I’ve said before that the key to going forward with a hydrogen transportation system is to use less hydrogen. It makes no sense to replace the current 380 million barrels of oil per month the U. S. is currently importing with a comparable amount of hydrogen, biofuels or coal added to the grid in order to fuel cars.
This is where combining best practices and top technologies come in. The best practices would be an educational program on hypermiling to ensure all citizens are squeezing as much fuel out of their vehicles as possible (conservation). Combining top technologies would include rolling out hydrogen cars that are also hybrid vehicles or plug-in hybrids. Most of the hydrogen car prototypes today use some sort of hybrid technology.
And, now let me add one more top technology to the list that I have neglected to mention to any degree in this blog and that is the roll out of aerodynamically built vehicles. Building big, heavy, flat, boxy hydrogen hybrid vehicles with large amounts of wind drag on a massive scale will also increase the amount of fuel burned and thus the necessity for more fueling stations to be built.
But, what if we had a significant number of hydrogen cars on the road that we designed like the AeroCivic (pictured above)? By designing the body in an aerodynamic fashion, this ordinary 1992 Honda Civic with mpg’s in the 50’s is able to decrease the drag coefficient so significantly it is able to achieve fuel mileage in the mid 90’s.
Of course not everyone will want to drive a funny-looking little car with a long, pointy back end. But, then again, for this kind of fuel mileage increase, many I think would be willing to step out of the mainstream-model-year-standard-car-look for something a little more unique.
With peak oil looming on the horizon, combining best practices, top technologies and a little creativity will go a long way towards ensuring the hydrogen cars of tomorrow are the most efficient vehicles possible right from the get go.