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McKinsey and Company Says FCVs Are Viable

The consultancy firm McKinsey and Company, sponsored by a group of large automakers and energy companies conducted a study and found that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are viable and needed technology in the field of alternative cars.

To be fair, the study also says that Battery Electric Vehicles (BAVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) also have a future in helping to clean the environment and provide energy independence in the U. S.

There are a couple of important takeaways from this report. First, according to the study, the hydrogen refueling infrastructure will cost around $3 billion, (far less than previous estimates by other parties). This cost will be about the same as establishing an electrical charging infrastructure for BAVs and PHEVs.

Second, the cost of the hydrogen infrastructure would amount to roughly 5-percent of the cost of each vehicle which pencils out to around $1,000 – $2,000 over the lifetime of the vehicle. The study says that FCVs, BAVs and PHEVs will all be necessary going forward to wean ourselves from fossil fueled vehicles and each will have a place in the marketplace going forward.

For the full report go here

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.

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3 comments

  1. Michael C. Robinson

    The study is assuming that high pressure fuel systems will be needed. In reality, standardizing on a low pressure refuel technique now might reduce that $3 billion price tag significantly. I am saddened to see the auto industry going forward with high pressure gaseous hydrogen systems which by their very nature have to leak a little for safety reasons. This leaking frightens people, not to mention the myths floating around that these gaseous H2
    tanks under very high pressure are bombs.

    Imagine buying a stack of metal hydride disks or people exchanging spent hydride disks for refilled ones. Hydrogen is hard to hold onto in quantity at this point in time. Liquefying hydrogen takes a significant amount of energy and specialized handling equipment. Hydrogen gas has a tendency to embrittle metal cylinders, which leads to a need for special composite material tanks.
    The advantage of laser metal hydrides safety wise is that they contain a significant amount of hydrogen in a safe solid form. Only the amount of hydrogen gas needed to operate the fuel cell is released. Compare this now to a 350 or 700 bar hydrogen tank system where all of the hydrogen is in gaseous form and there is a very slow leak.

    Gaseous hydrogen fuel systems involving high pressures may become cheaper in the future, but laser metal hydrides are much easier to work with and already they are potentially far less expensive overall. Imagine you run out of hydrogen and call AAA. What is easier when it comes to taking care of your fuel problem in the middle of nowhere? A specialized high pressure tank truck goes out to your location and refuels you or a rapid response car with extra charged hydride disks shows up, takes the spent disks after replacing them, and moves on.

    The microwave needed to recharge the hydride disks could be on board the car itself or at a station.

    The only concern that comes up with laser metal hydrides is, how well do they work on rough road? Basically, a laser metal hydride goes into a CD player like device and I imagine that rough road could disrupt this device.

    Even if laser metal hydrides aren’t a realistic answer for cars, there are other options such as synthesizing ammonia or natural gas and having reformers on cars.

  2. how much will these cars cost? why don’t you mention that fact? i hopethey will be priced to be affordable by normal people, not just for the rich. why do you want people to save the planet, think green, then have hybrid cars soo expensive that the normal people can’t buy them and have to continue to use gas? wake up U.S. gov’t, get out of bed with the arabs and start doing your job serving the American people as you are hired to do.

  3. The only concern that comes up with laser metal hydrides is, how well do they work on rough road? Basically, a laser metal hydride goes into a CD player like device and I imagine that rough road could disrupt this device.

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