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CocoaNuts
Jun 12, 2020


Affordability aside, would you purchase the vehicle below or a Tesla first?


https://twitter.com/CNN/status/1293762264424742913


What are the downsides to hydrogen-powered vehicles? Is there a real risk of it blowing up in a collision, for example?

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KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




making and storing hydrogen, for one

hydrogen is a dead end and just provides you with a different intermediate fuel used to generate electricity, so instead of having on board batteries you now have a difficult to handle, expensive to produce fuel on board, plus a fuel cell

also please don't post fake stupid hype vaporware render poo poo

Digital Apprentice
Apr 3, 2008


I have been driving a fuel cell vehicle (Toyota Mirai) for four years. It has been a terrific vehicle for my daily driver, but may not be for everyone.

Hydrogen is no more dangerous than petrol, any arguably less so as it is lighter than air so any leaked fuel will disperse quickly. In the Mirai the carbon fiber wrapped fuel tanks are embedded deep in the frame so anything that would rupture them would already be a catastrophic event. Can’t say for the Hyperion since I don’t have any details about its internal layout.

Transporting hydrogen over long distances is actually more efficient than electric transmission since there is negligible loss, unlike traditional AC lines where around 10% of power is lost in transmission.

The only real drawback is the fuel distribution network is limited outside the LA Basin and the SF Bay Area. If there was enough demand to entice producers to to invest in creating more stations that would be great but it is a bit of a “chicken and egg” problem at the moment.

Additional demand should also drive larger scale production via solar electrolysis which will bring the cost down. Currently most H2 is produced via reformation of natural gas via steam processing, so the cost per mile drive is higher than petrol (about twice the cost per mile)

Would I buy the Hyperion? Probably not, as it doesn’t really meet my needs. This would be true of any “super car”, regardless of the motive power. So TLDR; I would go with a Tesla.

CocoaNuts
Jun 12, 2020


Digital Apprentice posted:

I have been driving a fuel cell vehicle (Toyota Mirai) for four years. It has been a terrific vehicle for my daily driver, but may not be for everyone.

Hydrogen is no more dangerous than petrol, any arguably less so as it is lighter than air so any leaked fuel will disperse quickly. In the Mirai the carbon fiber wrapped fuel tanks are embedded deep in the frame so anything that would rupture them would already be a catastrophic event. Can’t say for the Hyperion since I don’t have any details about its internal layout.

Transporting hydrogen over long distances is actually more efficient than electric transmission since there is negligible loss, unlike traditional AC lines where around 10% of power is lost in transmission.

The only real drawback is the fuel distribution network is limited outside the LA Basin and the SF Bay Area. If there was enough demand to entice producers to to invest in creating more stations that would be great but it is a bit of a “chicken and egg” problem at the moment.

Additional demand should also drive larger scale production via solar electrolysis which will bring the cost down. Currently most H2 is produced via reformation of natural gas via steam processing, so the cost per mile drive is higher than petrol (about twice the cost per mile)

Would I buy the Hyperion? Probably not, as it doesn’t really meet my needs. This would be true of any “super car”, regardless of the motive power. So TLDR; I would go with a Tesla.

Good post.

Agreed. A refuelling network poses a real challenge at this point, but like the Tesla recharging stations, the infrastructure behind the technology would grow in time.

Maimgara
May 2, 2007
Chlorine for the Gene-pool.

The prospects for fuel cell vehicles depends on where you are and what you want to do.

For a daily driver, back and forth to the job and errands, a fuel cell vehicle makes no sense - its the perfect use case for a battery EV. This even worse in areas outside California or other major metropolitan areas - getting a BEV fast charge network is hard enough.
For a fleet vehicle and especially metro busses, non-electrified rail and stuff like garbage trucks, its a different deal. As both of you mention, the refueling network is the chicken/egg issue with adoption of FCEVs. America on average is not the place for fuel cells, the collective transport infrastructure, which is the FC front runner in Europe and China is trash. There is very little in gov/state generally (compare to EU Strategy - Focused on supporting the tanking infrastructure and green H2 production).

Fuel Cells has a place in transportation, but its not foremost personal transportation. Ive driven the Hyundai ix35, the Mirai and the Mercedes FCELL - they're nice cars, but absolutely niche cars.

CommieGIR
Aug 22, 2006

If Godzilla can do it, you know I can deliver!


Pillbug

The problem is hydrogen fuel cells are just basically a freebie for the fossil fuel industry since the majority of hydrogen is sourced from natural gas but then brings up the question okay if you don't Source it from natural gas where do you get it the obvious answer being electrolysis of water but you need a lot of power to do that and it would just make more sense to have an electric car at the end of the day versus using the power to do electrolysis.

At the end of the day we can no longer allow methane sourcing of energy that includes natural gas and any sort of hydrogen derived from natural gas we've got to cut that stuff out

Maimgara
May 2, 2007
Chlorine for the Gene-pool.

CommieGIR posted:

The problem is hydrogen fuel cells are just basically a freebie for the fossil fuel industry since the majority of hydrogen is sourced from natural gas but then brings up the question okay if you don't Source it from natural gas where do you get it the obvious answer being electrolysis of water but you need a lot of power to do that and it would just make more sense to have an electric car at the end of the day versus using the power to do electrolysis.

At the end of the day we can no longer allow methane sourcing of energy that includes natural gas and any sort of hydrogen derived from natural gas we've got to cut that stuff out
This is a very America-centric point of view (quite natural on a american forum). In a european context, the production of H2 is increasingly happening with off-peak renevables (wind, mainly) and Norwegian/Swedish hydro. Yes, most H2 produced is brown H2, but this is changing.
Your point with "just having an BEV" is true for ordinary people - Im agreeing with you here. Fuel Cells are for those vehicles where extended charging breaks are hard/impossible to accomodate, such as metro busses, cabs, garbage trucks and the like. These vehicles typically return a depot, where a single fueling point can serve the entire fleet, trained mechanics can do service and the organisation have the resouces to get funding from development funds such as FCH-JU (again, an EU thing - CARB in California is the closest).
I think dismissing fuel cells because the current sourcing of H2 isnt CO2 neutral is misguided. Yes, people should buy a BEV - economics permitting - but for commercial transport BEVs are not great.

Cockmaster
Feb 24, 2002


Digital Apprentice posted:

Transporting hydrogen over long distances is actually more efficient than electric transmission since there is negligible loss, unlike traditional AC lines where around 10% of power is lost in transmission.

The problem there is that with hydrogen, there are a lot of other places where energy is lost. Generating power in a fuel cell is way less efficient (something like 50% overall, maybe a bit more) than discharging a battery, and cramming hydrogen into a high-pressure tank takes quite a bit of energy.



CocoaNuts posted:

Good post.

Agreed. A refuelling network poses a real challenge at this point, but like the Tesla recharging stations, the infrastructure behind the technology would grow in time.

At least with batteries, you have the option of charging at home for average day-to-day driving - most people would only need public charging stations for unusually long trips.

Plus electricity is already available everywhere - producing and installing battery charging stations might be easier on a national scale than having to worry about hydrogen production plus transportation plus fueling stations.

mobby_6kl
Aug 9, 2009

"You are the best poster... do not let anyone say otherwise."


Batteries are getting dense and cheap enough reasonably quickly, I don't see how hydrogen could compete really. There are way too many complicated problems that have to be solved. It'd almost make more sense as ICE fuel if we ran out of oil suddenly.

CommieGIR
Aug 22, 2006

If Godzilla can do it, you know I can deliver!


Pillbug

Maimgara posted:

This is a very America-centric point of view (quite natural on a american forum). In a european context, the production of H2 is increasingly happening with off-peak renevables (wind, mainly) and Norwegian/Swedish hydro. Yes, most H2 produced is brown H2, but this is changing.
Your point with "just having an BEV" is true for ordinary people - Im agreeing with you here. Fuel Cells are for those vehicles where extended charging breaks are hard/impossible to accomodate, such as metro busses, cabs, garbage trucks and the like. These vehicles typically return a depot, where a single fueling point can serve the entire fleet, trained mechanics can do service and the organisation have the resouces to get funding from development funds such as FCH-JU (again, an EU thing - CARB in California is the closest).
I think dismissing fuel cells because the current sourcing of H2 isnt CO2 neutral is misguided. Yes, people should buy a BEV - economics permitting - but for commercial transport BEVs are not great.

It would be far more efficient to charge batteries with those off peak renewables than produce H2. And given that the EU considers "Natural Gas" over Nuclear in the EU Green Energy summit, this is not a US Centric viewpoint.

And as long as the majority is methane originated H2, its not helping. Natural Gas is a key greenhouse gas and must go away. We cannot depend on Natural Gas sourced H2 if we want to fight Global Warming

CommieGIR fucked around with this message at 15:45 on Aug 15, 2020

Cockmaster
Feb 24, 2002


mobby_6kl posted:

Batteries are getting dense and cheap enough reasonably quickly, I don't see how hydrogen could compete really. There are way too many complicated problems that have to be solved.

Yeah, fuel cells seemed like a good idea when EV researchers were struggling to get much more than 100 miles of range. Now we have EVs that offer the same range as the average gasoline car, as well as charging technology that would be almost as fast as refilling a hydrogen tank.

Tesla even has their electric semi - if they could get that to where it would be practical for long haul trucking, automotive fuel cell technology would be all but obsolete.


quote:

It'd almost make more sense as ICE fuel if we ran out of oil suddenly.

Eh, hydrogen isn't explosive enough to work that well in a piston engine (A couple of auto manufacturers have played around with it, with rather unimpressive results). Though turbines are always an option, at least if someone could design the exhaust so that it doesn't burn the paint off of the car behind you.

Cockmaster fucked around with this message at 17:01 on Aug 15, 2020

sanchez
Feb 26, 2003


I really don't see the point of H2, even in commercial applications there are huge BEV bus rollouts happening. Most buses don't drive that many miles in a given day, batteries work ok for them. The fuel is ungodly expensive too.

Gros Tarla
Dec 30, 2008


Yeah I don't see the point of hydrogen either. One of the underestimated advantage of a BEV is the fact you can charge at home, which means I save that trip to the station all the time. Since I have a 400km range BEV, it works for me 98% of the time, winter included. The only time I would have to use a public station is for long trips which doesn't happen often enough to be a problem for me.

I see hydrogen cars as a stop gap until batteries improve, but I think PHEVs are a better stop gap since you don't need to deploy a whole infrastructure around it. Plus, where I live in Canada my power source is all Hydro and very very cheap so hydrogen doesn't make much sense here either.

CommieGIR
Aug 22, 2006

If Godzilla can do it, you know I can deliver!


Pillbug

Gros Tarla posted:

Yeah I don't see the point of hydrogen either. One of the underestimated advantage of a BEV is the fact you can charge at home, which means I save that trip to the station all the time. Since I have a 400km range BEV, it works for me 98% of the time, winter included. The only time I would have to use a public station is for long trips which doesn't happen often enough to be a problem for me.

I see hydrogen cars as a stop gap until batteries improve, but I think PHEVs are a better stop gap since you don't need to deploy a whole infrastructure around it. Plus, where I live in Canada my power source is all Hydro and very very cheap so hydrogen doesn't make much sense here either.

At this point biodiesel and diesel-electric hybrids make more sense than hydrogen, its just a non-starter all together. We need to focus on electric vehicles and shifting our electrical generation away from fossil fuels faster.

CommieGIR fucked around with this message at 19:23 on Aug 16, 2020

ROFLBOT
Apr 1, 2005



The hydrogen wheelbarrow will be pushed hard regardless of how inferior it is to BEV because it allows oil companies to continue their fuel monopoly and justifies existing infrastructure (eg, service stations).

The lobbying of governments around the world (notably Japan) has been going on for some time.

CocoaNuts
Jun 12, 2020


A little more perspective on this. Today GM announced that they will build Nikola's Badger truck that comes in electric and hydrogen versions. Look at the price difference:


The company did begin taking pre-orders for the electric super pickup truck in late June. On paper, the truck stands to be a beast. It’s expected to have 906 horsepower and have a 600-mile range using both battery and hydrogen fuel cells. Nikola has said pricing will start at $60,000 for the electric vehicle version and $90,000 for the one that also includes the hydrogen cell.

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/n...-113011979.html



A lot better looking vehicle than Tesla's Cybertruck, IMO.


KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




That's a render. Let me know when they build even a visual prototype.

edit: to be clear you are talking about some completely made up nominal price of a thing that exists right now in zeroes and ones only

CocoaNuts
Jun 12, 2020


KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

That's a render. Let me know when they build even a visual prototype.

edit: to be clear you are talking about some completely made up nominal price of a thing that exists right now in zeroes and ones only

Yeah, it's only a concept at this point.

And, granted, the actual price is likely to be considerably different than what's posted here.

But the point, relevant to this thread, is that the hydrogen version is expected to be 40% more than the electric version.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




it's not data! it's marketing wank! the hydrogen version if it exists of this thing if it exists could be 150% more! it could be 5% more! nobody knows! right now they've priced at a 50% more because that's a nice number that sounds good! i guarantee zero cost engineering has gone in to either of those numbers!

extreme_accordion
Apr 9, 2009


There have been a few interesting YT videos by Real Engineering on hydrogen and recently one on Nikola that goes down the details of both.

Newest to oldest:
1) 7ynupYBLlyA
2) f7MzFfuNOtY
3) iPheEg-K2qc

Obviously there are other sources out there as well but I find this channels take to be the most interesting.

Edit: Don't know why the links did that but whatever.

MrOnBicycle
Jan 18, 2008
Wait wat?

CommieGIR posted:

It would be far more efficient to charge batteries with those off peak renewables than produce H2. And given that the EU considers "Natural Gas" over Nuclear in the EU Green Energy summit, this is not a US Centric viewpoint.

And as long as the majority is methane originated H2, its not helping. Natural Gas is a key greenhouse gas and must go away. We cannot depend on Natural Gas sourced H2 if we want to fight Global Warming

It's still US centric (but in another way) in the fact that most of Europe is much more densely populated with focus on cities, where at home charging is pretty much impossible compared to the much more prevalent home ownership with a garage and/or drive that seems much more common in the US. In Europe I'd say that the EV is the least useful where it does the most good, i.e. in cities.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




It's true in the US as well, EVs are ideal for urban applications but it's very difficult to get the infrastructure installed due to ownership models, parking variability, etc.

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CommieGIR
Aug 22, 2006

If Godzilla can do it, you know I can deliver!


Pillbug

MrOnBicycle posted:

It's still US centric (but in another way) in the fact that most of Europe is much more densely populated with focus on cities, where at home charging is pretty much impossible compared to the much more prevalent home ownership with a garage and/or drive that seems much more common in the US. In Europe I'd say that the EV is the least useful where it does the most good, i.e. in cities.

I still disagree entirely.

However, to caveat, I saw this article recently:

https://www.rechargenews.com/transi...lear/2-1-872014

Basically, France wants to take a portion of their nuclear fleet and use it to produce hydrogen from water. This could really be a bold step.

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