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Computer Modeling Predicts 75-Percent Hydrogen Cars by 2060

STREET Modeling SoftwareComputer modeling is being used in an increasing numbers of cases in recent years to make predictions about different events and possible outcomes. NOAA uses computer modeling to predict the path and severity of hurricanes.

A company called ESRI is currently using computer modeling to track and predict the outbreak of the H1N1 virus (swine flu) and to reduce greenhouse gases around the San Francisco area.

A new computer modeling program of interest called STREET (or the Spatially & Temporally Resolved Energy & Environment Tool) developed by Shane Stephens-Romero of University of California, Irvine (UCI) predicts that if in the year 2060, 75-percent of the drivers on the road will be driving hydrogen cars in the Los Angeles area greenhouse gas emissions will be 60-percent lower than they are currently.

According to Scott Samuelsen, director of the Advanced Power & Energy Program and the person who lead the development of UCI hydrogen fueling station that dispenses H2 (at both 5,000 and 10,000 psi), “The research is well positioned, considering the development of a hydrogen infrastructure is at the crossroads of global climate change, the future of the automobile, the state economy, and California’s leadership in addressing the conflict between energy and the environment.”

Also according to UCI, “STREET considers variables in extreme detail – not just which fuel vehicles will use but how the fuel is made, where it comes from, how it’s transported and along which routes, and where fueling stations might be located.”

A week ago I talked about how a clear pathway from H2 production to pump would help for quicker adaptation of hydrogen cars. The STREET modeling software compares multiple pathways to the same goal and will predict the advantages and disadvantages of each pathway chosen.

The STREET software will help government officials, hydrogen advocacy groups and business join together to form a logical plan for the rollout of hydrogen vehicles in the future. The software is getting accolades from such entities as General Motors, Toyota, Honda, Air Products, Shell, the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission.


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  1. The program predicts what would happen to air quality IF 75% of cars were FCVs…the % of cars is an input not an output of the program…

  2. The year 2060 is an awfully long ways out. The year 2015, about 5 years from now, is when hydrogen cars are supposed to be commercialized and affordable. Why does this software make such a bleak prediction about when hydrogen refueling infrastructure will be adequate to support millions of fuel cell cars in the
    U.S.? It seems we could build a large scale hydrogen refueling system right now if we really wanted to. Granted, that would probably mean having stations five years prior to there being affordable fuel cell cars.

    Even if one chooses to fuel the majority of fuel cell cars by steam reforming natural gas, that will be a significant step forward environmentally.

    I really wonder how Interstate Traveler could fit into the model for providing hydrogen refueling infrastructure along the Interstates? I’d like to see a line
    go up along say I-5 in Oregon.

  3. admin

    I think the model can predict all sorts of variables based upon current information. For instance, if we had 75-percent hydrogen cars by 2060 in Los Angeles there would be 60-percent less air pollution. The emphasis really is what it would take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Los Angeles by 60-percent. The model shows different scenarios for achieving this, including the number of hydrogen cars that it would take to make this happen.

    I see the modeling software as extremely positive and useful in that it will help government and business predict the most efficient and cost effective pathways for building out a hydrogen infrastructure using current technology (and possibly even future technology scenarios).

  4. I believe that a 75% by 2060 is underestimated.They are already ahead of where they thought that they would be by now.If petroleum prices climb much higher it will speed developement even more rapidly.The information that I have been reading about petrol supplies and the predicted increases in demand will make the conversion necessary sooner.
    I wonder if the computer modeling program has taken any of that into account.It is not all about carbon emissions,but may be more of a marketing ploy.
    I believe a more accurate modeling would make more emphasis on supply and demand of petrol prices since that is what will make this tech viable.

  5. Also does it take into factor the high possibilty of supply disruption which is why we have a presense in the middle east now to protect supply lines.The loss of just one refinery could send oil prices soaring and investments into alternatives accordingly.It will be the economics that drive this not carbon emissions,but it is one of the many benefits.

  6. I understand that the 75% is an input rather than an output but my point is still the same.Thanks.

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