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Why Not Put Electricity Directly into BEVs Instead of Using It to Create Hydrogen?

 

I occasionally get asked from battery electric vehicle (BEV) advocates about putting electricity directly into BEVs instead of using it to electrolyze water and create hydrogen for FCVs (fuel cell vehicles).

Simply put, hydrogen is a better battery.

Here are some other reasons to use electricity to produce hydrogen for cars:

  • If you use electricity and put it directly into a BEV you are still stuck with a vehicle with long recharge times and limited driving range.
  • Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can be refueled in 5 minutes and have a range of over 300 miles similar to a gasoline-powered vehicle.
  • There are some places in the world where solar panels and wind turbines over-produce energy for the grid and need to be shut down. Instead of shutting down, they can use the extra energy to produce hydrogen from water. Storing this same energy in batteries would not be as efficient.
  • Fuel cell systems are easier to scale up and are already used in trucks, buses and hydrail trains. Their EV counterparts have massive batteries, limited range and long charge times.
  • In emergencies, some FCVs are capable of powering your home for comparatively long periods of time.
  • Using an FCV as an escape vehicle in an emergency situation (fire, flood, tornado) may be a better choice than a BEV with a depleted battery.
  • Some BEV advocates say they want to recharge at home and with hydrogen it’s impossible. Not so as the Joule Box Hydrogen Charge Station is but one example.
  • Critics say electrolysis takes too much energy. I agree that brute force electrolysis requires a lot of energy. But there are many other methods of electrolysis that require a lot less energy. One example is the University of Glasgow and their redox mediator sponge. And there are many other methods in which to get hydrogen from water that don’t use electrolysis including chemical, biological and direct sunlight to hydrogen conversions.

So, to recap, putting a couple of bare wires into a Mason jar filled with distilled water and electrolyzing it (brute force) to create hydrogen may not compare favorably to directly charging a battery. But, there are so many other methods of producing hydrogen from water that DO make sense. Hydrogen critics and naysayers would do well to take another look.

 

Sources

http://www.treehugger.com/cars/toyota-hydrogen-fuel-cell-technology-simply-better-battery.html

http://hydrogenhouseproject.org/joule-box-portable-charge-station.html

http://phys.org/news/2014-09-hydrogen-production-breakthrough-herald-cheap.html

http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/index.php/category/hydrogen-fuel-production/

 

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola

I’m a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

26 comments

  1. Forget about the redox mediator sponge. It is nothing compared to the li-air battery. Unfortunately they are both still in the lab, years from practical use.
    Hydrogen production, storage and use still has a long way to go, as does battery technology. Calling a winner at the bottom of the second inning is something we can not afford to do in the race to sustainable transportation. I call battery technology ahead now, but it would be foolish to call the game won. May the best technology win, because we would all win.

  2. Hydro Kevin Kantola

    Why does it have to be an either / or situation between BEVs and FCVs? Even though I’m a fan of FCVs (and thus the post) I think both BEVs and FCVs have a place on our roads now and in the future. Fossil fuel cars are our common enemy.

  3. Hydro Kevin Kantola

    Millennium Reign Energy LCC (MRE) of Englewood, Ohio also offers home hydrogen fueling stations for sale. http://residentialhydrogenpower.com/ Thanks to Michael Henning for the tip!

  4. Kevin… It is Tesla VS Fcev or Nissan vs Toyota. Most others have BEV models and PHEV alongside a FCEV concept.

  5. Hydro Kevin Kantola

    Hi Dries, I don’t buy the BEV versus FCEV argument. Both are electric vehicles and the common enemy is fossil fuel burners. As far as PHEVs there are some prototypes that are fuel cell PHEVs and I find this a pretty good combination as well.

  6. I agree with the BEV vs FCEV argument, that’s why I said it was not BEV against … but some industrial partners positioning against FCEV. And their motivation is purely business driven. BEV will coexists alongside FCEV for a very long time.

    I think PHEV are for those wanting an EV but for several reason not able to buy/use a BEV (I’m one). And in the future those people will prefer to buy a FCEV as soon as it’s possible.

    And about the subject of FC-PHEV you probably saw the article about a FC-PH iPhone 6 (by UK’s Intelligent Energy). So it’s probably not such a wild idea to see those plug in variant of the fuel cell.

    Anyway exciting future can’t wait till it’s here and keep up the blogging!

  7. Hydro Kevin Kantola

    Thanks for the nice words. Yes, I read the iPhone 6 article and I agree that FC-PHEV’s are not such a wild idea. I’ve talked more about this here: http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/?s=plug+hybrid Thanks for you input, I appreciate the discussion!

  8. You have some interesting bullet points. Hope you don’t mind if I chime in.

    1 – [If you use electricity and put it directly into a BEV you are still stuck with a vehicle with long recharge times and limited driving range.] Absolutely. Hydrogen wins when you need to refill quickly.

    2 – [Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can be refueled in 5 minutes and have a range of over 300 miles similar to a gasoline-powered vehicle.] This is an other-side-of-the-coin refresh of bullet point 1 & hydrogen wins IF you need to refuel quickly.

    But BEV wins handily when you can pull into your garage at night, plug it in, and wake up to a full charge and a 200-300 mile range.

    3 – [There are some places in the world where solar panels and wind turbines over-produce energy for the grid and need to be shut down. Instead of shutting down, they can use the extra energy to produce hydrogen from water. Storing this same energy in batteries would not be as efficient.] Not sure, but my limited research tells me that solar2hydrogen has an efficiency rate of 20-25% while solar2battery has an efficiency rate in the neighborhood of 40-50% – don’t forget, the hydrogen needs to be compressed and that takes a lot of energy. To be fair, batteries lose their charge over time while hydrogen doesn’t.

    4 – [Fuel cell systems are easier to scale up and are already used in trucks, buses and hydrail trains. Their EV counterparts have massive batteries, limited range and long charge times.] I’m not aware of hydrogen fuel cell trucks, buses, or trains in regular use right now. Again you point out long charge times, but that’s immaterial if charging can happen while the vehicle is out of service. (Generally overnight.)

    5 – [In emergencies, some FCVs are capable of powering your home for comparatively long periods of time.] I’m not sure which FCV is capable of powering my home, didn’t know any of them are set up to allow my home’s outlets and switches pull electricity out of the car.

    6 – [Using an FCV as an escape vehicle in an emergency situation (fire, flood, tornado) may be a better choice than a BEV with a depleted battery.] OK, this is just silly. A BEV with a full charge would make a better “escape vehicle” than an FCV with an unfilled tank. And an ICE vehicle would probably be an even better escape vehicle—as would a bicycle if my car (ICE, BEV, or FCEV) had a flat tire.

    7 – [Some BEV advocates say they want to recharge at home and with hydrogen it’s impossible. Not so as the Joule Box Hydrogen Charge Station is but one example.] That Joule Box charging station runs around $30,000, best I an tell. An electrician can add dryer plug outlet to charge my BEV at a cost of about $600-800. The Millennium Reign Energy system you speak of in the comments does not have a price. If anybody ever comes up with a sub $1,000 home hydrogen generating system – one that creates enough hydrogen to fill my FCV daily – then I will gladly concede this point to you.

    8 – [Critics say electrolysis takes too much energy. I agree that brute force electrolysis requires a lot of energy. But there are many other methods of electrolysis that require a lot less energy. One example is the University of Glasgow and their redox mediator sponge. And there are many other methods in which to get hydrogen from water that don’t use electrolysis including chemical, biological and direct sunlight to hydrogen conversions.] But not a single one of these methods is currently available in an economical form.

    Hydrogen’s big advantage, its faster refueling times, is completely negated by no infrastructure. My BEV (which I don’t own yet, I’m currently just a fanboi doing a lot of research on alternative vehicle power sources) will go a lot further than your HFCV. Yes, I will have to stop and slowly recharge, but you will have to call a tow truck because you don’t have enough hydrogen left to make it back to one of the 2 or 12 existing hydrogen refill locations. I can go to plugshare and find tens of thousands of locations to refuel my BEV.

    Is hydrogen a viable alternative vehicle fuel? It could be, but there are too many issues to overcome. Yes, with time and economy of scale we might get there. But we are – right now – so close to solar grid parity that fuel cells don’t have time to catch up. We are less than 5-10 years from solar being so cheap that it will be less expensive to put solar panels on my roof than it will be to pay my monthly electric bill. And batteries will be so affordable, the cost to build an engine/transmission for a vehicle will exceed the cost of putting in batteries and motor. And at that point it is game over for ICE and FCEV’s won’t be at the dance.

  9. Hydro Kevin Kantola

    Hi Jim and thanks for your reply. If I’m reading your comments right, it looks like you want to buy a green car now and don’t want to be an early adopter of hydrogen car technology and that’s fine. Being on the leading edge of emerging technology isn’t for everyone as there certainly will be growing pains. Rather than posting lengthy replies to each of your comments, I’ll just say good luck on your BEV. I’ve often said that FCEV’s and BEV’s are not opponents. We are on the same team. And fossil fuel burners are the common enemy. So, go forth and go green!

  10. I do indeed want a car that is green. Can’t currently afford one, but I’m guessing that by 2020 I will have multiple choices for a car that is less than $25,000 – maybe even a few choices for a car below $20,000.

    But for the life of me I can’t see how FCEV will be there. Do you think there will be sub $30K FCEVs in the next five years?

    Agree that BEVs and FCEVs aren’t opponents, just don’t see how they can both win against ICE. Think BETA vs. VHS.

    I’m also doing a lot of research into EV and just cannot see any advantages *today* of FCEV over BEV. Could this change over time? Who knows? The ONLY advantage I find at this time is the length of time to “fill up” the car. That, of course, is offset by number of locations where the fill-ups can happen and the fact that 99% of BEV charging happens at home, overnight, so the time to fill up is the ten seconds or so that it takes to plug in your car.

    Thanks for letting me chime in Kevin, you have one of the best sites about hydrogen cars out there.

  11. Hydro Kevin Kantola

    Thanks, Jim, it’s unusual for me, but I have a little extra time today to respond at length, so please see my answers below.

    I do indeed want a car that is green. Can’t currently afford one, but I’m guessing that by 2020 I will have multiple choices for a car that is less than $25,000 – maybe even a few choices for a car below $20,000.

    Since I’ve been writing this website, for the past 10 years, people have wanted $10,000 hydrogen cars and for hydrogen fueling stations to pop up overnight. People have also wanted commercial BEV’s for $10,000 with a 300+ mile range that recharge in 5 minutes and an infrastructure to pop up overnight. Both scenarios are complicated and will take more time to emerge. And I think it’s important to keep working so that both of these scenarios happen eventually.

    But for the life of me I can’t see how FCEV will be there. Do you think there will be sub $30K FCEVs in the next five years?

    My guess would be yes, that in 5 years, there will be some FCEV’s at $30,000 or below. The Toyota Mirai is now in the $57,000 range and will be sold starting in one month. California, Japan, South Korea, the UK and Germany are all building out the hydrogen fueling infrastructure now. In 5 years, I think there will be some semblance of an East Coast hydrogen highway system and possibly one in Texas, too. And, let’s not leave out Hawaii which is also pushing for hydrogen cars and infrastructure right now.

    Agree that BEVs and FCEVs aren’t opponents, just don’t see how they can both win against ICE. Think BETA vs. VHS.

    BETA vs. VHS is old school but it’s a great analogy on why we need to think differently. Nowadays we have many ways to watch movies such as DVD’s, DVR’s, streaming services such as Youtube, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and on different devices such as picture tube TV’s, flat screens, Macs, PCs, cellphone, tablets, etc. I think it will be similar with cars in the future. We’ll have many choices such as gasoline and diesel ICE, a variety of hybrids (including hydrogen), a variety of PHEVs (including hydrogen), BEV’s, FCEV’s, CNG’s, LNG’s , flex-fuel vehicles, bio-fuel vehicles, air cars, solar cars (maybe), DME cars and ammonia cars. We are in an era of more choices, not fewer choices.

    I’m also doing a lot of research into EV and just cannot see any advantages *today* of FCEV over BEV. Could this change over time? Who knows? The ONLY advantage I find at this time is the length of time to “fill up” the car. That, of course, is offset by number of locations where the fill-ups can happen and the fact that 99% of BEV charging happens at home, overnight, so the time to fill up is the ten seconds or so that it takes to plug in your car.

    I’m not sure that “99% of BEV charging happens at home” but if it does, then this is a limiting factor. Why is a public BEV infrastructure now being built if BEV owners only want to charge at home? For some this is appealing. For others, they want to cruise the open road, refuel in 5 and then drive, drive, drive.

    Toyota, the largest hybrid car maker, is betting on FCEV’s over BEV’s. Why? Because they can see a clear path for hydrogen cars but not for BEVs because of the limitations of the batteries (current and future). Now, it could be that in the next 5 – 10 years that BEV’s will overcome the limitations. Or maybe not. Maybe in the next 10 years you’ll be stuck with a BETA. Maybe you’ll have a VHS. Or perhaps, you’ll be lucky enough to get in on that new DVD thing. 🙂

    Thanks for letting me chime in Kevin, you have one of the best sites about hydrogen cars out there.

    Thank you, Jim!

  12. Hope you don’t mind me jumping back in. I read the Car & Driver report on their test drive of the Mirai. Theri opinions were somewhat “Meh” but the one thing that stood out the most was the cost of fuel – $14 per KG of hydrogen and the Mirai gets 56 miles to the kilogram. That comes out to 25¢ per mile fuel cost.

    An equivalent ICE would get 28 (?) MPG. With gas costing $2 or $3 per gallon (I don’t foresee it ever getting back to the $4 area) the fuel cost per mile is 7-10¢.

    A Tesla 70D gets 240 miles on 60 kWh. At 12¢ per kWh, fuel cost comes out to about 3¢ per mile.

    How can HFC ever compete against BEV with cost of fuel that’s 8X as high as electricity? Heck, how can HFC compete with ICE with per mile fuel costs 2X to 4X as high as gasoline?

    (And yes, I’m aware of Toyota’s free hydrogen for the first 3 years. At 15,000 miles per year that’s $3,750 out of a $58,000 car. A 28 MPG ICE would be about half of that $58,000.)

    I cannot for the life of me see hydrogen fuel cells becoming a viable alternative fuel for an automobile. Hydrogen’s ONLY benefit that I can see is the faster fill-up time for those extremely rare times when one needs to fill-up (charge) away from home and do it quickly.

  13. Hydro Kevin Kantola

    Hi Jim,

    I only have time for a short response now as I’m gearing up and getting ready to go on vacation. I just want to make a couple of points about the Mirai mpge and the $14/kg hydrogen fuel figure that you stated.

    The Mirai is rated at 67 mpge – http://wot.motortrend.com/1507_2016_toyota_mirai_fcv_offers_67_mpge_312_miles_of_range.html

    Most of the current hydrogen fueling stations are prototypes and are in the process of being upgraded. New hydrogen fueling stations are being built.

    Here are some charts that show the status of building the H2 fueling stations in California – http://cafcp.org/sites/files/20150911_H2_Station_Update.pdf

    The $14/kg is at the high end of the range. I took a tour recently of some of the H2 fueling stations in Southern California and the lowest price I found was $4.99/kg at 5,000 psi and $5.99/kg at 10,000 psi. And as more stations rollout and compete with one another I expect this price to go down significantly over the next 5 years.

    Here are some links that talk about the price of H2 fuel:

    http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/index.php/hydrogen-fueling-stations/review-of-4-hydrogen-fueling-stations-in-los-angeles-area/

    http://www.hygen.com/how-a-renewable-hydrogen-fueling-station-works/

    http://www.altfuelprices.com/station_map.php

  14. Cool. Thanks. I’ll check the links. Have a great vacation and we will see you when you get back.

  15. I’ve never quite understood the MPGe thing, it never takes into consideration the different costs of fuel. I’m sure the MPGe for the powerplant on a nuclear powered aircraft carrier is off the charts, but . . .

    However, since we have the MPK of the Mirai it’s easy to compare it to MPG of a similarly equipped car. At $4.99 a kilogram the 56 MPK Mirai costs the same to run as the 28 MPG Camry if gas is $2.50 a gallon.

    With that information, I will concede the fuel cost issue. I think it’s fair to say that the cost per mile travelled is equal enough that there’s no advantage to gas or hydrogen.

    Thanks for the link to hygen, there’s some interesting stuff there.

  16. Jim sets the benchmark (the MARK) at $0.03/mi: He said; “A Tesla 70D gets 240 miles on 60 kWh. At 12¢ per kWh, fuel cost comes out to about 3¢ per mile.” Accepting that as the true MARK for a ZERO green house gas emission vehicle, (a highly dubious one, to say the least), to be equaled or bettered, the question is NOT whether it can be done but, when can it be done? I say when because, all other things being equal, (and they aren’t), even at Kevin’s low figure, ($4.99/kg for 5000 psi hydrogen), or $0.09/mi., hydrogen, currently, doesn’t pencil; isn’t nearly competitive with BEVs. Jim is correct. If we aren’t going to see a dramatic technological advancement in hydrogen production-distribution, HFCVs just aren’t going to make the grade. Fortunately, for those companies who heavily invested in HVCVs (and the hydrogen economy), such major technological advances are on the horizon. That doesn’t mean that Tesla Motors is soon to become extinct. It just means that Elon is going to have to walk his own talk and innovate faster, if he hopes to catch up.

  17. Hi TeleForce One, thanks for the kind words. I think I need to change my benchmark, I think 3¢ per mile is a little too low. I found the EPA ratings for how many kWh it takes to go 100 miles – http://1.usa.gov/1Wh41MG. They range from 27 to 54 kWh per 100 miles. The “common” electric cars; Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul, Ford Focus-E, Volkswagen (idiots!) e-Golf, etc., run in the range of 29-32 kWh to go 100 miles. Tesla ranges from 33 to 38.

    Plus – for reasons I don’t completely understand it takes 100 kWh to fill up an 88 kWh battery. So when i fill my 85 KwH Tesla battery to the brim, I have to buy about 96-97 kWh from my friendly local utility company. (Actually, I’ll be lucky to afford a Kia Soul or Nissan Leaf sometime next year.)

    Long story short, and an Excel sheet later, I think 5¢ per mile would be a good and fair baseline for electric cars.

    So – I think the mark you are looking for is $2.50 per kg for hydrogen which would put the Mirai at 4.5¢ per mile in order to be about where BEV is today. Can they do it? I don’t think so and here’s why:

    In Kevin’s link to Hygen it states that “A [hydrogen] system can be installed for as little as $1.5 mil. which can fuel up to 100 vehicles/week.” There’s two issues here. The first issue is that 100 cars per week isn’t very many cars. In my city, El Paso, Texas, there are 258,594 vehicles registered. Even if each car only filled up every other week, we would need about 1,300 hydrogen filling stations. 2,600 filling stations if everybody needed to fill up once a week on average.

    Issue two is the “as little as” cost of $1.5 million to build each station. Let’s see – 15 fill-ups per day, 5 KG per Mirai at $5 per KG. 5 KG x $5 x 15 cars x 365 days = annual revenue of $136,875. So it will take 11 years to get back just the cost of building the station. Then you’ve got to pay labor, and electricity (it takes a lot of electricity to break H2O into H2 and O), and property taxes, and some maintenance now and again, and on and on and on – lots of overhead involved.

    Can the cost of building of hydrogen filling stations come down by a factor of 8-10 or so while allowing 40-50 times as many cars a week to fill up? Not sure what major technological advances are coming that will allow this to happen, but I don’t ever see HFCV being able to compete with BEV on cost per mile or total cost of ownership.

    “Fortunately, for those companies who heavily invested in HFCVs (and the hydrogen economy), such major technological advances are on the horizon.” Hydrogen is the fuel of the future – and always will be. Sorry TF1, I just couldn’t resist 🙂

  18. The fueleconomy.gov link I gave didn’t hold its settings. Click on the “Modify Search” button and change the fuel type from All to Electric.

  19. Thanks Jim for updating the most recent BEV per mile benchmark to (5 cents/mile) and for providing additional comparative cost analyses between BEVs and HFCVs. And; thanks Kevin for providing more historical reference to the progression of the hydrogen economy.

    Not all kilowatt hours (kWh) are equal. Each means of producing electricity has a different carbon and a different green house gas footprint. They also differ in costs (initial capital outlay, maintenance, operation, mitigation and, replacement) and land requirements. I’m not too sure where the 12 cents/kWh stands but, I’m pretty sure its not from solar, wind, hydro, or geothermal. The Japanese recently put out a cost comparative analysis for electricity production in their country. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/11/business/nuclear-remains-cheapest-power-source-despite-fukushima-meltdowns-government/#.VcK8C43bKUk. I have not checked their data but, it looks like they have, again, completely ignored the high cost of cleanup for (and the high probability of) nuclear fission accidents. Germany didn’t. They flat out nixed nuclear fission from their planned electricity production mix. Don’t even think about nuclear fusion (compact or otherwise). It won’t pencil for decades from now.

    Elon has been pushing his “Choice at the Pump” Bill through US Congress for more than 10 years now and, its still stuck in committee. That doesn’t mean that Elon doesn’t know what he is doing. It means that the Oil Companies aren’t going to just lay down. Recently, they (the Oil Companies) have eluded to a new process for producing gasoline from natural gas that (allegedly) would reduce the cost per gallon down to 58 cents/gal. They have other innovations (they shelved) that they intend to bring out, too. So, don’t think that ICEV makers are out of the running. They’re not.

    Arguendo (for the sake of argument) let’s assume that Elon’s Bill passes, and fast charge BEV stands are installed at every gas station. Again, Jim is correct. Currently, the cost of those electricity transformers (and other electrical circuitry required) is far far less comparatively than the cost of prepping (pumping) liquid hydrogen. The main reason being is that the cost for that transformer remains the same for any number of vehicles while the cost of pumping liquid hydrogen does not. In other words, (what Jim is saying), is that economies of scale (for station equipment) works for BEVs but would not for HFCVs. Nice; Jim!

  20. I’ve seen that page Kevin, and followed some of its links. When I first found your website, as I perused the pages I realized how much I admired your intellectual honesty. I still don’t think hydrogen cars have a chance, but I am honored to be amongst someone who does, and who puts out some pretty valid arguments.

    And Hygen’s “we can fill 100 cars a week” statement has been bugging me. If an H2 station can only service 100 cars a week, that’s 14-15 cars a day. That’s way less than a car an hour. What good is a 3-5 minute fill-up if I have to wait an hour between fill-ups? This factoid alone destroys FCEV’s only advantage over BEV.

    TF1 – The 12¢ figure is the average price per kWh paid by residential ratepayers across the USA. Many utilities have Time Of Use meters so people pay very little in the early morning and lots in the afternoon. Some utilities (mine for example) have one price for summer rates and another for winter. I think I pay 1¢ more per kWh in the summer, but we pay the same rate regardless of the time of day.

  21. Hydro Kevin Kantola

    Jim, thanks for the nice words and I appreciate the thoughtful arguments / comments you put forth as well. In regard to the per day fueling capacity of the H2 Stations, in general, the newer stations can fuel more vehicles than the older stations. For instance, on this page by the CaFCP, you can see that many of the stations will fuel around 25 cars per day, but the newest H2 station in West Sacramento, CA can fuel up to 70 cars per day. As more newer H2 stations come online I expect the capacity to increase as well.

    http://cafcp.org/sites/files/H2-Station-profiles_public-compr.pdf

  22. I’m not understanding. 70 cars a day, 24 hour day, that’s 3 cars an hour, or 20 minutes per car to fill up. Why such tiny volume?

    H2’s main advantage is its quick fill-up time. Why so long between fuelings? (And doesn’t that completely eliminate the H2 advantage?)

    I read the 11 data sheets in your PDF. Those stations are pretty pricey, and the government (that’s your and my money by the way) is contributing between $469,000 and $6.7 million per station. I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that the Tesla supercharger takes the same 20-30 minutes to “fill up” and the amount of government funding and grants to build those “filling” stations approaches zero.

    In fairness, I believe there are a large number of municipally (and state?) funded level 2&3 electric car charging stations around the country. But the cost to build these is in the thousands or tens of thousands, not in the millions.

  23. Hydro Kevin Kantola

    Jim, you were unhappy with the 14-15 cars a day you had quoted and then went I pointed out a new H2 fueling station can service 70 cars a day, you are still unhappy with this number – what up with that? Hydrogen cars and infrastructure is a long-term strategy not a short term strategy. Impatience is not a virtue when it comes to H2 cars. Putting up a hydrogen station costs about the same as putting up a gasoline station. I’d say if you want to buy a Tesla, then buy a Tesla (or a cheaper BEV). This may be a good vehicle for you in the short term. Some BEV advocates foresee a future where there is a recharging station in your garage and public fast chargers have been rolled out all over the nation. In addition to this, there are enough recharging stations where you won’t have to wait in line to recharge and I can envision this too for a segment of the car market. I can also envision another segment of the car market where owners of FCEV’s have a hydrogen station in their garage and enough public H2 fueling stations all over the nation. I think both of these visions can coexist.

  24. I guess I’m looking too far forward. If HFCV are to become mainstream, each station will have to be able to fill 300-500, or more, cars each day. But in fairness, if there aren’t many HFCVs on the road then high-capacity stations aren’t needed at this point.

    I would beg to disagree that an H2 station and a gasoline station cost the same to build. CAFCP states clearly on their website that “Hydrogen stations are more expensive to build and operate than gas stations” – . And no tax dollars are used to subsidize the building of gas stations.

    You mention a future where there’s a BEV charging station inside every homeowner’s garage. There already is! Granted, my 110 volt electrical outlet will need to be upgraded to 220, but that would take an electrician an hour or two and cost well under a grand. Can you envision a home hydrogen generating system ever costing less than a grand?

    I found and liked your Facebook page. Looks like there’s lots of links there that aren’t here, so I’m headed that way.

  25. Hydro Kevin Kantola

    A pdf file by ITS UC Davis, titled, “An Analysis of Near-Term Hydrogen Vehicle Rollout Scenarios for Southern California” says,

    “We assume that it costs $2 million for site preparation, upfront permitting, engineering, utility installation, for a green-field refueling station site before any fuel equipment goes in. This would be the same for gasoline or hydrogen. $2 million is the “baseline cost” of a H2 station and H2 refueling equipment costs are added to this.”

    Of course, it is difficult to compare hydrogen fueling stations to gasoline stations, apples to apples. This is because hydrogen stations can be stand alone stations that only dispense hydrogen, H2 stations added to an existing gasoline station or mobile H2 stations.

    As far as “no tax dollars are used to subsidize the building of gas stations” – I’m not an expert on where all of the money goes for the federal fossil fuel subsidies, but I’m not sure your statement is entirely correct. http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/

    Yes, I can envision low-cost home hydrogen stations, but I’m thinking longer term when costs will come down considerably due to economies of scale and advanced H2 technologies going mainstream.

    Yes, I have a lot of different information spread out among this blog, Facebook, Twitter and Google +.

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