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Jun 12, 2020

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

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


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.

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.

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

Jun 12, 2020


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.

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