Toyota Explores “Heavy-Duty” Truck Hydrogen Fuel Cell Applications

2 months ago by Mark Kane 68

Toyota Explores Heavy-Duty Hydrogen Fuel Cell Application

Toyota Explores Heavy-Duty Hydrogen Fuel Cell Application

Toyota has announced the study of the heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell applications.

Whether or not its FCV prototype semi-trailer truck will be ‘The Next Turning Point’ in Toyota’s commitment to a Hydrogen Society remains an open question.

Nikola One

Nikola One

The Japanese company will need to act quickly, as there are other players interested to show the first production-intent FCV trucks – such as Nikola Motors, which unveiled the Nikola One just last month, with an intention to bring to market in 3 years.

Could Toyota’s fuel cell truck also include a plug-in component/ability as the Nikola One does?  Only time will tell…Toyota says to stay tuned for more details.

“Toyota has long maintained that hydrogen fuel cell technology could be a zero emission solution across a broad spectrum of vehicle types. The scalability of this technology is enabling the automaker to explore a semi-trailer truck application for a California-based feasibility study.

The Toyota Mirai will continue to provide a zero emission driving solution for global customers; a heavy-duty truck sized fuel cell vehicle creates a potential zero-emission freight transportation solution for the future.

Additional details on the study, and the continued evolution of a hydrogen society, will be announced in the coming months.”

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68 responses to "Toyota Explores “Heavy-Duty” Truck Hydrogen Fuel Cell Applications"

  1. Daniel says:

    This is a much more sensible use for hydrogen fuel cell applications, reason being, “particularly for dedicated carriers” the distances and routes are known. Intra terminal Freight movement would be an ideal application because the fueling infrastructure can be fixed at the terminals where even on site production of hydrogen could be?? cost-effective.

    1. BenG says:

      Yep, it makes more sense for trucks than passenger cars. But hydrogen is still problematic.

      I think ethanol with an SOFC fuel cell could be a practical renewable energy solution for long distance trucking.

      Eventually batteries will get cheap enough with fast enough charging that even long distance trucking could go pure electric.

      1. SJC says:

        They can put CNG tanks under the trailer to feed SOFCs, no pollution nor particulates.

        1. MaartenV-nl says:

          CNG is a pollutant.

          1. Mike I. says:

            You can make synthetic methane (CNG) from electricity, water, and ambient air just like you can make hydrogen from electricity and water. The storage of CNG is much easier than hydrogen. The CO2 that would be objectionable from fossil natural gas would be recycled from the air over and over if you put in the equipment to do it.

            1. BenG says:

              Yes, synthetic or bio methane (CH4, main part of natural gas) is an option, but you still have the problem of bulky pressurized storage tanks and of leaking methane being a potent greenhouse gas.

              If you’re going to the trouble of making methane, I think it probably makes sense to go one more step and make it a liquid: aka methanol, butanol, or ethanol.

              1. SJC says:

                Turn natural gas, biomethane or wind and solar energy with captured CO2 into DME, no sulfur and lower tank pressures. DME can be put right into SOFCs, with a turbine after burner the efficiency can be 70+%.

      2. no comment says:

        if they can work out the infrastructure for trucks, they can work it out for cars. the obstacle is in the cost of producing the hydrogen.

        1. SJC says:

          It takes two therms of natural gas at 50 cents per therm to make one kilogram of hydrogen. Shell sells a kilogram for less than $5 retail in L.A.

          1. One kg of H2 at a retail “pump” in California is about $15… not $5.

            1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

              Hydrogen prices are falling. As more HFCVs fill up and more kilograms of H2 get sold, station owners are able to lower the amount per kg that they tack on to the wholesale price of H2 to cover their operating costs. Station operators seem to be competing on price, to get HFCV owners who want their $15,000 fuel card last as long as possible to choose their H2 station for a fill up.

              Edmunds did a long-term road test that lasted 6 months and 7,925 miles. With regards to the price of H2 fueling, Edmunds had this to say:
              “We found hydrogen prices vary considerably from station to station and paid anywhere from $9.54 to $16.63 per kg during our test.”

              Edmunds also reported that the H2 pumps didn’t take longer than 5 minutes to fill up the Mirai, and on only one occasion did Edmunds encounter a non-functioning H2 dispenser. They drove to another H2 station nearby and filled up there.

              1. Your schilling for hydrogen notwithstanding, let’s be honest… hydrogen MUST fall significantly in price to ever be competitive with regular gasoline.

                One kg of H2 is the equivalent of one gallon of gasoline, so with gasoline at $2.50, hydrogen at $9-$16 is a non-starter.

                We are all familiar with the rosy FUTURE for hydrogen expressed with breathless enthusiasm… for the past several decades. I’m sure cheap hydrogen is just over the horizon, just like hydrogen cars.

                And, all that hydrogen will be from water with surplus renewable electricity that is “too cheap to meter”.

            2. SJC says:

              I read that it was $5 not $15, if you have proof please post.

              1. I guess you can make numbers says anything you wish.

                One kg of H2 = one gallon of gasoline in energy

                A) Toyota Prius is combined 54mpg

                B) Toyota Mirai is combined 66mpg equivalent

                Both cars are similar in size. The hydrogen car is 22% more energy efficient (completely discounting how much energy was consumed to produce either gas or H2).

                So, my math is simple: hydrogen is HUNDREDS of percent more expensive.

                1. SJC says:

                  One kilogram of hydrogen is worth TWO gallons of gasoline because a fuel cell is more efficient. Hydrogen will come down to less than $8 per kilogram soon, they are paying off the equipment now.

                  1. Unfortunately, that’s just not true but you can keep repeating it over and over.

                    A simple Google search will find the basic data.

                    1 kg of hydrogen is the gasoline gallon equivalent.

                    Is hydrogen more efficient than fossil fuel based energy? Not necessarily, as the most modern diesel engines are well over 50% efficient !!! What hydrogen shills like to repeat over and over is a comparison to a 1969 Oldsmobile type car at 20 or 25% efficiency.

                    That’s not what the modern-day competition is… even a Toyota Prius is approaching 40% efficiency.

                    Anyhoo, keep on telling yourself how awesome-o that hydrogen is… the hydrogen lobbyist needs your help 🙂

                    1. no comment says:

                      i think sjc is correct. while it is true that kg of hydrogen has an equivalent amount of energy as 1 gal of gasoline, the fuel economy of hydrogen comes in at 80 miles/kg. so 1 kg of hydrogen driving displaces 2 gal of gasoline driving.

                      as to the efficiency of diesel, in practice you typically get about 20%-30% better mileage from a diesel than you get from the gasoline equivalent. by contrast, fuel cell vehicles are getting mpge’s in the 60-70 mpg range, over twice that of equivalent gasoline cars.

            3. SJC says:

              (equivalent on a price per energy basis to $5.60 per gallon of gasoline)
              That is what I read, about $5 equivalent.

        2. MaartenV-nl says:

          and in the prohibitive costs of building the infrastructure.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      A quote:

      Perhaps they could add a few extra steps:

      1) Use the hydrogen in a fool cell to generate electricity

      2) Use the electricity to electrolyze water to hydrogen and oxygen

      Steps one and two can be repeated as many times as necessary to get to the desired level of inefficiency.

      –- John Hollenberg, comment at, September 24, 2015

      (Hopefully the /sarcasm tag isn’t necessary here.)

    3. tankev says:

      Good point. The supermarket company Colruyt, in Belgium, produces its own hydrogen with the excess of power from the turbines and solar panels, and uses it for forklifts and a Hyundai ix35

      1. BenG says:

        But why not just use batteries and electricity rather than hydrogen, and have a big gain in system efficiency?

        1. Daniel says:

          Current batteries “in the quantities needed to get acceptable range for freight hauling” are too heavy. Remember the battery weight must be added into the GVWR which has an 80,000 lb. on road limit. So the added weight of batteries will reduce the amount “or weight” of the cargo that can be carried. Remember, the revenue generated from the freight is the “only” source of revenue the truck carries, everything else that is along for the ride is an expense.

          1. BenG says:

            Yeah, I was replying to tankev’s post about fuel cell fork-lifts and similar localized uses, not over-the-road trucking, which I agree will be a tough nut to crack for pure battery EV. That would require big gains in battery energy density and quick-charge ability along with a great interstate quick-charge network.

            As I’ve suggested above, I think synthetic or bio ethanol paired with a solid oxide fuel cell is potentially a good option for long-distance trucking.

            1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

              Time is money in a warehouse. Battery forklifts spend too much time charging compared to a fast-fill H2 forklift. Likewise space is valuable in a warehouse. Battery swapping equipment and a huge inventory of extra batteries to swap in would take up too much space in a warehouse compared to the small footprint of an H2 fueling station.

              1. Samwise says:

                I wouldn’t call a bloody great pressurised tank that can’t have anything near it a small footprint… Unless your generation is 100% onsite don’t forget enough room for the Hydrogen tanked to refill it as well.

                I would think a fast charger and 20 minutes once a day would do it, time might be money but the 10 minutes your saving by using Hydrogen hardly seems worth it.

                Heck if you have wireless charging in the spots the forklift regularly stops you probably wouldn’t even need to schedule charging except in really rare circumstances.

                There are already a number of businesses in Japan converting to electric forklifts and power trolley things for moving stock around especially in the food industry where the removal of any kind of exhaust (even moisture) is highly desirable.

  2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “Additional details on the study, and the continued evolution of a hydrogen society, will be announced in the coming months.”

    Translation: Toyota is closely examining the outrageously high level of tax incentives that various levels of the Japanese governments (national and prefecture) offer for hydrogen-powered vehicles, to see if they can milk the Japanese taxpayer for even more than they already are. 🙁

    And ditto for CARB States in the USA 🙁

    1. ” to explore a semi-trailer truck application for a California-based feasibility study.”

      Yes, it couldn’t be any more clear that this is a tax payer’s pocket emptying exercise.

      While others are planning and building a real nationwide trucking network, Toyota will be at the same game in California.

      Remember, they were successful in exempting hydrogen from being sold anywhere but California. It will be interesting to see how many token sales of hydrogen cars that they make in northeast CARB states.

  3. JakeY says:

    There’s already a production hydrogen truck. It’s the Tyrano Truck. It’s just that it’s not very known given it’s mostly used for port usage given lack of a hydrogen network.

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      Toyota will also start selling hydrogen fuel cell buses in 2017. Tokyo will have a fleet of 100 hydrogen buses in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

      1. Ya, I wonder how many EV busses will be in Japan, or. The world, by then.

        There are already more EV buses worldwide than what Toyota has planned for 2020.

      2. Leaf2012 says:

        Oslo, Norway has had 5 hydrogen buses running for some years now and it turns out they are very expensive in maintenance and fuel. The bus company just received 4,7 millon USD just to keep those 5 buses running for another 5 years. Otherwise the company would just park them for good and use dieselbuses. Norway has high dieselprices and cheap electricity, and both the H2 buses and the H2 electrolysis fueling system is already paid for, but still they are so much more expensive to run.

        On the other hand they are finally trying out battery buses. For the same amount of funding 4,7 milion USD and the fuel savings they will buy 6 new battery buses on 3 different routes and charging systems. 2 buses on one route with overhead fast charging at each endstop, 2 buses on one route with overhead fast charging at one endstop, and 2 buses with larger batteries and overnight charging at parking area.

        After three years the BEV-buses will continue to save money and environment, and the H2 buses will have used up the fundings and probably be parked for good. The city has already decided bying at least 100 BEV buses, and the test period will decide whhat to use.

        1. Where are the paid hydrogen shills to contradict this data? I’m a bit disappointed.

          It’s already painfully obvious what’s the best energy storage choice is for rail, buses, ferries, cars, urban / local trucking, motorcycles, scooters, etc.

          Here is the paid schills chance to shine and tell us how awesome-o hydrogen is for long-haul trucking (and I’ll even throw in long-haul shipping).

          As I penciled out elswhere, just the hydrogen energy cost (delivered, pressurized, cooled) is many orders of magnitude more expensive than either traditional fossil fuels or electricity.

          The infrastructure required for hydrogen trucking could be in the trillions of dollars. The cost to maintain that equipment, compared to traditional fossil fuel equipment, is also many orders of magnitude more expensive.

          I calculate the costs as follows:

          $1.17 per mile @ 8.5mpg(e) with $10/kg hydrogen (and over $16/kg at some California locations today)

          $0.38 per mile @ 6.5mph with $2.50/gal diesel (that will likely go up in price over time)

          $0.24 per mile @ 0.5mile/kWh with $0.12/kWh electricity

          The beauty of the hydrogen shills is that they can just brush over numbers like any politician say whatever it is they meed you to believe for future hydrogen costs.

          The cost of operating a truck, the cost of diesel fuel and the cost of electricity are all quite stable at the moment. It would be very difficult for any quasi-logical discussion to change that data very much from the averages I presented above.

          Yes, I could cherry pick the cost of electricity from Washington state at $.06-$.08 per kilowatt hour to effectively lower the cost of operating a battery electric bus. But in calculating nationwide costs, we have to go what is average data.

          What the hydrogen shill will do it’s not only cherry pick the cost of hydrogen, but also completely fabricate and invent scenarios that do not exist, nor are expected to exist.

          Here are brief examples that I’ve seen in the years that I’ve been following these discussions:

          1) Hydrogen will magically become cheaper and cheaper. The fact that it currently costs $10-$15 per kilogram in the format required with huge multi million dollar subsidies has no bearing on their logic. They will always express that in the future, just on the horizon, almost within reach, is that magically lower price that just seems too good to be true.

          2) Hydrogen is fantastically more efficient then diesel, which is true however not fantastically so. The number that they will will casually toss around is double the efficiency.

          The reality is diesel motors are 40% efficient, and a modern-day Cummings X15 – 500 hp diesel motor is 55% efficient!!! That is huge!!! A trucking company can replace a traditional 6.5 mile per gallon truck (that is probably 8 years old with 1 million miles) with one that gets 7.5 to 8 miles per gallon, lowering their fuel cost per mile by 20%.

          What is the number that the hydrogen shills like to throw out? 50% efficiency for hydrogen, and they will call that double the efficiency of diesel. It’s just not.

          “Oh, but wait, there’s more! If you buy now with your government credit card, we will make up even bigger numbers.”

  4. Ambulator says:

    I’d still bet on electricity over hydrogen in the long run, even for trucks. It’s pretty close, though, and I might be wrong.

    This is in contrast to the Mirai type vehicle, which I am pretty sure is a dead end.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Electric grid is not some free mega battery. Only comprehension challenged trolls like Pu-pu can imagine electric grid can provide mega- or giga- watt power to recharge batteries in minutes as required for serious commercial trucking application.
      As for the batteries at proper price and specific energy level for the long range trucks themselves, they are fiction so far. Fiction may materialize decades later, but not any time soon. In my humble opinion supercapacitors have more chance to reach that level sooner than batteries, they don’t have internal resistance preventing quick (dis-)charge and you don’t need as much magic guesswork as with battery chemistry.

      1. no comment says:

        the disadvantage of supercapacitors is that to achieve sufficiently high charge storage density, you would end up with electric field strengths that would break down the dielectric.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        One can easily find graphs on the Internet (see below) which show that large commercial buildings often draw more than 2 MW (2000 kW) of electricity continuously for hours, and really large buildings use more; the Empire State Building’s average draw is ~10 MW (source 1 below). Yet nobody seems to run around screaming about a new commercial building posing a danger of collapsing the electric grid!

        Only Big Oil shilling, EV-bashing concern trolls write as if there is something unique and dangerous about the electricity required for charging EVs, as if it’s some “special” kind of electricity which will collapse the grid, when other uses pose no danger of that!

        A perfect example of FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. And, of course, a perfect example of the Big Lies which zzzzzzzzzz keeps repeating.

        source 1:

        1. no comment says:

          i think your comments miss the mark. setting aside safety considerations, to recharge a BEV with comparable range as an ICEV in a comparable amount of time means MW charging being used by *each* vehicle. then think about how many vehicles might be recharging concurrently at any given point in time. there is the potential for A LOT of load being put on the power generation infrastructure, to the extent that you would have to re-engineer the grid to maintain frequency and voltage stability. i suspect that it might involve a bit more than just adding a few more “spinners” in the grid infrastructure.

        2. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          In NYC, office buildings must gradually slowly ramp up their electric demand (ie when starting the building-wide air conditioning) or face very hefty penalties from the utility of $15,000+. The electric grid can’t handle huge spikes in electric demand if all these NYC office buildings at roughly the same time cranked on their AC systems from completely off to completely on, 100% full blast.

      3. Nix says:

        Battery buffering where the electric grid is weak is the answer. This ferry charges 150 kwh per route, and recharges in 10 minutes. That is in the range you describe.

        They are located in an area where the grid is poor, and they use battery buffering in order to charge a few dozen times a day, allowing them to buffer power from the grid.

        There is no reason why a similar system wouldn’t work for heavy trucks that run a well defined route on a regular basis.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Yes, there is a reason why that won’t work, or at least it won’t be a very good solution in most cases. It works well for a charger which serves a single vehicle, such as the ferry you describe.

          But at an EV truck stop, where a second, third, or fourth truck could pull in 5 minutes after the first left — or even at the same time — then it won’t work so well.

          EV chargers for long-range heavy trucks, the equivalent of today’s truck stops for diesel-powered tractor-trailer rigs, will need a high power hookup to the grid, rather than just high energy in one or more battery packs. A battery pack would be useful for a buffer to prevent spikes in power demand, but a single battery pack won’t be able to charge several trucks in a row when the truck stop is busy.

          1. no comment says:

            typically, the way that battery buffering works is that the battery buffers the power long enough to fire up spinners. in other words, the battery buffer saves operating costs because you don’t have to keep the spinners running when there is no demand, when the demand spikes, you start up your spinners and the battery buffer gives you enough time to ramp up the spinners to the point where they can supply power without interruption.

            in the interim, you can recharge the battery buffer for later use.

        2. Leaf2012 says:

          I will just add that the battery ferry has been successful and there are several new ferries ordered as battery driven. Every time the government has specified zero-emission ferries battery is chosen. This is also the reason that the Hydrogen lobby has persuaded the government to also order a H2 ferry, and pay 12 million USD extra for H2 instead of battery only.

          1. Isn’t that awesome? It’s easy enough to ignore the myriad of other reasons not to choose hydrogen over batteries, and as we are seeing batteries are winning and buses and ferries and in cars. Maybe ships, maybe long-haul trucking might favorite hydrogen; it’s hard to tell.

            Cost is the one issue that politicians and government get wrong over and over, so it’s no surprise that a hydrogen lobby was successfully in a grotesque cost increase and huge increase in operational costs.

            With the amount of political corruption we now have in the United States, I guess I’m a bit jaded to think that somebody somewhere got their “palms greased”.

            1. no comment says:

              the most important reason for considering hydrogen over batteries is refill time versus recharge time. the reason why batteries might appear to be “winning” with public buses is because public buses operate on fixed routes, so you can design the battery to accommodate the route. in addition, buses often have stoppage time between trips so that you can at least partially recharge the battery. that means that the battery doesn’t even have to be large enough to accommodate an entire day’s worth of driving.

              private automobiles are a completely different matter. that’s why batteries are not the obvious choice. in turn, that is why auto makers are exploring hydrogen as an alternative.

              1. Yes, refueling time is singular hydrogen advantage.Thanks for clarifying.

                If refuel time where that big of a deal, the world would adopt battery swapping ( which can be done faster than fueling your hydrogen vehicle).

                With public vehicle charging approaching 350 kW in the future, it is very likely that cars will be adding 10 or more miles per minute of charging time. 100 miles in 10 minutes. 150 miles in 20 minutes.

                Trucks, buses and ferries are already over 1 MW.

                1. no comment says:

                  that is true that battery swapping is a good solution in theory, but that means each swap station would have to maintain a fairly large inventory of batteries for swapping.

                  tesla tried the battery swap idea, but it was simply not practical. you, the owner of a tesla who did swap a battery, would have been responsible for returning your “swap” battery and retrieving your “original” battery, or else you faced potentially stiff charges.

                  the time to recharge a battery may seem trivial to the EV enthusiast, but to the general public, they are looking at 5 minutes to refill a gas tank and getting 300-400 miles of range. if you were to try to sell them a BEV and you tell them that they would have to stand around at a charging station for 30 minutes or more to recharge a battery to half the range that they get in an ICEV, most people would probably look at you as though they thought that you were out of your mind.

                  this is why i repeatedly state that auto makers can’t make cars based on the wants of EV enthusiasts, they have to make cars based on the wants of the general public. that’s why mary barra stated that GM’s electric vehicle plans will ultimately be driving by what the market wants.

                  1. I could not agree more with selling cars to the mass-market, as opposed to what EV aficionados might want (or will put up with).

                    That’s why I can’t imagine the mass market paying orders of magnitude more money to refuel their hydrogen car versus either a traditional fossil fuel car or the very low cost to refuel EV.

                    When you look at the per mile cost, you can see why the trucking industry isn’t jumping on hydrogen en masse, even if it does refuel as quickly as diesel. Cars will be no different:

                    $1.17 per mile @ 8.5mpg(e) with $10/kg hydrogen (and over $16/kg at some California locations today)… I’m giving the benefit of the doubt of at least 50% efficiency.

                    $0.38 per mile @ 6.5mph with $2.50/gal diesel (that will likely go up in price over time)

                    $0.31 per mile @ 8.0mpg with $2.50/gal diesel (latest Cummings X15 diesel motor at over 50% efficiency)

                    $0.24 per mile @ 0.5mile/kWh with $0.12/kWh electricity

  5. Bacardi says:

    If you first don’t succeed…

    1. jimjonjack&jill says:

      Fry & Fry Again….lol

  6. no comment says:

    *nothing* has to be done quickly in the zero emission segment, and there is no benefit to being first in such an early stage market.

  7. Martin T. says:

    Toyota should try a battery, not fool cell TRUCK

    1. RAV4 EV says:

      There already is a plug in hybrid semi that runs on CNG available.

      I can’t imagine the astronomical cost to convert Oil / CNG to Hydrogen and then create a massive distribution system.

  8. unlucky says:

    This is the most advantageous road use of fuel cells, IMHO. Long haul trucking needs to carry a lot of energy.

    Even if you make BEV trucks, charging them would require another bank of batteries at the charging stations to cover for the peak loads of charging. That’s not an impossibility but I think in the shorter term it won’t be cost-effective.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Long distance trucking is very sensitive to the cost of fuel. I read some years back that for an independent trucker, the cost of fuel is 50% of operating expenses. Replacing diesel with compressed hydrogen, which would be something like 4 or 5 times the cost of diesel, is absolutely unworkable.

      I honestly can’t understand why people keep advocating for using what is probably the very worst fuel you could possibly use to power a modern vehicle. There are much more practical fuels. Why not advocate for a fuel which would be practical, such as synthetic methane (see link below), rather than the worst, the most wasteful and impractical choice, which is compressed hydrogen?

      I can understand why Big Oil shills advocate using compressed hydrogen; they know it will never compete with diesel, and so isn’t a threat to Big Oil’s market. What I do not understand is why anyone else would advocate this.

      1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

        Pu-Pu said:
        “What I do not understand is why anyone else would advocate this.”

        Truth be told, you’re not exactly one of our greatest minds. 😉

        The cost of liquid hydrogen is $4.63 per kilogram when delivered in bulk and shipped 276 miles. A hydrogen fuel cell bus is at least twice as efficient as diesel bus, which brings the cost of hydrogen fuel to on par with diesel fuel.

        1. After listening and reading all the fantastic claims of hydrogen proponents likes yourself, some oversights seem to be repeated over and over.

          You NEED that hydrogen to be orders of magnitude lower than it currently is.

          To get hydrogen in the car requires a lot of energy and equipment expense to pressurize that product to 10,000 psi and leapt cool at -25C.

          As is always the case, facts get in the way.

        2. Leaf2012 says:

          Even with a diesel cost of USD 5,44/gallon and electricity cost of USD 0,08/kWh as we have in Norway it is still way cheaper to run a dieselbus than a H2 bus even if somebody else pays the extra cost for the H2 bus and the H2 electrlolysis fueling station. And battery buses are cheaper than diesel after a few years.

          1. no comment says:

            you can drive twice as far on a gallon-equivalent of hydrogen than you can with gasoline. so, if hydrogen costs twice as much as gasoline, you are at break even. diesel is slightly more expensive than gasoline in the US and you get 20% to 30% better mileage relative to gasoline, so breakeven for diesel would come when hydrogen is 60% more expensive than diesel.

            all of this ignores the big issue of the cost of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle…

        3. buu says:

          . With a larger order, the cost per bus is about $1.9 million. The plant extracts the hydrogen by using electricity produced with natural gas or hydropower, he said.

  9. Someone out there says:

    This is where hydrogen makes the most sense. Trucks have a maximum allowed weight, carrying 10 tons of batteries means 10 tons less cargo. The rapid refueling is another benefit.

    1. Whatever savings of time and payload are offset by the energy cost. Keep in mind that a typical truck will rack up over a million miles.

      $1.17 per mile @ 8.5mpg(e) with $10 hydrogen

      $0.38 per mile @ 6.5mpg with $2.50 diesel

      $0.24 per mile @ 0.5mile/kWh with $0.12/kWh


      $1,170,000 – hydrogen fuel over lifetime
      $ 380,000 – diesel
      $ 240,000 – electricity

  10. There is exactly 0 hydrogen cars getting 80 miles per kilogram. None.

    Again, the best one so far is the Toyota car at 66 miles per gallon equivalent.

    The Toyota Prius is around 54 miles per gallon. The difference between the two isn’t double; it’s not even close to double. About 22% more efficiency for the hydrogen Toyota compared to it likesize sister car.

    Reality bites, doesn’t it?

    Another problem the hydrogen shill has is stating that the hydrogen vehicle is not even close today (obviously, that wouldn’t be you!), but suggesting that the future is bright with lower and lower prices, while assuming that fossil fuel vehicles and electric vehicles remain constant.

    The bad news is that EVs, gasoline and diesel vehicles all continue to get more and more efficient.

    1. no comment says:

      here is what the DOE has to say on fuel economy of FCEVs:

      so the DOE is using a hydrogen cost of $5.50/kg. notice that the annual fuel cost for hydrogen, $1,250, is comparable to the annual cost that you would pay for gasoline.

      so according to the DOE, fuel cell vehicles are *already* comparable to gasoline vehicles when it comes to fuel cost. there are, however, still the problems of the cost of the vehicle and the lack of hydrogen refueling infrastructure. but at least one piece of the problem looks to be substantially solved, that being the cost of fuel.

      as to mpge for fuel cell vehicles, according to the EPA, the honda clarity and toyota mirai come in at an EPA rated 67 mpge and 66 mpge respectively. but the EPA rated value is always less than what is possible with any vehicle. that suggests that 80 mpge in a FCEV is a possibility depending on driving conditions.

      personally, the idea configuration for me would be a (FC/B)EV hybrid, which can operate off the battery for local driving while still supporting a hydrogen tank for extended driving. that, however, would mean greatly increasing the size of the battery from what you would normally see in an FCEV, which would drive up the cost of the vehicle. after all, if you can get the fuel cell part to the point where it is a viable alternative to gasoline, then the battery is merely a luxury, one for which i doubt that many people would be will to pay a premium over a basic FCEV battery.

      the major automobile companies are not fools, there is a reason why they are sinking money into FCEV development projects. no, i do not buy into “who killed the EV1” conspiracy theories as being the motivation.

      1. The beauty of made up numbers!!! Here some more made up numbers, using the DOE data of $5.50/kg hydrogen (which doesn’t exist at any pump, anywhere):

        $1.17 per mile @ 8.5mpg(e) with $10/kg hydrogen (and over $16/kg at some California locations today)… I’m giving the benefit of the doubt of at least 50% efficiency.

        $0.64 per mile @ 8.5mpg(e) with $5.50/kg hydrogen (lowest price wholesale hydrogen with HUUUUUUuuuuuge government funded infrastructure)

        $0.38 per mile @ 6.5mph with $2.50/gal diesel (that will likely go up in price over time)

        $0.31 per mile @ 8.0mpg with $2.50/gal diesel (latest Cummings X15 diesel motor at over 50% efficiency)

        $0.34 per mile @ 0.35mile/kWh with $0.12/kWh electricity

        $0.17 per mile @ 0.35mile/kWh with $0.06/kWh electricity (wholesale, Pacific Northwest retail)

        My calculations for EV truck energy consumption are based one gallon of diesel #2 is 38kWh, so using 7mpg = 5.4kWh of diesel energy per mile. If we assume that is 45% efficient, and electricity is 85% efficient, then 2.86kWh of electricity is required per mile, or 0.35mile/kWh.

        1. Even at the lower cost of $5.50/kg, the cost per mile is about double that of diesel, and maybe triple the cost of electricity.

          1. no comment says:

            on a cost/mile basis, electricity is the least expensive option, i don’t challenge you on that. but as i previously stated, if you could charge a battery as fast as you could refill a gas tank, and get similar range, nobody would be looking at fuel cells.

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