Consortium Says Hydrogen Fuel Cell Optimal for High Powered Vehicles and Long Journeys; BEVs Suitable For Everything Else


Think SUVs and Bigger...That's Where the Fuel Cell Makes Some Sort of Sense, Says the Consortium...Anything Smaller is BEV Territory

Think Large SUVs and Bigger…That’s Where the Fuel Cell Makes Some Sort of Sense, Says the Consortium…Anything Smaller is BEV Territory

The verdict is in.  Battery electric vehicles are suitable for almost every task and ideal for nearly everyone out there.

Okay, maybe that’s not the precise verdict, but it’s close.

i3 BEV an Urban Dream Machine?

i3 BEV an Urban Dream Machine?

The “Mobility Hydrogen France” consortium, which is represented by 20 organizations, corporations, government entities and so on, released a report on the future of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The report won’t be published until late 2013, but the summarized findings show that, even by 2020, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will only grab minute segments of the automotive market.

In particular, the reports suggest that the commercial vehicle sector will likely see hydrogen gain in popularity for two reasons: long-distance hauling and the need for extreme power.  Outside of the commercial sector, it’s believed that fuel-cells might have a place say in full-size trucks or large SUVs.

Beyond those segments, it’s all electric.  For example, the report says battery electric vehicles are ideally suited to urban environments where the vast majority of the world’s population resides.  Even within the commercial sector, the report says that BEVs will likely dominate if the vehicles are to be predominantly utilized within metropolitan centers.

So, maybe fuel cell vehicles have a place, but electrics have lots of places.  Or something along those lines.

Source: EV Fleet World

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11 Comments on "Consortium Says Hydrogen Fuel Cell Optimal for High Powered Vehicles and Long Journeys; BEVs Suitable For Everything Else"

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Why particulary hydrogen but not CNG or DME.

Quit trying to make hydrogen happen. It’s not going to happen. 🙂

Really? How much range do hydrogen vehicles have? How much does it cost to fill them up with hydrogen? Where are the hydrogen filling stations? How much do the vehicles cost, and how long do the fuel cells themselves last?

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are actually EV’s with a hydrogen fuel cell range extender. The Honda FCX Clarity has a range shorter than the Tesla Model S, and it has a 4-5kWh battery pack – that you cannot plug in. It would cost about 50¢ to charge that battery if you plugged it in, and yet it costs at least $50 to fill the 4.4kg of hydrogen tanks. It has a range of about 240 miles – less than the Tesla Model S with the 85kWh battery pack.

Show me an affordable, practical hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, and I’ll buy it and park it next to my unicorn.


Range isn’t an issue, because refilling hydrogen takes only a few minutes.

First of all, I’m as skeptical about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as a mainstream passenger technology as anyone here, and for the reasons we all mention every time an article like this pops up. But to be as fair as possible, there is a chance that we’ll see some Really Big Breakthrough that tips the competitive landscape in favor of HFCVs and away from EVs. We’re always seeing articles about researchers working on ever cheaper ways to extract hydrogen from water or plant matter or whatever, and even with the sizable energy costs just to transport it to a fueling station and then pressurize it to 5,000psi for on-board storage, this could help the HFCV cause considerably. If you also assume that EV battery development (i.e. cost) stalls about where it is now, that would likely open the door for at least premium vehicles to go HFCV. But even then we still have the horrendous fueling infrastructure hurdle to get over, a point I find particularly interesting, given that I just plugged in my Leaf in my garage. So while I don’t think it’s reasonable to say hydrogen has no chance at all, I think it’s accurate to say that… Read more »

“Beyond those segments, it’s all electric. ” ???
“So, maybe fuel cell vehicles have a place, but electrics have lots of places.” ???

Neither of these sentences make any sense.

A fuel-cell car IS JUST A MUCH an ev as a bev:
both have an electric motor
both run on electricity
both generate that electricity from chemical reactions

The difference is:
the fuel cell combines external chemicals and that reaction can not be reversed in it
the battery combines internal chemicals and that reaction is reversable in it.

Fuel cell vehicles ARE electric vehicles!

I disagree. The sentences you take issue with are fine to me.

By your twisted definition however, various moving things including what are today commonly referred to as hybrids, diesel locomotives etc, would be EVs also. None calls them that — nor should, IMHO.

Whether electricity, hot gases, or unicorns are generated then used internally by the vehicle is of little interest to its owner. What matters a whole lot more is, what needs to go in it as the energy source?

There, I think that popular terms are pretty clear already:
Gas car: ok, gasoline.
Petrol car: petrol (sorry, my British accent sucks)
Plug-in hybrid: same but you can also, wait for it, plug it in.
Diesel: who would have thought, diesel.
CNG: natural gas.
EV: duh, electricity — even if the ‘tank’ happens to be a flywheel someday.
Hydrogen, whether fuel cell or ICE btw: er… hydrogen?

Seems pretty sensible to me.

It may seem sensible to you, but that does not change fact.

Your point would valid if the e in ev stood for electricity, denoting the energy imput, but it does not.

The rest are just lay terms.
The correct term for a petrol car (and in written form you accent is not noticable) is internal combustion engine, as opposed to electric engine.
Hybrids are vehicles which have dual propulsion; a vehicle driven by the electric motor from a battery, charged by an ice, is an ev.

So my logic may seem ‘twisted’ to the lay person – thanks for the unnecessary insult by the way /sarcasm – but is straight on a technical level.

Hydrogen as a fuel will be interesting the day we can transform four protons into an Helium atom and release the produced energy directly in the form of electricity. But that is very different from a fuel cell and will probably take yet a little longer to be miniaturized as well as made non radiative.
Actually the only interesting fuel cell is the direct ethanol fuel cell but that happens to be the one that is the least researched upon.

Um, four protons would make it a Beryllium atom. Or you could make two Helium atoms, I guess.

And yes, cold fusion will probably be commercialized around the same time as fuel cells. There are people working on that, too.

No it is actually really an Helium atom you get when two electrons are fused in as well. Two electrons and two protons give two neutrons. With the two remaining protons you get an Helium atom.