The National Hydrogen Association has come out with a document called the “Energy
Evolution: An Analysis of Alternative Vehicles and Fuels to 2100.” In this document is a comparison of 15 vehicle and fuel alternatives that can cut greenhouse gases and provide energy independence from now to the turn of the century.
The document of course doesn’t promote hydrogen as the only solution but one of several solutions (albeit the primary solution) going forward that will provide cleaner air and energy self-reliance plus provide a refueling medium in which consumers are familiar.
According to the Energy Evolution report, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, plug-in hybrids, other hybrids and biofuel vehicles could cut emissions 80-percent below 1990 levels, eliminating almost all controllable urban air pollution.
The document states that building a nationwide hydrogen fueling infrastructure of 6,500 pumps would cost around $9 billion. This dollar amount is far less than critics and naysayers who typically quote $500 billion or more in costs.
But, consider this. A hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is two to three times more efficient that a typical gasoline powered engine. So, in other words, while a gasoline internal combustion engine (ICE) may be getting 25 mpg, a hydrogen FCV may get between 50 mpg to 80 mpg and beyond.
Now, add to this scenario a plug-in hydrogen FCV and the MPG’s may go over 100, which is quite feasible in time. With FCV’s getting over 100 mpg the current gasoline infrastructure won’t have to be replicated. Far fewer hydrogen pumps will need to be put in place to accommodate the current amount of cars we have on the road.
The report says that hydrogen can be produce domestically from natural gas at first, then transitioned to renewable resources, the cleanest means of producing fuel. Producing hydrogen from water and wind, solar, geothermal or hydroelectric would provide clean well to wheel technology.
In order to achieve these goals, however, more investment is needed now. Most investment will come in the private sector, by government plus incentives for business and consumers.
The NHA Energy Evolution report shows a bright future for hydrogen cars and vehicles, if the political will is in place. So, let your congressional representatives, governors and President know that hydrogen is the right pathway to take in this country.