Toyota Claims Mass Production Of Fuel Cell Vehicles Will Start Soon

JUL 27 2018 BY MARK KANE 265

Toyota says that it will continue to invest in hydrogen fuel cells, to develop improved stacks, increase production volume, introduce more models and lower prices.

Those are quite some lofty goals there.

So far, less than 6,000 Mirai were sold (at around $60,000 before incentives), but from 2020 on, the Japanese company hopes to sell 30,000 annually.

The big hydrogen obstacle is the price of the vehicles (much higher than even comparable all-electric cars, which are already more expensive than conventional cars in terms of upfront costs).

A big part of this cost problem is that hydrogen fuel cells apparently cost Toyota some $11,000 each. It could be lowered to $8,000, according to the article, due to a lower amount of expensive materials (platinum, titanium and carbon fiber) or improved design.

Toyota Mirai Cutaway

““We’ve been able to decrease the platinum loading by 10 percent to 20 percent and deliver the same performance,” said Eri Ichikawa, a fuel cell engineer at Cataler Corp, a Toyota subsidiary that specializes in catalytic converters.

Strategic Analysis says using that much less of the precious metal would save up to $300 per fuel cell stack, based on an estimate that Toyota now uses about 30 grams of platinum per unit.”

On the other hand, analysts from LMC Automotive forecasts that FCVs will take only 0.2% share of global passenger car market by 2027, while BEVs are expected to grab 11.7% (60-times more).

Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Mirai, said:

“We’re going to shift from limited production to mass production, reduce the amount of expensive materials like platinum used in FCV components, and make the system more compact and powerful,”

Brief of Toyota plans:

  • decrease costs of hydrogen fuel cells
  • build economies of scale
  • increase production capacity and move from hand-built cars to series production
  • lower costs and prices
  • increase range by some 50% from 500 km (311 miles) to 700-750 km (435-469 miles) and even 1,000 km (620 miles) by 2025
  • introduce more car models (including SUVs) and trucks/buses, sharing parts between them

Source: Reuters

Categories: Toyota

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265 Comments on "Toyota Claims Mass Production Of Fuel Cell Vehicles Will Start Soon"

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Foolish fuel cells – silly Toyota

If they switched from cars to buses and trucks, the fuel cell approach would actually be optimal and a big hit. There is nothing “foolish” about fuel cells. Ultimately, fuel cells are batteries where the ions are hydrogen based instead of lithium based and hydrogen doesn’t have to lug around 4 neutrons like lithium does. For a car, the range issue is not that great with lithium cells anymore, but for a truck, the fuel cell chemistry can be a very useful option given today’s weight/kwh state of the technology.

Why this mad desire to promote use of compressed hydrogen as a fuel? It’s probably the least practical fuel that anyone is actually trying to use to power a vehicle.

Are people really taken in by the ridiculous claims of those promoting the “hydrogen economy” hoax?

Really, I don’t get it. I understand that Toyota will continue wasting money on building FCEVs so long as the Japanese government pays them many thousands of dollars apiece in subsidies, but why would otherwise sensible people like you, Dan, write as if there is some practical use?

I don’t care how big the vehicle is, H2 is much too expensive, impractical, and wasteful to use as an everyday fuel. Using it in a larger vehicle makes the cost difference (over even gasoline or diesel, let alone much cheaper electricity stored in batteries) even worse, not better!

And using H2 is almost as polluting as using petroleum. What is it about hydrogen that attracts people to the idea?

There are a few things about semi trucks that change the business case.

A) Regulations cap the mass of semis to 80000 lbs. The light weight of hydrogen therefore allows possibly more payload than even diesel, and significantly more than battery electric trucks.

B) Lack of volumetric density matters very little with semi trucks, but is a big deal with passenger cars.

C) the raw energy cost of hydrogen from 3c/kWh renewables is only $1.50/kg. The retail price is high now due to low volume, distribution, etc. Interstate stations could generate H2 on site.

D) They won’t really compete with electric trucks. It would be for long haul, heavy payload routes.

Hydrogen tanks are *not* lightweight. They are lighter per kWh than batteries; but not light. If you add the fuel cell stack itself, the weight advantage is not that huge.

I’m not sure where you got the $1.50/kg figure; but considering that electrolysis only has about 50% efficiency, I’m pretty sure it’s off even when considering only 3c/kWh electricity costs.

But that’s not the real problem anyway. The real problem is the enormous costs of the electrolysis cells.

Whatever happened to generating H on site with these $2M stations? So much for all the hype. If they’re going to truck in H like gasoline, that will also add cost in addition to already 2X more energy waste compared to charging batteries. No wonder H costs 4X to 5X gasoline.

With a HFCV you still have to lug around the tanks, fuel cell stack and still quite a few neutrons from a smaller but still present lithium battery. There is a reason that the Toyota Mirai has a higher curb weight than the Model 3. They are both mid-sized cars (Model 3 has more cargo space and passenger space) that have the same range. “For a car, the range issue is not that great with lithium cells anymore, but for a truck, the fuel cell chemistry can be a very useful option given today’s weight/kwh state of the technology.” We were all having this exact same argument 3-4 years ago about cars. Now EVs are fine for cars and their range and we have shifted the discussion to trucks. You couldn’t build factories fast enough to build HFC trucks before that argument will no longer be relevant. In fact it’s not even really relevant now. There are mid-range EV buses being produced for fleets all over the world right now. The Tesla semi is coming out in a year or so and will put that theory to the test. Tesla claims a 600 miles range loaded. Even if it’s only… Read more »

Batteries having too little energy for buses or trucks is pure myth. Yes, the batteries need to be *big* — but compared to the total weight of the vehicles, the proportions aren’t any worse than for passenger cars.

Even for those who are unable to do the maths themselves, the Tesla Semi unveiling should have put that myth to rest… (Just like 11 years earlier, the Tesla Roadster unveiling put to rest the myth that batteries aren’t good enough for passenger cars.)

Let the criticisms begin! I’ll start off with today’s H price of $16.50/kg.

Leasing a Toyota FCV, with their FREE Mirai Hydrogen fueling program, Totally SUCKS!

Hydrogen is anything but “FREE”!

I hope that was a joke. For those who do not understand economics, there is no such thing as free. You prepaid for free fuel (and free charging), you just don’t know how much of it you already paid for. If not driving 20K miles a month (probably even more), “free” is actually costing you more money than not free.

I joke, I joke!
Friday Fun Humor, playing off the old “FCS” SparkEV meme.

You know perfectly well how much you pay – current lease offer is $350/month, fixed, _including_ fuel, maintenance and options.

Sure you can buy some giga-battery solution for around $1000/month _plus_ electricity and charger. Maybe it better suits your situation, who knows except you. Everybody is free to choose.

If you think leasing a 4 seat Corolla for $350/mo is a deal, you are blind. Mirai should be leasing for $100/mo (or less!), rest are fuel cost. $250/mo will get you lots of miles with gasoline.

Giga battery? Mirai is rated for 300 miles, Tesla 3 is 310 miles at 75 kWh. Heck, even BoltEV with awful aerodynamics is rated 240 miles, and I’m getting close to 300 miles range in my dog beach trips. Given that H station is about 25 miles from the dog beach, subtract 50 miles from 300, and the actual usable range is 250 miles. And that’s not including the time taken to drive to H station where as I charge while shopping, eating, sleeping.

I love how the cut-away of the Mirai power train is fiendishly complex. It screams high maintenance, like Prada shoes and a two-hour make-up job.

For those who think they understand economics, but think nothing is free, look into the tragedy of the commons. In which of course the entire problem stems from the fact that many things are indeed free, in the normal sense (you don’t have to pay anything, just suffer the consequences).

So you agree that the large amounts of money Toyota eats to sell these with “free fuel” is paid elsewhere.

HaHa! Mirai driver I spoke to: ” I will take a Mirai over any Tesla anyday”.

Was he a shorter friend of yours, fool!

Absolutely! I mean, I would much rather have a super fugly, boring and slow sedan that can only be refueled in parts of California with ridiculously expensive fuel than a TESLA (which is none of those things).

I’m super glad you clarified that Tesla was none of those things. I was confused for a second.

No…., you generally sound confused! ROFLOL!

Mirai driver needs Medical intervention …Ha Ha !

We really don’t care what the voices in your head tell you, Mr. Tesla Death Cultist.

And this discussion isn’t about Tesla. Stay on topic, please.

You cannot plug-in a FCEV at the mains at home for recharging!. That is the huge advantage of batteries, plus the energy costs are way lower than anything out there. The economics of BEV is just killing all others, it is a matter of time before ICE and other fuel options becomes obsolete due to prohabitive cost of ownership. Or BEV prices just outpaced them significantly!.

From methane, yes. How much is it when generated by electrolysis from sunpower, their proclaimed way to make it green?

$16.50 isn’t SO bad, it is 40 kWh after all. Over forty cents is steep perhaps, but it is too low to make this economy work. At least if they are going to pay the same for electricity as those who provide it to BEVs.

electrolysis will cost double.

Why? Explain it in future terms. If you built enough solar panels to power the electrolysis plant with no need for grid power, how would the cost double?

Sure, up front there would be huge expenses, but isn’t that what they say is so genius about Tesla? All that long term, forethought planning? Laying in the groundwork for future profits?

Actually it would triple. The reason being, instead of all the complicated H2 stuff that loses energy on each step, you could feed that electricity directly into a car and get about 3x as much.

Most of the electricity for EVs is made with fossil fuels.

Who cares?

Not true everywhere. Oregon no longer uses any coal generated and I’m signed up for renewable only! No extra charge.

So your argument is, when humanity has built out an Earth-wide grid of purely green and completely free energy for all created and maintenanced by a self-sustaining system of self replicating robot workers then who cares if we throw half of all of this free unlimited energy away? When do you think this will happen? Maybe 2020?

If you need two times as many panels, costs doubles, no matter your investment plan. Simple as that.

And don’t forget the cost of the electrolysis cells, which is the real problem.

That’s using electricity to make a gas which is the smallest stable molecule on earth by consuming the molecules present in all human, animal, and plant life (dominant molecule in many cases). I see no problem with this. Survival of the fittest, though. It’s us or them, all known life versus the Mirai. Death to the invaders!

We can reform renewable methane to make hydrogen at <$5 per kg.

There aren’t enough sources of renewable methane to power even a fraction of global transportation needs.

(Unless you include dedicated crops, which create more problems than the solve, and thus aren’t sustainable at all.)

Key word there is “claimed”. Reality for H is that electrolysis uses about double the energy used to charge the battery. $16.50/33.7= $0.48/kWh is over double what the retail electricity costs, over triple off peak rate, and that’s with CA’s high electricity prices.

Look what they charge at quick chargers.

rarely used by individuals quick chargers

DCFC costs about $0.20/kWh, roughly the retail price of electricity. Even the relatively high priced places charge about $0.40/kWh, and that outrageous price have people not using them much. Unlike FCEV that must always pay 3X off-peak electric rate, BEV use of DCFC is only on rare longer trips.

Meanwhile, FCEV is half as efficient as BoltEV (which is middle of the pack in BEV efficiency). FCEV is effectively costing about $1/kWh all the time.

This is even easier to see:

Being expensive stinks, but even worse is if you can not get the fuel.

And when they run out of fuel like what’s happening now in Southern CA. Toyota will give them a rental gas car though for their trouble.

In other news, there now 5000 FCEV’s operating in the state of California, and 35 stations.

It is so transparent that the whole intent is for us to be beholden to Big Oil or Big Gas in this case. It terrifies the powers that be that we can drive our cars with power generated off of our roofs at home. For the premium involved in getting a fuel cell car you could pay for a big chunk of a rooftop solar system. Sorry guys – we don’t need you anymore – go away.

Remember that not EVeryone has a roof, or a roof that they can deploy rooftop solar onto!

True, but everyone does have electricity other than apartment dwellers. If they have apartments they are most likely near public transit.

Living near public transit does not necessarily mean everywhere you need to go is also near public transit, or that the routes would allow you to get where you need to go when you need to be there. Cars are quite useful for apartment dwellers, and it’s impractical to expect all of us to constrain ourselves to public transport only.

New transportation and ownership models will solve that. Subscribe to car sharing service and order a car when you need one. Only going a short distance (less than 200 miles) Get an EV. Going for the big once per year or less road trip? Get something with a range extender or an ICE.

Or use a couple of SuperChargers along the way!

Everyone needs to go places. It’s no different when going places whether you live in an apartment or a villa. And truth be told, it’s not an insurmountable challenge to install sufficient electricity for overnight charging in garages. Even 11-22 kW is fairly easy, but it costs more and it isn’t really needed. 3 kW charging totally solves the problem, although one may need to fast charge a few times that wouldn’t be required if there was more power available. I’ve bought the KONA and know I won’t have any issue charging at just 3 kW. Sure, zero to full would take over twenty hours, but it’s just completely irrelevant. I’ll need to replenish 8-12 kWh each night nearly all the time, and as long as I can plan any really long trips one day in advance it’ll be easy to start with a 100% charge. I’ll probably charge to 60% by default, and drive that down to 45-50% before I get home. Should something exceptional happen so I decide in the morning I’m gonna go away, I’ll have 60% and can spend twenty minutes more charging during the day than I would have if I’d planned ahead and started… Read more »

Amazingly, many apartment complexes have their own parking lots, where EV slow chargers can be installed. 😉 It’s rare to see such installations today; but several years from now, as plug-in EVs become commonplace, it will be the new standard.

I don’t know what it’s like in much of Trumpistan, but in Norway people who live in apartments do have electricity. Being able to charge at home requires several hours of work by a qualified electrician, but it is not completely undoable. Some might even say it’s easier than installing a hydrogen station.

I live in a condo with 27 units. And in the garage there’s my Nissan LEAF, one C-Zero, and a Model S. Somehow the building is still standing.

There was a fire in the neighbouring building’s garage, but that was some strange car that must go to a special place to get liquified fossil dinosaurs in order to run (noisily and with a lot of vibration, it’s really uncivilised).

And now imagine that car was a FCEV with H2 stored at 10,000PSI !

Trumpistan… LOL! One in nine isn’t bad. Probably a bit better since the fire. Nice adoption ratio!

True, but a massive amount of folks do. For those who do not, access to electric chargers is increasing every month- WAY more than Fuel Cell fueling stations.

Offsite solar system were created for those people.

You don’t need a roof to switch to solar. I’ve signed up for 12 kW of community solar from a farm.

Good point, I forgot about Co-ops and similar offsetting setups.

and yet, your electricity comes from the same grid as your neighbor.
Paying extra for that ‘community solar farm’ is one of the biggest scams there is.

Amazingly enough, there are a lot of people who are willing to pay a bit more for a lifestyle which is closer to being carbon-neutral, and don’t think that is a “scam”.

My hat is off to people who actually do put their money where their mouth is.

Ridiculing such altruism and idealism is contemptible.

Look, I admire ppl that put their money where they put their mouth. That is we have a 10 kw solar City system, along with a 2013 Tesla MS.

BUT, do you admire those that hate EVs and are going to buy an ICE vehicle? Nope.

How about those that buy an LH2 car? Those are cleaner than then community solar systems, and better for the environment. Nope. I have seen you post against lh2. Why? Because you KNOW that it is a scam. The community solar is a scam by utilities and it takes out productive land. They ALWAYS build these on what was grassy area.

Guess what else is built on grassy areas: massively huge natural gas plants in Nevada by a “public” utility that claims it needs to generate more power, but in the next breath claims solar customers are cutting into their bottom line.. Which one is it? Oh, and by the way, utilities are building their own solar farms (because they know solar does, indeed, pencil) while at the same time attempting to wall off private citizens from doing the same.

Well, I admit I don’t know much about community solar microgrids. If you say it’s a scam, then I guess I need to look into that more.

But there ought to be a solution for people who live in apartment buildings, where there is fare too little roof area to supply all or most of the building’s energy needs via solar power. It seems like community solar power is a good solution, at least on paper.

I find your complaint about community solar farms being built on “what was grassy area” to be rather odd. Well of course in an urban area, they’re going to build them on empty lots. What other land in urban areas is available for their installation? Very few apartment buildings have a mountain or a salt flats immediately next to them… 😉

Can you imagine the electricity, harvested from the roof-mounted solar cells, used to electrolyze water, yielding hydrogen?

I have a small system like that. I use some hydrogen, and I like to make my own.
I have solar cell panels, and a small beach model hydrogen generator.
If I was to power a fuel cell car, I would need another compressor (I use a small , cheap, low pressure type) that is expensive- that would be idle most of the time.
In a commercial setting, the cost of the compression can be divided by a much larger volume.
I hope they develop better and cheaper technology that we all can benefit from later, one way or another.

Indeed so. Let’s be encouraged by the fact that mere 25 years ago an idea of an affordable, pocket-size computer that replaces navigation devices, internet modems, photo- and movies cameras, music players and probably thousands of other instruments and gadgets would have sounded like science fiction.

Yeah that should boost efficiency! Make hydrogen at home, just don’t ignore that if mixed with air it becomes one of the most explosive things known to man. Not good for Sparky.

as long as it is not in a confined area, not a big deal. H2 will simply float away.

“as long as it is not in a confined area, not a big deal. H2 will simply float away.”

Hydrogen car fires can be safer than gasoline car fires in open areas since the rising gas takes the heat above the vehicle. Enclosed places like unvented garages and tunnels are completely opposite however.

Exactly right. It’s funny how many mod me down and you up, and yet, in agreement.

Water and electricity don’t mix together; how often do electric car zap people during rain?

Electric cars? Never. EVs in accidents or utility poles down ? Every so often.

I have heard that electricity can also kill you outright and/or cause house fire. We are such a daredevil family – we use 240VAC to run our stove and clothes dryer and to charge the car almost every day.

It is really not that uncommon to have a small bench model type, to make hydrogen gas.
Either for those of us, that really like to make stuff, does some science experiments, teach some children about science in general.

So, you will pay loads of extra money to make sure that a solar system that would fill and full drive an EV, will now lose soo much energy, that it will drive your fuel car 1/3 to 1/4 of the distance of the EVs.


“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

I should have applied for a patent on this method… it’s revolutionary.

I don’t have to “imagine” the cost of using home-generated hydrogen to power a fool cell car. The cost of a relatively compact system for generating, compressing, and storing H2 at the very high pressure needed for such a car is $250,000-300,000. Also, that has a footprint the size of a microcar, so installing that would convert your two-car garage into a one-fool-cell-car garage.

If there is anything even more insanely expensive, inefficient, and wasteful and polluting as buying compressed H2 from a hydrogen fueling station, it’s installing one at home!

I remember reading similarly spirited- and worded philippics by ICE apologists against EV’s.

Really? When did EV charger take up half the garage and cost $250K? Early EV’s selling point was that “fueling” only took a spare extension cord.

I can certainly imagine it yielding one third the power compared to just feeding it into a car directly.

You do realize that probable less than 1% of the EV / solar owners actually charge their vehicles via solar. RIGHT?

I certainly don’t. Today’s generation of BEVs have longer ranges, and don’t necessarily need to be charged every day. They could certainly be charged during the day on weekends and holidays when the car is sitting in the garage.

There are also retirees who won’t be driving to work every day, or even most days.

Taken all together, that’s gotta be a lot more than 1% of the charging needed.

Not the point, this is all in opposition to the “case” that H2 proponents make that you could generate it Direct from solar. As indeed you could, but why bother when you’d need 3x the solar and a massive cost to install the equipment. Over time of course more people will charge via renewables including solar, as they make a larger contribution to the grid.

Hydrogen is not “big oil”.

Yes, it is. In America, none of H2 comes from electrolysis, save the 3 east coast plants.

Reality check: 90-95% of commercially produced hydrogen is made from natural gas, which is mostly sold by Big Oil companies.

Those promoting the “hydrogen economy” hoax brag about all the H2 produced on-site at H2 filling stations, but the ugly truth is that most of their fuel is trucked in, and comes from natural gas.

It is possible to drive up and down the west coast. Maybe even the east coast in the future. And even possible to have hydrogen stations along interstates in the way distant future. As for hydrogen infrastructure matching gasoline? Ain’t gonna happen. Even gasoline infrastructure will take a hit when 30% of the light-duty vehicles are EVs causing a loss of revenue to existing gasoline stations. How are are you gonna add a third infrastructure in small town USA?

In the UK, most hydrogen used by FCEVs is clean, created via solar powered electrolysis. As solar becomes cheaper, clean hydrogen becomes cheaper. It’s not a bad future.

Even better is high temperature electrolysis of hydrogen, can be done at nuclear plants and geothermal and uses heat from the environment to be more than 100% electrically efficient (sort of like a heat pump). I don’t know if it is done in practice yet, but might be one method of generating inexpensive hydrogen while cooling a nuclear reactor or just natural heat in the earth.

Too bad the technology doesn’t exist for Nuclear Plants that can do that in the lifetime of most of the people here. But conceptually, one day Jim Kirk will get into his TOYOTA MIRAI, with the hydrogen prolifically made by futuristic (GEN III PLUS or GEN IV) high temperature reactors. The best the US has currently put into service is a 44 year old WATTS-BARR plant, that is probably the last GENERATION II machine to be ever built. Seeing as that plant is a basic copy of the one next to it (so that the workers only have to be trained on one design only), and the plant has been ‘relatively safe’ (as Nuclear Plants go), it was probably a wise, cost-effective decision, seeing as the alternative would be to just scrap it. At least they’ll get some use out of it. There certainly have been more dopey ones. I just finished reading the book “WE ALMOST LOST DETROIT” – a reasonably technically satisfying travelogue of the Nuclear Industry’s almost universal problems with Generation One machines, both here and in the UK, written to be understood by most laymen. The book was written in 1975 about an 85 MW(electrical) fast… Read more »

I thought Detroit was more or less lost.. At least 2-3 years ago when I drove through parts of the abandoned city..

Nuclear power is highly expensive to build, and have to compete with wind and solar on price.
No CO2 is nice, nuclear waste, and the potential risk . . Not so much.

It’s highly expensive largely because of the insanely high amounts of regulation and unnecessary safety concerns imposed by counter-productive “No more nukes!” activism, which has crippled America’s ability to provide clean, safe power.

We need look no further than France to see how clean, safe, efficient nuclear power could be providing most of our energy needs, replacing coal and natural gas. The French have also solved the problem of waste, which is no longer a technological problem; it’s merely a political one here in the USA, where we stupidly refuse to use the same practical approach the French do.

And that’s not even getting into the subject of new, truly fail-safe rector designs.

Agree about the insane approach to nukes, but, if I understand you correctly, you would want nukes replacing fossil fuels. Big mistake to go over about a 1/3. We need a diversified energy matrix with at least 2/3 of it being baseload. So, more fission nukes, hydro, and esp Geothermal. Once fusion comes, we need to add it slowly and make sure of it. 1st and 2nd Gen fusion is going to make me edgy.

if I understand you correctly, you would want nukes replacing fossil fuels. Big mistake to go over about a 1/3

Why? France got more than 80% of its electricity from nuclear power, until quite recently.

Diversity has its own problems. A single type of power plant promotes standardization and lower costs, which the French have achieved for nuclear power plants… and we never did.

The only reason I don’t suggest 100% nuclear power is that hydroelectric dams are perhaps even cleaner (despite a higher death rate from construction), and I’d like to see more renewable power in the form of solar, tidal/ocean current, and geothermal energy power plants.

But of the renewable energy sources, only geothermal doesn’t need large-scale energy storage for hours or days when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Nuclear power has no such limitations; it’s steady and reliable, needs no backup system, and can be installed in almost any region.

Insane amounts of safety concerns? I’m sure the people of the Fukushima or Tchernobyl regions would be glad to hear that…

If a technology is so inherently dangerous that it need “insane” amounts of safety to become remotely acceptable, perhaps that’s a hint that it’s not such a good idea. (Especially when much better alternatives are available.)

Estimated number of people killed by the Chernobyl disaster: 4000

Number of people killed by the Fukushima disaster: 2 from a hydrogen explosion, none from radiation or radioactive materials.

Estimated number of Americans killed every year by pollution from coal-fired power plants: 15,000 to 30,000. (And obviously a much greater number worldwide.)

If human beings were rational animals, we would have replaced every single coal-fired power plant with a clean and much safer nuclear plant, decades ago.

Keep dreaming. We’ve been over this before. 600,000 ‘Liquidators’ are either dead, or have ‘aged mysteriously’ by about 30 years before their time. And plenty of children have died in Belarus totally coincidentally due to what is locally called there: “Chernobyl Heart”. They no doubt chose the name since it is easy to say. It took years but FINALLY after seven years, Fukushima Daichi had been officially listed as WORSE than Chernobyl. Of course, Fukushima didn’t really happen since it was just the Tsunami which killed everyone, and everyone dies anyway. Which is apparently the official Japanese Gov’t position since anything remotely related to that as a cause is grounds for a Doctor in Japan to lose their license. So OFFICIALLY, there hasn’t been ANY problem. With that said, I’m pleasantly surprised at the safety record of the US nuclear industry overall. I mean the REAL SAFETY RECORD, which I’m sure would shock most people as to the real number. I’m even guardedly in favor of SOME nuclear power. But I mostly agree with Albert Einstein, “It’s one hell of a way to boil water”. As far as fossil fuel plants causing 20,000 deaths per year or some tripe, the… Read more »

If every single coal-fired plant were replaced by a nuclear plant, we would see way more accidents…

But that’s beside the point. If humans were rational, we would have put the giant nuclear investments in renewable power sources instead back in the day, and wouldn’t even need to talk about this stuff now.

Uh no. Most studies show nuclear still cheaper than solar.
And nuclear waste is a none issue.
As to costs, yeah the massive 3g plants are too expensive.
Otoh, the coming SMRs will be cheaper than everything except Geothermal, hydro, wind, and for now Nat. Gas.

Now here is someone who is paying attention! 🙂

If they can do that, how does it compare to making electricity with steam generators and charging BEVs as well as powering “everything” else?

Something is very fishy here, because it is obviously NOT possible that it is more than 100% efficient. Your belief it is kind of like a heat pump shows you’re not a physicist. 🙂 Neither am I, by the way. But a heat pump isn’t more than 100% efficient either, it just moves more energy in the form of heat than it uses to move it. Here you’re speaking of converting one energy form to another (heat to chemical) and this always involves a loss.

Seems like his basic point that, just as heat pumps somehow provide much useful heat for little effort or expense, so a futuristic Nuclear Plant will provide a lot of heat and dissociated water with little expense since Uranium is pretty cheap for its effective heat content.

The fact that the mechanisms are somewhat different – I.E. heat ‘lost’ from the Uranium can’t be used to make electricity and is technically a ‘loss’ – still is quite prolific – there’s plenty of heat to go around; whereas heat pumps and air conditioners merely shuffle existing heat around – both have in common a lot of useful OUTPUT for a low cost input. In that sense I have no problem with his statements.

Well said.

Nothing shows a lack of critical thinking more than the fool cell fanboys’ claims that H2 will be cheap and abundant in the future because of cheap electricity.

Yes, electricity will become cheaper as solar power, geothermal power, and other clean energy sources (including nuclear power in China and other countries) are used more and more. That means BEVs will be even more cost-competitive against the alternatives, gasmobiles and fool cell cars!

If someone would just simply build a perpetual motion machine that would electrolyze water to make unlimited hydrogen then HFCVs would be great! It wouldn’t work for EVs though.

And the equivalent electricity direct into an EV would be one third the price of that.and can be done at home ( and anywhere there is a socket.)

It means you have a heavier vehicle that has to carry around a battery, and L3 charging is still reliant on infrastructure you don’t have at home. H2 is very energy dense, about 33 kWh per kg. A 33 kWh battery is very heavy. However, batteries seem to be cheap enough and light enough for cars that they will be practical for up to 350 miles or so (maybe more as technology improves). The H2 fuel cell vehicle has other weight and costs from fuel cell stack, fuel tank, etc that add weight overhead that might make it similar weight to a 300 mile electric range BEV. My hunch is BEV will win out for cars, but H2 still has allure for long distance travel or maybe for airplanes, ships, boats, spacecraft, etc that need more energy than batteries can provide at a reasonable cost/weight.

The supposed energy density advantage of H2 is based on weight only. Based on volume, it’s abysmal. The very heavy tanks needed to hold the gas in a highly compressed state negate any weight advantage.

We don’t need to use any “hunch” to figure out that BEV tech is going to be the future of automobiles, and not fool cell cars. We only need look at how the market for BEVs is growing exponentially vs. how the market for fool cell cars is growing much, much slower than even the very slow rate that Toyota and the California Fuel Cell Partnership keep promising.

If CFCP predictions were true, they would by now have hundreds of H2 fueling stations operating along the West and East coasts. Thank goodness that at least not that much taxpayer money has been wasted on helping build the things!

In fact, we are better off using methane directly, than converting it to H2. Far less energy loss.

More emissions, though.

Not if you factor in all the emissions from generating, compressing, storing, transporting, recompressing, and dispensing the H2. Windbourne is correct to point out that using methane, either in the form of natural gas or synthetically generated, would be far better than using H2, both in terms of efficiency and pollution.

That’s one of the reasons why it just doesn’t make any sense at all to use compressed H2 as a fuel. None. It’s not just wasteful and overly expensive, it’s insane.

All of the things you mentioned are perfectly viable to do with zero emissions… They are just part of the efficiency problem.

Yep, despite the supposed advantages of lighter H2, a Mirai weighs about the same as a Tesla S and *more* than a model 3.

And has less cargo and passenger space than a Model 3. It also only has 2 more miles of range per EPA rating.

The problem is not the cost of electricity, but the cost of the electrolysis cells. Even with free electricity, hydrogen from electrolysis is far from competitive.

Cool story, BUT, it costs 3X more expensive to make hydrogen from renewable energy over using natural gas. And making hydrogen from natural gas is already expensive.

In comparison, solar is already close to hitting cost parity with natural gas.

Battery backed solar is already way cheaper than NG- has been for a long time. NG will never be cost competitive again.

Where do you live? If that was true everywhere, utilities would be doing that.

First, I marvel all these posters that gave you thumbs-down for sharing a fact. Granted, facts can be annoying when they don’t fit into someone’s narrative, or just are beyond people’s comprehension.

Apart from providing fuel for FCEV, hydrogen could be produced to store the unwanted power, produced by let’s say hydroelectric plants (instead of pumping the water back into the upper reservoir).

Why in the world would anyone want to throw away half the energy by using it to generate H2 and then “burn” it in fuel cells to recover part of it, when you could use it in pumped hydro storage at something like 80-85% efficiency?

Pumped hydro storage should absolutely be used everywhere it’s possible to use it. It’s very cheap, very efficient, requires almost no maintenance, and so it’s one of the few energy storage methods even better than using batteries.

Sorry …..That is very Stupid ….

It’s obviously never going to match a BEV on efficiency. Why? Because physics. It uses the same energy chain as a BEV with many extra steps inserted. From electricity you make hydrogen, compress it enormously, and distribute it. Then you fill a pressurised tank in a vehicle, run it through a fuel cell… and charge a battery. Notice the extra steps in between “electricity” and “charge battery”? Each costs energy, and hardware.

Sure, you get faster refueling than with a BEV. But you can only drive so much.

I think it’s better for your cellphone than your car. Not good at all, but better…

Hah, that brings back memories of reports some twenty years ago that in a couple of years, we’d have fuel cells instead of batteries to power our laptops…

Even back then, the idea of having to regularly replace/refill hydrogen tanks didn’t strike me as very appealing.

I have an early fuel cell Toshiba prototype laptop. 6-8 times as thick as a laptop today. Love old technology, and see how things evolve.
This used alcohol to run, as far as I know.
I’ve not had time to check it out yet.

“…solar powered electrolysis. As solar becomes cheaper, clean hydrogen becomes cheaper. It’s not a bad future.”

So instead of using that electricity from solar power to efficiently charge batteries, you’re going to use it to generate, compress, store, transport, recompress, and finally dispense H2 into fool cell cars, losing about 70-80% of the energy in the process.

Sure, that makes lots of sense. 🙄 No, it would be a nightmare of a future if we were forced to do that!

When I look at charts like this I always wonder if they included the energy used at the hydrogen fueling station to compress the product, or the energy used to chill the compressed product to allow a better fill of the vehicle….

Now just imagine being able to power twice as many EVs with that same amount of investment spent in solar infrastructure. Or think of it this way, half the amount of solar infrastructure could be built at half the cost to power the same number of EVs compared to HFCV. Solar isn’t free.

Hurry up and get a good deal on a Mirai so Toyota can give you a rental to drive when hydrogen supply is low.

It really shows how fast the sales growth is happening! I wish Jelly Blown will wake up and spend more tax dollars in improving the H2 infrastructure rather than waste billions of tax dollars in millions of charging stations.
The cars are in solid demand. Sky is the limit.

But shows that one station in neighborhood is always kept online. It shows the real time capacity of all stations now.

5000 miles and 3.4 months later : A big grin on my face. 🙂 Freedom from the charging stations 🙂
– Honda Clarity fool cell driver.

“5000 miles and 3.4 months later : A big grin on my face. 🙂 Freedom from the charging stations 🙂
– Honda Clarity fool cell driver.”

Few people grin when sold a lower performing vehicle at higher cost.

You and “Seven Electrics” should form a club, where you can talk about the cars you pretend to own and drive, but only as an excuse for your serial Tesla bashing.

“In other news, there now 5000 FCEV’s operating in the state of California, and 35 stations.”

Yep, the worlds largest fleet of FCs. Did any one read the article today about the the H stations not having any H in SCAL? They are giving out ICE loaners. No joke.

H2 fueling stations out of fuel is an ongoing problem, and one the fool cell fanboys are not eager to talk about. 35 stations, okay… and on any given day, how many are closed due to lack of fuel or maintenance problems, or run out of fuel before scheduled end of business for the day?

For some odd reason, the website for the California Fuel Cell Partnership fails to mention the problem of fueling stations supposedly open but actually closed. 😉

From Green Car Reports: “Hydrogen supply shortage leaves fuel cell cars gasping in California”

It’s a real tragedy so much taxpayer money has been wasted on incentives for fool cell cars, and probably even more on the H2 fueling stations needed to support them.

Thank goodness this insanity hasn’t spread beyond the West Coast, despite many announced plans for opening H2 fueling stations in the Northeast.

I’ll be very glad when California quits wasting taxpayer money on the boondoggle of supporting fool cell cars, which benefits nobody other than Big Oil.

” A big part of this cost (fuel cell stack only) problem”…,

…. is that there is Absolutely NO mention, of the actual Cost of the actual Hydrogen Fuel, that you need to fuel this Toyota FC vehicle with.

Non subsidized Hydrogen, is extremely expensive.

Not if you make from coal like most of the electricity in the world. It’s expensive in California due to the 33% renewable requirement.

“Not if you make from coal like most of the electricity in the world. It’s expensive in California due to the 33% renewable requirement.”

Coal is just too expensive to compete with renewables. Wind and solar plus storage are bidding under 3 cents per KWh. Even NG can’t compete. That is part of why NG fossil fuels accounted for under 38% of California’s Electricity in 2017. This year they will drop to about 1/3.

even though our rates our almost double those of Texas our bills are significantly lower. Efficiency pays for itself.

And yet, electricity from 33% renewables is much cheaper than hydrogen fuel from 33% renewables…

No, $15-16.50 is the price of non-subsidized H2 fuel dispensed anywhere. That’s the real-world price, not the highly subsidized $5-6 claimed by fool cell fanboys shilling for Big Oil.

The high price is caused by the profligately wasteful supply chain, the insanely high cost for a very low-volume H2 fueling station, and the high maintenance costs for such stations.

Fool cell fanboys’ fantasies of cheap H2 will remain just that: fantasies, because… physics.


Other than the fact that you don’t have any idea about Laws of thermo, you have stumbled onto a bit of a true statement, but it is worse than that: The cost of MAINTENANCE of dispensories in California is around $15-$16 per kilogram of Hydrogen.

Add Compression cost, transportation, and the cost of the Hydrogen itself (admittedly pretty cheap), but you still end up with a highly subsidized price – even at over $15. Unlike Gasoline which usually MORE than pays for its fair share.

It would be nice if Gasoline Taxes people pay were actually totally used for road maintenance, as we were all told they were. But the monies just go into the general fund and a minority is actually used for road repairs or improvements.

Now China, without a fully developed service station system (although at this late date I’d imagine it is getting pretty good, as they are worldwide the current largest car market), H2 might make some sense, since they are apparently going whole hog with it there.

But I don’t see this happening in the states other than a few places near the coasts.


Frankly, I don’t know how much hydrogen costs now, but I never heard of it being “extremely expensive”. Do you have facts and figures to share?

As stated above in this comments thread, Hydrogen is $16.50 for the equivalent of about 40kWh of useable juice in a Mirai.

This equates to approximately $0.40 / per kWh, as the cost of utilizing Hydrogen.

In Texas, which currently has about 18+% of its grid utilizing renewable sources (wind/solar), the Wind generation costs are, according to Scientific American:

” as little as 3 cents per kilowatt-hour) than utility-scale solar (about 4-5 cents per kilowatt-hour)”.

So, if the delivered end user cost is double, which would be somewhere between $0.08 and $0.10 per kWh, then we are looking at a rather massive/extreme cost disparity. The difference is that is is roughly 400% more expensive to drive those same miles in this Texas example, using the same or equivalent energy inputs.

Obviously electricity in California is more than twice this cost, so the savings are 50% less, if your lucky enough to have an affordable utility provider.

It’s really not. Still more expensive then an EV though.
Even with the new mass produced generators, but they will not directly compete with EVs.
The main market will be for use where EVs don’t work OK.

There is already a practical alternative for areas where the electrical grid is not widespread or reliable enough to support EVs. That alternative is gasmobiles.

Fool cell cars will never compete with gasmobiles, and not because of the fool cell itself, but because of the fuel. H2 can’t possibly compete on cost with any practical fuel. And since that high cost is due to basic physics, that cost will never be substantially reduced.

When electrics were more expensive than ICEs, it was taken as an article of faith that costs would come down.

But here, the cost argument is being used to prognosticate the dominance of EVs.

How ironic.

Similarly, EVs are growing faster than ICEs, but FCEV growth is even higher than that (35% YoY in CA, vs. 18% for BEVs). And yet, FCEV growth is “expected” to slow down and BEV growth is “expected” to pick up, thus magically preventing FCEVs from eclipsing BEV market share in California.

Well, with such small quantities it’s not magic to have large growth. 10 to 20, 100 to 200, 500 to 1000, etc….wow 100% growth….so 35% of a small number isn’t anything to write home about…

Yes! thank you

The same argument can be applied to EVs: small quantities compared to ICE, easier to maintain growth. That kind of critical thinking is never applied to EVs on forums such as these, of course.

here we go..when faced with the stark reality of truth criticize the messenger. Fuel cells are expensive and require large infrastructure. The infrastructure for BEVs is here. The advantage of Fuel cells would be a more gas station type model of refueling with out the delays and range limitation of BEVs. Range this year will be an average of 200. Most people have a hard time traveling more than 200 miles in one day unless they are going long distances for trips in which case super charging or CADeMo type charging is getting more and more ubiquitous. . So please tell me the compelling reason for the superiority of FS vs BEV – I really would like to know as many others would on this forum.

Don’t waste your breath.

L3 infrastructure for BEVs is not nearly here, it is nowhere near the capacity it needs to be to support mass adoption of EV for long distance travel. Even Tesla Supercharger network needs to expand 100 fold to meet transportation needs for 100% adoption. Grids won’t support that so quickly (power delivery is a problem).

Fake news about the Grid via the Kochs – thank you very much:

Pretend you want to drive on I-80 with 20,000 to 35,000 cars per day. Pretend each car needs 45 minutes on a charger to get across Wyoming (probably too low of an estimate). 35,000*0.75 hours = 26,250 hours charging. Pretend most of that traffic is in an 12 hour window, so you need 2200 stalls operating 100% of the time for 12 hours a day. Realistically we would want at least half again this many and put their average utilization at 33% (3,300 stalls)

Currently WY has 36 Tesla SC stalls on I-80 over 5 stations, we need about 100 times that many for 100% EV adoption. Peak power demand for 3,300 stalls at 100 kW each, would be 330 MW peak or 100 MW continuous. This is just for I-80.

The infrastructure for L3 charging is crap. I agree that for local traffic, the infrastructure is fine. It is not Fake news that the L3 infrastructure needs massive improvements if long distance travelers are going to buy EVs.

Who are these 35,000 theoretical EV owners driving entirely across Wyoming everyday without a plug at either end of their destination? That is quite theoretical.

“Wyoming has a maximum E-W extension of 365 mi (587 km); its extreme distance N-S is 265 mi (426 km).”

In my Model 3 if I left home charged I would need to stop once for 15 minutes at a Supercharger to easily finish the 365 mi journey. I wouldn’t need to stop at all if driving across WY in the N-S direction.

I didn’t realize you are an EV basher, Viking79, but that is certainly EV bashing FUD!

1. You’re ignoring the fact that most BEVs starting out on a long trip will start fully charged, so a lot of the electricity you claim they’ll need will have been provided at home/work via slow charging.

2. You’re ignoring the fact that each new generation of BEV charges faster on average. By the time that BEVs are a significant fraction of all automobiles, the needed charging time per session will be significantly less than the “0.75 hours” you cite.


(…continued from above)

3. Your entire argument is written as if it’s unimaginable that there will ever be support built for everyone driving BEVs. Well, I suppose in the early days of the Ford Model T, back when a motorcar driver had to buy gas in a tin at a hardware store or drug store, the number of gas stations in the nation today was equally unimaginable.

It astonishes me that even EV supporters find it so hard to imagine that, a generation from now, BEVs will be as well supported by nationwide infrastructure as gasmobiles are now! A “smart grid” is overdue, and building that out is not merely likely, it’s inevitable. It’s actually to our advantage that the EV revolution is coming at the same time that the need for a smart grid is becoming more and more clear; we can refurbish and rebuild the grid into a “smart grid” which will be both more robust and able to support an entire nation of BEV drivers.

“here we go..when faced with the stark reality of truth criticize the messenger. Fuel cells are expensive..”

They are expensive compared to ICE economy cars at current production rates. See Figure 11 or 12 for example:
Even last year technology is under $10,000 for automotive system, even at 10,000/year production. 100 kWh battery that may achieve similar range would cost over $10k just for cells, much more for the whole pack, and you would not have 3 minute refueling substitute anyway.

“.. and require large infrastructure. The infrastructure for BEVs is here. ”

Yes, for fans, enthusiasts and freebie hunters who are happy to sacrifice their and their family time at slow “fast” chargers. For most of the world urban population living in multi store buildings outside NA and using cars for road trips it isn’t even close to feasible. Adoption rate shows it very well.

Ok so you drive 300 miles and you need to fuel up and leave in 3 min? not .. agh yeah – talk about sacrificing family time – “Get back in the car you slackers – we have to get going!!” omg. We take a road trip and drive for a few hours then take a break to grab something to eat and go to the restroom. You can do that in 3 minutes? BTW it takes 6 minutes and 30 seconds to refuel in a FCV:

in 15 or 20 minutes in a BEV with the Tesla Supercharger or a rapid charger you get plenty of range to get to your destination. Most people don’t drive 300 miles straight and stop for three minutes and then jump back in. Get real.

I’m sure you can rationalize that hour at charger in the place you don’t want to spend time if your family is submissive enough.

But most people are not enthusiasts and don’t care. 98% already are used to cars that can refuel in these 3 minutes and stop for human break(s) in the place humans want and at the time they want, not when their car demands. Or switch driving with somebody else in the car. It is called flexibility. Sorry but you have no chance to sell to them with such enthusiast only approach.

p.s. H2 fill-up time itself varies depending on temperature and station readiness but 6 minutes is outlier. Average time is something around 3 minutes, you can look up California statistics online as everything is recorded.

Why do you fool cell fanboys insist on making claims which are so easily shown to be false? Wouldn’t you do better sticking to the facts as much as possible? Average filling time for a fool cell car is 6 minutes, not 3. Why lie about a mere 3 minutes? Of course, that 6 minutes doesn’t count the time wasted in driving to the fueling station, parking, paying for the gas, etc. Furthermore, each new generation of BEVs charges faster, on average, than the last. Your argument about a faster “fill-up time” is shrinking year by year. When the average BEV charging time gets down to around 10-12 minutes, nobody is going to care that you can fill up your fool cell car twice as fast. In the meantime, in the real world, drivers of BEVs are saving far more time with the convenience of plugging in at home… which takes only 15-30 seconds, far less than the inconvenience you face of filling your fool cell car… if you can find a station which is actually open and selling H2! As the number of H2 filling stations increases but the supply of commercially produced H2 does not, that’s going to… Read more »

As is pointed out, the cost of fuel cells could be considered moot when batteries are only just becoming affordable and have absorbed considerable investment to become even more so. What I would say is that the perceived simplicity of the battery+motor combination is a more natural partner to our software/service orientated architecture of the current/near future than compressed gases, actuator valves ON TOP OF batteries and motors. There is a lot more work to be done here to convince joe public even if the initial experience is similar to gasoline ownership, in looks at least, and that similarity may end up being a handicap once people become comfortable with a post-gasoline future.

Eleventy Pretend Electrics, as well as TeslaInvestors and zzzzzzzz, are not actually interested in promoting fool cell cars. They merely use promotion of the “hydrogen economy” as crutches to support their Tesla Death Cult propaganda.

Heck, TeslaInvestors even pretends to drive a fool cell car! LOL!

Small quantities compare to ICE, but massive compared to FCEV. No idea what the numbers are for BEVs in the US, but lets just say 200,000 for easy math. That’s 4000% of FVEC. There is no way that would be easier to maintain equivalent growth. Talk about critical thinking…I’m all for technology and see potential for fuel cells, but feasibility just isn’t there (yet).

“Small quantities compare to ICE, but massive compared to FCEV.”

For perspective more TM3s will be produced next month than the aggregate of all operational FCEVs in the world.

True, seven, but Tesla has sold 200k+ bevs in the US and Chevy is not that far behind w/EREVs and BEVs. Electrics are more than 1.5% of th US light duty fleet sales now. Fuel cell automakers can see a 50% reduction in price to manufacture each fuel cell and still see their vehicles be prohibitively expensive plus their fuel, hydrogen, will still be 4 times as expensive per as gasoline for most ICE vehicles and 8 times as expensive as BEVs fuel source, electricity.
Fuel cells are an elegant solution to a problem, as long as you ignore the cost to manufacture the fuel cell and to produce the fuel…

Thank you. I’ve made that same point before. It’s easy to increase percentage on a small number to begin with.

There’s no irony, due to the inneficiencies involved in producing H2 from electricity, H2 will always have a production cost 3x that of electric. No economies of scale can alter that fact. Why would I wish to pay 3x what I pay now to fuel my EV?

Electricity is not found in nature even if you are used to outlets in your home.

You need to produce it from (typically) hydrocarbons, or if you dream about producing it from intermittent seasonal sources you need store harvested energy in some other form for months before switching whole grid to it.

“you need store harvested energy in some other form for months”

Do you live in the Arctic or Antarctic circle? If so, I think the best bet for renewable energy is hydro isn’t it?

All the hydro in the North is already used for something. You can’t add much more dams, land is too valuable in developed countries, with few exceptions.

Most of developed countries have seasons, heating needs and varying solar/wind production. You can’t just tell everybody to move to tropics.

Most developed countries have sunrises every day. You don’t need to store solar for a period of months in any situation unless the sun literally doesn’t rise. You just size the system for the worst case and you’re fine all year.

Also there is plenty of extra, cheap land in the Arctic and Antarctic circle….

Norway does not seem to have a problem and they are 100% renewable power most produced through hydro electric and they seem capable of charging the largest per capita ev fleet in the world.
In addition they export power to Sweden, about 10%.
Hint; Norway in not in the tropics.

Commercially produced solar cells have been around since 1955. Amazing that you’ve never heard of them. 😉

You also have apparently have never heard of hydroelectric power or commercial nuclear power.

That’s the key:
H2 = BEV + H2 complexity;
H2 energy = BEV energy x ‘X’ (where X is always greater than 1)
H2 maintenance = BEV maintenance + H2 maintenance on top.

Do we think people will talk about an ‘H2 future’ when they’re driving BEVs around? Won’t they have better things to do by then? Moaning about faster charging? Pushing for lower prices?

It’s not faith, it’s maths. The learning rate for battery production is estimated at more than 17% price fall per doubling of yearly production volume. According to the numbers from this article, for fuel cell stacks they expect a cost reduction from 11,000 to 8,000 when volume goes up by a factor of 10 — that means a learning rate of less than 10%. At this rate, there is simply no way FCVs can ever catch up to the price drops of BEVs.

Over a fairly short period fuel cells cost 1/10th of what they used to.
They will continue to make it cheaper.

Will still be for å limited numbers of customers, as electric cars will have lower running costs.
Some trucks, buses and speciality vehicles will find a use, and a price they can accept.

For me, and most people, charging an EV at home will be cheaper and the best solution.
But, for those who may need a fuel cell vehicle, continued development from Toyota, Mercedes, Hyundai and maybe Audi will be good.

When even the most adamant of FCV proponents only hopes for small price reductions, what makes you an authority to predict larger price drops?

Sure, there might be good uses for this extremely expensive technology — just not in road transport.

In US for June 2018, FCEVs are DOWN -40.6% YoY! While BEVS are up 35.4% YoY!

@SevenElectrics That’s a fair point. What we found was that availability AND price of the EV batteries was the barrier to entry after which the natural availability and technical simplicity of the infrastructure presents a much more benign environment that what H2 infrastructure will face. Hydrogen has some benefits but not only is there a barrier to entry of fuel cell costs there is also a lukewarm reception to the required H2 infrastructure that is only going to get more acute as the behavioral shift that BEVs brings starts to be realised and embraced (lower maintenance and destination charging).

fine. you wait for your LH2 fuel and cars to come down in price.
OTOH, I KNOW that EVs are coming down in price.

As they say: “Figures don’t lie, but liars do figure.”

Growth of BEV sales has already entered the exponential growth phase. We don’t need to “prognosticate” or have faith; we can point to actual evidence.

And your use of misleading ratios, pretending to “prove” that sales of fool cell cars are expanding faster than BEV sales, when the reverse is true… well, it doesn’t really matter how much wishful thinking you use, Eleventy Pretend Electrics. What you are claiming is growth in the fool cell market is every bit as imaginary as the EVs you pretend to drive. Your wishful thinking certainly isn’t going to have any effect on the real world, or the future of automobile tech.

A few years ago, the California Fuel Cell Partnership announced that there would be over 100 H2 fueling stations opening within the next year. In the real world some years later, that number now stands at 35. So much for the predictions of the Big Oil shills at the CFCP!

Down with fool cell cars! Up the EV revolution!

Opening up a H2 fueling station, and then only supplying the fuel intermittently, and sometimes sporadically, is hardly a part of a substantive Cali. FC Partnership “Hydrogen Highway”, and H2 fueling network.

Leave it to Chevron and its fat cat lobbyists up in Sacramento, to try and make this H2 boondoggle pencil out, on the back of the currently fleeced ICE gasoline buyers.

Yeah but 7 electrics they’ve been doing fuel cells for ever…. I wish TOYOTA would invest $1 in plug in vehicles for every $100 they spend on Fuel Cell technology and infrastructure. They will FORCE it to work, hang the cost.

EV’s have sold because there’s essentially no infrastructure requirement besides a garage or carport with a convenience outlet or extension cord.

Bit of a dumb question here, but does hydrogen car are (or) could be a lot more powerful of an EV ?

Not how they are configured with fuel cells. They have a small battery and a range extending fuel cell. The small battery is the limiting factor.

1 kg of hydrogen could drive the car maybe 50 to 100 miles. So 10 kg (22 lbs) of fuel could take you maybe 500 to 1000 miles. Rough estimate. The energy is there in the fuel and doesn’t take much mass.

However, to extract power from hydrogen is the fuel cell stack. To make a more powerful stack takes added fuel cell stack capacity. So it will cost more and be larger for more power. Current Fuel Cell cars use small batteries for regen braking and possibly for power assistance as well. According to Wiki, the Mirai has a power efficiency of 2 kW/kg for the stack, meaning if you wanted a 450 kW car you would need almost 500 lbs of fuel stack. Add another 250 lbs for tanks and fuel, and you are a bit better than battery electric. The P100D battery weighs 1200 lbs. I think the battery is more volume efficient though, those fuel tanks are large and the stack is not small.

No, the current models such as the Mirai have less than 100 kW. And unlike with BEVs, the cost goes up massively with increased power.

The Mirai has a 114 kW stack and the Clarity 130 kW. 2 Mirai 114 kW stacks power the Toyota Project Portal electric class 8 zero emission semi truck which is delivering goods from the Port of Long Beach every day. Toyota beat everyone else to green trucking but no one acknowledges it.

Several companies already make BEV portal trucks, aka “yard mule” trucks. What would make a fool cell portal truck special? The ridiculously high price every time you need to refuel it?

Using H2 to fuel a vehicle isn’t “green”, it’s merely greenwashing. The supply chain for H2, including all the energy-wasting, polluting steps from generation to dispensing, is nearly as polluting as using gasoline or diesel.

OK, so my memory of the numbers was a little off. My point stands though: making a more powerful FCV vehicle needs proportionally larger (more heavy and expensive) fuel cell stacks, while in BEV more power comes cheap.

It is matter of cost and tradeoffs.

E.g. if you need short term power for passenger car, adding bigger hybrid size power battery or supercapacitor like in some experimental cars allows it.

If you need permanent power, like for equipment running 2-3 shifts, you will also need to store a lot of energy and be able to refuel it quickly without stopping work. Hydrogen has energy density advantage here if zero emissions are required. You can hear about hydrogen electric trains but not about rechargeable trains.

To answer that question, no fuel cells have WEAK power output because they have slow ramp up time plus the cost increases exponentially for higher power.

This is why fuel cell cars are kind of like hybrids where they have a lithium ion battery that provides the initial power. Still, since the battery tends to be small, the power is lacking.

Exponentially? I think you mean proportionally.


With mass production, there will be a fool cell born every minute!

“With mass production, there will be a fool cell born every minute!”

…and a fuel cell customer and his money are soon parted.

Would you walk away from a fuel cell with your money?

Haha. Reference to P.T. Barnum’s: “there is a fool (sucker) born every minute.”

I’m shocked Toyota isn’t having mass firings for the idiocy at the top levels of that company. THOUSANDS of EV charging stations in the United States, maybe into the MILLIONS globally. And every garage has an electric plug. And yet Toyota doubles down on the non-existent fuel cell network. Sounds like some ‘Yes’ men need to be shown the door.

Nah, they are getting promotions. Toyota pulled the same crap 20 years ago. They use hydrogen to distract investment to slow it down just long enough for them to catch up technologically, and then they will shove the hydrogen into the backburner like it never existed (Again).

Here’s the thing:

Japanese gov’t in its infinite wisdom has decided that Hydrogen is the future of transportation and moreover wants it to be featured at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

I’m guessing that the major Japanese auto companies are dutifully toeing the line and have committed to a level of FCV production in support.

Look to post-Olympics 2020 for Toyota et al to “come to their senses” and slowly kill off their demonic FC offspring while unveiling the results of their backroom development of EVs, PHEVs etc.
Should be interesting. I really don’t believe they are as stupid as they seem.

Google: “Japan +hydrogen”, “Japan +hydrogen +Olympics” for more.

It actually makes short-term economic sense for Toyota to make and sell fool cell cars in Japan, where there are insanely high levels of subsidies for such cars. (Up to nearly $20,000 in 2014; how high is it now?)

Long term, of course, the laws of physics work in Japan just like everywhere else. Sooner or later, even the most dutiful, most Koolaid-drinking Japanese politicians will realize that selling fool cell cars benefits no one except Big Oil companies.

I’m shocked at the stunning ignorance of the worldwide hydrogen revolution

Launch of the Hydrogen Corridor Development Plan in the Yangtze River Delta Region, China

Probably because the rest of the world is turning to electricity. Yangtze River Delta Region isn’t ‘worldwide.’

Go look at the Supercharging map if you want to see what ‘worldwide’ really means.

“I’m shocked at the stunning ignorance of the worldwide hydrogen revolution”

Did you read the doc? 10,000 FCEVs by 2025 is hardly a revolution. That is more like a large scale pilot.

“I’m shocked at the stunning ignorance of the worldwide hydrogen revolution”

I’m shocked at the stunning level of corruption in Chinese politics. The “hydrogen economy” hoax is promoted only where Big Oil lobbyists can bribe politicians. Unfortunately, that happens in California State politics, too.

To toast a slice of bread, I could buy a battery charger, charge up a deep cell battery from the wall outlet , buy an inverter and plug my toaster into it. Or I could just plug the toaster into the wall.

With FCEV’s, you could run a current of electricity through water, collect the hydrogen produced, pressurize it, truck it to a filling station, dispence it into a FCEV car that would turn it back into electricity to power the car. Or I could just plug my BEV into the wall.

Seems like a lot of extra steps.

FC as a real time power source (buffered of course) does not make sense to me because you need a powerful expensive stack.
I can see Fuel Cells being a decent option for a range extender (run on grid power for daily use, use FC as range extender on trips) – fuel up the FC tank in a city and not rely on remote high current chargers.
Remember that many long trips are not on major corridors and hence do not fit into the “rest stop” charger model. In fact many trips I take do not even have a grid to power a charger and to charge from a diesel generator is a pretty poor solution.
The FC range extender does not have to be powerful – it can slowly charge the battery while at camp/cottage since it’s silent and clean it won’t bother anyone but allows me to get back to the grid to charge.
So maybe Toyota will mass produce a small car real time stack that can be used as a range extender for a pickup 😉
If so, then go Toyota!

One of the principle weaknesses of FCEV is storing the hydrogen. The hydrogen molecules are so tiny, they gradually leak out of any container. I’d be pissed if I kept having to refill the tank of the range extender I only used in cases of emergency.

Gasmobiles work quite well for traveling far away from the grid. Throw a couple of 5-gallon jerrycans of gas into the back of your pickup, jeep, or Land Rover, and you’ve got quite a long range with the vehicle.

Trying to use a FCEV for far off-grid travel makes no sense whatsoever. It would be far easier to find an electrical hookup for charging a BEV in a remote location than trying to find one of the rare-as-hen’s-teeth retail H2 fueling stations! Can you throw an extra tank or two of highly compressed H2 into the back of your fool cell car, and use those to refill the car’s tanks in the field? Hmmm… not so much.

They said the same thing 20 years ago. Not to mention the 60k price was due to the japan government subsidizing them. Will the japanese government continue doing so through mass scale?

Cool idea for the future but you still need stations.

….to be built, or at the very least, heavily subsidized and built, by the good folks, who brought you the existing gasoline station fueling infrastructure and Monopoly (The Big 5 Oil Corps. (Non-Chinese)).

The Big 5 (Publicly Traded Corps.), have a combined Market Cap valuation of (as of 5/2018), over $873 Billion. FWIW!

I wonder how far, the Big 5 are willing to dig into their own deep pockets, to pull the (yet to be built) Hydrogen refueling infrastructure, out of the magicians hat?

Maybe 1% of their current valuation ( $8-9 Billion ) ???

It will always be a cool idea for the future.

“Hydrogen is the fuel of the future… and always will be!”

Just as true today as it was the first time someone said it.


I had a coworker that had a FCEV and he wasn’t joking when he said to me (an EV driver), “You don’t know range anxiety until you drive a FCEV”.

While the Air Products supply issue is real (they have some production issue that is supposed to be resolved in a week or so), this “Toyota” paper attached to the H2 dispenser is fake from some Tesla fanboy.

It is amazing that Tesla fanboys feel so brainwashed or insecure for their “most coolest world saver” title as to stalk into H2 stations and hang fake papers there 😉

The elephant in the room that fool cell fanboys want us to ignore:

The only people still posting fool cell fanboy posts to InsideEVs are those Tesla Death Cult members who promote the “hydrogen economy” hoax only because it props up their anti-BEV (and thus anti-Tesla) FUD. Yeah, I’m looking at you, zzzzzzzz; as well as “Seven (pretend) Electrics” and “Tesla (short) Investors”.

All the other former fool cell fanboys have come to their senses, and given it up as a bad deal.

30k a year is mass production, well I suppose but lets be real FCV are the pimply faced kid with braces of the automobile industry.
Nobody wants to be seen with one. It’s sad that Toyota has wasted some much time and effort on something that is not worthwhile.

It is pimply faced kid until he grows up and becomes your boss years later, while your coolest party goer gets to junkie rehab 😉

Ah, they cut the fuel cell from $11k to $8k? Clearly this solves the problem! Mirai, almost as powerful and fun to drive as any $25k ICE, should then cost only $57k instead of $60k. Admittedly the fuel is very expensive. Not to mention somewhat less of an installed base than for electricity. Gas stations should love it since nobody will be able to provide their own fuel at home on the cheap. The production chain for hydrogen is maybe a bit inefficient, since it must start with electricity that could have been put in a battery with 90-95% efficiency. By the time there’s compressed hydrogen on the tank in a car worth a kWh, they’ll have used at least two kWh electricity. To drive, you have to first make electricity in the fuel cell and then charge a battery, incurring more losses there too than a BEV does, since you just charge the battery directly instead of going via making and compressing and distributing the hydrogen. But I’m sure by magic hydrogen won’t cost more than electricity. And by magic I mean lobbyists, of course. It’s amazing how a little paperwork can warp reality! I seriously hope Toyota goes… Read more »

Why they don’t make a Plug-in Fuel Cell Vehicle? Use the battery daily then the fuel cell for extended trips only.

Mercedes is coming out with a car that fits your PFCV description, in the next year or so.

This Too Will Come to past , very quickly. I see a Big Flop happening here..

So, 30,000 cars per year? Tesla produces 30,000 Model 3 in just 6 weeks…

I don’t think that’s a great comparison. We’re talking about Toyota here, the largest auto manufacturer for the past few years. They produce about 30K cars per day. That they’re going to spend a full year to make that many is quite sad and goes to show how extraordinarily little they care about the Mirai.

Actually it shows how low the demand is for fool cell cars. Toyota is selling even less of them than they expected, at least in California. Dunno how many they’re selling back home in Japan, but from total production figures I’m guessing not a lot more.

There may be a fool born every minute, but even most fools know better than to buy a fool cell car!

Fool Cells just make me shake my head.

Either burn the natural gas, or use the electricity in an EV! Using natural gas and electricity to produce hydrogen that has lower energy content than the combination of those two input components makes no sense.

H proponents are under the delusion that renewable electricity will be so abundant that electric producers will pay money to have H generators to take the electricity. H makes sense under that delusion since there’s excess even after everyone’s use have been met, including charging every EV and unable to shut down excess production providing too much power to the grid (insane, I know). in that scenario, waste doens’t matter, because everything’s cheaper than free. And they think that’ll happen “any day now”.

I don’t think steam methane reforming actually consumes electricity?

Funny thing though is that it’s more efficient to burn the methane to produce electricity for a BEV than to produce hydrogen for an FCV…

Ignoring all the fuel costs, efficiency, etc, look at the picture above. This is a packaging nightmare. The under hood is completely filled with “stuff” including what looks like a large radiator. The area where a nice thin battery skateboard would go has a some bulky looking tanks, and where the trunk should be is “more stuff”. Where are people and luggage supposed to go in this thing? How high is the floor? Compared to an EV platform this has no frunk, almost no trunk, and what looks like a very crowded passenger compartment.

Yup. The more you look into fool cell cars, and the shockingly wasteful and expensive supply chain and infrastructure needed to fuel them, the less sense they make.

The remarkable thing is not that the number of H2 fueling stations in California is still only a third of what the California Fuel Cell Parthership said it would be years ago. No, the remarkable thing is that the Big Oil shills promoting the “hydrogen economy” hoax managed to convince that many entrepreneurs to spend so much of their own money to build even one of the things! Even subsidized by California taxpayer money, it costs an arm and a leg to build one, and tax money does not contribute to the high maintenance cost of the stations.

If buying a fool cell car is foolish, trying to make a profit selling H2 is even more so.

Unless they know something the world doesn’t know, Toyota is still beating that same “dead horse” ………….. Unreal !

Look at that mess of a car. Super complicated. No thanks

It will truly be sad to watch one of the world’s best automakers go under from a tremendously stupid investment. The system is not at all worth what they are charging. They had the chance to be into Tesla… and with Daimler they backed out. Fool cells indeed.

I consider myself a pretty devout Toyota customer having owned 6 Camrys, 2 Solaras, 2 Rav4s, and a “Toyota” GS350. It’s just really disappointing that they have not at least tried to produce a short range BEV in line with the Leaf. I think they would be really surprised by how much patients and understanding EV early adopters tend to offer and I feel like our loyalty is not necessarily being appreciated.

Ooh boy! The comments section is nearly as long as the queue of people standing in line to reserve a Tesla M3

I feel certain that if the Japanese had not committed to making a hydrogen infrastructure the Big Deal of the 2020 Olympics, it would be dropped. They have hoped that hydrogen would have the same impact as the Shinkansen did at the 1964 Olympics in showing the world that Japan was a technology leader. So, Japan will press on with hydrogen….but after the 2020 Olympics, I think hydrogen goes into the dustbin of history.

Seriously??? Maybe every car should come with a Beanie Baby. I hear those are hot right now.

Or maybe this?

I don’t know why people think it’s a good idea to post links without any explanation…

Here’s a map of hydrogen stations in California: In the San Francisco Bay Area, there area none in San Francisco, none in Oakland, two in San Jose. Sure there are ‘planned’ stations. I used to be a big Hydrogen Fuel Cell fan 10 years ago, and I saw all these planned stations on the California map. There are fewer planned stations now than there were 10 years ago (even taking into account the stations they’ve built since!) Why? I’ve read that a fuel cell station that can fuel more than a small number of cars in a day costs several millions to build. An electric charging station costs only 1000s. Even a large Supercharger station costs in the low 100 thousands. And maintenance is also expensive. How long will it take to pay that cost of millions? Who in their right mind would build a hydrogen fueling station, (unless some business built it for themselves)? Even if there was a station in San Francisco? Where would you go? Want a trip to Yosemite? Sorry, you won’t make it there and back. And then what? You car is completely dead. No one can get it going. You have to get… Read more »

Your comments pretty well sum up why there are so few fool cell fanboys left. There are far too many things which are wildly impractical about trying to use compressed hydrogen as an everyday transportation fuel, and sensible people won’t ignore those for long.

That’s why there are almost no genuine fool cell fanboys left. What remains are those few Tesla Death Cultists who merely promote the “hydrogen economy” hoax as part of their BEV-bashing — and thus Tesla bashing — propaganda.

I kind of like the idea of a fuel cell, bit watching that video of a hydrogen tank exploding at the pump, killing the driver scares me. When I looked. Into the cars, I found that they need to be serviced by trained technicians in an explosion proof unit. I am thinking cost.
Then I found out that Japan is importing their hydrogen from Australia, who produce the hydrogen from brown coal using 650*c heat. Extraction like this produces about 20kg of CO2 for every 1kg of liquid hydrogen produced.
Are the supporters of hydrogen really stupid enough to think that if hydrogen cars took off, the hydrogen would be produced using electrolysis from water. That will not happen. It will get produced from gas and other hydrocarbon methods.. Even if they did use water, think of all the water that would be wasted in countries already in dry climates.
This while hydrogen thing just does not make sense to me at all.

Good for Toyota. Let’s see what happens. No need for a lot of jaundiced opinions. Eventually the technologies will be refined and the market will rule. It seems neither battery tech or FCEV tech is near maturity so competitive developers are exactly what is needed and healthy.

Well ok, sure Toyota can do what it wants – they thinking, or, at least ‘claiming’ they are thinking that Hydrogen is the new wave of the future. They sure seem to be spending much time and effort on Fuel-Celled vehicles… The Prius Prime (much improved from the original) looks to be a very popular car, second only plug-in to the Tesla Model 3 currently. Fine for what it is, but I’d really wish they’d lift a finger and do something plug in with a larger car – of course, I could say similiar things for GM. Other American manufacturers (besides Tesla) are ‘out to lunch’. I’m sure the response will be that Toyota will only do things, such as releasing the PRIME, when it is profitable for them to do so. It will be interesting to see how many fuel celled vehicles Toyota actually manufactures in the next 10 years. I suspect only a fraction of them with be powered with compressed hydrogen. Seems no one has given adequate thought to the dispensory cost/reliability problem. I for one sure have, and for the time being, it doesn’t look all that great. Fast charging electric cars currently is not that… Read more »

I don’t know much about Fuel Cells other than Fuel Cell Energy a company in Connecticut builds MW Fuel Cells Power Units that can produce electricity from a number of sources including methane from sewage treatment plants, and the fermentation of grains. They also use natural gas to generate electricity and combined heat in recent years they added production of hydrogen to the process which gives the three avenues of revenue. There still working to improve the product but the units are clean and quite and don’t take up much space so if Toyota was really interested in rolling out Fuel Cell Vehicles they would need hydrogen stations installed around the country. The good thing about this technology is it produces electricity more efficiently and can operate when there’s no wind or sun and generate hydrogen. Scaling up this technology should lower the costs.

Bloom Energy had a really successful IPO just this week so fuel cell technology is far from dead.

Not very competitive and uses fossil fuels.

Oh, nice… Something to short-sell 😛

Don’t “short-sell”, you will take the Bloom off the Rose!

Even at lower price and high volumes it will (forever!) stay FOOLCELL 🙂

Full speed ahead on the bad idea, i guess

Throwing good money after bad