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Old 02-17-2016, 05:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hydrogen is simply the energy carrier.

Originally Posted by Daox View Post
You still have to get hydrogen from somewhere though, and its either from fossil fuels or electrolysis as far as I know. Both are more carbon intensive than just using batteries.
Currently, natural gas is the cheapest source of hydrogen and electrolysis is doable but inefficient.

However, hydrogen is far more energy dense than current or near term battery solutions. With advances in catalyst science and hydrogen storage, a 300 mile range in a fuel cell vehicle will become much cheaper and already has.

All that is needed is the fueling infrastructure. And, the fuel source.

Once renewable energy sources reach the point of useful excess, this excess can be stored via hydrogen. Much like battery storage, this hydrogen can be used to level loads or to fuel transport. Even if a relatively inefficient electrolyzer is used, it has storage value since the hydrogen then represents "lost energy" that would have been dumped. Much the same way aluminum processing plants take advantage of being situated along cheap electrical grids such as the Niagara and Columbia Rivers. Excess hydro power is "stored" in the processed aluminum. As inefficient energy wise as the process is, one could re- oxidize the aluminum back to bauxite and derive the energy there-in at any time in the future.

Couple this with the small (3.3 kg) fuel load due to the efficiency of this vehicle and you could power many longer range vehicles such as this.

Battery vehicles still make sense for city cars. But when you need several hundred miles of range and fast refueling, hydrogen fuel cells bear investigation.
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