It’s no secret that there has been a long-time rift between the camps of battery electric vehicle (BEV) people and hydrogen car people. Many extremists in each camp have dug their heels in with a glaring disdain for the other technology.
But, what if we were to blur the edges a bit between the two technologies? Where would each camp fall then? There are a couple of emerging hydrogen battery technologies that have made me wonder where people will fall on this issue.
The first such device comes from the Energy Interface Technology Group and AIST. These groups, “…have developed the concept of a clean hydrogen production system based on controlled lithium-water electrochemical reactions and have successfully investigated the system.”
The BEV people may like the fact that this battery uses lithium and water to produce both electricity and hydrogen. The hydrogen can then be run through a fuel cell to produce more electricity, which hydrogen car advocates will appreciate.
The second such device of note is a nickel hydrogen battery being developed for a Boeing satellite. I’ve talked about nickel hydrogen batteries before but it’s worth talking about it again.
According to the Military Aerospace website, “EaglePicher’s nickel-hydrogen batteries and cells have powered more than 450 space missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope where the batteries have lasted four times longer than the projected lifespan. In addition to Hubble, EaglePicher batteries and cells have supported the International Space Station, Lunar Rover, Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury. In all, EaglePicher nickel-hydrogen products have logged, more than 1.4 billion hours in space without a single mission failure, says a company spokesperson.”
Now, some BEV people truly in their hearts believe that some form of lithium battery will lead us beyond the 21st century. But, what if this battery included hydrogen and lithium or what if this battery included hydrogen but no lithium – how dug in will both camps be then?
I only throw this out because I’ve been a long-time proponent in the combination of the most robust hydrogen fuel cell technology in addition to the most robust in battery technology for the purpose of creating an ultra clean and fuel efficient vehicle that will be the Next Big Thing in transportation technology.