ITM Hydrogen Rally In Toyota Mirai – Fully Charged

NOV 16 2016 BY MARK KANE 42

The recent episode of Fully Filled Charged is all about hydrogen. Well, it is true thast the Fully Charged series has always been open to all of the renewable energy options, even for those we don’t necessarily see as commerically viable at this point in time.

Toyota Mirai at ITM Power hydrogen filling station

Toyota Mirai at ITM Power hydrogen filling station

ITM Power recently launched its third publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling station (which is crazy noisy) and has gathered all of the FCVs from the neighborhood to demonstrate how it works.

According to the hydrogen supporters, hydrogen will be produced from renewable energy soruces, eliminating its volatility on the grid. The cars themselves are long-range, with ability to quickly refuel and also export electricity if needed.

Whether these hydrogen dreams will come true depends heavily on economic factors, which today without strong incentives makes FCVs and their infrastructure very expensive.

ITM Hydrogen Rally | Fully Charged
Ever since I did a rant about ‘hydrogen is the future’ 6 or 7 years ago, I’ve had my suspicions. But we should not have closed minds about any new clean tech.
What ITM Power are doing is brilliant, efficient, counter intuitive and is thankfully catching on.

FCVs at ITM Power hydrogen filling station

FCVs at ITM Power hydrogen filling station

Renault Kango Z.E. FCV at ITM Power hydrogen filling station

Renault Kango Z.E. FCV at ITM Power hydrogen filling station

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell at ITM Power hydrogen filling station

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell at ITM Power hydrogen filling station

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42 Comments on "ITM Hydrogen Rally In Toyota Mirai – Fully Charged"

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I’m OK w/storing energy in hydrogen to use on the grid (if it’s cheaper than batteries…), but keep hydrogen out of my car. I prefer to refuel at home while I’m sleeping.

Not everyone has a garage and access to overnight charging though, this is an alternative option for those folks to still drive a zero emission car

That percentage is small (certainly not enough to justify building a hydrogen infrastructure), and there’s always DCFC and/or workplace charging.

Fool cell cars are “zero emission” cars?

Only if you ignore the fact that hydrogen pollutes more than gasoline for the same energy.

Don’t believe it? Read it for yourself here:

Correct, Plugin’s are superior.
They can keep the energy wasteful Hydrogen infrastructure where the sun don’t shine.

Would the Japanese & USA Governments – both hold hands and stop this fool cell technology and get on with the real deal = plugs in EV’s

But why not just use the electricity directly vs. creating hydrogen inefficiently?

The fuel is just too expensive…

Yeah, sure, make hydrogen from excess electricity. Except, the electrolyzers are expensive, so if there is no excess they run anyway.


Don’t know if it’s a hoax. But I read on a German website, than hydrogen mixed with water and CO2 (?) in a certain ratio could act as a fuel replacement. A also found this:
So yes, while fuel-cells IMO have no future in cars, I can well imagine that surplus solar energy gets locally stored in the form of hydrogen to then be used in the winter for heating the house.

Toyota has finally deciphered that hand writing on the wall and late to the party, a day late and a dollar short they are finally going to build a BEV. Meanwhile they can’t really pull off the albatross around their neck, FCV, because it is the future.–sector.html

I agree, I cannot think of any reason for this to exist at the consumer level right now.

I’m fine if the military or freight companies continue to experiment and mature the technology. It’s hard to predict future technological advances. What would an owner of an electric citicar with a sub-40 mile range in the 1970s think about his high tech EV toy car if he knew in a few decades the Model S P100D would exist.

But it is a waste to spend money on obscenely expensive consumer H2 stations that will rarely if ever be used. They cost well over $1 million dollar per station correct? That could go towards dozens of 100 kW fast charging stations instead.

I think there is a niche for them in forklifts, short haul, military, but not for mass transport.

Apparently, Germany didn’t get the memo. The Alstom Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel-cell train “will enter service in Germany in December 2017, providing the world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger rail service. . . . Alstom claims enough onboard hydrogden storage capacity for a 497-mile range, and quotes a top speed of 87 mph.”

Hydrogen cannot easily be produced by an individual at home. Thus they keep you dependant on their distribution model…with control over the price.
I just don’t see it happening for the normal commuter. Maybe for long haul transport where they need quick refilling during a working day.

“ITM Power recently launched its third publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling station (which is crazy noisy). . .”

One of ITM’s other H2 stations located in Sheffield uses a silent, solid state (no moving parts) electro-chemical compressor.

ITM’s H2 station in Rainham uses a solar panels to make its H2. The Rainham H2 station “has one of the largest arrays of photovoltaics in the south of England, consisting of 717 panels designed to supply 115 kW’s, which will provide power to the station. This station was opened to the public on 11th October 2016.”

This whole story is about England, but truthfully, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see american subsidy for more H2 tailored into existing EV legislation. Only, the Republicans will do it for the same reason they did the EV credit, to favor domestic energy. That means they won’t care about the more expensive renewable energy being used for the (inefficient, expensive, yet clean) electrolysis ITM is attempting.

The average petrol stations sees ‘X’ cars per day, near this ITM station. A good question would be how many panels would ITM need to supply the same number of H2 vehicles their fuel? If we do something I the author perhaps would not, which is apply a conversion factor to the solar panels, 115kw would actually be good for about 690KWh of output each day. So, maybe 9 Teslas could get charged from “one of the largest arrays of photovoltaics in the south of England”.

We have to be careful of those selling products being different from those trying to solve problems. It applies to more than natural gas refiners of H2.

“If we do something I the author perhaps would not” OK, I was being kind to Mark Kane, who likes to overstate the impact of renewables.

“. . . (inefficient, expensive, yet clean) electrolysis ITM is attempting.”

C02 from transportation is only one slice of the global-warming/climate-change pie. Countries must also decarbonize their industrial sector by eliminating the use of fossil fuels as the raw materials for the products they produce, ie: fertilizer, plastics, and using the H2 in natural gas to crack/refine barrels of crude oil. All H2 produced in Denmark and Norway is made from excess renewable energy. Norway is planning to export liquid hydrogen made from 100% renewable energy once demand or supply of crude oil from its North Sea oil fields dries up. Likewise, Saudi Arabia is looking to use solar power to create renewable liquid hydrogen for export once demand for crude oil diminishes.

Let’s not forget cement and steel production. They can probably be avoided but you hear very little about progress on that front.

Studies are being done in Sweden and fossil free research steal making should be done in the next few years.

The largest cement producer here is aiming on being CO2 free in 2030. But that is a whole different process since unlike steel production there is not only fossil fuels that needs to stop.
The cement process naturally emits CO2 and carbon capture is needed to get down to zero added CO2.

The important question here isn’t whether carbon capture can be done, but rather whether or not it can ever be economically competitive.

For example, “clean coal” technology has been demonstrated to work; the engineering has been shown to be possible. What is utterly impossible, at least to date, is making it affordable. That’s why no commercial power plant existing today uses “clean coal” technology.

It’ll be a long time before Norway’s oil “dries up”. I’m doing an essay highlighting how policy basically “Trumps” science, and can surprise our musings about Elons “blue squares” and chasing windmills. The day renewables replace Norway’s oil, for both exports and internal use, is perhaps 500 gigatons of mankind CO2 emissions away. That’s perhaps half of what locks in a 2 degree rise, right there. David Roberts is a good writer in the United States, who currently writes for Vox but was around before the financial crisis relegated CO2 to the sidelines. Taking into account science, how places like Norway (Sovereign Wealth Fund) divest from Duke’s coal but don’t aim sustainability at their own oil, how renewables people are always happy to overstate their role, how nuclear is presumed worse, and then how people like Donald Trump can get elected, it isn’t any wonder why more and more believe we can forget a 2 degree cap (3.6F). Sven, in the U.S., 2016 will officially go down as the year our transporation sector emits more CO2 than our electric sector. The industrial (cement, aggriculture, etc.) is the other “third” of that pie. At least it sounds like more of… Read more »

How much hydrogen, would a hydrogen tanker use up, shipping liquid hydrogen across the Atlantic, while keeping it cool & pressurized? That seems like a lot of wasted energy to ship “stored sunlight”. Especially when sunlight is free everywhere already.


Hey, let’s add yet another energy-wasting step to making and distributing hydrogen fuel! Let’s make the EROI (Energy Return On Investment) even worse than it already is! 🙄

Reminds me of the following:

Perhaps they could add a few extra steps:

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

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

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

— John Hollenberg, comment at, September 24, 2015

For reference

If those projections are correct hydrogen from electrolysis would only have value for off-grid fuel or as a grid-balancing mechanism.

Using stationary hydrogen generation as energy storage is only about 40-50% efficient on a round-trip basis, and even theoretically maxes out at about 60% efficient, if I recall correctly.

So you’re throwing away about half the energy by using hydrogen as a storage mechanism. The cost of that adds up pretty fast, when comparing to using batteries as stationary energy storage.

The cost of batteries is coming down. Contrariwise, the usefulness of hydrogen for energy storage will be forever limited by the physical properties of the H2 molecule.

The idea there could be significant future improvements is nothing but wishful thinking.

I have seen a bigger “rally” at an average Supercharger location before…

I was thinking along those lines. Amazing, they half a dozen FCV together. lol.

Hydrogen refueling at home sounds like a ticking time bomb. An odorless, explosive gas which is so small molecularly, most of the time it will leak. Think about 1% of every home having the same volatility and destructive potential of a methamphetamine lab. Goodbye cities!

Not to mention that a home H2 fueling station has a footprint almost as big as a compact car, and it’s so expensive they don’t even talk about the price. And of course, the electricity cost for running the thing will likely be something like 4-6 times as high as charging a BEV, due to the massive multiple inefficiencies involved.

HYDROGEN VEHICLES ARE TOTALLY “IDIOTIC” THEREFORE ARE TOTALLY OUT OF THE QUESTION..THEY MADE “NO” SENSE ! WHY DO THEY INSIST ON BEATING THAT DEAD HORSE? There must be something very worth while for someone out there , and we know it’s not for the benefit of the general public…

+1 jimijonjack

It shows 10 GBP for 1 kg of H. Is that subsidized price or true market price? If you’re paying double gasoline (about 5 GBP for gallon of gas), why would people drive this thing?

Non-subsidized price for hydrogen fuel at the dispensing station is about $14-16 per kg. That converts to £11.27-12.88 at today’s currency conversion rate.

£10 doesn’t sound too far off. Maybe it’s slightly subsidized, or more likely that’s a rather optimistic estimate by a “hydrogen economy” promoter.

“…why would people drive this thing?”

So far as I can see, most of those who do drive “fool cell” cars are doing so because they’re either directly involved in building or promoting the tech, or they see it as a large-scale science experiment, or both. I haven’t seen a report from anyone who actually thinks the tech is practical, or will become so in the near future.

Hopefully there are not many people who have been fooled by Big Oil’s “hydrogen economy” propaganda.

I doubt they’re paying double gasoline to support H. My suspicion is they get free H in UK like in CA or some other subsidy to bring down the price (tax credit?) One has to be complete fool to pay double.

But then, there were people who drove Zap cars and paid through the nose just say they support EV, so there might be some that you describe. Still, it’s hard to believe many (or any) would pay double without any other incentive.

“But we should not have closed minds about any new clean tech.”

Ummm…. the multiple very wasteful, highly polluting processes necessary to generate, distribute, and dispense hydrogen fuel are very far indeed from “clean”.

We should face reality and recognize that physics, the laws of thermodynamics, and basic economic analysis all point to “the hydrogen economy” being completely, utterly impractical and unaffordable, not only today but forever.

To do otherwise is to ignore reality and engage in wishful thinking.

“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, July 8, 2015

“In summary, the automakers have mostly forecast that they will be at full-scale [hydrogen] commercialization by or during 2010. General Motors and Ford have gone beyond those claims to assert that they will at minimum have brought a significant number of fuel cell vehicles to the market. The makers who do not have plans to release vehicles in 2003 or receive certification from CARB are the most optimistic. In contrast, Honda and Toyota have been much more guarded with their future plans, but have accelerated their timetables this year perhaps because of competition with each other for the Japanese market. Likewise, Nissan has bumped up its initial release date by two years from 2005 to 2003 in order to compete. Perhaps competition and increased government spending like that of the EU will also speed the transition for all OEMs to full-scale commercialization.”

Ahem. Tony, thanks.

Here is one simple fact that can’t be refuted when comparing an EV with a hydrogen car.

1) COST – Because any “green” production of hydrogen is done with electricity, and lots of it, hydrogen can NEVER reach the same COST as using that same electricity directly in an EV.

In addition, hydrogen requires a host product (methane, natural gas, water, et al) that EV cars do not require (yet additional cost).

Finally, hydrogen requires a huge amount of electrical energy to compress (10,000psi / 700 atmospheres) and drastically cool (-25C) the hydrogen to be transferred to a car.

The cost of hydrogen can NEVER beat electricity. That alone might kill hydrogen.

Here is an exercise… Google: safety requirements for hydrogen Hydrogen station roofs are required to be designed such that there is no chance for it to collect (the underside slopes upward). The Fukushima incident had explosions from hydrogen build-up. Case history of hydrogen explosion Hydrogen has it all. The same awesome dynamic of going to a store to buy your energy (instead of delivered to you overnight), pay hundreds of percent more per mile, pollutes more than some gasoline cars, would require not only a trillion dollar hydrogen infrastructure buildout, but also a huge electric infrastructure buildout to compensate for the hundreds of percent more electrical energy required, and danger… lots of danger: 1) invisible and odorless, burns invisible (yes, you can walk right into a fire without seeing it) 2) one of the most flammable substances on earth, from about 5% to 95% oxygen to H2 ratio. Gasoline is actual very narrow. 3) Hydrogen is the smallest atom, therefore nothing can fully contain it. It is always escaping. 4) Terrorists will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE prepackaged bombs that have wheels (hydrogen cars). Just enough C4 explosive material to compromise the 10,000 psi (700 atmospheres) container and KABOOM !!! The… Read more »
Tony, did you listen to the entire show (I know, you won’t see this, but I’ll post the link Often, in the future)? Long and short, wind power will Always produce power that cannot be used. ITM does not seem at all perturbed by the dangers that you describe. Given enough storage, keeping the tanks full Just from excess wind output will Not be a problem, such that they -can- then begin selling -excess- (inefficient and costly) H2 to mix with CNG at up to 15% with no changes required for existing CNG appliances. Repeated and ignored so many times.. Turbine on site sells electricity to grid. Excess production No Longer requires shut down of turbine, it is shunted to instantly operating electrolysis to harness / store that waste. What keeps getting buried in minutiae is the “counter-intuitive” Brilliance of (like all energy) Harnessing wasted production. You mentioned google, did you miss that so many production plans are addressing the ease of capturing wasted electricity output with H2 from electrolysis? Pretty easy search.. I think your H2 at the gas-station is so expensive – think has clouded your willingness to see the promise of this. Electricity production is a challenge,… Read more »