Honda Engineer Emphasizes Hydrogen Over Electric

5 months ago by Eric Loveday 97

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Thomas Brachmann, chief project engineer of research & development in Europe for Honda, made some comments at the sidelines of the recent Geneva Motor Show that we thought we’re worth sharing.

Brachmann, like several other Honda execs, continues to pitch this idea that hydrogen is somehow superior to electric, but like most of those other execs, Brachmann makes some comments that show he’s really not in tune with reality.

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Boasts EPA 366-Mile Range Rating, Best of Any Zero-Emission Vehicle

Quoting Brachman:

“Photovoltaic electrolysis as a means of producing hydrogen is feasible, because it’s the only means we have of converting renewable energy electricity into a usable fuel and, even more important, into a proper storage media for renewable energy.”

“For example, wind and sun can produce too much power during some days so either the wind-power generators are stopped, or they run and we have to sell the electricity to the grid for a very low price and, possibly, even have to pay the grid to take it because it may not be ready to accept more than it can handle.”

“This means we have to find renewable energy storage. If we have bi-directional charging that’s fine with batteries, or else the other solution is hydrogen. Then we have to look at what is the value of the hydrogen and for which industrial purposes?”

Hydrogen Corridor Map as of January 5, 2017 (source: energy.gov)

Okay, so Brachmann is basically saying that hydrogen or battery works in this situation. However, he then goes on to state the following:

“Even if you have all-battery EVs, we have to consider very carefully the lifetime of the batteries. When does the degradation start by excessive charging and recharging, and what is the benefit for the customer?”

Well, battery degradation has been well studied and for most battery-electric cars, especially the most recent/longer range offerings, this isn’t much of an issue at all.

But Brachmann is really all over the place in his comments. He goes from knocking EVs to supporting them in certain situations:

“As we said in our study of 2010, we see the smaller cars using battery power and the bigger cars using fuel-cell systems. So we need to look at where does the battery end and the hydrogen car start.

“We see the Honda Civic growing bigger and bigger, more or less for the European taste (and) replacing the Accord, and so we need to see if we can integrate this platform with this model level.

“The Clarity (FCV) is larger and developed for the U.S. and targeted as a chauffeured limousine as it would be also in Japan. It could fit into Honda’s European portfolio, too, and we have to see what is the development of (fueling) infrastructure.

“This is why we need to ramp up the availability of hydrogen fuel stations first.”

And therein lies the biggest problem with FCEVs. The infrastructure simply doesn’t exist and it’s too expensive to believe that it ever really will. Meanwhile, electric cars do the majority of their charging at home overnight where the infrastructure is as vast as the nearest outlet.

Source: Ward’s Auto

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97 responses to "Honda Engineer Emphasizes Hydrogen Over Electric"

  1. vvk says:

    There is a picture of water pouring out of a Toyota Mirai in a latest issue of Motor Trend. This is what makes me wary of fuel cell vehicles. Imagine hundreds of cars leaking water onto the frozen pavement in a highway traffic jam in Minnesota in winter. Wear studded tires.

    1. R.S says:

      Congrats!

      There are many reasons why FCEVs aren’t good ideas and you managed to pick one that really isn’t.

      If you burn gasoline with oxigene, what are the products of that reaction?

      1. Mikael says:

        And you managed to not give any good answer to why that would not be a problem.

        Water from ICEs come out hot in vapor, water from FCEVs come out in liquid form, dropping straight down onto the road.

        It is a very possible problem. It has a simple solution, like having a collector that you need to empty out once in a while. But as long as we don’t know if it is going to be a problem and that solutions has not been implemented it is still a possible problem.

        A very very dangerous possible problem, black ice en masse on roads.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Hmmmm, no. There are several very serious problems with “fool cell” cars powered by compressed hydrogen, problems for which there never will be any solution, because… physics.

          You managed to fixate on a problem that’s not serious at all. The car could simply collect the water in a reservoir, and dump it at infrequent intervals, preferably at the side of the road.

          1. CLIVE says:

            Yep.

            Fool Cell Mobility.

          2. Mikael says:

            I have not fixated on any problem. R.S. said it was not a problem, I said it possible is and if so a dangerous one.

          3. menorman says:

            Either the Clarity or the Mirai does collect the water and offers the owner the opportunity to drain it via a button, though presumably it has the ability to empty on its own after filling to a certain level too.

          4. Will Davis says:

            Yeah, or dump it on the pedestrian footpath. Or if there is no footpath, in the road where pedestrians walk. Or in between lanes so some poor sod in a car, or worse yet on a motorcycle, slips up when changing lane. Face it, dumping ANY water on the road in a cold winter is bad. And if it’s dumped at ‘infrequent intervals’ then it’ll be dumped in larger, concentrated quantities, creating puddles all over the place.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Good grief. I can’t believe I’m actually defending “fool cell” cars, but it’s not like this is a hard engineering problem.

              The fuel cell stack generates heat. No need for any heater for the reservoir to keep the water from freezing; just keep it near the fuel cell stack.

              And if dumping water on the road is really the problem some of you seem to think, then just attach a water pump to the drain pipe, and squirt the water off to the side of the road! And for those who are having problems deciphering plain English, “off to the side of the road” does not mean on the road, it means off the road!

              1. paul smith says:

                Sounds simple, but off the road in a city is no the sidewalk. As for storing it near the stack, the stack doesn’t stay warm for long at minus 25C.

          5. Will Davis says:

            and where do cyclists ride? Yep. Usually at the edge of the lane. Fantastic.

        2. mx says:

          A frozen collector, in winter?
          Will you have to heat that collector to do it’s job?

          Hydrogen stations make excellent explosive terrorist targets.
          Hydrogen stations are very expensive, cost per station: $1.5 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 flammable with an invisible flame.
          Right now hydrogen is a loser vs. current batteries, not to speak of the battery chemistry in the coming solid state batteries.
          Chevy Volt gets better MPG, at a Lower Price, and allows you to use cheap solar energy for your fuel, and hydrogen does not. We will not run out of gas during the EV conversion process.
          Platinum in the fuel cell = expensive.

          Hydrogen time refueling vs. solar.
          Solar: You plug in at your home, Time 60 seconds.
          Hydrogen: You drive 20 minutes, or to California, to the station 10 minute refuel, 20 minutes back home: 50 minutes lost.

          Hydrogen Cars were built on the premise that we’d need a “Bridge Fuel” to EV’s, however battery tech has advanced so rapidly that there is no need for a bridge, especially one as wasteful and expensive as this.

          http://gas2.org/2015/03/10/vancouver-ends-hydrogen-bus-program-amid-high-costs/

          EV’s running on Solar helps pay off your Solar investment 20%-40% faster = More PROFITS to YOU.

          A single H2 fueling station can service 36 cars per day. (The highest volume ones service between 24-36 FCEVs.) Compare to ordinary gas stations, which service an average of ~1100 cars per day (some say 2500/day).

          1. FISHEV says:

            @mx “Hydrogen stations make excellent explosive terrorist targets.”

            Get hysterical much? A gasoline station, a gasoline truck, a gasoline tank you a car are all MUCH more of a “terrorist target”. As we see in UK and France, just driving a vehicle into a crowd is actually more effective and that vehicle could be an EV, a fast accelerating Tesla is more a missile than most.

            Hydrogen is a viable fuel and energy storage method. The EV’s provincials sound as bad as the gasoline alley gang when they were dissing EV’s using the same exaggeration and ignorance.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Thank you.

              Yes, a gasoline station is indeed a much better “terrorist target” than a hydrogen fueling station. H2 actually has fairly low energy by either volume or weight… which is of course one of the reasons it’s such a poor choice for an everyday fuel.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                Oops! Overstatement on my part. H2 has very low energy by volume, even when compressed in a “fool cell” car’s tank at 10,000 PSI. But it actually has superior energy by weight, which is why it’s a popular choice for the booster stage of a large rocket.

        3. jerry says:

          You seem to think FC exhaust is
          cool? Nothing can be farther from the truth as very hot.
          Note how the Honda guy didn’t mention it takes 1kwk/mile to move their FCV?
          Vs a similar size EV would only take 250wth/mile.
          Note how they can at that is viable when it takes 4x the energy as that means your power supply has to be 4x larger.
          Basic math says switching to BEVs will take 25% of the time, cost.
          And his blurb on batteries degrade ignores the fact they barely do if kept at temp specs yet ignores just how fast the FC stack degrades.
          He’s like Spicer trying to make Trump look decent, just not possible as nothing decent about him.

          1. FISHEV says:

            That’s a bit over the top. The issue is whether compressed hydrogen is a better energy storage medium than a battery. The answer is that yes it is. A hydrogen storage tank in a car is 5% the cost of the battery.

            Next how much energy can it store. 366 miles for the Clarity beats all EV’s and requires a bit less room.

            Next how much weight does hydrogen and tank add to car with weight being what uses the most energy in cars. About a 20% advantage there as hydrogen tanks are much lighter than battery but the fuel cell adds weight.

            Next how to generate the fuel. Solar and wind hydrolysis about 80% efficient vs. Solar wind electric 99% efficient, both discounting the inefficiency of the solar panels as both use them and the sunlight is free.

            Transportability, electric is easier via wires no reason hydrogen cannot be made locally from water (in your home works).

            Usability, refueling with hydrogen is similar to gasoline measured in minutes which opens up pollution free vehicles to 60% of American who live in multifamily dwelling where charging is hard to do.

            So hydrogen is as viable as energy storage medium as a battery would be.

            1. Kimmo57 says:

              I think there is already a hydrogen station you can get for your home. For about 100 000 USD it produces 1 car tank of hydrogen in a day.

              I’ll stick to charging.

              1. FISHEV says:

                And very rare. Build a million of them, then it’s $1,000 about the same as a charging station install for the house.

                Same is true for cost of fuel cell and the hydrogen storage tanks.

                So hydrogen has a lot of cost reduction in its future, similar to EV batteries as they went into mass production. As Musk noted, batter cost reduction has leveled out and we will not be seeing much less than $100 kWh for the next 10 years.

                1. menorman says:

                  The cost of a charging station at home is ~$400 for an entry-level model and we haven’t even gotten to a point of real mass use.

                  1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                    Wut?? Only $400? You must be talking about just the electrolyzer.

                    A home charging unit for a “fool cell” car requires an electrolyzer, a high-pressure pump, a storage tank, and a dispenser that can dispense H2 into a fool cell car.

                    Even a compact unit with that has a footprint the size of a compact car. And last I looked, they were so expensive that prices were not even quoted.

                    So welcome to converting your two-car garage into a one-car garage plus a cost that’s almost certainly more than the car itself.

                    Of course, if they were manufactured in the 10s of thousands, then the price would come down somewhat. But to suggest it could ever be in the range of just $1000 (let alone only $400!) is ignoring reality pretty firmly. High pressure pumps and high pressure fittings are never going to be cheap. Not to mention the fact that your home H2 generation system will, like the fool cell car itself, have an expiration date, because long term exposure to H2 embrittles metal.

                2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                  “Build a million of them, then it’s $1,000 about the same as a charging station install for the house.”

                  I see that just like all “fool cell” fanboys, you resort to statements which you surely know are utterly untrue. The fact that you have to lie to defend the “hydrogen economy” demonstrates you know it’s a hoax.

                  A H2 home charging station would cost in the range of tens of thousands of dollars; probably more than the fool cell car itself.

                  And H2 fueling stations will never be even within the ballpark as cheap as a gas station. High-pressure pumps are expensive, running them takes a lot of energy, and exposure to H2 embrittles the metal, so all the tanks, pipes, and pumps will have to be replaced periodically. There is no magic way to handwave away these realities.

                  1. FISHEV says:

                    People made the same argument you make on fuel cell costs about battery cost for EV’s. EVs are in mass production and the battery costs are down to $120 kWh but the curve is beginning to flatten while fuel cell and compressed gas tank cost curves still have a lot of steep reductions coming if they go mass production.

                    1. At least you correctly understand *if* hydrogen is adopted for transport.

                      It’s not looking so good.

            2. SparkEV says:

              As of today, 60% figure might be true for BEV and charging. But also as of today, less than 0.001% of H stations are available for public. If you’re assuming H will grow, you have to assume BEV charging will grow, too. At the penetration level of today, it’s far more likely BEV charging will grow more so than H.

              “Usability,” of FCEV is only slightly worse with H than ICE (ICE can use gas cans in emergency). For the end consumer, FCEVs bring no benefit while they pay far higher cost. That begs the question, why pay more for worse experience? Only way this can happen is if government force it down the consumers’ throat.

              1. FISHEV says:

                But issue for EV charging is the time. 30 minutes. And you can’t go too fast as that increases battery degradation, the example of Tesla cutting back charging rates on people exclusively using the fast DC SuperChargers because Tesla was seeing advanced battery degradation after 50,000 miles.

                EV’s right now and foreseeable future as long as they use lion batteries will be based on slow (8-10 hours for full charge) home charging

                1. SparkEV says:

                  Again, you’re trying to compare FCEV to BEV, but that’s not a good comparison. BEV offer tangible benefit over ICE for most driving: home charging, and cheaper energy for most people. Even if BEV has some penalty in rare long distance driving (not much if you consider bio breaks), the convenience far outweigh the negative.

                  For FCEV, there is no positive experience compared to ICE for the end user. Then why FCEV over ICE? It just doesn’t make sense.

                2. menorman says:

                  I really have to question whether someone who continues to insist that charging time is a significant factor for EV ownership, especially for the second-generation crop of compliance cars that get 100+ miles/charge, has any real-world experience with an EV. Charging one is NOT extremely difficult and the charge times are largely irrelevant. The only exception would be for those who drive decent distances professionally as a living. But even then, we’re starting to see that due to TCO savings, they’re willing to add time to charge because the overall savings are significant.

                3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                  “But issue for EV charging is the time. 30 minutes. And you can’t go too fast as that increases battery degradation…”

                  That’s a good argument in favor of gasmobiles. It’s not a good argument in favor of using compressed hydrogen to power cars. Gasoline is a practical fuel; H2 isn’t.

                  1. FISHEV says:

                    “That’s a good argument in favor of gasmobiles. It’s not a good argument in favor of using compressed hydrogen to power car”

                    The ability to fuel fast, just like gasoline cars, is definitely a good argument in favor of hydrogen powered cars.

            3. philip d says:

              “A hydrogen storage tank in a car is 5% the cost of the battery.”

              An electric motor in a car is 5% the cost of a hydrogen fuel cell.

              The first of those two statements isn’t correct however.

              Take a 100 kWh battery pack that costs Tesla around $150 per kWh to produce. 5% of that $15000 would be $750. I guarantee you those huge carbon fiber reinforced and wrapped H2 tanks cost a lot more than that.

              And you can bet that a hydrogen fuel cell stack that goes into a Mirai costs a lot more than $15,000. More like $30,000 if we are being charitable since they are still partially assembled by hand.

              So an electric motor probably does cost around $1500 or 5% the cost of a fuel cell stack. You can buy a decent motor for EV conversion kit at retail for a couple thousand right now off the shelf.

              1. Mark.ca says:

                https://electrek.co/2017/02/18/tesla-battery-cost-gigafactory-model-3/

                Thay say the battery cost is around $124/kWh…evan better for proving your point.

              2. FISHEV says:

                “$750. I guarantee you those huge carbon fiber reinforced and wrapped H2 tanks cost a lot more than that.”

                Currently $713 actually. With big improvements in price and capacity rolling out.

                https://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/review12/st105_mao_2012_p.pdf

            4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              “Next how to generate the fuel. Solar and wind hydrolysis about 80% efficient vs. Solar wind electric 99% efficient…”

              And of course, like all “fool cell” fanboys, you carefully ignore all the energy-wasting steps between generating the H2 and actually getting it into the tank of the fool cell car.

              The energy cost of compressing the H2 alone would be about 2/3 of the energy necessary to push an EV down the road for an equal distance!

              Claiming that compressed hydrogen can be a practical fuel is, quite literally, being a science denier.

              1. FISHEV says:

                Actually I carefully mentioned them, the 10% of the H2 used to power the pipeline and compressors.

            5. Martin Winlow says:

              Curious that you din’t mention at all the efficiency of actually ‘burning’ the H2 in a fuel cell…

        4. Jason says:

          Ha, ha, no way I’m going to waste that water, where do you think my next tank of hydrogen is coming from? Isn’t that the big hype of HFCV, that you split the molecules and then recombine them?
          Of course, water’s cheap, so yeah just let it drain onto the road. I see your point and think it is one of those obvious problems noone thinks about until it becomes a problem.

        5. Bjorn says:

          Well you see it’s the same amount of water coming out from today’s cars so there’s not a new problem created by the FC-cars.

  2. Alfred says:

    Honda has sabotaged the fuel cell solution by producing the ugliest car of all times : the Clarity.

    1. CLIVE says:

      Honda needs new designers.

    2. JustWilliamPDX says:

      Fair point. Yet the Toyota Mirai makes the Clarity look gorgeous by comparison. Neither is conventionally attractive, but the Mirai is downright ghastly to my eyes.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “…Toyota Mirai makes the Clarity look gorgeous by comparison.”

        Absolutely. Toyota must have spent a lot of time and effort to uglify the Mirai that much! The Clarity is merely ugly, but the Mirai is fugly!

  3. Vexar says:

    Study of EVs as of 2010. OK. That’s like hanging onto analysis of solar in the mid 1990’s and saying it is not cost-effective. Some time in the 2020’s, some middle school student will do a study of hydrogen-powered vehicles and write a really good essay on why they failed. I sincerely hope InsideEVs is there to provide us the link to this future essay.

    1. mx says:

      Exactly. Not only are battery storage solutions moving into the market today, the storage part is only have the story. The RESPONSE TIME to grid demands is FAR SUPERIOR than Any Other Solution, including hydrogen.

      LOL. They almost make it sound like cheaper power, and lower consumer prices are a BAD Thing.

      Which is it, Solar is too expensive on the grid, or solar is too cheap. The industry LITERALLY FUD’s the issue on both ends.

  4. realdb2 says:

    Honda is way behind on electric cars. The comments here are part of a deliberate strategy to talk down electric cars while they either play catch up or put off their inevitable demise.

  5. William says:

    Helpful Honda Hydrogen Hoaxers. These scenarios, of converting electricity to hydrogen during renewable (wind/solar) generation surpluses, at a financial loss, fall under the category of “faux news”.

    No wonder the helpful Honda people hand out packets of Kleenex tissues at their events, the air is so thick with fool sell/smell, it brings tears to ones eyes.

  6. offib says:

    delusional..

  7. James P Heartney says:

    That map is hilarious. It’s not a map of hydrogen fueling station availability; it’s a map of available SIGNAGE. As in they have signs to point to nonexistent H2 stations.

    On the actual map of H2 availability you have a grand total of 35 (!) fueling stations in the US. You see a smattering in California, three spread along the east coast, and none anywhere else. It’s pitiful.

    https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/hydrogen_locations.html

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      And yet, that’s a distinct improvement over the situation just a few years ago, when there were only about two dozen hydrogen fueling stations, nearly all of which served either government research fleets or privately owned fleets, so almost none were open to the general public.

      1. James P Heartney says:

        So they went from 24 all the way up to 35 in a few years? Wow, at that rate we might get up to triple figures by 2030.

        1. menorman says:

          Unfortunately, CARB has a goal of 100 hydrogen stations available around the state by 2020 and VW has to spend $200mn of the settlement in CA. The hydrogen vultures have already circled.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Well, I certainly hope we won’t see enough taxpayer money wasted to actually build out 100 public H2 fueling stations.

            Fortunately, the gap between what the California Fuel Cell Partnership claims is being built, and what is actually being built, continues to grow at a rapid pace. I continue to have hopes that the “hydrogen economy” hoax will collapse soon.

            BEV fast-charging speeds have already increased substantially. If they double again, that should put the final nail in the coffin of the “hydrogen economy” hoax in the USA. However, the hoax may linger for some years longer in Japan, due to the electricity shortage there.

    2. CCC says:

      Well, that map is as accurate as the lead picture showing the FCV in the center and the BEV and PHEV covered up in the background and labeled as “coming soon”. Amazingly brazen lie. Unless they want to claim that the ad specifically refers to a Honda-branded FCV is arriving earlier than a Honda-branded BEV or PHEV … but that’s not what the ad actually says.

      It’s like hearing the Trump admin claim that 50k coal jobs have been added since January when in fact there are only 51k jobs total. I guess in 2017 people figure if you are just brazen enough with your lies you’ll get away with it.

  8. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “Photovoltaic electrolysis as a means of producing hydrogen is feasible, because it’s the only means we have of converting renewable energy electricity into a usable fuel and, even more important, into a proper storage media for renewable energy.”

    It is truly amazing how many utterly and completely false statements are packed into just one run-on sentence!

    It’s certainly not “the only means” of storing renewable energy.

    Compressed hydrogen may be “usable” but it’s wildly impractical.

    And there are several fuels which could serve as “a proper storage media for renewable energy”. Synthetic methane would be one.

    But compressed hydrogen most definitely isn’t! When looking for a “proper” energy carrier, H2 is pretty nearly the worst choice.

    I understand that several auto makers, including Honda, are reluctant to admit all the time, effort and money they spent on developing “fool cell” cars has been wasted, but it’s long past time for them to quit throwing good money after bad.

    1. mx says:

      I kinda think they only spend the government grant money. I wonder if they’re really spending shareholder capital on these projects. Look at the results so far, they’ve each got ONE CAR, just ONE CAR that can run on hydrogen, and NO STATIONS ( ok, about 20 in California ).

      Ridiculously small resources to actually do an auto conversion.
      This is Total Green Wash Bull.

    2. MikeM says:

      I have the feeling that we are going to see a non-stop H2 push from the Toyota/Honda/Hyundai/? axis right up through the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
      After that, the issue will slowly fade away (Just like the Vancouver H2 buses in winter 2010).

      At some point thereafter the economics will be so glaringly obvious to the most stubborn among us that we can all heave a sigh of relief and find something else to fret about.

  9. mx says:

    You could almost say, if their goal was true conversion, they Nearly Totally Incompetent.

  10. SteveSeattle says:

    “The Clarity (FCV) is larger and developed for the U.S. and targeted as a chauffeured limousine as it would be also in Japan”

    If he serious believes the US wants to buy them as limousines then he needs to fire everyone in their marketing dept. Honda seems to projecting the Japanese market desires onto the US and that will be a big mistake.

  11. DL says:

    I’m sorry, but when an enthusiast site like this posts an article with such a misleading and poorly worded title, I have to doubt that anyone here knows anything about the subject at all. The quoted Honda engineer did not make the stated comparison.

    The Honda FC vehicles are still electric drive. They are not burning the stored hydrogen in a combustion engine. The title should say “…Hydrogen over Battery”.

    That being said, fuel cells don’t seem like the way to go for the majority of transportation needs.

  12. FISHEV says:

    EV’ers are such fanbois, sheesh guys, H2 is an excellent fuel. It can generate electricity via fuel cells, launch clean rocket and even be burned directly in iCE engines and create no emissions.

    H2 generation from water and solar or wind power electric is about 80% with 10% of that used to power the compression to easily stored liquid hydrogen. Liquid hydrogen tanks in cars are slightly more expensive but much safer and the fuel much less dangerous than gasoline which is a massive bomb in some sheet metal.

    As for the distribution system, you see it everyday in tankers of liquid “gases” oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen that pass you on the road every day just like oil tank trucks. Like the storage tanks, safer with a much less dangerous fuel than oil. You see the same storage in liquid propane for your grill..Eek!!!! You may remember that T. Boone Pickens was pushing for running vehicles on compresses natural gas as a means to cut emissions by 30% since current vehicles with modifications can burn NG.

    Again liquid hydrogen safer and…of course….no pollution. So the lack of infrastructure claims is bogus. Especially coming from Tesla which claims electricity is every where than has to build out a charging network because…useable for EV charging is not at really at the end of a plug.

    You can hook up a liquid hydrogen producing unit to your home solar panels just as you do for your Powerwall battery.

    What makes hydrogen a bit superior to electricity is the storage and transportability and low weight, jets, trains, cargo trucks are better suited to hydrogen power than EV.

    So it’s good that Honda is doing the hydrogen vehicle research and building it out as a alternative. Don’t feel so threatened or people will attribute your over reaction to your viewing hydrogen as a real threat to the EV.

    1. MikeM says:

      LIQUID Hydrogen now? Hmmmmm!

      BTW, H2 boils at about 20ºC above Absolute Zero!

      Probably the only way to contain the stuff during real-world fuel transportation/storage/usage is insulate it extremely heavily and to let it slowly boil off.

      There may be a case for liquid H2 in heavy transport. But for passenger cars it’s beyond laughable.

      1. SparkEV says:

        I think he’s talking about liquid H in shipping to fuel stations. The transport vehicle could be FCEV, using boiling H as it drives down the road. Then the destination could have liquid H storage tanks, which dispense compressed gas H that boil off to cars. This would skip compression via high pressure pumps, and simple pressurized tank is needed.

        If there’s enough demand so that boil-off rate and pressure matches people fueling, liquid H would be a good way to distribute H. But if there’s a mismatch of supply / demand, what do you do with excess? I suppose one way is to have on-site FC stack to generate electricity for the grid.

        Too much demand compared to natural boiling rate wouldn’t be a problem since one can “burn H” (on site FC stack excess heat + resistive heater or heat exchanger) to boil H even quicker.

    2. alohart says:

      You need to take that physics class again. Hydrogen must be cooled to −423.17 °F to liquify at atmospheric pressure. To remain a liquid, liquid hydrogen must be stored in a pressurized cryogenic container which isn’t practical for a vehicle. So your FCEV won’t be driving around with liquid hydrogen in its tank. Instead, its tank will contain gaseous hydrogen under high pressure which is not nearly as energy-dense as liquid hydrogen.

    3. Ambulator says:

      H2 is an excellent fuel. It can … even be burned directly in iCE engines and create no emissions.

      Burning H[sub]2[/sub] directly will produce nitrogen oxides, just like anything else. Not a lot, it’s true, but some.

    4. skierpage says:

      “You can hook up a liquid hydrogen producing unit to your home solar panels just as you do for your Powerwall battery.”

      No you can’t! Please link to an actual home hydrogen unit for sale that can refill an HFCV. Honda discontinued its Home Energy Station in the 2000s without ever installing one at a home.

      And why would anyone bother? Solar panels -> BEV is simple. Twice as many solar panels to travel the same distance, plus unobtanium home hydrogen production hardware of unknown expense.

    5. menorman says:

      Liquid hydrogen sounds like a nightmare for jets.

    6. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “EV’ers are such fanbois, sheesh guys, H2 is an excellent fuel.”

      …says the science-denier fool cell fanboy, while promoting the “hydrogen economy” hoax for the benefit of Big Oil.

      H2 is indeed an “excellent fuel”… for the booster stage of large rockets. Otherwise, not so much. The only worse fuels I’ve heard of anyone trying to use are urine, formic acid, and dried cow pies.

      FISHEV, you’d be better off advocating a return to steam power. That would have far wider availability and would be no more inefficient.

      * * * * *

      Perhaps they could add a few extra steps:

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

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

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

      -– John Hollenberg, comment at InsideEVs.com, September 24, 2015

  13. Mt says:

    Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! @*#@~&~&$%

    1. Mt says:

      We hear Hydrogen being lighter is difficult to contain in a un-pressurized tank it will keep escaping from everywhere possible, means someone needs to be constantly refilling.

      1. FISHEV says:

        “We” might “hear it” but facts don’t support it. No leakage from hydrogen tanks. Perhaps you are confusing the venting you see from the liquified gas tank trucks you see on the road along with the gasoline tank trucks.

        That venting is due to expansion in the lower pressure, less insulated tanks for the trucks. The car tanks are high pressure and more well insulated both for efficiency and safety, much safer in a crash than gasoline tanks which are massive bombs of liquified fuel.

        1. SparkEV says:

          Meanwhile, much lower pressure Freon leaked out of my car’s AC unit after about 6 years. If they can’t contain giant freon molecules for 6 years, containing H will be far more difficult. Sure, H containment might be fine in static environment, but automotive is far more difficult.

          I’ll believe H won’t leak when they have car’s AC unit that doesn’t leak for the life of the car.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “No leakage from hydrogen tanks.”

          Perhaps you should consider finding a cause to advocate for, where you do not have to be a science denier, and don’t have to lie so much, or so very obviously.

          One of many reasons why H2 will never be a practical fuel is that it’s physically impossible* to completely stop H2 leaks from highly pressurized storage tanks. H2 is an extremely small molecule, and will slowly leak out even thru the solid wall of a storage tank.

          *because… physics.

  14. AlphaEdge says:

    Who cares. It’s so laugable to see all the people get worked up over this.

    Oh someone said something positive about hydrogen. Let’s get the mob all over him.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      He said something good about H while saying something bad and untrue about batteries…did you read the article?

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Who cares. It’s so laugable to see all the people get worked up over this.”

      Everyone who cares about the fate of our society should care. Even evidence-based reasoning is now under attack. People promoting fake news, and calling actual facts and real news “fake news”, are trying to push us back into the Dark Ages; an era before science, before the Enlightenment, when what people believed was dicatated by authority, and free thinking was a crime.

      Every responsible member of society should speak out against science deniers and fake news promoters. Let us never, ever accept rejection of evidenced-based reasoning as “normal”.

      1. AlphaEdge says:

        Get real. And some people are worry warts. Oh no hydrogen! EV’s clearly have a huge mind share avantage now, that I don’t see hydrogen taking off at all.

  15. alohart says:

    Although Honda tried, they were unsuccessful dethroning the ruling king of ugly FCEV’s: Toyota Mirai. But as the owner of a BMW i3, I don’t cast too many stones.

  16. SparkEV says:

    “biggest problem with FCEVs” is not infrastructure. It’s the cost. It will be far more expensive compared to gasoline cars for the foreseeable future, cars and fuel (H), yet it offers no advantage over them. Only the dedicated greenies who buys into H promise would want them. Based on all the SUV and trucks on the road, FCEV will not reach mass scale.

    At the same time, if H can produce significantly “better” cars, it could have a shot (a long shot). For example, Tesla shows what EV performance can be in acceleration (and SparkEV for low cost BEV acceleration). FCEV semi was one demonstration, but nothing like that exist for consumer cars. If they can make a sports car that can outperform a Corvette in acceleration and cornering, and sell it at lower cost, that could be impressive. I doubt such will happen any time soon, if ever.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      ” ‘biggest problem with FCEVs’ is not infrastructure. It’s the cost.”

      …of the H2 fuel, yes.

      But it’s not one or the other; it’s both. The much higher cost of the infrastructure, orders of magnitude higher on a per-car basis, is one of the biggest problems. And contrary to what fool cell fanboys keep saying, that problem isn’t one which can be solved by some future innovation. The reasons why H2 fueling stations are so expensive, and can serve so few cars per day, are a direct result of physics; of the immutable and highly disadvantageous pysical properties of the H2 molecule.

  17. jpo234 says:

    Don’t forget: fuel cell vehicles are electric vehicles. They just happen to use hydrogen to store the required energy.

    1. SparkEV says:

      FCEV lose about 40% to 50% of energy in FC stack vs about 10% with BEV battery. Sure, they both ultimately run on electricity, one is far more efficient than the other.

      1. jpo234 says:

        Who cares if electricity is to cheap to meter? Spot prices for electricity become negative from time to time. This will probably become more pronounced over time.

        1. jh24ma says:

          Not everybody has them yet but Solar Panels can be used to put electricity back into the grid, or into a powerpack, free power.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “Who cares if electricity is to [sic] cheap to meter?”

          As long as we’re throwing reality out the window, why not just wish for perpetual motion? That’s no more impossible than trying to make H2 into a practical fuel, and for the same reason: Physics.

          But back to reality: Lower electricity prices will favor BEVs, they won’t favor fool cell cars. Electricity will never be free, because buying, installing, maintaining, and replacing solar panels and/or next-gen nuclear power plants, and energy storage systems, and the rest of the required infrastructure for generating and distributing electricity, isn’t free.

  18. Roy LeMeur says:

    I think that the folks at InsideEVs post these Fool Cell articles just for the entertainment value provided by the commenters.

    For me, it just clearly separates those who have a grasp of science and those either do not or are trolls and shills for competing interests.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      It can’t be mere ignorance of science, because actual science and actual facts have been repeatedly pointed out to fool cell fanboys, yet they persist in their science-denier assertions. In the unlikely event that they don’t know what they’re saying is simply not true, then it’s invincible ignorance; it’s deliberately choosing to remain ignorant.

      But I doubt that’s what’s going on in most cases. There is a pro-Big-Oil agenda at work here. That doesn’t necessarily mean every fool cell fanboy is intentionally pushing the Big Oil agenda; some may be “useful idiots” for the Big Oil cause.

  19. Kuk says:

    Another fool cell arguments. If Honda so cares about battery life so much they first should tell us what the lifespan of that complicated fool cells hydrogen car guts and how often you have to change that expensive platinum catalysator?!?

    1. Kuk says:

      Btw fool cells cars also needs battery

  20. PN243019 says:

    Wonder what the Europeans think about Huge compressed Hydrogen tanks buried all over their cities, would the bad guys need a manual though there could be some built in safety measures.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      If you want to look at a real hair-raising terrorist target, look at the huge natural gas storage tanks at large busy ports, especially where such tanks are close enough to each other that blowing one could cause a cascade event.

      By comparison, the low energy contained in H2 makes it much less of a target. If a terrorist actually tries to blow up a H2 station or storage tank, I suggest the proper response is to laugh at them for their cluelessness and their ineptitude at choosing a target!

      1. PN243019 says:

        But to make a lot of Hydrogen one will need Natural Gas, one can’t make much of it from Electrolysis alone knowing the process, how does one know whether the hydrogen they are pumping is made by steam reforming from which they can make hydrogen in abundance and how much is being made from electrolysis, Governments don’t restrict fueling stations or their suppliers any where in the world. Steam reforming means again releasing tons of Co2 into the atmosphere defeating the purpose of alternative energy.

  21. Bob Nan says:

    Mr. Honda Engineer

    Did you see the
    May 2017 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card

    Please see it and figure out yourself.

  22. Shawn Marshall says:

    I recall the endless BEV vs EV arguments by know-it-alls at gm-volt.com. Some people said maybe there is a MARKET for both – time and technology will decide. Where do people get the delusion that their concept of reality determines the future? If companies want to work on H so be it. What business is it of yours? Sell their stock if you have it.

    1. skierpage says:

      It’s not enough for Honda to make HFCVs, a hydrogen infrastructure has to be created. That’s a massive undertaking. The oil companies won’t do that privately, so government gets involved. That’s not necessarily bad, government policies help EVs as well. But with H2 a) it’s the old “socialize the losses, privatize the profits” trick, b) the oil companies will want to make H2 from natural gas at which point it’s worse than plug-in hybrids, c) the government money for H2 could be a complete waste if HFCVs never take off.

      If government taxed CO2 or said
      all cars must be be zero tailpipe emissions with well-to- wheels CO2 less than some declining figure, then private companies might make the best decisions on how to achieve it, possibly including HFCVs. But that’s not happening in the USA nor is government investment likely. So Honda and Toyota are promoting a vehicle that can’t leave California for the foreseeable future.

      Fuel cell makes more sense for bigger vehicles, i.e. commercial trucks. If Nikola Motors succeeds, it could serve as the infrastructure for long-distance passenger HFCV trips. If if if…

  23. Cha says:

    The Engineer mentions about Electrolysis how can he guarantee that all the hydrogen would be produced that way and not thru steam reforming.

    Even during electrolysis Electricity is converted to Hydrogen which is put in the car where it is converted back to electricity, (electricity > Hydrogen > electricity) there is 2/3 energy loss during this back-and-forth conversion process, and unnecessary costs attached to these conversions. How many really think this is efficient.

  24. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

    News flash!

    Engineer who makes a fat paycheque defends his employer!

    News at 11! Film at 12!

  25. Bill Howland says:

    With the lowered cost of ‘central station batteries’, I’d think it is much more cost effective to save ‘wasted wind power’ into batteries to be released during the peak time of consumption the next day.

    Hydrogen may be viable in places with extremely high electricity costs, or extreme electricity shortages, but that does *NOT* apply to the vast majority of the United States or Canada.

    The cost to refrigerate liquid hydrogen, and keep it cold merely makes this an uneconomic scheme. It is much cheaper to dispense hydrogen made right at the dispensory out of something like Natural Gas which has already an excellent distribution system (methane), and a cost so low even ‘state of the art’ nuclear power plants cannot begin to compete with it on energy cost.

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