Electric & Hydrogen Cars Race From London To Paris – Video

2 years ago by Mark Kane 40

Electric & Hydrogen Cars Race From London To Paris

Electric & Hydrogen Cars Race From London To Paris

Sky News recently conducted an experiment by launching an electric/hydrogen race from London to the UN climate change conference in Paris.

Two models were selected – Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell and the best selling all-electric model, the Nissan LEAF.

The 276-mile (444 km) route turns out to be within range of Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell (60 miles worth of hydrogen left), which needed just the initial fill up at Heathrow. Failing that, there was no second chance for Hyundai, as there are no other hydrogen stations along the way.

The Nissan LEAF, on the other hand, was scheduled to use CHAdeMO DC fast chargers several times for up to 30 minutes per stop. The great plan was then ruined by out of use DC chargers in northern France. The problem of not working CHAdeMOs was publicized long ago in these locationsand it seems this issue still hasn’t been sorted out.

Nissan LEAF was then eliminated by a lack of a reliable and widespread charging infrastructure.

There are however two insights as to why we shouldn’t draw far-reaching conclusions. The first is that a slightly longer route would make the ix35 Fuel Cell stranded as well, since the hydrogen infrastructure is clearly not ready.

The second insight is that the comparison is not correct because the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell is a few times more expensive than Nissan LEAF. At the same price (£67,985 / $102,000) we could select a long-range electric model like the Tesla Model S (not even considering plug-in hybrids, which can do long journeys without a charging infrastructure).

So, it seems electric was set up to fail in this unfair “race.”

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40 responses to "Electric & Hydrogen Cars Race From London To Paris – Video"

  1. kdawg says:

    “Eco Rally” (sponsored by Exxon & BP)

    1. Aaron says:

      A vehicle with over 300 miles of range versus a vehicle with 80 miles of range. Hmmm. I wonder who will win?

      Swap the LEAF with a Tesla 85kWh model and then it will be a race.

    2. Mike616 says:

      Sky News – “News” Sponsored & Funded by Corporate.

      1. jerryd says:

        Sponsored by Fox News/Murdock? you mean that owns the channel.
        It shows how biased they are picking a Leaf to make it fail when a cheaper than the FCV, a Model S, would have been a better match.
        Fair and balanced, Right!! ;^(

    3. Ted Wilson says:

      Well said kdag. Big Oil is trying all they can to show Electrics in bad light.

      Nissan has sold 200,000 Leafs, how many ix35 FCVs did Hyundai sell. I don’t think they even sold 1,000 units Worldwide in the last 18 months of its sale.

  2. Mike616 says:

    Where are all the Explosive Hydrogen stations? – ISIS

    1. sven says:

      It’s all in your mind FUDster.

      1. Anon says:

        What makes you think that anything (especially flammable / explosive refueling stations) is off limits to a terrorist organization?

        Are you implying Desh / ISIL’s profit from stolen / laundered oil, is why they won’t view any hydrogen (made from hydrocarbons from fossil fuels) station as a potential target?

        Interesting.

    2. Where are all the mobile 10,000psi / 700mb ready made bombs?

      Just a little C4 to breech that tank, and KABOOM!

      Love,

      ISIS mobile terrorist division, Syria

  3. Mister G says:

    Fool cell won nothing…hydrogen is 50% less efficient than BEV.

  4. Someone out there says:

    Yeah, this race was completely rigged. A comparatively priced Tesla would have done the trip just as well as the fuel cell vehicle, while causing less CO2 output.

  5. BraveLilToaster says:

    I propose a race between London and Rome instead. The Leaf will take a while to get there, but it will *actually make it*. Hydrogen filling stations are still about as rare as hen’s teeth, and there’s no backup at all, not even at painfully slow rates.

    Heck, the University of British Columbia Engineering team made it all the way across *Canada* in an EV before J1770 infrastructure was anywhere at all. They simply charged at RV campgrounds.

    1. sven says:

      Be careful what you ask for. Pretty soon there will be enough hydrogen stations to make a London to Rome road trip by HFCV possible. Also, you probably shouldn’t propose an Olso to Monte Carlo race, or a San Francisco to Los Angeles race either. Just sayin’. 😉

      http://www.wired.com/2012/05/hydrogen-powered-hyundai-crosses-europe-using-existing-fuel-stations/

      http://www.autoblog.com/2015/10/29/five-b-class-f-cells-go-from-sf-la-using-public-hydrogen-station/

        1. heisenberght says:

          Hahaha, the few of them which are not flagged as “planned” seem to be located VERY wisely 😉

          United Kingdom Scotland
          Stornoway, Isle of Lewis

          Great! Just great! Thanks for that laugh…

        2. heisenberght says:

          …but it’s great that this map also includes all of those “old project” flags. Makes me wonder how long the few green flags will be in operation…

        3. Thanks for that map. I’ve seen numerous press releases over the years about H2 stations in BC but had no idea how badly the concept had failed! Only one station in all of BC after our previous gov’t and their trumpeting of H2.

          Rather annoyingly, BC gov’t still insists on giving bigger subsidy to H2 as well (6k for FCEV vs 5k for BEV), though they are thankfully supporting EV technology now too.

        4. BraveLilToaster says:

          Nice. I see a bunch of demonstration projects, some stations for hydrogen buses (presumably they’re different from the ones that refuel cars), and a single H2 station in all of Paris, for use only with Hydrogen Taxis deployed exclusively for COP21.

          Oh, and there’s this one station in Milan ( http://www.netinform.net/H2/H2Stations/H2StationsDetail.aspx?ID=314 ) that apparently serves a 30/70% mix of Hydrogen and CNG. I don’t think you want to put *that* into your Hyundai.

          But mostly I see a lot of greenwashing. Nevermind the fact that H2 derived from NG might as well be burnt as CNG in a much cheaper ICE, at a far lower price by volume.

      1. Nick says:

        That reminds me of all the scripted cross usa trips in CNG powered vehicles back in the day.

        Most stations are special arrangements, plus some low pressure fills from normal commercial natural gas lines.

        EV is always easier since it’s everywhere.

      2. krona2k says:

        Care to define ‘pretty soon’?

        California hasn’t even managed to get their 20 public stations online byt the end of this year, ok they still have 2.5 weeks but it’s not going to happen.

      3. wraithnot says:

        “Also, you probably shouldn’t propose an Olso to Monte Carlo race, or a San Francisco to Los Angeles race either. Just sayin’. ?

        The hydrogen station between San Francisco and Los Angeles is at Harris Ranch- right next to the Tesla battery swap station. As long as the EV is a Tesla Model S with at least an 85 kWh battery, I’d put my money on the EV.

        1. sven says:

          BraveLilToaster proposed racing a LEAF, but the Tesla Model S is a much more worthy opponent. For the Model S to win, the race must be planned well in advance, since the Telsa driver must schedule an appointment in advance for a battery swap. Then the Telsa driver must convince the HFCV driver to start the race at a precise time so that Telsa driver could arrive at the Harris Ranch battery swapping station just in time for his battery swap appointment, which takes about 15-20 minutes IIRC.

          If the race speeds are limited to the speed limit (or speed limit plus 5 or 10 mph), the HFCV with its 5 minute refueling time should win hands down if it doesn’t run into any problems.

          If the race speeds are unlimited, then the Tesla Model S has a top speed of 130 mph, but I don’t know how long it can sustain that top speed before going into reduced-power mode. The Hyundai HFCV has a top speed of 94, while the Mirai has a top speed of 111 mph, but no info on how long it can maintain that top speed. Would the Model S be able to maintain a higher speed than a Mirai or a Hyundai to be able to make up for the 10 to 15 minutes it lost swapping out it’s battery? Maybe, maybe not.

          1. wraithnot says:

            Most users report the swaps taking 3-4 minutes. My first swap took a bit longer because I have an older Model S and they had to upgrade the hardware holding the battery to the car. It does require an appointment, but they give you a pretty wide window in which to show up. And I imagine they would squeeze you in on short notice if you explained that you are racing an FCEV 🙂

            1. sven says:

              Thanks for the info. Three to four minutes is indeed impressive!

              1. Wraithnot says:

                Here is the relevant thread: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/31947-Harris-Ranch-is-getting-first-battery-swap-station/page51

                It was 90 seconds in the original battery swap demo, but then Tesla had to add that pesky titanium battery shield after a couple of fires from running over road debris. Having to deal with the battery shield slowed things down a bit. And for us the second swap was actually too fast because we weren’t ready to go when the car was done. But we’re doing it again because a brand new battery has a bit more capacity and on a long road trip $40 X 2 is a good price to save 2,000 miles of wear and tear on the battery that came with the car.

          2. James says:

            Tesla MS can sit at 155mph indefinitely (till battery runs down), see youtube vids of ppl on autobanh.

      4. Paul says:

        And pretty soon there will be lots of long range EVs not requiring a fuel cell and therefore less expensive.

      5. Mike616 says:

        Soon…
        1.5 million a piece, they will never be soon.

        Secondly, only an idiot business would build hydrogen when it’s already obsolete. The Volt and the i3 range extender killed it.

      6. Djoni says:

        This compare to any idiot “race” concept just to be original.
        Why not doing it with filled grass wine on the roof of each car and see who cross the line with more wine left.
        The winner drink everything left.
        And then statute witch car use less wine!
        It would prove nothing practical exactly like this race or any other that aren’t a .000001% occurrence in any living day.
        I feel pretty stupid myself to comment such a thing.
        Slow day I guess.

  6. Alaa says:

    Typical of SkyNews!

  7. Joe says:

    Rigged and biased reporting. No surprise from Sky there. Pitching two cars of similar money against each other, would’ve meant a Tesla S rather than a Leaf.
    And the electric car was charged to start with, while the FCV had to refill to start with. Similarly weird and biased.
    The point remains: Why do even countries like France whose industry is pretty bullish on EVs (e.g. Renault-Nissan!) not have a matching infrastructure along major roads? I mean that ain’t rocket science anymore and really Tesla serves as a good example of how it works. No stopping between London and Paris either. Oh, and much quicker, not least because of the Eurotunnel…

    1. Rolf says:

      Because it is France – and not Netherlands, Norway, or Germany. If you have been there already, you may love their “savoir vivre”, but a big part of this mentality also means “I don’t care”.

  8. wraithnot says:

    Deploying reliable hydrogen fueling stations in the US is not going very well. Toyota is having to deploy portable hydrogen stations to dealers to make up for the lack of reliable public stations. These portable stations can only fill a Mirai about half full (150 miles of range) and the portable stations have to be trucked to another facility to be refilled once they are empty. The portable stations also have to be operated by dealership employees so presumably you are out of luck if you need a refuel when the dealership is closed.

    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1101338_portable-hydrogen-fuelers-go-to-six-toyota-mirai-dealers-as-stations-lag

  9. Phr3d says:

    kudos, Mark, for your restraint in writing this.
    This exercise (No One could call it a ‘race’ and keep a straight face) is so pitifully Bad on So many fronts, by So many metrics..

    Yep, I expect more of these ‘challenges’ in the near future. Perhaps both vehicles begin at an H2 refilling station, EMPTY, but the refueling station has No Electricity of any kind, so the Leaf owner must push his car to a charging point.. ready, set, GO.

  10. Ted Wilson says:

    A year ago, Car and Driver magazine did a race between Tesla Model-S and Ford Model-T (manufactured a century ago) between Detroit to New York.

    They claimed that Model-S finished just 1 hour ahead because it took some time to recharge. At that time there were not many superchargers.

    Like this many such attempts were made to indicate the lower range of EVs.

    But they are all improving every year. Soon we are going to have many EVs with 200 mile range.

  11. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    This kind of article is “red meat” for us EV enthusiasts, but to me it just shows the desperation of Big Oil in trying to promote the “hydrogen economy” and denigrate electric cars.

    The desperation just shows they know they’re doomed to obsolescence. And to that, a big “Hooray!”

  12. mr. M says:

    Cool idea. Sad that the EV lost because of broken charger, but it is good to show the public how important these charger are. Hopefully the pressure to repair these is now high and they get it running again!

    What else did we learn from the test? Cars that are 3 times as expensive as my car will beat me in a race. Nothing new 😉

  13. Nix says:

    Since it was apparently “widely known” that there are off-line chargers, I would bet that they went and found non-working chargers on purpose so they story-board the entire show ahead of time.

    It reminds me of any number of dumb Top Gear stunts. Like pushing a Roadster that actually still had plenty of battery power. Or intentionally running out of juice by a boat dock so they can run a long cord. Etc.

    Sadly, way too many people will fall for this BS. Like this small town in North Carolina that Fox news reports having issued a moratorium on solar panels because they were afraid they would cause cancer and would “suck up all the energy from the sun” and kill plants nearby….

    http://www.fox5dc.com/news/national/57463506-story

  14. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    And the winner is: Tesla.

  15. To InsideEVs staff …

    This event was demonstration was called an #EcoRally, NOT a “race” as the title (above) suggests. Please look up definitions of “rally” and “race” in the dictionary to better understand they are not synonyms. Also note the title that appears on the YouTibe video.

    Thanks.