When Trevor Milton says there is room for FCEVs, he acknowledges the role BEVs to defend there is room for Nikola. Angelo Kafantaris did not worry about that. In an interview with Tom Voelk, Hyperion's CEO said the future of energy is on hydrogen. Simply put, FCEVs would be the future of transportation and that’s it.
Although it may seem pretty convenient for a guy that aims to sell FCEVs to say they are the future, Kafantaris could adopt a more conciliatory approach, like Milton, but he doesn’t. The reason we see is that Hyperion’s CEO has strong arguments to defend his point of view.
The main one is the weight. According to Kafantaris, a car that adopts hydrogen fuel cells is 60 percent more efficient than a leading battery electric vehicle solely based on mass. Being lighter is what makes it have to spend a lot less energy in moving around. We are not sure about the percentage he uses, but the mass argument is right.
The second argument is that getting the energy to move the car may be cleaner than recharging a vehicle. Voelk’s video is dedicated to learning where the hydrogen comes from. Kafantaris points to two main ways.
The first and not so efficient is electrolysis. According to Hyperion’s CEO, using energy to produce hydrogen does not seem to make sense: why not put this energy straight into batteries? He gets that but argues that there is a lot of electricity just going nowhere.
Solar and wind energy is an example. What some of these plants produce may be lost because most people need that energy at night, in their homes. Kafantaris’ proposition is to produce hydrogen with the energy that would be wasted otherwise.
Another example Hyperion’s CEO uses is extracting hydrogen from natural gas. He claims the method, called SMR (Steam Methane Reformation), has 90 percent of efficiency. Compared to thermal power plants that burn it and get only 35 percent of the chemical energy transformed into electricity, that would be an amazing gain.
What Kafantaris does not address is the origin of this methane. If it comes from dumps and other renewable sources of gas, that would be defensible. If he is referring to methane from fossil origins, being efficient would not make the cut unless the carbon left from SMR was trapped someway.
Is the Hyperion CEO right? Would an FCEV be the answer for the future of transportation in passenger cars? Or would fuel cells make sense just for heavy vehicles? We’ll leave this interesting discussion for our readers to have in the comments section below.
Source: Driven Car Reviews