Analysis Of Advantages And Disadvantages of Battery-Electric And Fuel-Cell Vehicles

2 years ago by Mark Kane 85

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Toyota Mirai

Toyota Mirai

Green Car Congress recently released highlights of a report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) that compares all-electric cars (BEV) with hydrogen fuel cell cars (FCV).

Electric cars have an edge over FCVs because they entered the market earlier and there are more and more models available on the market, that are sold in volume. Home charging infrastructure is already there and mostly requires only the install of an EVSE, while the public infrastructure also is growing. BEVs will be soon reinforced by new longer-range models (200 miles), and the public fast charging power is to increase to 150 kW in the coming years.

On the other hand, we see only a few FCVs available in tiny numbers in only some countries, sold or leased by only some dealers. Refueling infrastructure is not ready, and because you can’t refuel at home, there is not much benefit from the longer range…currently. Moreover, FCVs are expensive – comparable to long-range BEVs – Tesla Model S.

FCVs can drive further than the average affordable BEV (but not much further than a high-end BEV) and refuel quickly in minutes, but we are skeptical about FCVs because of the cost of cars, cost of hydrogen stations and cost of hydrogen.

There are serious doubts about any environment benefits of FCVs compared to BEVs.

Here is a summary of some aspects – striking is that the effective cost per mile of FCV is nearly on par with ICE:

Comparison of ICE, BEV and FCV (Source: Schoettle and Sivak. via Green Car Congress)

Comparison of ICE, BEV and FCV (Source: Schoettle and Sivak. via Green Car Congress)

Source: Green Car Congress

Tags:

85 responses to "Analysis Of Advantages And Disadvantages of Battery-Electric And Fuel-Cell Vehicles"

  1. John says:

    The way I look at this chart…
    As soon as EV’s pick up a little more range, and there are more mechanics for them, they’ll be effectively even with ICE vehicles, only less than half the cost per mile.

    This is good news.

    1. BraveLilToaster says:

      +1

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      “As soon as EV’s pick up…”. Sure, but you don’t know when it will happen and current state of battery technology still leaves them niche vehicles. They will expand the niche with 200 mile cars, but it will still be a niche of expensive limited use cars for few enthusiasts. They obviously are winning over fuel cell cars in this niche, congratulations to fanboys if it is their goal.

      Can battery cars replace all remaining 99% gas cars and trucks on the road? Not very likely it will happen in the next 10 years, battery technology is getting cheaper but physical properties are not improving as fast as price. While fuel cell stack is drop-in replacement for gas engine, even if infrastructure is in its infancy right now.

      1. jerryd says:

        Sorry zzzzzzzzzzz but EV’s kick H2FC butt in every way.
        And already beat gas cars in their class on price.
        H2 costs $14/gal/kg that can’t be reduced much and FCV cost $200k unsubsidized which also can’t be reduced much.
        You statement about batteries also isn’t true.
        They are fine now though like everything can be better, cheaper and they will with another 300-500% increase possible.
        H2FC in cars is a badly losing tech with it’s only so called advantage, range not even true as few H2 stations that won’t be built and who can afford to travel on $14/gal/kg fuel?

      2. sault says:

        No way is a fuel cell stack a “drop in replacement” for an ICE. The FC needs an entirely new fuel tank design and high=pressure piping, all of which also need to withstand hydrogen embrittlement for the life of the vehicle. And the FC system DOES NOT replace the gas engine. It merely replaces the gas TANK since you still need an electric motor to provide power to the wheels in an FCV.

  2. SparkEV says:

    Summary is nice except for BEV having “full tank” in the morning, negating the need to drive to fuel station. That makes “time to refuel” to be 10 seconds in most cases. In case of FCEV, you can’t even use “gas cans” like ICE.

    I anticipate this to be another interesting thread with lots of amusing comments. 😉

  3. Murrysville EV says:

    Terrible resale value is a distinct disadvantage of EVs.

    1. Rebel44 says:

      Not for well made EVs – like Tesla Model S.

      Quick drop of resale value is partially due to how quickly EVs are developing (more range, lower price etc.) and you also have effect of tax credits.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Even consumer reports reluctantly admitted that the “S” was ‘not recommended’ due to high breakdowns.

        As a former Tesla owner, I went through all this and makes me very reluctant to go through all this again.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          For a (former?) Tesla Roadster owner, Bill, you’re awfully negative.

          Consumer Reports never characterized the maintenance issues as “breakdowns”; that’s your exaggeration. If you really were a Tesla car owner, Bill, you should be well aware that most fixes performed by Tesla Service Centers are preventative, rather than being a result of a customer complaint.

          You’re also ignoring the fact that CR reports that Tesla car owners have the highest customer satisfaction rating of any car maker, period.

          All in all, it seems CR giving the Tesla Model S a “not recommended” rating means far less than it appears.

          1. ffbj says:

            Bad experiences with the Roadster has soured, the already taciturn, a lot more against Tesla. He sold his Roadster some time ago.

          2. Bill Howland says:

            I’m a hell of lot more positive than you’d ever be. How many electric cars have you gambled your money with? Uh? Zero…

            If the big experts want to help the EV Revolution, they can start by picking up a used EV. Used Imiev’s are currently very cheap.

            There is almost no reason why people here shouldn’t have purchased at least one used inexpensive EV. This goes doubly for self-appointed big experts.

            1. pat b says:

              Yeah, I bought a used 2011 Volt last year.
              Nicest car i’ve ever owned.

              Bought it for $15K and now you can get them for 11K.
              However, in another two years, the depreciation curve will catch up.

              I’m looking to sell in 2 years and buy a used 17 volt.

              i do recommend that people look hard at a used Leaf or a used Spark. real deals

          3. Bill Howland says:

            I’ve showed a video of my garage with my 2 ev’s at the time. At the time it was one of only 2 Teslas in Western NY and the other one was a red one. You think I borrowed the car, painted it, did the video, and then repainted it red?

            1. Mister G says:

              I hear you Bill, ev advocates need to put their money where their mouth is and buy or lease an EV today, not next year today..if we want better EVs in the future we need to increase demand for today’s EVs.

              1. Bill Howland says:

                Haha, well, editorially my post was cleaned up a bit. Pushy’s post was total BS – beyond stupidity – him claiming that I’m lieing all this time about never owning a Tesla, especially when one other poster here, BRIAN, has driven it a few times.

                Note to editor : although personal, I didn’t cuss, and with this dude at times you have to use a sledge hammer to get the point across.

                I guess my red line is a bit further down the sand than yours. But, its your party.

                1. Jay Cole says:

                  Hey Bill, it is nothing personal, just certain words/phrases trip the “look at me for moderation” system. It is just easier to eliminate a word/phrase (while not affecting the content), over pulling down the whole and then leaving a note (as we always do) about why it was/what happened, etc.

                  1. Phr3d says:

                    Humbly offer (no doubt I’ll wish I had just Shut My Mouth again, tomorrow) that if you post the cost for the ignore button and ask for donations to help defray, you will be utterly Amazed at the response – this from rosie-tints, if that matters.
                    There comes a point where a reader says, “if only…”
                    my Benjamin is always offered to open the bidding..
                    If a poster is near universally ignored, the large point will be made in spades, Without the remainder of readership scroll, scroll, scrolling…
                    a thumbs-up (at the same time) would be So welcome..

                    enuf, STFU Phr3d

    2. SparkEV says:

      Leaf loses about 40% post subsidy. SparkEV loses 6% in one year, many advertised for higher than new price. Compared to many gas cars, that’s pretty dang good. My “study” on this is called “SparkEV pricing and depreciation” in my blog.

      1. SparkEV says:

        Oops. 40% in 3 years for Leaf, not 1 year. 1 year is about 25%

        1. Bob says:

          Spark EV is a compliance car… you cannot compare.
          LEAF is a mass produced EV with more than 250k units in operations…
          Despite the same looks it it has been refined over three generations.. and can quick charge faster than any EV on the road today.

          Bob

          1. GSP says:

            So, the Leaf, with 50 kW fast charge, can charge faster than any EV on the road today. Interesting.

            Better not let anyone know about Tesla’s 120-135 kW Superchargers.

            GSP

          2. SparkEV says:

            When it comes to resale value, it doesn’t matter compliance car or not. However, I’d be curious how used SparkEV will be priced in Canada and Mexico (in couple of years), both countries sell cheaper than in US when new.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              SparkEV

              “When it comes to resale value, it doesn’t matter compliance car or not.”

              It’s odd that you’d assert that, since your own figures show that the Spark EV has an uncharacteristically small drop in resale value. Clearly the depreciation would be far higher if it was available in larger numbers. Keeping supply significantly below demand has a great deal to do with why used Teslas have such a high resale value, too.

              Take your blinders off, SparkEV. The Spark EV is a compliance car; therefore it’s not a good example of anything to do with pricing, either new or used.

          3. SparkEV says:

            Oh, and about Leaf “quick charge”, I rag on Leaf “slow charge” often in my blog, mainly out of frustration of waiting for Leaf “quick charging” at 2 kW using 50 kW charger. Search for “sparkev-is-quickest-charging-ev-in-world” and “vs Nissan Leaf quick charge” for dose of Leaf reality.

        2. Rick Danger says:

          “40% in 3 years for Leaf, not 1 year.”

          LOL, are you talking about resale value or battery range drop?

    3. ffbj says:

      Compared to the resale value of an FCV? I suppose you are correct, at least in the sense that for something to have a resale value, you have to at least sell them to begin with before they can even be resold.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Indeed.

        The resale value of a “fool cell” car will be very little if any above the scrap value.

        1. Isn’t a car that is strictly leased, but not sold, and that must be returned at the end of the lease – by definition – not having any ‘Resale Value?’

          Also – the Chart should list the Refueling time for EV’s in three Circumstances – Actual Time to make connection and disconnection, Interval between, and charging equipment rate (IE: Level 1 @ 110 Volts, 20 seconds to connect, 10 seconds to disconnect, time in between (Sleeping); Level 2 @ 240V, 20 Seconds to Connect, 10 Seconds to Disconnect, 3-5 hours in between; Level 3 Charging – time to connect = 2 minutes, time to disconnect = 1 minute, time on interval = 10 – 30 minutes!) Or some equivalent of these facts!!

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Robert Weekley said:

            “Also – the Chart should list the Refueling time for EV’s in three Circumstances – Actual Time to make connection and disconnection, Interval between, and charging equipment rate…”

            Not that I disagree, but I think what this really shows is that you can’t adequately sum up nuanced differences with a chart. The differences between plug-in EVs and gasmobiles are more of a gestalt (the whole picture) than an item-by-item contrast. There’s no way you can show, with a chart, how much more pleasant it is to drive a car which doesn’t rumble and vibrate when it runs, and doesn’t have that faint constant stink of gasoline/diesel exhaust, or how much better it is to have the feedback of instant response when you press the accelerator, as in an EV, vs. having the car hesitate before surging forward, as with a gasmobile.

            To really understand the differences, you need to test drive an EV. A chart does not, and cannot, convey the visceral feeling — the joy and pleasure — of driving an EV.

        2. Crispybernt says:

          I can’t wait. Just need to build fool cell shaped battery packs.

    4. HVACman says:

      What do you think the resale value will be for the typical FCV?

    5. Kevin Z says:

      Great news if you’re buying used.

  4. That study is flawed. They use an artificially low price for hydrogen. At the true cost of hydrogen in California, $13.50-$16.50, the cost per mile for Mirai using H2 fuel is $0.225 per mile (fuel cost only).

    FCV is actually 2.25x as expensive as an ICE, and 5.635x as expensive as a BEV.

    If you buy rooftop solar, your cost for fuel for that BEV could be as low as $8,000 for 30 years.

    That’s $22.22 per month if you self finance, and about $28 per month if you use bank financing.

    If you are offsetting a $200 per month gasoline bill, you save about $60,000. Put that monthly savings in an investment account with a 7% return and it will be a staggering $200,000 in 30 years (life of the system, after a 3 year solar payoff period prior to beginning savings).

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      electric-car-insider.com said:

      “That study is flawed.”

      I’d state that more strongly. I’d say it’s so fundamentally flawed as to be useless. At best it’s highly misleading.

    2. Nix says:

      Solar also completely transforms the “Well to Wheels” numbers, obliterating anything else.

    3. Mr. M says:

      Please let me know where i can get a 7% interesst rate.

      7% ludicrous!

      1. Aaron says:

        Research annuities.

      2. I said investment account, not savings account. Read Warren Buffett’s books. He makes the case that any value investoror should be able to ewrn 6-7%. Look at index funds over the past decade.

        1. ffbj says:

          It all depends in the amount of risk you want to take to get that 7%. These days in a deflationary, low growth, environment, expectations of future returns is around 3-4%.

          1. sault says:

            That means it’s a good time to buy and lagging returns now will be compensated for by cheaper share prices being bought now. Over 30 years, the benefits accrue and even out the returns.

            1. +1, exactly. I should have added that Buffett specifies >10 year investing windows.

              Take a good look at a very long term index chart sometime. 20-30-40 years.

              Start early. Contribute monthly. Use a tax deferred account.

              I’m not giving investment advise. I’m advising to read and listen to Buffett and other sages.

              Investment, not day trading.

  5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    I dunno what sources were used to create that chart, but some of the data there is sheer nonsense. They’re claiming that it’s actually cheaper per mile to fuel a “fool cell” car than a gasmobile? WTF?

    I see no reason to waste time examining a chart containing such obvious misinformation.

  6. Someone out there says:

    Decent chart but the different properties of the cars makes it a little too simplistic.

    For example, it sounds bad that it takes 30 minutes to 12 hours to “refuel” the car. However, that doesn’t take into account the different refueling pattern of a BEV where you don’t go to a refueling station at regular intervals but instead essentially refuel it constantly when you’re not using it, which is most of the time. So in most cases the refueling time are negligible in a BEV.

    A similar case can be made for “limited availability of qualified mechanics”. That may very well be true but the very simple mechanics of a BEV means you don’t really need that many mechanics in the first place. There isn’t much to fix on a BEV (unless you drive a Tesla LOL!) and when you do you just remove the whole assembly and put in a new one. There is no critical timings to adjust, no hoses to attach, no pressurized lines, just plug in a couple of cables and you’re good to go.

    1. Brandon says:

      A+. Great reality check on actual total time spent fueling (or charging) a BEV. Total time is less then ICE or Hydrogen fueling times because only a small percentage of time is spent fast charging an EV typicaly.

      1. Brandon says:

        Maybe I should say a bit more what I mean. Some rough calculations of mine are as follows:
        With ICE, fueling time of about 15 minutes per month, 180 minutes per year. (3 hours)
        With BEV, figuring a typical EV usage of fast charging of let’s say 4 times per year at 25 minutes per fast charge, 100 minutes (1 hour 40 minutes).

        This comes out to about half the time spent waiting while fueling an electric car compared to a regular gas car.

        1. SparkEV says:

          We should assume same miles for gas car and EV. Assume 50 miles daily + additional 100 miles a week (one weekend day) for 450 miles a week.

          Gas car would need 5 min to fuel, 5 min off path to drive there + some waiting. They’d need once a week. 10 * 52 = 520 min (8.7 hours)

          80 miles range EV would need 0.25 minutes a day, DCFC per weekend for 20 min each (assume you must wait) = 0.25*365 + 20*52=1131 min (18.9 hours)

          With 200 miles range EV (only need 160 miles), there’d be no need for DCFC, which result in 0.25*365=91.25 (1.5 hours)

  7. Mxs says:

    Upstart costs are certainly not a small negative for BEV’s, especially when one considered what can be bought for 30k in ICE …. Not everyone wants to drive LEAF and pay Ford Focus ICE loaded price, not including EVSE + Install costs on top of that.

    Why not to be rather a bit more objective?

    Also the myth that somehow BEV’s will have less mechanical issues …. They might not need a clutch replaced or tranny tweaked, but they will need maintenance and at times a geek or two to fix electrical glitches.

    1. Djoni says:

      Could be, but what are they?
      100 000 kilometers in my Leaf and I had a brake check and lubricate and tire change.
      Power window switch replace and hatch strut on guarantee.
      None of those happen to be exclusive to BEV.
      I would call that pretty close to no maintenance as it could be.

      1. ffbj says:

        Truly. It is one of the big selling points of evs.

      2. Mxs says:

        Mechanical issues are easily fixed, because things vibrate, leak etc. But electric car full of circuit boards and batteries …. Yeah what could go wrong. Ask car shops what kind of repair is the worse to diagnose …. Electrical glitches come at a the top. Somehow you think BEV’s will be an exception?

        Most BEV are driven by people who really don’t step on the throttle, they are in it for range and cost, so the exactly don’t stress test the cars over long period of time. Exception being Tesla, but they also have seen some scary repair bills …. Sure sample is small, being they sold just a few. We will see when 3 comes out.

        I truly hope they turn out to be less expensive to run, but across the board, not just mildly driven Leaf in warm southern US climate weather ….

    2. SparkEV says:

      Some EV cost less than equivalent gas cars when subsidy is factored in. For example, SparkEV often cost less than equivalent SparkGas, certainly less than other gas cars of comparable performance.

  8. Michael says:

    Next to “High Voltage” and “High Pressure”, they should add “Tends to Explode” for Gasoline and Hydrogen.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      No, they should not. Despite the rather unrealistic claims of some well-meaning but not well informed EV advocates, you’re far safer inside a burning hydrogen powered car than inside a burning gasmobile.

      There are a great many well understood, real-world reasons why hydrogen fueled cars will never, ever be practical. But the supposed danger of exploding hydrogen tanks isn’t one of them.

      Quoting from an article at Edmunds.com:

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      In 2001, researchers at the University Of Miami’s College of Engineering set fire to the hydrogen in a tank mounted in an SUV and later punctured the fuel line on a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle and set the leaking gas on fire. The burning hydrogen versus gasoline test showed that flames caused “severe” damage to the gasoline vehicle, whereas the hydrogen vehicle was undamaged because the burning hydrogen gas vented up and away from the vehicle.

      Full article: “8 Things You Need To Know About Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Cars”

      http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/8-things-you-need-to-know-about-hydrogen-fuel-cell-cars.html

      1. SparkEV says:

        When you charge a lead acid battery, they advise you to do so in well ventilated areas to avoid “explosion” or fire. Fire or explosion danger occurs when FCEV is parked in garage and “pool” and there’s Spark (not EV). There are many sources of spark, from water heater to garage door opener which is typically high where H accumulate.

        The study you mention does not address this issue.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          It happened to my uncle once. He was carrying a car starter battery using some metal tongs, and he accidentally touched them together. BOOM! and he was showered with battery acid. He had to take a shower and wash his clothes immediately, but that’s it.

          Some ill-informed EV proponents write rather hysterically about the 10,000 PSI of a FCEV’s fuel tank at full pressure, as if the car would go up like a blockbuster bomb if the tank was breached. What they are completely ignoring is that when considering the danger — or lack of danger — of an exploding (i.e., breached but not burning) tank full of pressurized gas, volume is every bit as important as pressure. If it was just a thimbleful of gas at 10,000 PSI, would the car’s occupants be in any danger if the tank let go all at once? Perhaps with such a tiny volume, even the average person would realize how ridiculous it is to think there would be any real danger of injury. Just as with what happened to my uncle: Yes, there was a buildup of hydrogen gas at the top of that car battery; but the volume of gas wasn’t enough to do anything more than spray some battery acid around when it exploded.

          All too many posts to InsideEVs hysterically talk about the FCEV’s fuel tank as if it contains as much volume as a tanker truck full of H2, or even as much as the Hindenburg! In reality, the FCEV’s tanks are so small that, even when full, they contain far less chemical energy than a gasmobile’s tank when full.

          Small tank equals small danger of explosion, period.

          Again: I’m not in any way advocating for “fool cell” cars. H2 is just about the worst possible choice for a fuel for a typical car; very nearly any other possible fuel would be better, and several are far better. But there’s no need to resort to hysterical misinformation about the imagined dangers of exploding FCEV fuel tanks.

          There is very nearly no market at all for “fool cell” cars. Despite political pressure from the Big Oil lobby, and the governments of Japan and California, the insane and wasteful pursuit of this wholly impractical technology can’t last long. Eventually, even the most ardent “fool cell” advocate will have to admit almost nobody wants to buy them.

          1. Nix says:

            Hydrogen fuel vehicles have many distinctly different failure modes, and that test only tested one failure mode (which they state right from the beginning in their paper):

            “Produce a 3.5 minute video comparing the severity of ignition of single failure mode fuel leaks from a hydrogen or gasoline fueled vehicle.”

            http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/pdfs/30535be.pdf

            The failure mode that was tested was a fully contained tank, with a leak that was flared off directionally away from anything else that was flammable, and the leak was artificially limited to 3.4 pounds of hydrogen.

            They did not test a tank rupture.
            They did not test a slow leak in a contained area (garage) that later ignited (water heater or furnace ignites hydrogen).
            They did not test a flare in a contained area (garage).
            They did not test a leak in a collision, where it might flare into a compromised passenger compartment.

            Etc.

            You are pretending like this was an all-inclusive test of every possible failure mode. It is not. It is one possible failure mode specifically designed as a best case for hydrogen.

            It would be a mistake to make a blanket statement about the safety of hydrogen based upon this one engineered failure.

  9. Two notes not included in study and summary data above:

    1. Since 2012 refineries have been processing cheaper and more dirtier oil. eg: less sweet crude procesee as well as more tar-sands sourced crises. alhttp://www.ucsusa.org/news/press-release/fueling-clean-transportation-future

    2. the electric grid has been getting cleaner since 2011. Energy produced from natural gas exceeded that from coal in every month of 2015. (setting a new record as the abundance of NG reaches a new high)
    Of note in 2015 … total U.S. electric power usage dropped for first time in many years do to more efficient appliances and equipment being used. (eg: LED lighting, LCD computer screens, TV monitors, more use of heat pumps)

    *d
    Data EPA sources has tended to rely on 2009 and 2012 references. We should see an update later this year with 2015 energy references to better reflect current usage.

  10. Bloggin says:

    Charge time for EVs becomes a net zero when it’s charged each night at home while sleeping, and waking to a full ‘tank’ each day. Unlike an ICE or Fuel Cell that has to locate and drive to a fueling station on a regular basis.

    Then there is ‘availability of fueling stations’. For the EV it’s in the garage, or wherever there is an electrical outlet. For the ICE vehicle, there are gas stations most everywhere. For fuel cell, they are extremely limited, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

    And how did they get the cost of hydrogen down to just about the same as gasoline? Since current ‘leases’ have a ‘free fueling’ plan tied to them, and there is no fuel cell vehicle available for purchase. Is there?

  11. Get Real says:

    Fact of the matter is that BEVs right now exceed the desirable aspects of Fool-Cell vehicles in every category but average range and that gap will close up relatively quickly in the next few years. As mentioned above, ease of refueling is actually a big advantage of BEVs overall and on straight costs BEVS just kill Fool-Cells.

    Big Oil/Coyota’s dream of pushing Hydrogen is DOA for all practical purposes.

  12. Cam says:

    This article makes me cringe a little. I did get a good laugh about the blank box for maintenance issues on the ICE side… you need a larger box. Not saying EVs are perfect. They’re prone to failure as well with many different components working different jobs.

  13. Nix says:

    Blatantly missing any mention of PHEV’s.

    Driving range and refill rate all the sudden are no longer a disadvantage. And with sufficient electric range, the rest of the numbers still stay nearly as low as the EV.

  14. DonC says:

    Biggest negative for me, assuming hydrogen was available, would be you still have to go to a fueling station. I’d much rather just plug in at home. Fueling stations are the worst consumer experience in the US.

  15. vdiv says:

    No high voltage in a gasoline ICE? Spark plugs operate at some 30kV. Rather shocking 😉

    No high pressure either? Peak cylinder pressure can exceed 1,000 psi. Though not as high as the max 10,000 psi storage pressure for the onboard hydrogen tanks on a fuel cell vehicle, it gets rather hot in that ICE when those spark plugs fire, only about 700+ degrees Celsius. Just don’t drip any engine oil on it or the whole car will quite quickly turn extra crispy 😉

    1. Seth says:

      Diesel injectors are generally in the 1000+ bar range, some even go to 2000 bar to forcefully inject into the cylinder.

      1. vdiv says:

        Right! And the resulting high temperature causes the normally stable diatomic nitrogen molecule to break down and oxidize.

        But we really don’t need to talk about this when comparing fossil burning ICE cars to electric, not very convenient. Let’s just sweep it under the rug and hope that no one notices 😉

    2. SparkEV says:

      Drip oil in Kentucky, and it’s Kentucky Fried ICE. Groan all you want!

  16. Paul says:

    What is forgotten in the story is physics. This is not only about price, time of refueling, etc.

    In the worst case you make hydrogen from hydrocarbons, which is the way it is mostly done, and obviously not the way to do it. The whole idea of clean cars is to get away from hydrocarbons.

    The best case scenario is using electricity to split water. Clean electricity, of course. But if you already have electricity, you could as well put it directly in a battery and drive. Using it to split water, with losses, stock the energy in the hydrogen tanks and then use a fuel cell to reconvert it to electricity to be able to drive is obviously less effective. It’s non-sense.

    And apart from that nonsense the whole refueling infrastructure still has to be built, at 1M a piece, while everyone has a socket in his garage or garden and more and more city dwellers have a charger in the street or at work.

    1. GSP says:

      So true.

      Also, don’t forget the electricity required to compress the hydrogen to 10,000 psi. And, the expensive compressor required.

      Or, even more electricity to also cool and liquefy the hydrogen, as needed for some vehicles like the BMW 7-Series hydrogen fueled ICE.

      GSP

    2. Brandon says:

      Well said!!

    3. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      I understand that Musk claims this “can put solar directly into the car” nonsense because it does it for cash, it is his job to generate hype and sell shares. But you need to be an idiot to actually take such lies for real. Solar or wind are intermittent sources of electricity and most people can’t use it directly without fossil fuel backup, at least in winter. Lithium batteries will help with daily fluctuations when (WHEN) they will get cheap enough to compete at wholesale level, not subsidized net-metering rate, and that is all they can do. For most practical purposes, you just burn fossil fuel in 30-40% efficient power plants and use not very efficient electric grid to connect to that fossil fuel power plant. You don’t have a way to store wind or solar until winter, other than hydrogen from electrolysis.

      1. Grady says:

        Apparently zzzzzz was asleep while experts were showing wind and solar can gain high penetration in a national grid with very little storage needed:
        http://cleantechnica.com/2015/12/11/grid-operator-70-solar-wind-on-german-grid-before-store-needed/

        1. vdiv says:

          Hydro and tidal too, where available.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        ” Put solsr directly into the car”. Not trying to make a brief for Musk here, but I and others do exactly this.

        And for people parking under solar canopies in the more southerly regions of the US, they are charging from sunshine while at work. You might say a solar panel isn’t big enough to charge a car.. Right, but if you have 8 solar panels that is plenty to charge a Volt at 900 watts (standard setting). At the drive electric yearly showcases in Rochester, NY there is always a VOLT charging at 8 amps (the GM Standard Charge Rate) with the car charging on a battery backed up solar panel. The additional battery is necessary due to our crappy solar location (would not necessarily apply to the southern US where they get double the sun), and to keep the thing charging when ‘clouds’ go by. The auxilary battery charges fully when the volt drives off, and/or is fully charged itself.

  17. John says:

    I think there should be a few more criteria added.

    “Ability to refuel at home”
    “Ability to power a home during a blackout”
    “Ability to stabilize and load level the national grid”

    EV’s would get check marks in all of these categories. FCEV’s would get a few.

    ICE would get none.

    1. Mxs says:

      How about ability NOT to power at home????? That has alway been on mind when I hear power outage. Unlikely, but I guess would have to work from home or something.

  18. mustang_sallad says:

    Doesn’t capture convenience of charging at home.

    Also, leaves out PHEVs, they would basically be green everywhere.

  19. HVACman says:

    Not to pile on, but setting aside the chart and the physics, compare the technological complexities of each and the impact of those complexities on the vehicle design. Then decide which you would prefer to own and service. Two illustrations clarify things:

    First, look at the stripped-down Mirai in the article.

    Compare with the the stripped down 200-mile EV Chevy Bolt illustration available at the gm website (or the Tesla Model S).

    I rest my case.

  20. Jonathan B says:

    How can they state a 250mi range for Hydrogen Fuel Cells when most dealers can’t even add enough pressure to get past 150mi?

  21. Robertvg says:

    EV utilize an already available and expanding infrastructure. With PHEV’s you have the same old chicken-an-egg problem that keeps it from getting a start.
    Hasn’t Toyota’s NA CEO asked his dealers to stop selling the Mirai?

  22. Some may say that H2 (Hydrogen Gas), created by Electrolysis is the only way to ‘Store’ Solar PV energy captured in Summer until used in Winter, other ways onclude pumping water up hill to large tanks or man made lakes, and use it later to power hydro electric production. Not all that efficient, either!

    Bears got it right, just hibernate in winter! (Sorry boss, I am going on a 5 month hibernation break. See you in April!)

    Since those two ideas might not work out so well, I suggest just using fossil fuels fo electricity when ambient temps are at or below freezing! That way, fossil fuels are not used on most areas for 40% to 60% of the year, with Solar, Wind, Hydro, and Nuclear for the rest, until we no longer need fossil fuel powered Electric Power.

    For Heat and Hot Water, Solar Thermal is between 3X to 6X as efficient as Solar PV anyway, and should be the principle first uses of solar power, followed later by Solar Electric for homes, businesses, and even factories.

    1. Phr3d says:

      fwiw, Wind is the H2 solution – jus’ sayin’..

      (i.e., put up a turbine and Electrolysis any power you are unable to Sell Directly to the electric company. Green light on your customer’s in-car display says your site has a Full tank (preferably More) of hydrogen for sale, else you are filling for the next one. Figure life-of-turbine-plus-maintenance to determine what you charge for the hydrogen and ‘sold’ electricity is pure profit, spread to EOL to brutally compete with competitors, or simple split. Add it to your gag-n-puke off of I-80 and it’s a simple loan, once there are enough FCEVs to justify the expense.. oh, wait.. no one’s buying FCEVs cuz there’s no infrastructure..
      deja BEVu..

  23. Angelo says:

    A much better name for the hydrogen car would have been “The Toyota Hindenberg”. That says it all, don’t you think?

  24. Mark W Tebbutt says:

    The battery electric car is one of the key enablers of the low carbon transition away from fossil fuels. Economies of scale are driving down battery costs significantly. Battery prices are expected to drop a further 70% over the next 10 years.

    The drop in battery costs allow cheap grid / domestic storage for renewables such as Solar & Wind.

    An EV battery pack typically retains 70% of its original capacity at the end of its useful life as a traction battery. Thus the used batteries will have a second life as super cheap stationary grid / domestic storage before been finally recycled.

    It is the second life of used BEV traction batteries for cheap grid storage that provides a massive advantage over hydrogen EVs with their much smaller battery packs looking from a whole energy system / low carbon transition point of view.

    If every car (1bn) was replaced by an electric car with a 60 kWh pack, around 10 years later there would be 4200 GWh of very cheap storage.

    BEVs are also significantly cheaper to fuel / run than hydrogen / gas (Petrol) / diesel internal combustion engine especially in countries with realistically priced Gas / Diesel. https://youtu.be/6RhYY_4Wzls

    I have been driving a Leaf EV for almost 5 years in England and have saved £1000s in fuel costs over that time. I saved £2000 in 2014 alone driving 18300 miles for a cost of £316 in electricity.

    Once the real world 200 mile BEVs arrive on the market in 2 year time electric car sales in the UK / Europe will sky rocket due to the relatively high cost of fuel ($5.59 per US gallon even with today’s low oil prices) & extensive rapid charging network.

    I recently started a new IT contract with an 83 mile round trip commute. The energy cost per mile has dropped from an average of 1.9 pence a mile to under a penny a mile or 0.95 of a penny per mile to be precise!

    This is mainly due to the free 10 minute rapid top up charge (6-8 kWh) I stop for on my return trip from work to home.

    In the UK a bottom of range Nissan Leaf costs £21,490 vs an equivalent 5 door BlueMotion Golf at £22,090 which includes the £5000 point of sale government rebate. http://www.nissanretail.co.uk/new-nissan-cars/electric-vehicles/nissan-leaf/visia/none-flex/ v http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/new/golf-vii/configure/engine/1540/1541