'd pay $7,500.00 per year for the gas. In 5 years it would cost you $37,500.00 and that's gas doesn't increase in price. That show's that you would save quite allot using hydrogen depending on its cost.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Lets say that moat average road miles driven per year is 15,000. Now most cars get 20 MPG on average or less. Gas is averaging say $5.00 per gallon to make things simple. That would mean that you'd pay $7,500.00 per year for the gas. In 5 years it would cost you $37,500.00 and that's gas doesn't increase in price. That show's that you would save quite allot using hydrogen depending on its cost.
    I'm not sure how you can deduce much from that, since nobody supposes the hydrogen would be free.

    And your arithmetic seems to be faulty: 15,000 miles @ 20mpg => 750 USG/yr. At $5/USG that is $3,750/yr, so over 5 yrs it is $18,750, isn't it.
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    My bad, sorry.

    The cost of hydrogen is not known yet.

    Still could be better that gas as long as costs are reasonable, IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    My bad, sorry.

    The cost of hydrogen is not known yet.

    Still could be better that gas as long as costs are reasonable, IMO.
    Well maybe but not necessarily. Hydrogen production requires electrolysis of water, which requires electricity, produced from something that will not be appreciably cheaper than fossil fuel, judging by the energy mix we have today for powergen. Powergen only converts about 50% of calorific value into electricity of course. And the fuel cell itself has an efficiency of only 50% or so. This is about double that of an IC engine, but then the IC engine burns fossil fuel direct, avoiding the 50% loss implicit in using electricity.

    So I doubt that hydrogen would be intrinsically cheaper. I think its use would have to be economically encouraged by government measures, such as tariff regimes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    So where are the American car manufacturers with their hydrogen cars?

    Not too far along. Hydrogen is a great fuel; too bad we don't have any.
    They are just doing what the oil industry wants them to do, make gas powered cars and nothing else that is any good with milage
    Ever driven a Volt?
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Ever driven a Volt?
    As GM will tell you, over and over, almost four out of five U.S. vehicles travel less than 40 miles a day. Which means that, with a 38-mile electric range, the 2013 Chevrolet Volt could let drivers commute solely on electricity for weeks at a time.


    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...YW7MOYXC94J9bA


    It seems rather odd to me that scientists are trying to make fusion reaction possible but they cannot split a water molecule, just saying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Ever driven a Volt?
    As GM will tell you, over and over, almost four out of five U.S. vehicles travel less than 40 miles a day. Which means that, with a 38-mile electric range, the 2013 Chevrolet Volt could let drivers ...

    ....get two miles of exercise walking home everyday? j/k mate, think there's a missing zero or something.


    It seems rather odd to me that scientists are trying to make fusion reaction possible but they cannot split a water molecule, just saying.
    It's pretty easy to break water, a common middle school science lab....the hard part is storage, putting into a practical dense form for vehicle fuel or an inexpensive fuel cell that doesn't use rare metals.

    The US also has a problem with hydrogen that might rival nuc reactors because it makes most people think of this:
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    At least hydrogen doesn't give off radiation when it melts down for many years. Ever watch a car explode when fire hits the gas tank? The 15 gallons of gas in many cars is like driving with 10 sticks of dynamite so hydrogen would be far better for it instantaneously burns up unlike gas which takes a very long time to burn itself out.

    the mileage figures for the volt were 38 miles for a fully charged battery only and did not include the gas powered engine . So batteries with the volt aren't very good are they?

    The Tesla gets about 200 or so miles on its electric motor only which is far better than the engineers at GM have come up with.

    Don't forget hydrogen is put into a fuel cell and chemical reactions make electricity to run the motor.
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    Have you ever seen hydrogen ignite? The fact it burns up instantaneously and very exothermically is a bit of a problem if you have a lot of it in a pressurised container.
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    If you're trapped inside a wrecked vehicle, the liquid from a punctured petrol tank is more dangerous than an up-and-away plume of hydrogen gas. Anyway, we've been living with explosive fuels in the home and on the road a long time now; these risks don't stop us.


    The first step of a hydrogen economy needn't be the last. For vehicle fuel it's better to combine that sustainable hydrogen with atmospheric CO2 for methane AKA natural gas. In this case you don't need an exotic engine or the inherent costs and inefficiencies of fuel cells, etc. However companies that want to profit through patents are gonna push such high-tech solutions to the consumer.
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    If you're trapped inside a wrecked vehicle, the liquid from a punctured petrol tank is more dangerous than an up-and-away plume of hydrogen gas
    I'd disagree if there is an ignition source the hydrogen will not go "up and away" but become an instant fireball (and the point I was replying to specifically mentioned a car on fire...
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    If you're easy with a burst methane tank, fine. As above, I believe hydrogen is better converted to a fuel that drives simple vehicles effectively. Our existing natural gas vehicles prove that. The important difference of course is that the CO2 emissions are just returning what was taken from the atmosphere in making the fuel.
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    I'm not disagreeing with hydrogen being a good fuel, it's just the storage and safety aspects should not be blithely underestimated, that is the point I was making, I've used pressurised hydrogen in the lab, there are a lot of health and safety issues associated with such work for a very good reason...
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    At least hydrogen doesn't give off radiation when it melts down for many years. Ever watch a car explode when fire hits the gas tank? The 15 gallons of gas in many cars is like driving with 10 sticks of dynamite so hydrogen would be far better for it instantaneously burns up unlike gas which takes a very long time to burn itself out.

    the mileage figures for the volt were 38 miles for a fully charged battery only and did not include the gas powered engine . So batteries with the volt aren't very good are they?

    The Tesla gets about 200 or so miles on its electric motor only which is far better than the engineers at GM have come up with.

    Don't forget hydrogen is put into a fuel cell and chemical reactions make electricity to run the motor.
    You make a false comparison here. Hydrogen is NOT, repeat NOT any sort of alternative to nuclear.

    Hydrogen is not an energy source, it is a concentrated means of energy storage, lighter than batteries and comparable with today's vehicle fuels. That is what makes it relevant for vehicles. There are are no hydrogen wells. You have to make it, from electricity. So, for a fossil fuel free world, you want nuclear, solar, wind hydro and other non CO2-producing energy sources, to give you the electricity to make the hydrogen for vehicles.
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    You have to make it, from electricity.
    You can use chemicals as well.

    Hydrogen should be the primary form of energy for most things. You could, producing allot of hydrogen, turn generators that could power cities.

    I'm just saying that with billions spent on fusion why not try to separate the water molecules another way than has been found.
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    You have to make it, from electricity.
    You can use chemicals as well.

    Hydrogen should be the primary form of energy for most things. You could, producing allot of hydrogen, turn generators that could power cities.

    I'm just saying that with billions spent on fusion why not try to separate the water molecules another way than has been found.
    How, then?

    Hydrogen just IS NOT a primary form of energy and no dreams will change this fact. It has to be made, from a different, primary, energy source, however this is done. And the process of making it will have limited efficiency. That's reality.

    Hydrogen may well be very useful as a transport fuel source, where lightweight and compact energy is at a premium. But it cannot be a solution to the primary issue of where to get our energy from.
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