Critics and naysayers have long slung mud against the idea of developing a hydrogen economy and hydrogen transportation system. While some arguments have been sound, others have missed the mark badly or reached mythological proportions.
The National Hydrogen Association website provides many answers to debunk the arguments that critics and naysayers have been perpetuating for years. For instance, one of the most vocal arguments by critics against producing hydrogen for transportation fuel is that it takes more energy to produce hydrogen than it does for gasoline, “well to wheel”.
But, what critics and naysayers don’t speak of is that hydrogen cars are more efficient than gasoline-powered vehicles in burning fuel. For instance, hydrogen burned in an internal combustion engine (ICE) is 25 – 30 percent more efficient than a gasoline-powered vehicle and fuel cell vehicles are 100 – 200 percent (2 – 3 times) more efficient than gasoline-powered cars.
In addition, hydrogen can be created anywhere and most of the U. S. oil is imported. The “national security” energy costs for producing gasoline have never been added to the equation. For instance, it takes a vast amount of energy to wage a war, battle or some other military action to secure foreign oil fields. If the political and military costs for securing oil were added to the energy equation for a gallon of gasoline, then gasoline would cost far more than domestically produced hydrogen.
As sources for the renewal production of hydrogen domestically also increase by using more solar, wind, geothermal and water energy, then also does the energy costs to produce hydrogen drop. Critics have also argued that hydrogen production from electrolysis will starve this country of water. This argument is simply false as using hydrogen from water to replace gasoline will actually save this country water.
Currently, the conversion of all light-duty vehicles in the U. S. to hydrogen vehicles would require 100 billion gallons of water. However, producing gasoline in this country currently uses over 300 billion gallons of water per year. Replacing gasoline with hydrogen fuel will actually save water and this is something that critics and naysayers simply neglect to mention when arguing against a hydrogen transportation system.