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Old 26th December 2019, 12:46   #1
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Default Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

Hello all, I found a video on youtube from DriveTribe featuring James May. In this video, he reviews his own vehicles, both of which are electric - Tesla Model S 100D and the Toyota Mirai. He shows you the cost of charging the car vs filling up the hydrogen tank. He even has a rather funny argument with himself on the pros and cons of BEV and HFCEV. This made me wonder about the EV situation in our country and wonder whether it should really be Hydrogen that is the way forward instead of BEVs. I invite everyone's opinion on this. Would be interesting to see what you guys think. I'm also attaching a link to the video.

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Old 26th December 2019, 21:26   #2
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Default re: Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

A good video indeed - well researched and presented in his inimitable style.
This brings to fore the debate between the sustainability and pros & cons of BEV & HFCEV.

IMO both have their place in the sun. HFCEVs may find utilisation in the heavy transport, aviation and shipping sectors while BEVs may do well as personal transport.

The advantage of hydrogen is its ease of storage and transport ( though it may still not be economically viable to do it). With renewables becoming mainstream and in some places there being a surplus of electricity, surplus electricity produced through renewable energy can be used to produce & store hydrogen. That, I feel is a big advantage. Battery tech still has some way to go in terms of ability to store energy, retaining charge over multiple charge cycles and ability to recharge quickly. Then there's the anticipated problem of inadequate lithium & also that of battery disposal - some time in the future there will be billions of used, ineffective batteries. Safe and economical disposal of these may pose a serious logistical & environmental challenge .

On the other hand, putting in place hydrogen infrastructure for production & storage will also involve investment of a significant amount of money and the tech, just as in batteries, is still developing.

What remains to be seen is how quickly governments across the world adapt these new technologies and put in place infrastructure to sustain them.

Here are a couple of videos about hydrogen as a fuel.





And here's one that explains why Hydrogen still some way off to become the preferred fuel for personal transportation.


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Old 30th December 2019, 14:16   #3
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Default Re: Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

Neat video, thanks for sharing . A couple of points on the comparison:

- Toyota has completed missed the boat with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). The world has moved on and more or less welcomed EVs as the future.

- Toyota gave FCVs an incredibly boring image with the Mirai. EVs also were seen as boring from the years 2000 - 2010, until Tesla stepped in and made EVs desirable & sexy with the Model S. "Marketing" & "image" were everything. There are thousands of people who want an EV today, but no one really craves for an FCV. Manufacturers aren't going to bet the house on something which has zero demand today.

- We already have at least basic infrastructure to charge an EV = I can charge it down my house & electricity is available everywhere, even in a village. No government or company has shown any inclination to spend lakhs of crores on developing a hydrogen filling network.

- IMHO, at best, FCVs will find some adopters among commercial vehicles in the next 10 years.
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Old 30th December 2019, 21:13   #4
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Default Re: Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

Tesla in the next battery and drivetrain investors meet (to be held before Q2 2020), will likely announce the 1million mile battery life (16 lakh km battery life), that they filed patents on. When this battery is mass produced it will be final nail in coffin for hydrogen powered and ICE vehicles.

Million mile battery is a must for commercial applications and it goes along with the million mile drive train warranty for the Tesla Semi.

Elon musk also proposed future Robo Taxis using auto pilot level 3 or higher. Robi taxis will run 24/7 (no human fatigue) till batteries need to be charged, so while you are not using it, your future Tesla could be used as driver less taxis. Provided the auto pilot is mature enough and gets approval from the government.
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Old 4th January 2020, 22:43   #5
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Default Re: Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

ICEs have had their birth better established in the later 1800s and early 1900s. That's about 150-yrs for ICEs for their birth, growth, decay, and moving into the death days!

In that course we have learned much on natural resources and their supply running out; impact on the environment and climate; importance of renewables; etc.

With the EVs (and other alternate tech), there certainly will be transfer of this knowledge/learning.

So, unless the battery tech sees some revolutionary changes (and not just incremental changes), I am guessing the EVs will see their end (death days) much faster than ICEs have. And so far as one can tell at the moment, this translates into FCs getting prominence in the not so well defined "near future!"
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Old 4th January 2020, 23:30   #6
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Default Re: Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

Definitely, IMO Hydrogen fuel cells has its place. I happen to see one of the interviews by Bill Gates, where he explain few important points.
1) Energy density of gasoline is 30x of the best batteries available in the market.
2) A container ship which crosses ocean will have 90% of its weight with its own battery instead of cargo
3) A similar logic could go for trucks or aeroplanes.

I am copying an image from wikipedia on energy density, I could understand that the hydrogen is a galaxy apart from the Lithium Ion battery and even compared to gasoline. From my understanding, this could provide a big scope in hydrogen technology in non-passenger car segment. For sure, there are way higher technical complexities to realize it that concluding from a graph.
Needless to say, politicians throughout the globe have huge personal investments in energy companies/sectors. It would be surprising if the energy companies does not lobby for the hydrogen cars for that fact that the major source is natural gas. It would also set up another set of industry rolling out hydrogen filling stations and building up the infrastructure compared to the relatively simple fast charging stations.

I could still remember in my childhood I used to connect small motors in toys with an A4 battery to see it spinning. Neither I am downplaying nor do I feel that the BEV is simpler to make, the number of BEV start-ups in China is estimated to be around 500 but unsure of hydrogen cars.
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Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars-1024pxenergy_density.svg.png  

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Old 5th January 2020, 00:14   #7
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Default Re: Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

The duel between hydrogen and electric cars is now a decade old. Top Gear tested the first Tesla Roadster, and Clarkson termed it a terrible failure that will never work in the real world. This was around 2010. Look where Tesla is now. Nissan Leaf is another example of a great electic car.

Hydrogen car even after being 10-15 years in the market is no where today. They are active only in california and many hydrogen gas stations that were started in around 2010 many have shutdown. The existing ones are newer.

Hydrogen is a clean fuel when coupled with fuel cells. The problem is how hydrogen is produced. Hydrogen is not freely available. It can be produced from methane, coal, oil and everyones favorite electrolysis of water.

Lets take the popular ones to start with Metahne and Electrolysis. Using Methane to produce hydrogen is the most preferred way today. Now breaking down methane takes tremendous amounts of energy. Superheated steam is used, which means you are either burning coal or natural gas and once hydrogen is produced you need high powered compressors to store the hydrogen in tanks. The pressure is normally 800 bar. (yes 800 bar). Even the tanks in the cars are at 800 bar. The same thing is applicable for electrolysis. It takes tremendoes amounts of energy to break the water molecule and get hydrogen out of it. Its expensive to do so.

And now the main thing comes to cost. Hydrogen as a fuel is more expensive than petrol. Yes a locally produced fuel which is not pumped out of the earth somewhere in Middle East, put on a very big tanker ship, brought to a refinery in Gujrat and then put on trucks and bought to a petrol pump near us, will be cheaper than producing hydrogen in our backyard. How on earth is Hydrogen then a viable fuel.

Now if we are using methane to produce the hydrogen which is more complicated to store and tranfer, why cant I just use methane as a fuel. We all have sat in CNG cars. Mumbai and Delhi have loads of them. Most taxis are CNG fitted. If the tech already exist, why should someone come up with a new tech for a car which runs on more expensive and complicated fuel. Just use methane as fuel. Also CNG tanks are at 200 bar only. Hence easier to handle as well.

This is the simple reason why hydrogen cars have failed in the last 15 years. This is a long time for everyone to realise that this is not viable tech. Hydrogen is not wrong, its production is, its storage, logistics and handling is complicated. There are many uses for hydrogen as such where it can be used and it makes sense, but definetly not cars.

Now for those who have doubts about electricity generated in coal powered plants. Its not about whether the energy is clean or not. No energy exist in the world today which is 100% clean. There will be some Co2 emmissions in some inderect form. The lowest emmission can be achieved only when the source of electricity is either nuclear, solar or wind. Electricity produced from the oldest coal power plant is still 70% less Co2 in the air, when the car is electric. The latest generation of coal plants are 50% more efficient and emmits 90% less Co2.

The goal is to reduce the Co2 emmission into the air. Not to choose between hydrogen or electricity as a fuel for a car. An electric car today thus outputs the least amont of Co2 in the air and thats the reason why we all should opt for an electric car rather than a hydrogen powered car.
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Old 5th January 2020, 21:15   #8
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Default Re: Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

Got this analysis on WhatsApp
Attached Files
File Type: pdf EV the Chinese Trap.pdf (35.1 KB, 484 views)
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Old 6th January 2020, 00:30   #9
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Default Re: Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonelyPlanet View Post
Got this analysis on WhatsApp
The same PDF, in a picture.. The argument may not be entirely accurate, but it does raise some valid, logical points.

Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars-screenshot_20200106002457.png

Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars-screenshot_20200106002524.png

Cheers !
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Old 6th January 2020, 03:05   #10
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Default Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

Whereas the number of hydrogen fueled cars are still very low, the number of hydrogen busses is at least encouraging. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of them Operating in Europe alone. And more are being introduced in some innovative ways. E.g. this one here in France

http://www.rfi.fr/en/science-technol...on-strikes-pen
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Old 6th January 2020, 05:22   #11
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Default Re: Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

New Zealand will be starting trial runs of HFC buses by the third quarter this year. The company responsible for this is home grown Global Bus Ventures or GBV.

https://www.globalbusventures.co.nz/

As for which technology to take today, that is obviously electric and there are some options for car buyers. Off course, one that is at an accessible price, with range to go is still some way off. A Nissan Leaf with a 75% battery capacity has started to surface in the used car market for $9000 NZD. As a city run about, this works out cheaper than any fossil fuel powered car. Rapid chargers are coming up at quite a few places too.

I am not sure what Toyota's intention is with the new Mirai. They got a HFC vehicle out before a BEV. Should have been the other way round. The developed world is surely backing HFC, though this technology is kinda like looking at what BEV was a decade ago. The latter is now considered a proven way forward with a lot of vehicle manufacturers adopting them. I do not understand why Japanese manufacturers are slow on the up take of all electric vehicles.
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Old 6th January 2020, 11:39   #12
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Default Re: Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonelyPlanet View Post
Got this analysis on WhatsApp
Yes, sure, let's go ahead and make some numbers without any citation or proof. for all we know, this might be coming from the fossil industry itself.

all ICE vehicles have only 2k maintenance cost and they don't need any part replacements after 7 years

Quote:
air pollution can be countered with trees
yes, we see so many trees being planted for every car being bought. and I forgot oil spills have never damaged the environment in their history.

the rest of the points, less said the better.
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Old 6th January 2020, 11:48   #13
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Default Re: Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

They say that China has monopoly on lithium but I'm not sure how true that is. If you check out this link on statista, it shows Chile, Australia and Argentina holding significantly more reserves than China. I even remember this article about India signing a deal with Bolivia and Australia for access to their reserves, but weirdly the former does not show up in the statista report despite an estimated 9 million tons of Lithium so could be wrong.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ves-worldwide/
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Old 6th January 2020, 14:52   #14
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Default Re: Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthVeda View Post
Yes, sure, let's go ahead and make some numbers without any citation or proof. for all we know, this might be coming from the fossil industry itself.

all ICE vehicles have only 2k maintenance cost and they don't need any part replacements after 7 years
True! The math is definitely a little hazy. Oil change in itself costs more, plus brakes, clutch, battery in itself could be a lot more. 15 mileage in most vehicles is possible, but a lot of suvs give more in the range of 10kmpl.

One war or a slight hiccup is enough to get the prices going up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikhilthegunner View Post
They say that China has monopoly on lithium but I'm not sure how true that is. If you check out this link on statista, it shows Chile, Australia and Argentina holding significantly more reserves than China. I even remember this article about India signing a deal with Bolivia and Australia for access to their reserves, but weirdly the former does not show up in the statista report despite an estimated 9 million tons of Lithium so could be wrong.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ves-worldwide/
Think they mean the owners of the mine are chinese, as the majority investments in the belt road initiative is the govt and also the majority infra in south america and african continent is funded by the chinese.

Personally i think the electric cars are a temporary solution to the mobility problem, with newer technology which could come down the way.

Lastly i doubt we will see robotaxis in the next two years, without a driver.

Maddy
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Old 6th January 2020, 15:54   #15
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Default Re: Electric Cars vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars

ICE vehicles service cost is very low in that PDF, A 4 liter can of oil costs about 2k to 3k, oil filter, air filter, fuel filter, various belts, spark plug, 12v battery, clutch etc will cost a lot more.

In electric you have the drive train oil which is also there for ICE, closed loop coolant for inverter/motor and battery. Brakes last longer due to Regen braking.

Batteries don't die after 8 years, they still have about 60 to 70% battery capacity. Commercial vehicles in china like buses use, Lifepo4 which has a much higher battery life 2 to 3x more compared to NMC, NCA chemistries.

Then there is the LTO chemistry which has a life exceeding 50000 cycles and still have 80% capacity left. This chemistry is not suitable for cars because it has less energy density and will need lots of volume for battery but this is not the case with commercial vehicles like a multi axle bus/truck, ships etc.

Whats more LTO battery can rapidly charged to 80% in 1 min and its the safest version of lithium battery out there. No fires, explosion, thermal runaway etc even if the cell is punctured or crushed. Its already in production for several years now.

But it costs 2x to 4x more then today's lithium Ion batteries.

https://www.scib.jp/en/product/cell.htm

As far as china monopoly. USA isn't sitting idle, Coups or overthrowing governments takes place in countries which have some kind of energy reserves, past ones for Oil are Iraq, Syria, Venezuela,(Iran future?) and now for lithium first one is Bolivia.

https://www.euronews.com/2019/11/21/...o-with-lithium
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