Car & Driver’s Instrumented Test Of 2016 Toyota Mirai

OCT 4 2015 BY MARK KANE 209

Toyota Mirai

Toyota Mirai

Car and Driver’s test drive review begins with fun – “The first fuel-cell car you, or people richer than you, can buy.”

That’s a clear reference to the extraordinary price of $57,500 ($45,500 after deducting ~$13,000 in incentives – via mostly Toyota in absence of previous government program) or $499 per month/36 month lease option, with $3,649 due at lease signing.

Toyota covers hydrogen costs and scheduled maintenance, so let’s get back to feedback on the car.

Charging refueling at $0.25 per mile!

They tested Mirai for two days covering over 400 miles. Despite there being only 20 hydrogen stations in California, the long range of Mirai was sufficient to never experience range anxiety.

In total, they visited 7 stations nine times and finally we discover the cost of hydrogen. Of course, Toyota covers the cost by providing access cards or codes for the first three years, but this is an important fundamental matter to see if FCV is a viable proposition.

Car and Driver averaged 56 miles (90 km) per kg and said that it would cost $0.25 per mile ($0.15 per km). That’s based on price at one of the stations – $13.99 per kilogram ($6.35/pound).

According to the article, $0.25 per mile translates to nearly four times the cost of driving a Toyota Camry hybrid. Comparing this price to EVs would be horror, as all-electric cars would save over $10 every 60 miles.

The question is what will hydrogen prices be in the longer term as $0.25 per mile seems to mark death on arrival?

Does The Toyota Mirai Have A Built In Expiry Date?

Does The Toyota Mirai Have A Built In Expiry Date?

On the road

Toyota Mirai raises interest due its controversial design. Acceleration probably should be considered as sufficient.

“Moving on, we raced a gorgeous Porsche 912 from a stoplight . . . and won. At the next light, we offered a rematch. After calling the Mirai ugly, the Porsche driver declined with the excuse that he had only 60 horsepower on tap.”

“While the Mirai’s ability to reach 60 mph in 9.4 seconds and 80 mph in the quarter-mile is adequate to keep up with the Priuses and pool cleaners’ pickups, it’s unlikely to accelerate any enthusiast’s heart. When you nail the right pedal, there’s a gentle moan and the nose rises eagerly, providing a false sense of acceleration. But with only 152 horsepower propelling a Camry-sized car weighing more than two tons, this is no Tesla.”

Besides its long range, there are other positives like comfortable drive experience, silence, crisp steering response and a nicely tuned suspension.

Source: caranddriver.com

Categories: Toyota

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209 Comments on "Car & Driver’s Instrumented Test Of 2016 Toyota Mirai"

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I would still would rather spend $20k more and get a Model S.

Definitely!

The value for the money on the Tesla side is so much better.

In 2 years I would rather spend $20K less and get a Model 3.

Hands down no question about it ,It will be worth every penny..

Even if you would choose the Mirai, chances are you won’t get it before 2018. So the Tesla might be your only choice.

…which means that you have got to be even richer to buy a Model S.

With that hydrogen costs – not in the long term…

Cost per mile …
FCV: 25¢ / mile
BEV: 2¢ / mile

… Model S & X drivers get a bit of a break in that 5-7% of miles driven are at Superchargers while traveling (essentially free, or prepaid)
… Nissan LEAF & Kia Soul EV drivers get a similar benefit with 2 free years of (DC quick) charging.

hmmm, well let’s think about these “savings” (let’s set aside incentives for the moment since you get them on both vehicles):

— a Tesla Model S with an 85kWh battery costs $105,000;

— a Toyota Mirai costs $57,500;

— the Mirai costs $47,500 less, but the Model S costs $0.23 less per mile to operate;

— you would have to drive over 206,000 miles to get break even in the Model S (where the operating savings of the Model S offset the higher price);

…yeah, it is readily apparent that the Model S is a “real bargain”.

the moral of this story is that it is a losing game to try to talk “bargains” when you are talking about cars that are very expensive.

oops! i made an error; you can get a Model S with an 85kWh battery for only $88,000. that reduces the break even to just over 132,600 miles.

You can get a new Model S with 85Kwh battery for 80K before incentives. Not 88.

i consider the information on the Tesla website to be more authoritative. you’re probably thinking about the Model S with a 70kWh battery, that sells for $75,000. from the information on the Tesla website, $88,000 gets you a Model S with a 90kWh battery (the extra 5kWh from the 85kWh battery is a $3,000 upgrade from the base price).

And you folks are not counting the precious time wasted in charging during long trips, if using a Model S? Also, the Model S that is comparable in range to Mirai is actually a 105D, which doesn’t even exist. So, Mirai has no competition. Current Model S’ses are no match to Mirai.

And then, post rebate, the Mirai is only $45K, while that S105D will still be over $90K. And then, how long is that battery good for?

Besides, citing one Hydrogen station at #13.50/kg is no good. I have heard that prices are already lower than $8/kg. If more Mirais are sold, prices will come down more. Economies of scale, remember Eloonites?

Holy crap, there’s someone here that doesn’t think this car is a steaming POS?!

Are you counting the massive collective amount of time you’ll spend going to filling stations & filling up?

We are counting the wasted time reading your illogical troll posts, See Through your hate.

The Mirai EPA range is really more like 250 miles. The $75k Tesla 70D has a 240 mile EPA range. No real difference. After about the same amount of driving the Mirai driver can (hopefully) find a place to refill and then go eat their lunch. The Tesla 70D can eat while the Tesla is recharging. Time – no real difference. On a long trip the Mirai will get to a 500 mile destination with empty tanks and need to spend some time filling up. The Tesla will have had to stop for about 15 minutes to get enough charge to finish 500 miles. Then plug in for the night and be charged and ready to go the next morning. Both will get to dinner and bed about the same time. The Mirai driver will pay 500 * $0.15 (Toyota’s number) or $75 for fuel for the day. The Tesla driver will pay 250 * $0.04 or $10 for charging for the day. Charges along the way come at no additional cost, they’re rolled into the cost of the car. Using Car and Driver’s number of 25 cents per mile it would cost the Mirai driver $125 to fuel up… Read more »

The Mirai’s EPA range is officially 312 miles: http://www.autoblog.com/2015/06/30/epa-toyota-mirai-67-mpge/

Toyota also pays for three years of fuel. So, while fuel costs in the future are speculative, we know how much it will cost in the near term.

What about the “precious time wasted” looking for a working hydrogen station. We know from previous reports that they have a tendency to fill one or two cars before freezing up.

Yep, I’ll take the 16 Volt over the Mirai. Longer range, cheaper to fuel, faster to fuel, cheaper to buy, looks better, and likely Chevy will still be in business after Toyota closes its doors.

Well, I think the price of the hydrogen for the Fork Lift article was $9.09 per kilogram, so that would be around 15 cents a mile. If a gasoline car gets 25 mpg, and the gas costs $2.50, thats 10 cents a mile, right now. Battery powered cars are usually 5 cents a mile or less (assuming 20 cents a kwh, and 1/4 kwh per mile). But even NYC and Boston are under 8 cents/mile. Refueling cost for this not exactly cheap Murai are almost double that. These articles also don’t mention any maintenance / replacement cost of the very convoluted modules in them. I suspect bad news on those fronts also. So even the huge state incentive doesn’t seem to make up for this, at least in the states. So, unless you have a chemical factory next door with a surfeit of hydrogen you can bottle up at below-market rates, I’d save this car for Vietnam, Japan, and Italy. Oh wait!! Italy may have 0,3 Euro /kwh electricity, but then they have a well developed CNG vehicle infrastructure. So even in one of the highest electricity countries on earth, they have found an effective lower cost alternative fuel, and… Read more »

For the S you get the best car in the world rated by car experts with great resale value and free traveling fuel.
Vs a Mirai that is rather a weak car that can’t travel in 90% of the country and likely never will because H2 costs too much to make, pressurize.
What most don’t understand is how many parts a FC system has, it’s history of short lives of the fuel stack, various pumps, etc.
Remember each foolcell car is subsidized by about 75% by Toyota making the real cost above $200k.
One has to be delusional to think H2 FC cars have any future has starting out with 3 strikes against them.
In big trucks with say propane/butane fueled with a good size battery pack maybe.

You’re goosing the number for BEVs. How are you coming up with 2¢/mile operating cost for a BEV? A Nissan LEAF uses 30 kWh / 100 miles. You’d have to be paying 7¢/kWh for electricity to operate the LEAF at 2¢/mile. The average electric rate in the U.S. is 13¢/kWh.

I pay 6 cents/kWh at super off peak. At 3 miles a kWh, that’s 2 cents a mile, including charging losses.

Minimum in California is $11c/kwh. Since Mirai and the Hydrogen station are in California, let’s not compare with electric rates from coal burning plants at some unknown places in US.

Yes, because if we compared other states the Mirai would be undriveable due to the total lack of fuel. You must also consider the high adoption rate of solar amongst BEV owners. I’d rather buy a used Model S than a new Mirai.

More BS – my EV rate is $0.06/kWh

See Through

“Minimum in California is $11c/kwh.”

Now reduce that by 30%, since 30% of PEV owners use home solar power to offset the amount of electricity they use to charge their car. So that’s 7.7¢/kWh.

It may well be more than 30% in California, but hey, the poor crippled “fool cell” car needs every advantage it can possibly get… and it will still be a huge loser compared to the PEV.

In my terse analysis I used 20 cents/ kwh electricity, and $9.09/ kg hydrogen, from the Fork Lift article. Seemingly almost double the refueling cost even with 32 cent/ kwh nyc electricity. It seems to me this vehicle is only workable in places like Vietnam, Japan, and Italy, as I commented above.. See Through, perhaps you know the answer to this. Fact: Electric Cars, even including future battery scrap, are very clean cars. Fact: Gasoline Cars are one or two Orders of Magnitude cleaner than they were 50 years ago. Fact: CNG Cars are cleaner than the modern Gasoline Cars, according to the prestigious CleanCities environmental group. Question: Other than having a clean tailpipe at the car, where is the economic incentive for either Gov’ts or BIG OIL to be interested in these vehicles? I seriously don’t understand who the Customer for these things is supposed to be. EV’s can compete on quietness, efficiency, clean exhaust (usually none), and low cost refueling (at least in most parts of most countries) – made cheaper by home wind and solar installations. CNG and LNG vehicles are also very clean Bus and tractor-trailers. Since the American Public, and American Business has such a… Read more »

during the warmer months, operating the Volt comes out to about 2¢/mile for me, so the figure doesn’t seem that far fetched as far as i’m concerned. of course, during the colder months i get fewer miles/kWh so the cost/mile basically doubles.

I pay 10 cents per kWh but I get 4.5 miles per kWh so that is 2.2 cents per mile.

I actually get higher than 4.5 m/kwh in the spring and fall but it drops when I use the AC heavily or use the heat so I figure 4.5 is a fairer year round number.

I got 5.0 m/kwh on the drive to work this morning with minimal AC use.

I got 4.8 m/kwh on the drive home last night with more AC use and some headlights.

So I think ~2 cents per mile is fair even if I charge at home.

Or a Model 3 for less.

Used Teslas are in the low 60’s high 50’s….

i assure you, a used Mirai will cost A LOT less than $57,000.

Darn right a used Mirai will cost less than a used Tesla! That’s like saying a used Civic will cost less than a used Mercedes. It’s worth less, so it will cost less.

Setting aside the question of which technology is better, to me it comes down to infrastructure. It costs $1 Million or more to build a new Hydrogen fueling station. It costs $30k to build a new DCQC station which also takes up a lot less space. Without infrastructure HFCV are a no go. Try driving a Mirai across the country. You can actually drive a Nissan Leaf across the country with a little planning and patience. Not so for a Mirai, and given the cost to build out hydrogen fueling infrastructure it won’t be so for a long time, if ever.

“no comment” said:

“i assure you, a used Mirai will cost A LOT less than $57,000.”

Of course. Virtually nobody will want one, so the cost should be only slightly above scrap value.

toyota should have leased these things out as test vehicles, much as BMW did with their “active e” program.

Or, spend $18,000 less and get a LOADED Chevy Volt with Far Better Fuel Economy, 50 true miles of Electric power and No Range Anxiety.

20 stations, SURE “no range anxiety” SURE…
Keep telling yourself that.

Difficult to argue against.

When EVs were in their infancy, they had terrible range, recharge, cost, and weight problems. While they still do, they’ve made huge strides. Given the amount of FCEV progress I’ve seen in the last five years, I suspect the same will be true for hydrogen cars. The main advantages over EVs are:

– Range is not a strong function of weight and cost. Going from 260 miles to 520 miles of range does not add a thousand pounds and 15K.
– Potentially lower weight.
– Quick refuel time.
– Many refueling sites: every gas station can have a hydrogen pump, like they do for diesel today.
– Synergistic with renewable energy storage: large scale energy storage for solar and wind favors hydrogen over batteries. The cheaper solar and wind get, the better hydrogen storage looks, as 1000mWh of storage costs roughly as much as 1mWh.

The legacy automakers have been working on fuel cell vehicles longer than electric vehicles. So electrics are more in their infancy that FCEV.

Electrics will reach 500 mile range and one mile per second recharge before there is a nationwide network of hydrogen fueling stations.

Batteries will win the energy storage game.

The truth is strong in this comment.

electric-car-insider.com

3E> Going from 260 miles to 520 miles of range does not add a thousand pounds and 15K.

FCV passenger cars are will not be getting 520 mile range until breakthrough aero and lightweighting happens, which will be a very, very long time.

Take a look at those 10,000 psi tanks. How many more of those do you think Toyota will be able to stuff in a passenger car? They already have a packaging problem: Mirai is a 4 passenger sedan.

Liquid formic acid with onboard reforming to hydrogen could be used as fuel in future HFCVs, eliminating those pesky 10,000 PSI hydrogen tanks.

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/09/20150924-fa.html

Formic acid produces carbon dioxide when it’s broken down. I don’t think it’s a long term solution.

If the carbon used to make formic acid doesn’t come from the ground (fossil fuels), it’s carbon neutral.

That’s also true of liquid fuels. Neither is likely to be made that way in large amounts.

But that, again, is technological progress, like with EV batteries. You’ll get better fuel tanks, but also more energy dense, maybe also faster chargeable batteries.

Sadly for those promoting the “hydrogen economy”, the characteristics of hydrogen fuel can never be improved.

sven said:

“Liquid formic acid with onboard reforming to hydrogen could be used as fuel in future HFCVs, eliminating those pesky 10,000 PSI hydrogen tanks.”

Formic acid has much too low an energy density to be seriously considered as a transportation fuel.

“If you’re going to pick an energy storage mechanism [other than batteries], hydrogen is an incredibly dumb one to pick. You should just pick methane. That’s much, much easier. Or propane.” –Elon Musk, January 13, 2015

Foolmi-Foolyu said:
“Formic acid has much too low an energy density to be seriously considered as a transportation fuel.”

Sigh. As usual, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Formic acid is a liquid that contains 4.4% hydrogen by weight with a volumetric capacity of 53.4 g/l. Although formic acid’s hydrogen content falls a little short of 5.5 wt.% goal set by the US Department of Energy, its volumetric capacity surpasses that of all other hydrogen storage materials used today. See the graph below.

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2013/ph240/yoo1/images/f1big.png

Color me surprised that the CEO of a company that makes BEVs exclusively says that hydrogen is a dumb choice. Did you get your “I love Elon” tattoo yet?

sven said: “Sigh. As usual, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Well, let’s see just who knows what here, shall we? “Formic acid is a liquid that contains 4.4% hydrogen by weight with a volumetric capacity of 53.4 g/l. Although formic acid’s hydrogen content falls a little short of 5.5 wt.% goal set by the US Department of Energy, its volumetric capacity surpasses that of all other hydrogen storage materials used today.” Hey, nice bait-and-switch job there, sven, with first citing a weight-based metric, then switching to a volumetric metric. Hydrogen has a very poor volumetric energy density (ED by volume), but a very good gravimetric energy density (ED by weight), which is why it makes a good fuel in the booster stage of rockets, where weight is far more important than volume. So, comparing the volumetric ED of just about any type of fuel, even one with such a lousy ED as formic acid, will make it look good by comparison to compressed H2. Now, let’s compare the gravimetric energy density of formic acid to a practical fuel: gasoline. Gasoline: 12.2 kWh/kg Formic acid: 1.45 kWh/kg So, gasoline has 8.4 x the ED by weight of formic acid.… Read more »
Pushmi-Pullyu said: “Hey, nice bait-and-switch job there, sven, with first citing a weight-based metric, then switching to a volumetric metric.” The only one pulling a bait-and-switch is YOU, Pushmi-Pullyu. Instead of calculating the amount of formic acid that contains the same amount of hydrogen as is held by the Mirai’s fuel tanks, you pulled a bait-and-switch by calculating the equivalent energy density held by a 13.5 gallon gasoline tank in the average American car. The energy density of gasoline in an averaged sized ICE vehicle fuel tank is IRRELEVANT. It doesn’t matter that the average gas tank holds a lot more energy than the Mirai’s fuel tank or even the Tesla Model S battery. Only 23.38 gallons of formic acid contains 4.727 kg of hydrogen, the same amount held by the Mirai’s fuel tanks as compressed hydrogen (312 mile range / 66 MPG-e = 4.727 kg). Formic acid contains hydrogen with a volumetric capacity of 53.4 grams/liter. Therefore, 18.727 liters of formic acid will give you 1 kg of hydrogen, which is equal to 1 gallon of hydrogen (53.4 g/l x 18.727 liters = 1,000 g = 1 kg = 1 gallon), and 88.52 liters of formic acid would give… Read more »

Doesn’t formic acid have to be diluted to be handled safely (I read 85% is useable). Doesn’t converting formic acid to hydrogen onboard add complexity and decrease efficiency compared to using hydrogen?

As an aside, I would assert that it is Tesla which as a packing problem: The Model S and X are approximately the width of an Escalade. As cars go, they’re huge–all to support the enormous battery needed. The Mirai is much narrower, and has opted to place a wide armrest where the middle second row seat would be–something I personally support, as it makes the rear seats much more comfortable.

A long-range EV with the battery pack under the floor, like the Model S, Model X, or the BMW i3, can easily be given a larger battery pack simply by raising the floor a couple of inches. An extra-wide car is a nice touch of luxury in the Model S and X, but isn’t necessary.

That’s an interesting argument. As an aside, if manufacturers were interested in selling a compromised car with a higher center of gravity, proportionally more range is gained with a FCEV than a BEV. If you enlarge a rectangular battery pack by 25%, you have increased range by 25%. However, because the volume of a cylinder is pi*r^2*h, doing the same in an FCEV boosts range by 57%.

Nope.

Per volume hydro still win, but battery fit entirly below cargo space.

Cylindrical tank do eat up that space.

BEVs win.

Same for center of gravity się to extra vertical space needed hydro can NOT reach perfect aligment. Batteries can

Three Electrics said:

“…if manufacturers were interested in selling a compromised car with a higher center of gravity, proportionally more range is gained with a FCEV than a BEV.”

BEVs with a battery pack on the bottom of the car have an appreciably lower center of gravity, and much better resistance to rollover, than conventional cars. Increasing the weight of the battery pack will improve that characteristic, not make it worse!

“If you enlarge a rectangular battery pack by 25%, you have increased range by 25%. However, because the volume of a cylinder is pi*r^2*h, doing the same in an FCEV boosts range by 57%.”

Ummm… you’re comparing a two-dimensional shape to a three-dimensional one. Geometry isn’t your strong suit, is it?

I agree on some parts, that ie fuel cell tech has improved immensly the last two decades, and that there are improvements still to come. But…
There are a few limits regarding physics that fuel cell tech has to stay within. You mention range improvement. But how? The alternatives are either to add more hydrgen tanks thus taking up valuable space. Or increasing the gas pressure thus wasting more energy for nothing. And reinforcing hydrogen tanks for double the pressure makes them alot more expensive.

All in all this means that hydrogen cars will forever be stuck with some 300 miles range or maybe increased to 400 miles with other efficiency improvements, while batteries can be improved 10 fold or even 20 fold in theory. A five fold improvement of the energy density is probably practically feasable within a few decades.

I think the fuel cell technology is interesting. I have even taken university courses in vehicle fuel cell technology. But I have to say that the technology will stay in the shadow of BEVs if it even survives the first years.

BMW is rolling out cryo-compressed hydrogen, which halves the pressure for H2 tanks, or, alternatively, doubles the range.

However, volume is not an issue for an FCEV car, given that hydrogen has roughly 2.5x the volumetric density of a battery (see http://www.rebresearch.com/blog/hydrogen-versus-battery-power/).

They are using 0.15 kWh/kg, but current batteries are over 0.25 kWh/kg. Of course that still leave hydrogen in the lead, but many of their other numbers are suspect. It’s a lot more convenient to fill up in my garage, too.

Furthermore, the energy density of batteries will continue to improve, and there’s a great deal of potential for improvement. There have been lab demonstrations of batteries with 5x to 10x the ED, using graphene enhanced electrodes.

Contrariwise, with hydrogen you’re stuck with the H2 molecule. The only way to improve energy density is to compress it further. That can be achieved by liquefying the gas using cryogenic cooling, but then you have the daily energy loss of the car expending energy to keep it ultra-cold, plus the expense of the cryogenic hardware. Not a good trade-off.

LOL you’re quoting a site that states the following:

“Lithium-Ion batteries cost about $2000/kWhr, and give an effective 500 charge/discharge cycles; their physical life can be extended by not fully charging them, but it’s the same 500 cycles.”

Cryo-compressed hydrogen solves the problem of density but not of cost and longevity. To use cryo-compression is even more inefficient than compressed hydrogen. There is even more energy wasted to cool it down and you still have to use energy to compress it.

Then it boils off just sitting in the tank. There is no perfect insulation that will keep it cold long enough to just sit in the tank for very long so you better use it while you’ve got it.

Extending the range of a “fool cell” car won’t be very hard. At worst, they can make the car a bit larger and put in two (or even more) tanks.

The hard limit which will forever make FCEVs impractical and non-competitive is the nature of hydrogen, not the car itself.

“every gas station can have a hydrogen pump”

They could, but they won’t. They could have installed CNG fueling facilities ten years ago, and CNG cars would be common now, but they didn’t because gas station owners don’t have the money to gamble on a new fuel that may not go over. Their margins on gasoline are too thin. Even after Boone Pickens got involved in pushing CNG vehicles to the public and government, they still went nowhere. The demand for CNG cars is so low Honda decided not to make one any longer. Hydrogen is a much more expensive gamble than CNG was. Unless the manufacturers can con the government into paying the cost, there will be no hydrogen fueling infrastructure. The huge advantage for plug-ins is that they can be refueled at home with a $500 piece of equipment.

“Unless the manufacturers can con the government into paying the cost…”

Unfortunately this is exactly what is happening. The cost is enormous, in the USA probably over $100B. This will be born by the taxpayer and never show up as a cost at the pump. Germany is already committed, and other countries have the attitude that they don’t want to be left behind. I suggest all countries wait a few years and see how it works out for Germany.

– Range is not a strong function of weight and cost. Going from 260 miles to 520 miles of range does not add a thousand pounds and 15K.
Range is still a function of volume, and that does not give the HFCV an advantage in passenger cars where volume is at a premium.

– Potentially lower weight.
Not true given what we see with the Mirai.

– Quick refuel time.
This is the only valid advantage so far and other tech (like CNG) which have the same advantage have proven unviable.

– Many refueling sites: every gas station can have a hydrogen pump, like they do for diesel today.
This is extremely misleading. A retrofitted hydrogen station costs $2-4 million. A diesel pump costs car less to add. This is not an advantage over EVs as EV charging stations cost far less to install (even supercharging stations) and are in far higher amount of sites.

– Synergistic with renewable energy storage: large scale energy storage for solar and wind favors hydrogen over batteries.
This has yet to be proven. Theoretically it might work, but the biggest issue is making it reversible (the fuel cell power costs) and the loss of efficiency.

Quick Refuel Time.

The time is still twice as long as a gas car. So with the added extra cost of hydrogen means the car cannot and will not compete with a gas or hybrid vehicle.

An electric vehicle has certain advantages that make it compelling alternative to a gas or hybrid car.

The problem with an HFCV is that it fails in comparison to a gas or hybrid vehicle. It is more expensive, harder to fuel, more expensive to fuel, there is the inconvenience of the longer refuel time, and there are no gains in performance. It’s compelling marketing point is that it is more clean and even there it fails for the people that understand the technology and its current lack of cleanliness.

Three Electrics said:

“When EVs were in their infancy, they had terrible range, recharge, cost, and weight problems. While they still do, they’ve made huge strides. Given the amount of FCEV progress I’ve seen in the last five years, I suspect the same will be true for hydrogen cars.”

No matter how many times you repeat that, it’s not going to change reality.

“If only the world weren’t governed by the unfair and cruel laws of thermodynamics and economics, the hydrogen economy could rule the world.” –-HVACman, comment at InsideEVs.com, July 8, 2015

[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.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[end quote]
–-John Hollenberg, comment at InsideEVs.com, September 24, 2015

Even if I agreed with everything else in your post, it still comes down to infrastructure. You can not quickly and cheaply add a hydrogen filling option to every gas station in America. Totally different tank and storage system than gas/diesel. It would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars at a minimum to add hydrogen to an existing gas station. Contrast that with $30k to add a DCQC to every gas station in America. Electric infrastructure is much easier to build out and add on to existing infrastructure, and there is nothing I can see that will change that fact.

Hydrogen Summary of Failure Hydrogen stations make excellent explosive terrorist targets. Hydrogen stations are very expensive, cost per station: $1 Million, who is going to be forced to pay for this? Hydrogen stations not pumping at the 10,000 psi required, you’re only getting Half Charges! Difficult to make hydrogen and store it.   Hydrogen isn’t a source of energy, you can’t mine it, you can convert something else to hydrogen, like methane, but then you lose energy in the process.   Hydrogen from water( in a global drought? ), is extremely inefficient.   Hydrogen from methane gives you No Help with global warming, it actually makes things worse.  As methane wells typically leak like sieves Hydrogen must be supercooled and compressed to 10,000 psi to store sufficient energy, which requires lots of energy. Burning it as a fuel is less than 50% efficient. The energy to do all this could be used to directly run an EV from a battery, and get you Twice as far. Hydrogen likes to leak. Hydrogen has a general problem of metal embrittlement, so you need special tanks. – Hydrogen tanks only certified for 15 years??? Hydrogen leaks as an invisible gas. Hydrogen is extremely… Read more »

You forgot to mention that each of those $1-2 million H2 fueling stations only services two or three dozen “fool cell” cars per day, as compared to an average of 1100 cars per day for an average, far less expensive, gas/petrol station.

But H2 fueling stations would make a lousy terrorist target. A gas station is a better one, since the energy density of gasoline is far greater.

Give it a rest for 5 more years and check back then, maybe by then and billions of dollars thrown at it FCV’s will have made modicum improvements, but I doubt it.
In the mean time this discussion can be tabled until there is something to actually discuss.

There are at the moment 186 comments on this article, which makes it easily one of the most-commented articles here at InsidEVs.

It seems that as it becomes more and more clear that “fool cell” cars are exactly what that name suggests, the supporters of the “hydrogen economy” are getting shriller and more stubborn, doubling down on ignoring facts and trying to hand-wave away the very significant, and unsolvable, real-world difficulties with trying to use hydrogen as a transportation fuel.

“…– Many refueling sites: every gas station can have a hydrogen pump, like they do for diesel today…”

But, we’ve been told a ‘HP’ is over $1 million, and pictures I’ve looked at of prospective General Electric Hydrogen Refueling stations take up 70% of the square footage of the entire property for the H2 infrastructure.

They certainly don’t spend that much around me to add basically #2 fuel oil to a typical stations’ dispensing operation.

In city lots, where there is no more available real estate, where will they put the “HP”? 4 floors above the roof of the convenience store?

I thought the Federal $8k incentive expired?

Toyota is making up for the expired subsidy out of its own pocket, instead of lowering the MSRP in hopes/anticipation that lobbying efforts will result in the subsidy being renewed in the future.

Toyota is subsidizing the purchasing cost since we know that $57K is an arbitrarily low number compared to what it would really cost even if they sold 50K units a year. Toyota is now making up for the lost subsidy out of it’s own pocket. Toyota is also paying for the fuel out of it’s own pocket since hydrogen costs $14 a gallon of gas equivalent.

Toyota is spending a lot of money on each unit in an attempt to prove to people how viable this technology is while their doing so proves the opposite point.

“. . . we know that $57K is an arbitrarily low number compared to what it would really cost. . .”

We know? How do we know?

Because Toyota has told us so. “Talking with Automotive News, Toyota’s Yasuhiro Nonobe, general manager for fuel cell vehicle system design says that continuing massive drops in fuel cell technology costs on the same generation-by-generation basis we’ve seen so far is unlikely and impractical. Instead, he says, Toyota’s engineers predict they will be able to reduce the cost of its next-generation fuel cell technology by between two-thirds to three-quarters the cost of the Mirai’s fuel cell technology. In order to truly reach profitability and make hydrogen fuel cell car technology as ubiquitous as hybrid drivetrain technology is today however, Toyota needs more than a three-quarters reduction in costs to make it appealing to car buyers. More pressing, it needs to cut costs to turn a profit. That’s because the price Toyota is due to sell the 2016 Mirai at — $57,500 before incentives — isn’t’ the actual cost to Toyota of building the car. In reality, it currently costs Toyota far more to build the Mirai than it makes selling it.” Also from Toyota: “Both in terms of design and manufacturing technology, we need to improve,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, Toyota’s Chief Engineer for the Toyota Mirai. “We need to achieve… Read more »
Nope. Toyota said no such thing in their interview to Automotive News. Transport Evolved reported on the Automotive News interview with Toyota, and then went on to SPECULATE that Toyota is selling the Mirai for a lot less than it costs to make. The following two paragraphs you posted are COMPLETE SPECULATION, CONJECTURE, AND OPINION by the author of the Transport Evolved story that are NOT based on anything the Toyota engineer said in the Automotive News interview. “In order to truly reach profitability and make hydrogen fuel cell car technology as ubiquitous as hybrid drivetrain technology is today however, Toyota needs more than a three-quarters reduction in costs to make it appealing to car buyers. More pressing, it needs to cut costs to turn a profit.” “That’s because the price Toyota is due to sell the 2016 Mirai at — $57,500 before incentives — isn’t’ the actual cost to Toyota of building the car. In reality, it currently costs Toyota far more to build the Mirai than it makes selling it.” How does Transport Evolved know Toyota’s costs to build exceed the selling price, when the Toyota engineer never said that? In the Automotive News interview the Toyota engineer… Read more »

sven said: “In the Automotive News interview the Toyota engineer said the cost of the fuel cell system in the Mirai is about 1/20th the cost of its previous generation fuel cell system.”

“Back in 2007, when Toyota build around 100 examples of a prototype Highlander FCV, the cost of building each and every FUEL CELL SYSTEM totalled nearly $1 million per vehicle.”

So 1/20th of $1,000,000 cost for the first generation FUEL CELL SYSTEM comes to……$50,000. Then there is the rest of the car and drivetrain you have to build at $X cost.

Oy vey! Once again, the $1,000,000 figure is Transport Evolved’s estimate/educated-guess of the cost of Toyota’s previous fuel cell system. In the Automotive News interview, the Toyota engineer NEVER stated the actual cost. Transport Evolved is just SPECULATING on the cost Toyota fuel cell systems.

http://www.autonews.com/article/20141124/OEM06/311249976/toyotas-fuel-cell-goal:-big-cost-cutting

Even if the cost was $1,000,000, any calculation based on a $1,000,000 cost is INVALID because it fails to take into account the different Yen to US dollar exchange rates now and when the previous generation was produced. The cost reduction calculation on the cost to produce the fuel cell system in Japan must be done in Yen, then you convert to US dollars based on the current Yen to US dollar exchange rate. You take the cost of the previous generation in Yen, then multiple it by 1/20th to get the cost of the Mirai’s fuel cell system, then covert to US dollars based on the current exchange rate.

LOL are you seriously resorting to currency exchange to salvage your point?

http://cen.acs.org/articles/92/i46/Making-Fuel-Cell-Vehicles-Almost.html

Is the American Chemical Society good enough of a source for you? Or are you going to accuse them of shoddy journalism as well?

“Serious consumer road testing began in 2007, when a small number of sports utility vehicles powered by fuel cells were introduced for lease. Back then, which is not so long ago, the SUVs cost about $1 million apiece.”

In 2007, the yen was within a few percent of what it was at the time of the 20x reduction statement (Nov 2014). In fact, the USD was generally worth more yen in 2007 than in Nov 2014, so that argument works against you.

With all due respect Mint, the 2007 date is wrong, and there is a significant difference in exchange rates when the correct date is used. The last generation Toyota fuel cell vehicle was the FCHV-adv, which came out in early 2009 when the exchange rate was about 1 dollar = 90 Yen. The Nov 2014 exchange rate averaged about 1 dollar = 115.52 yen (1 yen = .00866 dollar) In 2007, Toyota had the older generation FCHV-4 (I don’t know how much that generation cost to make). The 20x cost reduction was on the “about $1,000,000” cost of the 2009 FCHV-adv. In early 2009, $1,000,000 equaled 90,000,000 Yen. A 1/20 cost reduction would be 4,500,000 Yen, which in Nov 2014 equals $38,970 (4,500,000 x .00866). In contrast, a straight 20x cost reduction from $1,000,000 would be $50,000, a difference of $11,030. Phillip D stated that Toyota said it cost them $50,000 to make the Mirai’s fuel cell system, and that Toyota said they were selling the $57,00 Mirai at a loss. My point was Toyota never said either of the above, we can’t know exactly what the actual cost of the Mirai’s fuel cell is in 2014. Instead, Transport Evolved… Read more »

sven:

Denying reality does not actually change reality, no matter how hard you try.

“Facts are stubborn things.”

$6 a pound! 25 cents a mile? Ouch!
I like the way they hide the hydrogen cost for the first three years.

“Don’t worry about that nasty hydrogen price! We got you covered!”

Sotto voce,
“Sucker…”

Kinda hard to imagine a scenario where fuel cell cars can compete with EVs. The current infrastructure is heavily subsidized and building a fueling station is no easy task. Unless Exxon decides to go all in on hydrogen, it will be difficult to build out a decent infrastructure. If you need proof, just look at electric charging. The infrastructure is everywhere, but it is so hard to go the last 20 feet from an existing location to a car.

There are some niches. They do have the advantage of being able to refuel pretty quickly. Perhaps they can be used in long-haul trucking.

And perhaps they can be used for large farming equipment instead of diesel.

But for light-duty automobiles? It just doesn’t make much sense.

The only niche application appropriate for hydrogen fuel is in the booster stage of large rockets. Seriously.

If our freight truck fleets aren’t even being converted to use CNG or LPG, despite the much lower cost of fuel, then how much less chance that they’ll be converted to something as expensive and difficult to handle as hydrogen?

As far as farm use: On my grandpa’s farm, we could, and did, easily carry diesel out to the fields in barrels in the back of a pickup, using a hand pump to dispense the fuel into a tractor or combine. It’s hard for me to imagine any family farmer would put up with the expense and difficulty of storing and dispensing hydrogen fuel. He certainly wouldn’t be carrying it around in a barrel in a pickup, nor dispensing it with a simple hose and hand pump!

Really good point.
Where are the CNG trucks if they’re so good.

Actually, Hybrid trucks are under development and actually being sold in California.

As hybrids already out perform CNG and now Hydrogen, there’s not even a case for hydro in trucks.

It might be economically more viable to have overhead lines like trolley busses on major highways – at least in Europe. Then trucks could get away with a smallish 100kWh battery. But then again – by the time those lines are installed a 1MWh truck might be viable!

The hydrogen transportation lifecycle is too complex/inefficient to work without the full commitment (lobbying) of the oil companies.

before you worry about whether people are going to buy BEVs over FCEVs people have to start buying *any* electric vehicles, and at present, electric vehicles is a small niche. in terms of people “abandoning” ICEs, most people are not “believers”; you have to convince them that the cost and convenience of electric vehicles is at least better than those of ICEs. the Chevrolet Volt matches convenience but isn’t quite there with respect to cost. Tesla doesn’t achieve either right now.

Tesla holds 20% plus of premium market. That is failure? LOL

LOL @ Toyota. What a non-starter.

I like how they have to bribe hydrogen owners by hiding the Total Cost of Ownership by subsidizing the price of fill-ups for 3 years. After that, the price will be hurt and is certain to increase from todays meager 25 cents a mile price.

Pretty sure this isn’t all they’re hiding regarding their hydrogen drivetrain…

I like how it looks like the Toyota Edsel.

IMHO, this commitment to hydrogen makes Toyota the 21st Century version of GM and the other “legacy” auto makers with their “heads in the sand” as technology evolved PAST them.

It is SO sad to see Toyota, who seemed ready to exploit technology with their early development of hybrids FAIL so clearly and totally in the refusal to actually “go electric.”

Let’s see how many Toyotas I have owned going back to 1972, A Corolla Mark II, Celica, Previa, 2004 Prius, 2006 Prius, 2007 Camry Hybrid, but it looks like that promising “relationship” is over and done. And there is NOTHING on the Toyota horizon is even marginally tempt me to ever go back.

Bye, Bye, Toyota, it was good while you lasted.

I”m with you. We just dumped our Camry Hybrid for an i3 lease. Looks like Toyota is dead to us for at lease another decade or so until they come around.

Battery prices fall by process efficiencies, where very little lithium is actually used. We’re at the point where fuel origins, and distribution, tell the tale.

Hydrogen prices go back to a fossil feedstock, er 90+% of it does, where price may be staying high relative to the total per mile fuel cost.

Electricity doesn’t mark up natural gas, nearly as much as those CNG filling stations, or certainly not the NG derived hydrogen stations that will have to layer higher handling costs no matter what.

It’s a lost cause, as C&D found out. Going from NG derived hydrogen, to water electrolysis would blow out the $.25/mile numbers that are already too high.

Lost cause? Only Luddites bet against technological advances. Don’t be a Luddite. 😉

“The University of Tokyo and the University of Miyazaki (UOM) announced that researchers of the universities have made a system capable of water electrolysis using electricity generated by solar cells and succeeded in storing 24.4% of sunlight energy as hydrogen.”

“The solar cell and water electrolysis unit used for this system are commercially available, and, thus, the system can be realized with existing technologies. . . . and are expected to reduce hydrogen cost to US$4/kg, which is a goal of the US Department of Energy (DOE).”

http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/atclen/news_en/15mk/092500057/?ST=msbe

“using electricity generated by solar cells and succeeded in storing 24.4% of sunlight energy as hydrogen.”

I’m sure that is 24.4% of the electricity harvested from the panels themselves which are probably 20% efficient. Again why not just take that 20% efficient solar derived electricity and put it into a battery?

Sure there will be a small fraction lost in transmission and conversion to the drivetrain but it certainly won’t be 76% of it lost like with hydrogen.

“I’m sure that is 24.4% of the electricity harvested from the panels themselves which are probably 20% efficient.”

Nope. You’re wrong. I guess you didn’t bother to read the linked article?

“In the latest research, Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd’s concentrating solar cell with a new optical design was mounted on THK Co Ltd’s sun-tracking mounting system at UOM, which is an R&D base for concentrating solar cells. As a result, a power generation efficiency of 31% was achieved under the sunshine conditions of Miyazaki.

When the efficiency of electricity-to-hydrogen energy transfer in water electrolysis (80%) is taken into consideration, the sunlight-to-hydrogen energy conversion efficiency reaches 24-25%.”

Now, add in the additional energy losses from compression, storage, transportation, re-storage, and dispensing.

For hydrogen fuel, when it’s finally dispensed into a “fool cell” car, 70-80% loss of the invested energy is about right, on average.

25¢ per mile. Think about it.

LOL. Wrong. “In the latest research, Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd’s concentrating solar cell with a new optical design..As a result, a power generation efficiency of 31% was achieved under the sunshine conditions of Miyazaki.” “Concentrating solar cells are more expensive than normal solar cells.” So in apples to apples comparison you would get to use those same more expensive concentrating solar cells to produce electricity for a BEV. Here’s an apples to apples breakdown. FCV: Whatever solar cell makes 100 kWh –> Electrolysis conversion efficiency 80% = 80 kWh –> Compression to 10,000 psi efficiency 90% = 72 kWh –> Fuel cell efficiency 60% (being generous) = 43.2 kWh –> electricity to propel vehicle efficiency 90% = 38.88 kWh EV: Whatever same solar cell as above 100 kWh –> AC/DC conversion and battery charging 85% efficiency = 85 kWh –> electricity to propel vehicle efficiency 90% = 76.5 kWh So using the same 31% efficient solar cells used in the cited study you posted you would get double the energy by using that energy directly in a BEV. A BEV’s drivetrain is slightly heavier than a FCV’s drivetrain but not by much when you take into account that the midsized… Read more »

By the way I didn’t add in transportation efficiency loses for the 2. The HFCV loses on this step as well.

“So using the same 31% efficient solar cells used in the cited study you posted you would get double the energy by using that energy directly in a BEV.” If you want an apples-to-apples comparison, the vast majority of BEVs are charged at night when solar panels produce zero electricity, instead charging on grid electricity produced by baseload generating plants running on either natural gas or coal. The actual electrons powering BEVs charged at night come from fossil fuels. If you have solar panels on your home and insist on saying your net metering allows you to offset you night time charging by the electricity generated from your solar panels, then you must use the efficiency of the solar panels you have installed on your roof, which are about 16%, and not the 31% efficient concentrated solar cell mounted on a solar tracking system used to made hydrogen at a commercial facility. Remember apples-to-apples. For the record, you were wrong in you original comment when you stated: “I’m sure that is 24.4% of the electricity harvested from the panels themselves which are probably 20% efficient.” That’s 24.4% x 20% = 4.88%, when it was actually 31% efficient panels x 80%… Read more »

“then you must use the efficiency of the solar panels you have installed on your roof, which are about 16%, and not the 31% efficient concentrated solar cell mounted on a solar tracking system used to made hydrogen at a commercial facility. Remember apples-to-apples.”

Ok I’ll remember apples to apples. If you get to claim the use of some hypothetical commercial facility that uses 31% efficient solar cells, rather than how hydrogen is really produced today from fossil fuels, then I get to use that same hypothetical commercial facility too. Remember, apples to apples right.

Then we are right back where we started with my formula above that shows that EV will always be more efficient than HFCVs in a true apples to apples comparison using like energy sources.

Nope. You can’t put a commercial facility with solar tracking on your home’s roof, and even if you could it would produce zero electricity when you charged your car during the night. Apples to apples.

sven, arguing over such details is exactly as useful as arguing over how the deck chairs on the Titanic should be re-arranged.

If the process of generating hydrogen uses more expensive, higher efficiency solar panels, then that makes the cost of the H2 fuel that much higher. You don’t pay for sunlight, but you do pay for buying, installing, and maintaining the solar panels.

P.S.– 95% of commercial H2 comes from reforming natural gas, not from solar power or any other renewable source.

The “hydrogen economy”, like the Titanic, is doomed to sink.

As usual, your 95% factoid about commercial hydrogen is a red herring. Almost all of that hydrogen is way too impure to use in a hydrogen FCV. The only hydrogen that matters for hydrogen FCVs is the super pure hydrogen used for transportation, not the hydrogen full of impurities that is used to make fertilizer or hydro-crack petroleum at a refinery.

“California law requires that 33% of hydrogen for transportation come from renewable sources.” Under this law, the renewable percentage requirement will rise even higher after a certain number of HFCVs are sold. CARB recently reported that the hydrogen fueling stations in California are currently exceeding the 33% renewable requirement for transportation hydrogen by a wide margin. CARB says a whopping 46% of transportation hydrogen sold in California is made from renewable resources, drastically reducing the WTW CO2 emissions for HFCVs!

http://cafcp.org/getinvolved/stayconnected/blog/stations_surpass_renewable_hydrogen_requirement

Pushmi-Pullyu, I know you will not respond to this comment. Your modus operandi is to cut and run whenever presented with information that runs counter to your biased viewpoints. You will just pretend that you didn’t see this comment, and not leave a response.

This is a reply to “Sven”, who kept posting until the website stopped putting in “Reply” buttons so that Pushmi-Pullyu literally cannot reply. I wonder if Sven counted how many replies that would take. As to refusing to reply, Sven, is that like the way you have refused to reply to any of the actual car owners above who have stated that they find the Mirai unappealing and do not consider something they would consider purchasing? I mean, shouldn’t you try to make an argument to present-day buyers instead of appealing to the inevitable future when solar power is incredibly cheap, even though you can’t prove that will favor HFC over BEV because we don’t even begin to know how storage infrastructure will work out? What HFC is being used for is paralyzing a conservative, financially squeezed public into sticking with gasoline until the hydrogen miracle relieves them of any responsibility for changing our economy. This looks depressingly like the behavior of global warming deniers and nuclear power cultists – the latter of whom seem to be falling silent as the costs of wind and solar get under 6 cents/kw. We can construct a timeline for falling battery costs over… Read more »

sven said:

“Lost cause? Only Luddites bet against technological advances. Don’t be a Luddite.”

Only a fool believes that there is some way to make a practical perpetual motion device, or to improve the physical and chemical properties of hydrogen, to make it into a practical fuel. The one is every bit as impossible as the other.

Don’t be a fool.

The only fool on this site is a certain bespectacled commentor formerly know as Lensman who pontificates his opinions as if they are indisputable facts, if not the word of God.

Solid state batteries will be here in less than 5 years. The cost of an EV will be soon cheaper then an ICE vehicle.

Hydrogen is dead today.
No fool would roll out a 2 million dollar per station infrastructure, just to be out of business in 5 years.

Oh god, the side view of that thing is even uglier than the frontal view.

“Comparing this price to EVs would be horror, as all-electric cars would save over $10 every 60 miles.”

Are the savings based on public fast chargers or home charging?

Does it matter? When 98% of your charging is done at home in an EV and 0% of your charging can be done at home in a HFCV, what you do with your money for that last 2% is irrelevant. You could spend it on getting your car hauled across the country if you wanted.

Let me fix that for you: 98% of charging is done at home for those who live in single family homes with a garage. For those who can’t charge at home, 0% of charging is done at home. Currently 60% of the U.S. population can’t charge at home.

There is a whole other world outside your little world. Half the world’s population lives in urban areas. Have you ever tried to squeeze a BEV into an elevator or carry a BEV up a couple of flights of stairs to charge it overnight from an outlet in your apartment? For these people 0% of their charging can be done at home.

“Let me fix that for you: 98% of charging is done at home for those who live in single family homes with a garage. For those who can’t charge at home, 0% of charging is done at home. Currently 60% of the U.S. population can’t charge at home.”

Let me fix that for you: The number that matters is how many driving households have a garage. The number of overall households with a garage appears to be 53%. I imagine if you filter by driving households (rather than overall) the numbers go even higher. And then you filter that with how many households can afford an EV or HFCV.

The addressable market of EVs have never been an issue. As the market grows based on home charging, the public charging side will naturally come. Hydrogen doesn’t have the same choice. It must start out with public infrastructure.

Honda has been experimenting with home hydrogen refueling stations: http://world.honda.com/FuelCell/SolarHydrogenStation/

If the cost of solar continues decreasing at current trends, people will be able to produce hydrogen at home, via electrolysis, that is cheaper than gasoline. As a bonus, such a system would also provide Powerwall-like home energy storage.

Mr. Electric said:

“…people will be able to produce hydrogen at home, via electrolysis, that is cheaper than gasoline…”

Hydrogen proponents keep trying to hand-wave away the high cost of producing hydrogen by predicting some magical future source of very cheap electricity.

If such a magical source ever appears, it will make PEVs (Plug-in EVs) even more competitive against “fool cell” cars, not less.

Cheap electricity would favor PEVs, not FCEVs.

Gotta admit thought, it’s really fascinating to watch people try to make that argument anyway!

Assume you need to store energy in a battery for the entire season (six months); at $145 a kWh, amortized over 15 years, you have a cost of $4.83 per kWh. Assuming solar electricity costs $0.02 per kWh, storing your solar energy costs 250 times more than making it! Thus, while EVs benefit from cheap electricity, they cannot use 100% renewable energy unless:

a) intermediate batteries are used, increasing cost 250x
b) hydrogen or compressed air is used for storage

Of these choices, b) is the most compelling. And if you’re going to store your energy as hydrogen, it’s most efficient to pump that directly into an FCEV rather than convert it back to electricity to charge a BEV.

I should also note that this energy storage requirement means that, in a fully renewable grid, even BEV electricity will go through a hydrogen pathway (at least in winter), and thus an FCEV and BEV will share similar costs per mile. The only scenario in which this would not be true is if storage went compressed air–which is not out of the realm of possibility.

Three electrics wrote
‘Assume you need to store energy in a battery for the entire season (six months); at $145 a kWh, amortized over 15 years, you have a cost of $4.83 per kWh. Assuming solar electricity costs $0.02 per kWh, storing your solar energy costs 250 times more than making it! Thus, while EVs benefit from cheap electricity, they cannot use 100% renewable energy unless’

No it is $4.83/kwhr/yr. But in a yr it might do 300-600kwhrs bring down the price to under $.01-.02/kwr.
Plus you likely produce, use 4 kwhrs for every one you might store if
designed right.
The money in a larger system you’d need without batteries easily pays for the batteries alone.
Hardly the 250x’s you say makes you look really bad.
It is way too high making it said on purpose to deceive.
Why are you against honest facts by putting up such lies Three Electrics?

That 60% number has been debunked over and over and over again. That number comes from people who CURRENTLY cannot charge at home.

That doesn’t mean they would never have the ability to charge at home. It means that they don’t currently have a plug in or near their dedicated parking spot whether it be a condo/apartment spot or garage or carport or driveway.

There is a much smaller % of the population that have 0 dedicated off street parking spots but it is much less than 50% of the population.

With very little investment in even 120V infrastructure at residences whether they are condos, rental properties, homes and even places of work a quite large percent of the population would be able to keep their EV charged up.

electric-car-insider.com

Your stat on charging at home is way off reality, Sven, at least for the US.

If a city can provide street lights and parking meters, they can provide public charging infrastructure.

With wireless, no visual or cord clutter. V2G could make charging costs ultra low or even free.

How is it “way off reality”? I was recalling from memory the following InsideEVs story of a Carnegie Melon study about access to home charging in the U.S. that stated the following: “About 40 percent of U.S. households have an existing electrical outlet near a parking space suitable for charging a low-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicle overnight, but many households own multiple vehicles — often without enough garage or off-street parking for all of their vehicles.” So I was wrong, 40% of U.S. households have access to charging at home, not 50% like I claimed. How was I “way off reality”? http://insideevs.com/carnegie-melon-says-limited-residential-parking-will-ultimately-hinder-ev-adoption/ In NYC the parking meters are connected to the electrical grid. They run off batteries and receive some charge from a solar panel on top of the charger. The batteries are swapped out regularly with freshly charged batteries and the paper supply for receipts is replaced. Somehow I doubt NYC is going to install 4+ million street chargers, much less maintain them. As it stands now all those street parking spots are just as much “charger ready” as those 20% of future NYC parking spots that are required to be “charger ready” and which were much heralded by… Read more »

sven said:

“Somehow I doubt NYC is going to install 4+ million street chargers, much less maintain them.”

I would expect that in 1890, you would have said “Somehow I doubt NYC is going to install 4+ million telephones, much less maintain them.”

Currently, less than 1% of Americans are driving EVs. When that number reaches, say, 15%, the outlook is going to look a lot more likely for companies and/or municipalities installing 220v outlets in parking lots, and at curbside in residential districts without off-street parking, to charge EVs. Yeah, even 4+ million of them… or more.

So what is your prediction of when 15% of Americans will be driving EVs? I want to mark it on my calendar.

2030-2038

Europe needs 20% EVs in car sales by 2020-2022 to match govermental fuel (CO2) requirements.

The US will lag behind around 2-6 years. After those period the market will need 8-10 years until old cars (100% ICEs) go to the junkyard and are replaced by new cars (20% EVs / 80% ICEs).

My calendar is marked. We should put down some money and start a pool. Winner takes all! 😀

When the hell do you think 15% of Americans will drive fuel cell cars? 2075? The truth is that all the establishment car manufacturers except Renault want to keep gasoline going as long as possible to protect their comparative advantage there. If Tesla hadn’t appeared those companies would be doing NOTHING except a few hybrids. The mediocrity and ugliness of the Mirai indicates that Toyota isn’t serious about fuel cells either. Fuel cells are King Log.

Until you have a fuel-cell-only car company backed by as much money as Tesla, you’re the victim of a giant con game.

Since every practical argument about fuel cells involve a future infrastructure that is a decade or more away, you have to view the BEV from the same perspective which most likely involves autonomous charging.

sven said:

“For those who can’t charge at home, 0% of charging is done at home. Currently 60% of the U.S. population can’t charge at home.”

First of all, sven, that’s a wild exaggeration. 70% of Americans live in single-family dwellings. Anyone with a driveway can charge at home, whether they own a garage or not. An EV charger can be installed outdoors just fine.

Second of all: Those who can’t charge at home can, and do, drive gasmobiles. “Fool cell” cars have to compete against gasmobiles as well as PEVs.

Gasmobiles are less polluting (on a well-to-wheel basis), are far cheaper to operate, and can be refueled almost anywhere.

There really is no logical, rational, or sensible argument in favor of “fool cell” cars over gasmobiles.

ICEs are not less polluting, on average; see: http://www.apep.uci.edu/3/ResearchSummaries/pdf/SustainableTransportation/WTW_vehicle_greenhouse_gases_Public.pdf

Unfortunately this only shows the US grid average for BEVs. In many states, it’s much worse.

Wild exageration? I revealed the source for my 60% figure in my comment above; it’s from an InsideEVs story on the findings of a peer-reviewed report/anaylsis by Cargenie Mellon University. What peer-reviewd orifice did you pull your 70% figure out of? Did you just make it up? http://insideevs.com/carnegie-melon-says-limited-residential-parking-will-ultimately-hinder-ev-adoption/ Pushmi-Pullyu said: Gasmobiles are less polluting (on a well-to-wheel basis) [than hydrogen FCVs]. . .” That is complete and utter bullsh!t. Hydrogen FCVs are much less polluting than gasmobiles. The peer-reviewed well-to-wheels GREET study by the world renowned energy scientists at the U.S. Argonne National Laboratory have determined that a convention ICE vehicle emits about 425 grams of CO2 per mile while a hydrogen FCV emits about 250 grams of CO2 per mile when fueled with hydrogen made centrally by made steam reforming natural gas. The CO2 figure for hydrogen FCVs is even lower when you factor in that 33% of transportation hydrogen sold in California must be made from renewable sources, which have much lower WTW CO2 emissions. Likewise, the WTW emissions for the Mirai are lower, since it is more efficient that the older model FCVs used in the GREET analysis. Pushmi-Pullyu, every time I cite the WTW GREET anaylsis… Read more »

Once again, no response from Pushmi-Pullyu. Apparently, after all this time he still can’t come up with one. 🙁

“When 98% of your charging is done at home in an EV. . .”

It’s actually 81% of electric vehicle charging is done at home.

http://insideevs.com/most-electric-vehicle-owners-charge-at-home-in-other-news-the-sky-is-blue/

Toyota didn’t leverage the lessons learned from Prius and let it rot on the vine.
Now most other manufacturers have leapfrogged them and they are stuck with a technology that is decades away from being viable. No wonder they only make these things in such laughably small numbers – if they made any fewer they would have to class it as a prototype.

I’m trying to figure out why anyone would choose the Mirai over the Chevy Volt (unless they couldn’t plug-in and live near hydrogen stations). But performance-wise the Mirai fails miserably compared to the Volt in every category. Or spend a little more and get a Tesla S 70.

Below are Car and Driver’s results for the Mirai and Volt:

Toyota Mirai / Chevy Volt

Zero to 60 mph: 9.4 sec / 7.8 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 34.2 sec / 23.4 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 3.9 sec / 3.2 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 6.3 sec / 4.7 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 17.2 sec @ 80 mph / 16.1 sec @ 86 mph
Top speed (drag limited): 108 mph / 101 mph (gov limited)
Braking, 70-0 mph: 194 ft / 181 ft

Don’t forget 0-30:

Volt EV mode – 2.6 seconds
Volt hybrid mode – 2.2 seconds

Mirai – who cares

the main advantage of the Mirai over the Volt is that the Mirai is emissions free over an extended range. from a convenience perspective, the Volt is much more convenient; indeed, driving the Volt is as convenient as driving an ICE, with the benefit that you can significantly (but not completely) reduce emissions produced as a result of driving.

the main advantage of the Mirai over a Model S is a Mirai can refill to 350 miles of range in 5 where a Model S recharges to 250 miles of range in an hour. the main reason for giving consideration to FCEVs is the long recharge times for BEVs.

You’re right, of course, that the Mirai eliminates tailpipe emissions, but then that brings us the the whole ‘hydrogen is dirty to produce/transport/store and pump at high pressure (I wish I knew of a completely neutral group that would do a real source-to-wheels comparison).

Some things I forgot to mention: The Volt is about half the price of the Mirai, and the Volt has five seatbelts vs. the Mirai’s four.

I also have to believe that the vast, vast majority of people will almost eliminate their daily tailpipe emissions with the 53-mile electric range Volt. And if you had to regularly take 100 mile trips, you could almost buy two Volts for the price of one Mirai and leave one fully charged Volt halfway along your regular route, switch cars at 50 miles and be able to go 100 miles tailpipe-emission-free! 🙂

Jim_NJ said: “(I wish I knew of a completely neutral group that would do a real source-to-wheels comparison).” Try this article: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/08/05/3467115/tesla-toyota-hydrogen-cars-batteries/ You have to make some pretty skewed, cherry-picked assumptions not to conclude that using hydrogen as a fuel has much higher CO2 emissions (and also real pollution emissions), due to extremely poor efficiency, than gasoline/diesel, or in fact any other commonly used fuel. Hydrogen is the worst, the most polluting and the most wasteful, choice for fuel that anyone has ever tried to scale up to commercial use. Elon Musk certainly isn’t neutral on the subject, but he summarizes the problems with hydrogen fuel quite well in the following quote: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I don’t want to turn this into a debate on hydrogen fuel cells, because I just think that they’re extremely silly. There’s multiple rebuttals of it online. It’s just very difficult to make hydrogen and store it and use it in a car. Hydrogen is an energy storage mechanism, it’s not a source of energy. So you have to get that hydrogen from somewhere. If you get that hydrogen from water, you’re splitting H2O. Electrolysis is extremely inefficient as an energy process. If you took a solar… Read more »

The most polluting fuel isn’t hydrogen–it’s coal used to power EVs. In states where this is common, even ICEs have fewer GHGs than electric cars.

This study: http://www.apep.uci.edu/3/ResearchSummaries/pdf/SustainableTransportation/WTW_vehicle_greenhouse_gases_Public.pdf

… shows that FCEVs are competitive with BEVs under a wide variety of scenarios, and better than BEVs under most scenarios when the BEV is charged using the US grid average.

When the energy source is 100% renewable, then none of this matters: both types of cars will be equally clean. In this world, FCEVs are less efficient, but quicker to refuel, and cheaper for long range vehicles; whereas BEVs are more efficient. Ultimately, all that matters is total cost, which, I assert, will be lower for renewable hydrogen, as storing large amounts of energy is far cheaper to do with hydrogen than with batteries. Thus, a hydrogen economy will be cheaper despite the loss of efficiency, as reduced storage costs allow more solar generation to be built than otherwise, for a net gain.

How many fallacies are in your post? I immediately spotted multiple long discredited yet still common EV-hater arguments.

Here’s a reality check:

1. Your numbers assume that all EV owners are charging off the grid. Yet we know that about 30% of EV owners use solar power to offset some or all of the electricity they use to charge their cars.

2. No State uses 100% coal for grid power. At worst, it’s 75%, and in most States it’s better.

3. States which have disproportionately more EV sales have much “cleaner” electricity. For example, California gets only about 0.5% (one-half of one percent) of its grid power from coal.

Indiana gets 95% of its power from coal; see:
http://www.rmcmi.org/education

Many other states have numbers almost as high.

It doesn’t matter whether some EV owners charge from solar or not. If they operated the same solar panels and they *didn’t* charge, and drove an ICE, PHEV, or FCEV instead, their air would be cleaner. The opportunity cost is same.

By the way, I try to cite my sources whenever possible. Would you mind doing the same?

Three Electrics said:

“Ultimately, all that matters is total cost, which, I assert, will be lower for renewable hydrogen, as storing large amounts of energy is far cheaper to do with hydrogen than with batteries.”

I’m having trouble seeing how anyone could possibly come to such a conclusion, no matter how erroneously. Perhaps you’re ignoring the fact that you only have to pay for batteries once, when building the car, but you have to pay for hydrogen fuel every time you fill up?

My reasoning is as follows: Given that: – the world will eventually switch to 100% renewable electricity – most of that electricity will be generated from solar – solar generation will become incredibly cheap Then: – large scale, long term energy storage will be required – it will be cheaper to deploy more solar panels combined with inexpensive, bulk hydrogen storage than fewer panels with more expensive battery storage, as storage needs will run into the weeks, if not months. Storing from summer to winter with batteries costs 250x more than generating it, whereas storing hydrogen in geologic rock formations can be done for as little as $1/kWh. Even storing electricity for as little as 24 hours with batteries doubles to triples the cost of solar power. Batteries will get cheaper, but will solar (and hydrogen, to some degree). – thus, the least expensive renewable electricity will involve a hydrogen economy and attendant infrastructure – in a world where most electricity is generated through a hydrogen storage step, FCEVs are just as efficient as BEVs, and have other compelling advantages There is an alternative argument, which is simply: once electricity gets cheap enough, the advantages of FCEVs outweigh the marginal… Read more »

Couldn’t you make an even stronger argument for zinc-air cells? Higher energy density, easier storage, you still need a specialized station to refuel, but you can use excess electricity or even concentrated sunlight to convert zinc oxide back into zinc and store energy that way.

And the Army is already using zinc-air to power portable electronics in the field.

Not so neutral, but a comparison all the same. The Mirai really should be compared to an EREV opposed to a BEV, then all arguments go away.
http://insideevs.com/2016-chevy-volt-vs-toyota-mirai/

Jim_NJ said:
“(I wish I knew of a completely neutral group that would do a real source-to-wheels comparison).”

The scientists at the U.S. Argonne National Laboratory did a well-to-wheels analysis:

https://greet.es.anl.gov/public/images/greet_sample_ghg_emissions.png

https://greet.es.anl.gov/results

The GREET analysis is also updated and refined annually, and is used by CARB in making their policy decisions.

The real challenge is to invent something to replace the ICE, not what advantage the BEV has over the FCV and vice versa. So what are the disadvantages that those systems have.
FCV: bit lower range, very high costs, very low power, very complicated refueling process, close to nonexistent infrastructure.
BEV: lower range, higher costs, very fast recharging could become more complicated (1MW and more), increasing but still patchy infrastructure.
In the end, the system, that will extinguish those disadvantages the fastest, will be chosen by the consumer.

“no comment” said:

“the main advantage of the Mirai over the Volt is that the Mirai is emissions free over an extended range.”

Only if you measure emissions at the tailpipe.

If you do a well-to-wheel analysis, the Volt — or even an average gasmobile — is much less polluting than a “fool cell” car.

Calling FCEVs “green” tech is merely greenwashing. If you want to “save the planet”, it’s better to drive an efficient gasmobile or a Volt than a FCEV.

you are correct, i am only counting tailpipe emissions; the reason being that going back any further introduces technology dependent aspects that do not directly affect how the car performs. so when considering the “back end” factors, it is the role of regulations to, for example, discourage the generation of electricity using coal and encourage the generation of electricity using renewable sources.

The EPA gives the Mirai a mpge rating of 66 MPGe for 100% of the time.

The EPA gives the Volt a mpge rating of 106 mpge. For the average driver this will cover 90% of miles driven. The last 10% is 42 mpg. That comes out to an average of 99.6 mpge.

To add to that if you have solar panels on your roof then the Volt more than doubles it’s efficiency. If you have solar panels on your roof the Mirai stays at 66 mpge.

Is this a sample of fuzzy logic?
An electric get 7500 $ incentive and an hydrogen fuel cell car gets 13000 $! Almost double for being for fossil fuel intensive since 99,99943 % of the world Hydrogen is fossil based. Do we have to remember that electricity is only 68% fossil based.

The sole reason why hydrogen fuel cell cars aren’t ready for prime time right now, is the cost of fuel. Obviously they are not going to sell as long as the cost per mile exceeds a regular gasoline car.

But if (or when) they reach parity with gasoline, the infrastructure will roll out extremely quickly to a decent percentage of gasoline stations. The infrastructure issue goes away very quickly once the price of the fuel becomes competitive.

In other words, this is pretty much an “all or nothing” affair.

At 50 MPG, 12,000 miles per year and $3 per gallon, the cost of a Prius is $720 per year, or $60 per month. That’s the bogey.

electric-car-insider.com

Anton, you left out the $2.5 – $4 million cost of the hydrogen fuel station.

And the cost of distribution system.

DOE estimates capital cost of nationwide H2 infrastructure sufficient to replace gasoline to be $500 billion to $1 trillion.

Hydrogen is a nonstarter, especially in light of $37k 200 mile Chevy Bolt with $145kWh batteries GM now says will be $100 kWh in 2020.

Even if Toyota’s platinum fuel cell stack was *free* FCV could not be cost competitive – the two composite H2 fuel tanks *cost more than the Bolt battery*.

Any way you look at it, there is no way hydrogen will be part of a competitive LDV transportation system. If it can not compete on price, performance, or availability, it can not compete at all.

Supplying enough batteries for 15M electric cars (the yearly US sales average) would take 30 gigafactories for a total of $150 billion. Adding a home charger for every us car costs another $128 billion, for a total cost of at least $228 billion–and that’s not including per unit battery costs. At Bolt battery prices, electrifying the U.S fleet will cost $2 trillion dollars in batteries alone. Hydrogen infrastructure is this fairly competitive with an EV switchover, assuming that the FCEV stack eventually costs less than an EV stack. Even if it doesn’t, the decreasing cost of solar will make it practical, even cheap, to generate hydrogen on-site, either at home or at a central H2 station, within ten years. At that point, no central infrastructure is required, just solar, water, a compressor, and some tanks.

Three Electrics said: “Hydrogen infrastructure is this fairly competitive with an EV switchover…” No matter how far you go in cherry-picking facts and skewed premises, you can’t change the reality. Here is a reality check: 1. Gasoline (and diesel) are easily handled fuels, liquid at room temperature and normal atmospheric pressure. As such, all they really need for storage and dispensing is a simple, cheap metal storage tank, and a simple pump to dispense it. Contrariwise, hydrogen will always, always be much more expensive to store and dispense, because it must be highly pressurized, it embrittles metals over time, and its tiny molecules leak past all seals, even slowly leaking right through the solid walls of a tank. Note these problems won’t ever go away, because they are properties of hydrogen itself. 2. Hydrogen will always be much too expensive to compete with gasoline/diesel. 25¢ per mile! Even when gasoline was $4.00 per gallon, the average not-exactly-efficient American car, getting 25 miles per gallon, would cost only 16¢ per mile. For a 35 MPG gasmobile, the cost drops to 11.4¢ per mile… again assuming the cost of gasoline goes back to $4.00 per gallon. Of course, proponents of the “hydrogen… Read more »
Comparing FCEVs (or BEVs for that matter) with gasoline is a strawman argument. Gasoline will soon be subject to a carbon tax which will create market forces that more heavily favor non-greenhouse gas emitting transportation solutions. Where the comparison does make sense is to show that efficiency is a red herring. Elon talks about efficiency because that’s one area where batteries currently win, but gasoline has shown us that efficiency does not matter. Let me repeat that: efficiency does not matter. Gasoline is incredibly inefficient on a well to wheels basis, and it’s just fine (aside from its carbon content, of course). It works because it is heap. Cost matters. Efficiency only matters in as much as it affects costs–as it does with batteries, which are exorbidantly expensive: $3000 to store $1 of electricty. In the near future solar will become so cheap that electricity will be very, very cheap, and thus will green hydrogen, such that efficiency won’t really effect costs, which will be dominated by storage. $3000 to store $1 worth of electricty, as with the Powerwall, won’t cut it. Better to spend that $3K on more solar panels and use hydrogen to store more energy at less… Read more »

The “solar energy is (near) free” scenario also substantially reduces the spend on hydrogen infrastructure, as hydrogen can be produced locally–anywhere close to the generating solar on the electrical grid. This includes retrofitted gasoline stations.

Why would every US car need it’s own home charger? A three car household is going to install three chargers? For the record, we have two EVs and zero home chargers.

The $50000 cost of the fuel cell itself has something to do with it too…

this article doesn’t really tell me a whole lot…but complaining about the price of an FCEV is not the thing to do if you want to promote *EVs – the price of the Mirai is quite “ordinary” compared to the price of a Tesla.

electric-car-insider.com

That argument will last exactly 12 months. When the Chevy Bolt starts shipping in October, its over for any pretense that the Mirai is anything other than a mirage.

I assume you run an EV website. Is it fair to treat your opinion as unbiased?

Whereas, you constantly knock BEVs and hype hydrogen, so you have no business bringing bias into the argument.

I don’t own any websites, but I do own three electric cars.

So why do keep promoting the “hydrogen economy”? This isn’t a matter of opinion, but of established fact. It’s like arguing the Earth is flat.

Yet you keep arguing in favor of this dead-end technology. That makes us very seriously doubt you have no dog in this fight. People generally don’t persist in an argument so obviously contrary to facts unless it’s either a religious belief… or their income depends on it.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” –-Upton Sinclair

I wish I did–I could make a killing!

In reality, though, I just have a low tolerance for bull***t. Specifically, for Elon’s specific brand of bull***t, which he espouses in clear self interest and which is repeated, almost verbatim, by unquestioning acolytes with poor critical thinking skills. Other EVs partisans throw out facts which are incorrect, or ignore clear deficiencies of EVs, such as their extremely high greenhouse gas emissions in most US states.

In my own analysis, FCEVs will come out ahead for many reasons, primarily because solar will soon become so cheap that costs will be dominated by energy storage, where (in bulk) hydrogen is the clear winner, with costs as low as $1/kWh when geologic formations are used. When electricity is free, price and convenience win over efficiency.

I am looking forward to the day when my massive rooftop solar farm produces more electricity than anyone can use directly, which I will then store using hydrogen electrolysis and use during the winter–and to fuel my cars.

Your protests of innocence are simply not convincing, Three Electrics. What Elon Musk says about “fool cell” cars is what physicists and economists have been saying about the “hydrogen economy” for decades, long before Tesla Motors was established. It’s not like he’s making any of this up. He’s stating facts, not mere opinion. “When electricity is free, price and convenience win over efficiency.” Again, you’re not very convincing in your protests of innocence when you keep deliberately ignoring the fact that cheaper electricity will benefit EVs more than it benefits “fool cell” cars. By now, Three Electrics, after reading and posting comments to dozens of InsideEVs articles about “fool cell” cars, you’ve had plenty of exposure to the actual facts, and the reality of the Laws of Thermodynamics and the reality of the economics of EROI (Energy Return On Investment). So, there are four possibilities here to explain why you’re still arguing in favor of the “hydrogen economy”: 1. You’re not smart enough to understand logical arguments. (Seems unlikely; you write well.) 2. You’re crazy. (Possible, but you seem to exhibit no other symptoms. For example, you don’t rave about conspiracy theories, nor do you claim that computers work better… Read more »

Perfect response. There’s no way someone could seriously believe this without being and industry insider.

How do we know that you and Foolme-Foolyou aren’t astroturfing EV industry insiders?

Cheaper electricity benefits EVs, to be sure. However, the future is cheap solar. At today’s trends, solar costs will decline to 20% of today’s prices in ten years, which will make it cheaper, by far, than any other source of electricity. When electricity is cheap, there are no advantages to EVs over FCEVs, and FCEVs have other, compelling advantages, such as reduced fuel time, reduced weight, longer range, and (potentially) reduced cost. If a substantial portion of the U.S. electrical grid switches to hydrogen as an energy storage mechanism, there are additional synergies. I can’t imagine this will not be the case, as a 100% renewable grid must be based in a large part on solar, which will require storing huge amounts of energy from summer to winter: the U.S. grid produces roughly 4,000 tWh per year; storing even 25% of that using $145/kWh batteries would cost 145 trillion (yes, trillion) dollars. Unless EVs charge at mid-day, they will require an energy storage buffer to use clean power. Hydrogen (or compressed air) can store energy at a tiny fraction of that cost. Perhaps I am the only one here who has done the math, or noticed that distributed solar solves… Read more »
electric-car-insider.com

I don’t think you’ve really done the math, or your homework. I think you have a reasonable speculation about solar getting cheaper, but hydrogen is devilishly tricky to handle, compress and store safely. It’s very unlikely you’ll get a permit to put a production facility on your roof, in your garage, or even on the side of your house. Have you checked the setback requirements for hydrogen tanks? There’s a reason for that.

10,000 PSI compressor. Your neighbors are going to put up with that?

Even if you personally prefer that someone else make your fuel, far enough away to be safe, the cost of the hydrolysis, compression, storage and vending is going to be a whole lot more than your neighbors will be paying. That will get old.

While I think there might be better solutions for the winter months than long term storage, if that’s the way we choose to go we should use the hydrogen to make electricity and feed it out over the existing infrastructure. There is no need to develop all the new infrastructure that would be required to move the hydrogen out to cars and pressurize it.

I should note that in this scenario EVs cost the same to run as FCEVs, as they are both running from feedstock hydrogen. The EV involves a conversion step at the fuel cell, while the hydrogen, which will, for most people, be made onsite at a converted gas station, will be pumped directly. The stations will need electrolyzers, pumps, compressors, and tanks, but that’s will be needed anyway for a cheap renewable grid. Long distance piping or trucking would be unnecessary.

1$/kWh for stored Hydrogen is to expensive, Batteries are cheaper.

You can buy batteries for 145$/kWh (if your an OEM). You can cylce them 1000 times and still have 70% available. This means you get around 85% of 1000*1 kWh for 145$ which is a cost around 0.17$/kWh stored.

If you store winter to summer Hydrogen wins. If you store day by day or even less batteries win.

Just for reference: Summer to winter is one cycle a year, i think you can have 20 years life if you cycle so little. Assuming no losses over time, the numbers add up to 7$/kWh with losses probably more like 10$/kWh stored.

do you have “inside information” about an upcoming announcement by Tesla of a huge price reduction in the Model S exactly 12 months from now?

I had thought that the volumetric density of hydrogen was at least 2.5x that of a lithium battery, but then I came across this report: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/03/f11/compressed_hydrogen2011_8_ahluwalia.pdf, which claims 1.5 kWh/liter for cryo-compressed. That’s 5x better than a a battery, so I doubt space is an issue.

Cryo storage means a lot of energy used to maintain low temperature. In other words, it makes the situation with the hydrogen supply chain even more wasteful of energy.

Arguing in favor of that is another losing argument for those promoting the “hydrogen economy”.

Something tells me you don’t own a refrigerator or a freezer. Society trades energy usage for convenience all the time. If it makes sense to cryo-compress hydrogen to gain an additional 3x range, it will be done. If it’s too costly, it won’t. However, as we are about to enter an age of near free, “use it or lose it” solar energy, I doubt the energy related costs will be anything but negligible–just like my freezer. Normally I don’t quote Clean Technica, who are a bunch of wankers, but in this case they are spot on (likely because they didn’t write this article, but merely reposted it): http://cleantechnica.com/2015/01/29/solar-costs-will-fall-40-next-2-years-heres/

How much fuel is your “fool cell” car going to lose every week just by sitting there, whether the tank is cryogenically cooled or not?

If your car loses a quarter of its fuel every week whether you drive it or not, and you have to hunt around for one of the few H2 stations that’s actually open so it doesn’t run dry even if you haven’t driven it anywhere… that’s the opposite of what I’d call “convenient”.

Details here:

“Another headache is storage. When storing liquid hydrogen, some gas must be allowed to evaporate for safety reasons—meaning that after two weeks, a car would lose half of its fuel, even when not being driven.”

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2006-12-hydrogen-economy-doesnt.html#jCp

Lensman, you Ploorian! No one has talked about liquid hydrogen for cars in many years. You need to move those links to somewhere you won’t easily see them anymore.

(I was saving that insult for years. I know it’s lame, but I’m not very good with insults.)

This car is stupid! I feel like it only exists to protect an alternative to the existing fueling infrastructure. Like gasoline, Hydrogen need to be processed and delivered in a refueling capacity similar to gasoline. Meanwhile with EVs, with the greatest need to charge at night, and the increase in solar and homes with back up battery storage, we will eventually see no need for any traditional fueling infrastructure. Not to mention that EVs are faster, and will have mainstream 200+ range in a little over a year.

This report claims that there are 1,900 U.S preorders for this car: http://www.egmcartech.com/2015/10/01/toyotas-mirai-fcv-is-apparently-kicking-ass-at-sales-company-considering-more-fuel-cell-vehicles/

I’m not sure that’s true, but if it is, that’s a lot of cars clustered around very few CA dealerships. That will guarantee production H2 stations in those areas within short order–even if Toyota needs to build them itself. That’s not practical in the long term, but may be workable in the short term.

From article …

“They tested Mirai for two days covering over 400 miles. Despite there being only 20 hydrogen stations in California, … visited 7 stations nine times”

Depending on 7 or 9 stops, they made a stop at a fuel station on average every ~44-57 miles!

Were all the stops just for fun, or did they experience range anxiety? Or, perhaps they were just in a hurry, and couldn’t wait minutes (more) to refuel?

In all fairness … it might just have been a case of trying to visit as many of the (20) new stations as possible during the test period.

Three of the seven hydrogen stations they visited were down for one reason or another. Program, more than half were open.

Will the situation of closed hydrogen fueling stations get better over time, or worse?

My guess is it will get worse. Those companies subsidizing the cost of hydrogen fuel, selling it at a loss at the pump price, are already showing a tendency to close the station rather than to raise the price to a level at which the station can actually pay for its expenses.

And if they do start raising prices to the point they can actually make a profit, “hydrogen economy” supporters won’t exactly like that outcome, either.

Given that FCEV manufacturers are supplying free fuel to consumers, it’s unlikely stations will close until that perk ends–the manufacturers will either pay the market price, or, if they think they can do it more cheaply, they will build their own stations. I imagine Toyota has spent more than a billion dollars on FCEV development; dropping $30M or even $100M in California is just another downpayment on that investment.

That car sucks. I wouldn’t even consider it at 1/4 of its current cost.

SUPER ugly

It’s a body Japanaese Design, way better than the mundane Cruze look alike Volt GenII GM stuffed up on. (Like Gen 1 – you can tell huh?)

Question is to make the Miria better one would have to make it and EV Plug in ?
or
Buy a Telsa (Cheap motoring and you won’t ruin the planet wastefully make and transporting Hydrogen).

I much rather have the volt. It has a design that actually makes sense, and it’s fun to drive. Not to mention I have 175 lifetime mpg rating. It also takes me a month or more to use up a whole tank of gas. This Mirai is hideous, way too expensive, and is like every other toyota (painfully slow). I love how toyota designs a turd with a uni brow and Americans love it. Chevy actually sculpted the volt to look like a beautiful car and people complain. Americans complain about their own products too much, if you love Japan so much, go live there.

How do you say, “dead on arrival in Japanese”? “Mirai”!

While it is certainly possible that 3 Electrics, Sven and the few others constantly shilling for hydrogen here are connected to the oil/hydrogen industry or Coyota, I see another possibility.

Notice they all HATE Tesla so I wonder if they are just constantly shilling for hydrogen as a means to fight against the incredible success that Tesla/Elon Musk have made for BEVs and the electrification of transportation?

As an add-on to my post above it is also possible that these obsessive compulsive haters are perhaps connected in some way to the German high-end automakers who are getting very impacted by Tesla in the US and fearful that Tesla might also eat their lunch in Europe eventually?

sven, I try to make a clear distinction between citing facts and posting opinions. Perhaps you should consider doing the same. P.S.– Are you trying to imply there is something “wrong” with me switching my handle from “Lensman” to “Pushmi-Pullyu”? The handle “Lensman” is a reference to a classic pulp science fiction series, and has nothing to do with why I post at InsideEVs. So I switched it to something I think is more appropriate. And if you don’t like that for some reason… well, I don’t need your permission. Personally, I don’t care so much about the handle “sven”, but I do wonder what happened to the guy who reported in a post to InsideEVs that he read an advertising industry magazine which revealed just how profligate Toyota was in wasting energy when they made their “Fueled by Bullsh!t” video, which pretended that the Mirai would be fueled by cattle manure. I appreciate that guy’s contributions. I think somebody hacked his account; somebody who is making post after post full of untruths, exaggerations, denial of facts, truth-twisting, ad hominem attacks on Elon Musk, and propaganda, as an apologist for the dead-end tech which is “fool cell” cars. I’d like… Read more »

There is no sugar coating it: the Mirai is FUGLY. Good lord

You can buy a two year old Model S 85 with 20,000 miles fully loaded for this price… no brainer