True Zero’s Hydrogen Network Has Delivered Hydrogen For Over 1 Million Miles

SEP 10 2016 BY MARK KANE 102

Hydrogen fuel station – FirstElement Fuel’s True Zero Hydrogen Network

Hydrogen fuel station – FirstElement Fuel’s True Zero Hydrogen Network

FirstElement Fuel’s True Zero Hydrogen Network in California reached a milestone of having delivered enough hydrogen for over 1 million miles of driving.

Because True Zero calls itself the world’s largest network of retail hydrogen-charging stations, we believe no other company has as of yet delivered more. Fair disclaimer:  that was as far as our vetting on the subject went.

There are now 14 True Zero stations open to the public and few more to be launched in the coming months (but overall the progress of adding new stations is slow).

In total 6,300 refueling stops at the stations were registered for a total 15,900 kg of hydrogen through ~July. On average that would be 2.5 kg.

If we assume 1 kg of hydrogen for about 62 miles (100 km), it turns out that hydrogen fuel cell cars are on average refueling every 155 miles (250 km) . That’s not that much (only about half of full range for cars like the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Tucson FCV) as owners are likely closely tied to those few active stations (around 20 operating in the state of California).

“The achievement of a million miles comes as a result of automakers, including Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz expanding their fuel-cell-vehicle programs.  Toyota has recently accelerated sales of its hydrogen-powered Mirai in California, as the hydrogen-charging network has also grown quickly.  Honda will begin selling its mass-production Honda Clarity in California this fall, after beginning retail sales of the car in Japan earlier this year.”

“Between November 2015 and May 2016, True Zero completed building 15 hydrogen stations throughout California, 14 of which are open for retail fueling.  The True Zero Network of hydrogen-charging stations spans from Lake Tahoe, through the San Francisco Bay Area and down into Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Orange Counties, including a hydrogen-charging station off Interstate 5 at Harris Ranch which helps enable the drive between Northern and Southern California.

The network will soon expand into San Diego, where True Zero recently broke ground. Linde also operates a retail hydrogen-charging station in Sacramento, which helps connect the major metropolitan regions of California.”

Joel Ewanick, founder and CEO of First Element Fuel, True Zero’s parent said:

“We’re starting to see the real impact of what we set out to do two years ago. And that was to help get more electric cars on the road by making retail hydrogen readily available in California.”

“We set out to show that a hydrogen-electric vehicle can be a true replacement for a gasoline engine, to be seamlessly driven throughout California with just four-minute stops to charge along the way.  “Now we’re seeing it catch on and people have driven more than a million miles in their fuel-cell vehicles, using our network to fuel up.”

Categories: General

Tags:

Leave a Reply

102 Comments on "True Zero’s Hydrogen Network Has Delivered Hydrogen For Over 1 Million Miles"

newest oldest most voted

I assume all the Hydrogen is free of charge to the Mirai driver for the first 3 years. That probably explains the popularity.

I beleive so as who wants to pay for a fuel several times more expensive than a comparable amount of gas…

Called the stations, current cost is $15.8-$16.8/kg in the Bay Area. Projected cost in three years is $10/kg.

First three years are free up to $15,000 via an invite I got in the mail.

That’s 949 kg, so at 62miles/kg it’s 58,860 miles, or 19,620 miles per year.

That sounds nice but at $10/kg in three years that’s still only 6.2 miles/$.

My EV is 28.7 miles/$ now.

$10/kg is still a lot, if they will stop free fuel 3 years later.
But looking at TCO, fuel isn’t biggest part of the cost, and hydrogen fuel cost can only go down.

It takes about two therms of natural gas to produce a kilogram of hydrogen. The wholesale price for natural gas is under 30 cents per therm. The price is for the equipment.

To be more precise it is for low volume distribution equipment.
E.g. recently opened hydrogen station for buses in Ohio quotes $4.63 a kilogram – much less than $10 and about the same as diesel fuel when you account for more efficient drivetrain.
http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20160825/sarta-readying-hydrogen-pumping-station

This story doesn’t report at all what the price will be, and that station doesn’t actually sell anything to the public.

In fact, it is an un-attributed aside about the “cost”, completely unrelated to this exact station’s “cost” (retail? wholesale? production cost? they don’t specify).

“But hydrogen, which currently costs about $4.63 a kilogram, for now, provides no fuel savings due to the plunge in oil prices the past year.”

Of course it doesn’t sell, it is not the point. It is BUS station for regional transit authority. They calculated the cost for themselves and made conclusion that it is wash with diesel fuel, right now.

Your EV is 28.7 miles per dollar?

Mine is on its way to infinite miles per dollar for at home charging thanks to the solar panels on my roof! 🙂

Gee, 6.2 miles per dollar or infinite miles per dollar? Which one shall I pick? Such a tough decision!

If you’re net metering you need to account for the opportunity cost. If not, you need to account for storage costs. Either way you can’t forget about the cost of the panels over their useful life.

Where did you find free solar panels?

Sorry, I should have said electrolysis hydrogen which is the only clean source…

The end the market will eventualy show the true cost as Tesla turns a profit on their EVs and Toyota loses 50k or so on every fuel cell they sell…

In the mean time many will be duped into buying a dirty rotten polluting fuel cell…

Vancouvers olympic buses were replacex with deisel after five years because deisel is cheaper…
https://cleantechnica.com/2015/03/13/vancouvers-hydrogen-bus-program-kaput-high-costs-kill-green-commitment/

https://cleantechnica.com/2016/06/10/hydrogen-fuel-cell-cars-not-competitive-hydrogen-fuel-cell-expert/

Devin Serpa said:

“Called the stations, current cost is $15.8-$16.8/kg in the Bay Area. Projected cost in three years is $10/kg.

Trouble is, “fool cell” fanboys have been saying for much longer than three years that the price is magically going to come down.

Sadly, reality stubbornly fails to conform to their wishful thinking.

Shell sells it for about $5 in S. California.

electric-car-insider.com

Can you please identify those stations?

Diamond Bar is $15/kg

I’m in SoCal, would love to drive over and take a look.

…at a heavily subsidized price. This can happen only so long as “fool cell” cars are very few in number. Selling at a loss couldn’t be sustained if “fool cell” cars ever started to catch on.

Yep. The Chevy VOLT killed this concept.
The only reason it’s still around is to suck up CARB credits.

Yes, the same as for Hyundai

The green car revolution brought to you by the petrolium industries of the world???

http://www.truezero.com/sources-of-hydrogen/

“Producers of hydrogen today derive hydrogen from petroleum, natural gas, coal and bio-mass. Through chemical processing, hydrogen atoms are separated from those fuel stocks mostly by way of steam. Then, the hydrogen is captured and compressed as a gas that is stored in tanks.”

California requires 30% of hydrogen come from renewable sources.(recalling from memory)
The percentage of ‘renewable’ sourced hydrogen is required to increase over time.

The big unknown, like natural gas it is nearly impossible to trace the long tail from the pump back to the source.

Unlike fries at 5-Guys burgers, there is no sign at a hydrogen station stating this batch sourced from ____.
(ie: Potatoes from ___, Idaho)

So, it’s total bull. As most of this “fuel” is converted from a carbon fuel. It “Literally” does Nothing to stop Global Warming, but only makes it WORSE.

Fing Oil Whores.

Methane reformation is the new refinery, all it takes is a bit of fracking… LOL

LOL yes true. “This batch of hydrogen comes from free-range electrons from the Hoover Dam”

Too bad hydrogen PEM is still less efficient than simply storing in a battery.

Not true if you need to haul that 1300 pound battery around with you no matter where you go.

Average wind electricity PPA in the US is 2-2.5 cnt/kWh. You may be paying some 32 cnt/kWh at higher tier retail rate in California. So what this implies for electric grid total efficiency, everything included, not just direct power line losses? Less than 10%? How about going with 1300 pound battery to wind power plant just in time when wind blows to charge for weekend trip? Doesn’t work? Maybe charging from PV powered by moonlight when you return home works better? I don’t think so.

Hum…
Problem is, fuel cell car do have battery and heavy tank(s) that they also have to carry all the time whether it is empty or not.
Mirai has a dry weight of 1850 kg for 4 passenger car and not much cargo.

Tesla weigh 2 250 kg but can carry 7 and have much more storage space.
No discussion about performance either.

Mirai fuel cell stack weight is 56 kg. Tanks weight 87.5 kg. It is several times less than current Li Ion battery capable of providing similar range, and has 3-5 minutes refill time without putting extraordinary load spikes on electric grid. Next generation cars, like the one from Hyundai going to be released in 2018, are supposed to have significantly better parameters.

Yes, but add the li-ion battery of unknown capacity and all the high pressure hardware built in and you just don’t have such an advantage.
It will get better, so will be li-ion density and further weight saving.

Mirai battery is 1.6 kWh NiMH as in Camry hybrid. I don’t know exact weight, but e.g. Prius battery is some 53 kg. Not so much. You really don’t need high capacity battery for this application unless you are doing some plugin hybrid like Mercedes GLC F-cell.

What “all the high pressure hardware”? I have listed weight of high pressure tank and fuel cell tank. That is basically all. You may add few more kilograms for some pipes, but it would be minor addition.

Hmm. You still have to wonder why the midsized Mirai (4,080 lbs.) that is the same size as a Camry (3,300 lbs.) weighs 700 lbs. more.

Camry hybrid may be 3,585 lbs, so you have about 500 lbs more. Fuel cell stack with tanks weights about the same as ICE. Electric motor shouldn’t weight that much.

Mirai is better equipped, more like entry level Lexus with extra sound and vibration isolation and more comfortable seats – likely that adds some weight. I don’t know more details, Camry and Mirai are too different cars to compare them easily.

We’re now measuring the efficiency of a vehicle by the weight of its battery? Well – that simplifies everything doesn’t it?

Most people don’t care about efficiency of some cherry picked part of energy conversion chain, it is just beloved fanboy talking point. What makes difference eventually is ability to perform all required functions without hassle and total cost of ownership. Even more, many people are biased towards initial price only, as well as autoloan issuers.

“The green car revolution brought to you by the petrolium industries of the world???”

Yes, and electric grid is powered by unicorn farts, fracking industry has nothing to do with cheap electricity prices in the US :/

The electric grid gets cleaner every day with deployments of solar and wind along with batteries…
Meanwhile 97 % of the worlds hydrogen comes from cracked dinosuar fuels and their is no current economical path for that to change…

This is popular talking point but totally wrong. Close to half of hydrogen fuel in California comes from renewable sources. There is clear path of renewable hydrogen – intermittent solar/wind electricity that is not very useful for electric grid at wider scale if plan on 100% renewable grid. Typical low cost electrolizer consumes 50 kWh per kg of pure hydrogen, and it can be improved. Excess wind power is at 2 cnt/kWh right now in the US, and it can yield about $1/kg hydrogen feedstock. You can’t provide the same 2 cnt/kWh by electric grid to households for charging.

While natural gas can be used to produce hydrogen and it is cheap in the US, you need extra purification step after steam reforming to be able to use it in PEM fuel cells. Hydrogen is widely used in fertilizer industry and oil refineries to remove sulfur, but it is not the same grade as hydrogen fuel. Anyway, feedstock price of hydrogen is cheap, there is no need to made it from natural gas only even if it is marginally cheaper. You can even produce carbon-NEGATIVE hydrogen from biomass by making solid carbon. E.g.:
http://www.cnet.com/news/carbon-negative-energy-a-reality-at-last-and-cheap-too/

So, 50+ kWh of “2 cent wind” flows through the grid to an electrolysis station, makes a kg of H2, which is then pressurized 700x and trucked to a fueling station, transferred into a high pressure holding tank until a FCEV comes along and uses it to travel 60 miles.

OR…..

50 kWh flows through the grid straight to an EV which uses it to travel 150 miles.

Hydrogen economy, lol.

You’re forgetting a step:

That 60 miles of hydrogen is delivered from the H2 station to the customer in under 40 seconds, while that 150 miles of electricity is delivered from the EVSE to the customer in somewhere between 30 minutes and 8 hours.

So Spider – the article said the average fill goes for about 155 miles, and so – I am just checking – are you saying you can fill that 155 miles worth of driving – from an H2 Pump, in 155/60*40 = 103.33 Seconds (under 2.0 Minutes!)?

Just Checking if that is what you are saying – because – this is what we heard – back in May from Toyota – “One of the main reasons Toyota says fuel cells will rule the world is because the cars can be refueled in about 3 minutes. ” – and also from a Tucson FCV Owner:
“Paul Berkman of Corona Del Mar, California told Green Car Reports that he has put 9,300 miles on his Tucson FCEV in the past 6 months traveling between the three restaurants and the B&B he owns. Berkman reports the oft touted “three minute fill-up” is a myth. Out in the real world, his refueling time is more like 10 minutes.” – link – http://gas2.org/2015/05/15/feedback-hyundai-tucson-fcev-owners/

So – Realities – depend on Systems, Pumps, Available Pressure, Temperature Limitations, Insulation Capacity, and many more things, when Fueling with Hydrogen Gas – H2!

If we are going to discuss “real-world” testimony, shall we also start including all the anecdotes of inoperative DCFCs and unavailable L2 chargers?

These issues are not problems with the technology; they are issues with the implementation. Honda has installed next-gen H2 stations that will refuel 300 miles in 3 minutes. That doesn’t mean every H2 station everywhere also meets that standard.

Both of which are irrelevant if you have to drive around for 30 minutes to find a hydrogen station, and in the case of the eight hours of charging it actually takes you ten seconds of your time.

Let us take your math as a given:

30 minutes driving + 3 minutes refueling (+ 30 minutes driving back?) = 1 hour 3 minutes total

(0 minutes driving? +) 10 seconds to plug in + 8 hours charging = 8 hours 10 seconds total

How much of your time is spent each day charging your mobile phone?

I can carry a full day’s worth of extra charge in a pocket-sized portable charger. So I don’t really care about charging my phone.

If BEVs had, say, 500+ miles of range, that would be a comparable scenario.

First, you initial numbers are off by couple of times, and ignore losses that are not convenient for your agenda.
Second, 2 cnt electricty becomes 32 cnt electricity after traveling the grid. Lossless grid powered by free bateries exists only in fanboy imagination. So these 150 electric miles becomes 2/32*150=9.4 miles. Not impressive.

zzzzzzzzzz said:

“There is clear path of renewable hydrogen – intermittent solar/wind electricity… Typical low cost electrolizer consumes 50 kWh per kg of pure hydrogen, and it can be improved.”

ROTFL!!
😀 😀 😀

This “fool cell” fanboy actually believes you can use a fuel cell to convert electricity to H2 and back again, multiple times, without making it even more horribly inefficient (and thus even more ridiculously impractical) than it already is!

Well, science isn’t for everyone.

* * * * *

A relevant quote:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Perhaps they could add a few extra steps:

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

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

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

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

Oops, sorry for repeating myself.

On the other hand… some things need repeating.

You’re ignoring the primary reason why FCVs exist: time.

Sure, it’s less efficient to use solar/wind to electrolyze H2 instead of to charge BEVs directly. It’s also less efficient to use a DCFC than it is to simply wait for roof-mounted solar cells to refuel your BEV for free.

The trade-off for losing efficiency during the electrolysis process is the gain in refueling speed. FCVs can be refueled hundreds of times faster than BEVs.

Cars sit still and unattended 94% of the time.
So there is plennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnty of time to refill while the owner, most of them thought, do something else.
Refueling time is the big lie, it really is and after owning an EV for almost five years, I just can’t see a bigger lie than this one.

So in 5 years, you’ve never had to take an unexpected trip when your battery was already depleted? Or did you simply take a different car when that happened?

It’s popular talking point for good reason.
Production of electricity is THE main contributor of GHG and pollution over the world.
Mainly because of dirty fossil fuel primary source.
So, obviously, whatever means of transportation you’re promoting, this is one big elephant in the room that nobody should miss.
Seems to me that any use of waste by product of any origin to replace fossil carbon base fuel for generating electricity is a winner.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

It is funny that you attack EV’s on grid averages, ignoring the huge number of EV owners who own Solar, and net-charge using pure power from the sun.

…But then when it comes to national grid averages of 97% natural gas produced hydrogen, you all the sudden switch to the most optimistic California numbers, as if California where the only place US car drivers ever go.

How about apples to apples? If you are going to cherry pick best case for H2, why aren’t you comparing it to best case for what EV owners are doing right now today with their own solar panels?

Nix, Netmetering is temporary incentive that is going away as soon as share of customers using it increases. It already went away in Nevada and Hawaii and never was available in most of the world. Who cares what few EV owners sold to the grid in summer. Nothing wrong with it, but it is irrelevant drop in the bucket. You need to scale it to the whole electric grid to make difference, and even then electric grid isn’t biggest energy user. Residential rooftop solar just doesn’t scale, so why should we bother about it? Even now in the US when solar is under 1% of production, most of it is utility grade installations that bid for 5, even 4 cnt/kWh PPAs, far below what you get paid for netmetering. “But then when it comes to national grid averages of 97% natural gas produced hydrogen, you all the sudden switch to the most optimistic California numbers, as if California where the only place US car drivers ever go.” California is the only place that has significant number of retail H2 stations in the US, and industrial use of hydrogen in some fertilize plant has little to do with H2 fuel. These… Read more »

A relevant quote:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Perhaps they could add a few extra steps:

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

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

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

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

Pu-pu,
Get a life, stop trolling fuel cell articles. You may go to some teslarati site if you want echo chamber of Musk culties.

The ineffeciencies of Hydrogen are well documented, and have nothing in particular to do with admiring the inspirational work and life of Elon Musk.

Correlation is not causation.

Inefficiency is a strawman argument. What matters is total cost for carbon free energy storage. In that respect PEM just destroys batteries over long cycles and over large kWh, as does pumped hydro and CAES. However, of all these only one refuels a car in three minutes.

What?

How is that a straw man? It’s the main argument we’re raising against the H2 fuel cycle.

Your economics argument is only loosely related.

Four Electrics said:

“Inefficiency is a strawman argument.”

LOL!
😀 😀 😀

Well, I guess if I was a fool cell fanboy, I’d try to claim inefficiency doesn’t matter, too.

So, Four Electrics, you might as well drive a car that gets 5 MPG as one that gets 50 MPG (or a fool cell car that gets 4 miles per kg of H2, instead of 40 miles per kg), because inefficiency is “just a straw man argument”… right? 🙄

If efficiency was the be-all-end-all, DCFCs wouldn’t exist. After all, why would anyone pay more money for the same amount of electricity, when they can refuel more cheaply by charging slower (either at lower-cost L2 chargers, or at home)?

Seriously, you’re trying to equate the few percentage points lost by using faster charging, with the 67%-80% of energy lost by using H2?

What’s the deal here, Spider-Dan? I had never noticed that you’re one of the EV-bashing, science-denying “fool cell” fanboys.

I’m starting to think there is something about “fool cell” cars which causes otherwise sensible people to completely abandon logic and reason.

I’m not talking about “percentage points of efficiency” at all. I’m talking about the TRIPLING (or more!) of costs involved with using a commercial DCFC vs. charging overnight at home; that is to say, cost efficiency.

The entire reason DCFCs exist is because time matters.

Cars have been about 20% efficient for 100 years, if efficiency mattered the most the Baker Electric would have dominated.

The horrible energy inefficiency is one of the reasons why H2 is so much more expensive than gasoline. If the early electric cars had only H2 powered cars to compete against, we always would have been driving electric cars.

“Fool cell” cars don’t merely have to compete against PEVs (Plug-in EVs); they also have to compete against gasmobiles. There is no, repeat no, argument in favor of “fool cell” cars that doesn’t work better for one or both of the other types of cars: PEVs and gasmobiles.

And that’s why fool cell cars will never become popular.

You seem to like using the word “fool”.

:^) – This Bears Repeating here – Clip: “what we heard – back in May from Toyota – “One of the main reasons Toyota says fuel cells will rule the world is because the cars can be refueled in about 3 minutes. ” – and also from a Tucson FCV Owner:
“Paul Berkman of Corona Del Mar, California told Green Car Reports that he has put 9,300 miles on his Tucson FCEV in the past 6 months traveling between the three restaurants and the B&B he owns. Berkman reports the oft touted “three minute fill-up” is a myth. Out in the real world, his refueling time is more like 10 minutes.” – link – http://gas2.org/2015/05/15/feedback-hyundai-tucson-fcev-owners/

At 60 miles/kg H2 one million miles represents ~17,000 kg delivered. A Mirai has a 5 kg tank, so assuming 4 kg delivered per session (80% of capacity), this implies ~4200 charging sessions.
note: Since we don’t know average fill amount, the number of sessions could be as high as 5-6000.

For BEV(s) to travel 1,000,000 miles, the amount of energy needed would be 250,000-275,000 kWh. Of course the number charging sessions would vary based on battery pack size. For a LEAF (24-30 kWH) we could expect ~8-10,000 charging sessions to as few as ~3-4000 sessions for a Tesla (S/X).

Just some context for BEV drivers.

Yes, and I realize you know this, but an EV is likely to fast charge on average 6-10 times or sessions per year, (like about 20 minutes each).

This is using the average statistic 5% of charging per year from fast charging, which is expected to decrease to around 2% eventually.

I assume all the Hydrogen is free of charge to the Mirai driver for the first 3 years. That probably explains the popularity. I didn’t think there were that many H2 cars even in California.

The next evolutionary step will be to use the methane directly in a combustion engine.

Methane is a pretty nasty greenhouse gas…

He was being sarcastic.

The progression: Plug-in EV –> fool cell car –> methane-powered ICE car

…is going backwards towards lower efficiency; it’s devolving, rather than evolving.

What a horrible waste of energy.

Hmm… it sounds like fueling with hydrogen is at least 5 times more expensive than charging an electric car. $10 (actually more currently) to go 60 miles with hydrogen, $2 to charge an EV to go 60 miles.
Seems like the cost advantage is definitely with BEVs, and can only get better as battery prices WILL continue to decline, and for a homeowner who invests in solar it only gets better too!!

Put another way, hydrogen is already at the equivalent of $5 a gallon for locally emissions free driving with fast refuel. Hydrogen and FCEVs will also drop in price and increase in efficiency, especially as people run out of net metering headroom and actually need to store large amounts of solar power for weeks or months on end. That’s impossibly expensive with batteries, and if course you lose some efficiency storing to a battery only to discharge and transmit to another EV battery.

“hydrogen is already at the equivalent of $5 a gallon for locally emissions free driving”

Locally emissions free???
Like Wow… is that like… a way off saying that green house gases produced in BFE wont effect the enviorment??? Or that the geen house gases were poroduced a 100 or more miles away and you hydrogen car is responsible for them???

It means tailpipe emission free. Isn’t it the argument I always hear from Tesla advocates? Who cares about that coal powered electric grid in China that was used to make parts for my Tesla or my PV panels, it is grid problem, not mine, right? Though if you insist, get your own Power Pallet and you can be carbon negative and make difference:
http://www.allpowerlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/PP20GeneratorOneSheet10_25_15Small.pdf
But you will need to isolate yourself from Earth economy, preferably on some other planet, to be completely clean, which is rather difficult task.

Good way to put the cost. It will be interesting tho to see how much fuel cell costs go down, not to mention the huge cost of installing a hydrogen fueling station.

Regarding battery storage, IMO the most valuable aspect of it is reducing demand charges.

But solar is a great investment already no doubt and with residential paybacks ranging from 6-10 years it really saves on the costs of running a vehicle (that is if the individual drives an EV and owns their own home in order to put solar on the roof).

That is if you have suitable roof and if your utility will still provide you netmetering incentive after these 6-10 years. Some are not so generous right now.

Four Electrics said:

“Put another way, hydrogen is already at the equivalent of $5 a gallon…”

Hmmm, no, about $8 per gallon.

“That’s impossibly expensive with batteries…”

LOL!

Yet another “fool cell” fanboy fantasy. The cost of batteries continues to drop every year as batteries continue to improve. There’s lots of room for batteries to keep improving. It’s kinda hard to improve hydrogen… since it’s an element. This is why H2 has not, and will not, drop substantially in price… despite the wishful thinking of “fool cell” fanboys.

“…and if course you lose some efficiency storing to a battery only to discharge and transmit to another EV battery.”

Seriously, you’re bringing up the efficiency lost during transmission? Considering the 67%-80% loss of energy between generating hydrogen and burning it in a “fool cell” car, I’d think that would be the very last subject you “fool cell” fanboys would want to mention!

I wouldn’t mind this Fuel Cell business if it was paid for by the Oil companies. After all they are the beneficiaries of trying to convince the populace that FCVs are a valid option for consumers. But they are very successful at lobbying and so this is all government paid by your taxes. $2M per station. If H2 is sold at $10/kg and $5 goes to paying for the station then it will take 6M kg to pay off the stations or 377 times what sold to date. If their sales go up 10 times it will only take 37 years to pay back. Based on the numbers quoted and assuming for 1 year and 10,000 miles/car then they have about 100 customers. Are there actually thousands stupid enough to buy these cars?

My thoughts exactly Roy, if Big Oil wants to build out the infrastructure despite the massive inefficiencies then I would be glad since it will hasten their demise despite the wild fantasies of serial Tesla haters and carpet-bombing resident fool cell shills like zzzzzz and four electrics.

However since they are by far the largest beneficiaries of public subsidies in the world I think we should pull the plug on building their infrastructure on our dime.

http://priceofoil.org/2012/06/13/1-trillion-in-global-fossil-fuel-subsidies-the-urgent-need-for-transparency/

http://www.ibtimes.com/us-fossil-fuel-subsidies-increase-dramatically-despite-climate-change-pledge-2180918

Just waded thru all the comments and I didn’t see anything that hasn’t been said 1 million times before.

Yes it makes no sense to do this in Cali. CARB is off base on this one.

However it could be useful in a cold dark area with tons of wind and not a lot of money to spend on batteries to store the juice.

Yes it is a less efficient energy transfer but electrolyzers are cheaper than batteries.

Plus in Germany, they can just pump the H2 into their gas system and they are less dependent on Russian gas.

So it is an outlier but still a worthwhile tech in some instances.

georgeS said:

“it could be useful in a cold dark area with tons of wind and not a lot of money to spend on batteries to store the juice.

“Yes it is a less efficient energy transfer but electrolyzers are cheaper than batteries.”

But you only have to buy the batteries once*. By using electricity to generate hydrogen gas for a stationary power storage system, you lose about 50% of the energy every time. (And you lose about 67%-80% of the energy when using that H2 to power a fool cell car, because of all the additional energy-losing steps needed.)

Just how many times would you have to cycle such a system before it would be cheaper to use batteries?

*Yes, the batteries will eventually have to be replaced. But then, so would the fuel cell.

Do the math. At $150/kWh and a life of 750 cycles you pay 20 cents for each kWh stored over a lithium ion battery’s life. In favorable areas wind/solar/hydro is 1-3 cents/kWh. In such areas losing half your electricity to inefficient cheap storage is clearly the way to go, even as Li-ion gets cheaper and more durable.

Other batteries (flow, lithium titanate, etc.) last much longer and may, if they get cheap enough, compete. But today’s Li-ion batteries don’t make sense for stationary storage.

Doggydogworld said:

“Do the math. At $150/kWh and a life of 750 cycles you pay 20 cents for each kWh stored over a lithium ion battery’s life.”

Why would you cite only 750 cycles? EV batteries are expected to last 2000 cycles, down to 80% capacity. Contrariwise, stationary storage batteries are expected to last much longer, as they are typically kept in operation down to 50% capacity before being replaced. If we assume 5000 cycles, that reduces your stipulated 20¢ per kWh to 3¢ per kWh. And 5000 cycles is probably underestimating how long they’ll be expected to last.

Contrariwise: At 10.81¢ per kWh (average cost for commercial electricity in the USA), using a 50% round-trip efficient stationary H2 storage system, the electric utility would lose 5.4¢ (retail) for every kWh they cycled. For every 50 kWh per day they cycled, over a 10-year period they would lose $9855 worth of electricity, even if they didn’t have to replace the fuel cells. Those do wear out, you know.

source for electricity cost:
https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_5_6_a

Doggydogworld — are you under the false impression that H2 infrastructure and Fuel Cells all last forever?

Fuel cells have a lifespan too, and there is a reason why H2 fuel tanks have to be Hydrostatic Tested and re-certified on a regular basis. They don’t last forever either.

Meanwhile, even using your way too low 750 cycles number, a 100 mile range EV using 90% of a battery’s capacity would go 90K+ miles before losing 20% capacity. But a Gen II EV with 200 miles of range would go 180K+ miles on the same number of cycles before losing 20% capacity, and would go well over a quarter of a million miles before going below 70% capacity, and would still be entirely drivable.

By the time H2 Fuel cells actually had a chance at real sales, the batteries in EV’s will more than last the typical lifetime of the rest of the car.

TrueZero is False. Literally.

Yes Brian, all these H2 companies are riddles with corruption, collusion and conflicts of interest as exposed by this excellent investigative reporter:

http://www.redding.com/opinion/tom-elias-hydrogen-highway-grants-fail-the-smell-test-ep-375103418-354397631.html

http://www.theunion.com/opinion/10552629-113/commission-energy-grant-hydrogen

“We set out to show that a hydrogen-electric vehicle can be a true replacement for a gasoline engine…”

And once we figure out how to use rainbows to magically generate compressed hydrogen, and train unicorns to build the fueling stations out of thin air, we’ll be able to do that! 🙄

Just shows to go you that there are at least some fools in California to fall for the myth about Hydrogen for vehicles.

Hopefully the lesson will not be too painful CARB is out to lunch on this one.

We have to take this company seriously as they follow the Tesla’s model in setting up the Hydrogen stations.

But Hydrogen has to be delivered in trucks and that’s not as easily as delivering electricity thru power cables.

And Toyota sold 371 Mirai’s which is a big jump compared the previous months and is much higher than many EV’s / Plugins.

After all Fuel Cell Vehicles also run on motor which is 3 times more efficient than ICE’s.

“After all Fuel Cell Vehicles also run on motor which is 3 times more efficient than ICE’s.”

The efficiency gains from the electric motor are, of course, diminished by the extra step energy transfer losses in making hydrogen.

Any H2 electric car is therefore less efficient than a battery electric vehicle.

The electric “fuel” manufactured by a fuel cell will therefore be more expensive than direct grid to battery energy transfer, even if the hydrogen is made from natural gas.

Hydrogen looses on the economics alone.

To counter this, hydrogen advocates have propose that windmills and solar farms are going to “give” their excess electricity to hydrogen producers for nothing, in order to keep hydrogen manufacturing competitive for the likes of Shell Hydrogen, Air Liquide, Linde and others.

It ain’t gonna happen. The Windmill people will just feather their windmills/farms. No wind farm is going to provide renewable electricity at a loss so that Shell Hydrogen can get rich.

Yet, we see post after post assuming that unused generating capacity from renewables is going to be free for the taking because: “It’s just a free surplus.”

This so called “free electricity” will not be free for H2 producers.

You’re taking “free” too literally. Wind sells for 2-3 cents/kWh normally. A penny a kWh during times of excess beats feathering and translates to an electricity cost of less than $1/kg for H2 via electrolysis.

The economic issue facing hydrogen is cost of the facilities, not the cost of renewable electricity. Wind is already “free” and solar is getting there.

It’s both the cost of the infrastructure/ facilities and the cost of the electricity used to generate, compress, pump, and re-compress hydrogen for use as a transportation fuel, which makes it wholly impractical. Not to mention the other costs, such as moving it in highly pressurized tanker trucks.

Renewable electricity isn’t free, either. It costs money to build, operate, and maintain solar farms and hydroelectric dams. Free renewable electricity is nothing but wishful thinking.

” A penny a kWh during times of excess beats feathering and translates to an electricity cost of less than $1/kg for H2 via electrolysis.” The current wholesale price for wind in select markets is around 2.5 cents a kWh. The idea that Wind will make money selling excess production at 1 cent a kWh and be profitable boggles the mind. Only an industry insider would know at what point windmills become unprofitable. A much more likely price would be something near the present levelized wholesale price of 2.5 cents a kWh rather than the ‘make believe’ price of a penny a kWh put forth by hopeful hydrogen advocates. Wind farms that sell at cost or below cost will simply go out of business. Even if this latest hydrogen fairy tale were true, I suspect that there is simply not enough excess wind (at the make believe price of .01 cent a kW/hr) to supply a fraction of the necessary electricity to replace the current 20 million bbl per day U.S. fuel habit through water hydrolysis. Excess wind for sale at one cent a kW/hr is a pipe dream. Even if it were true, there’s not enough excess wind to… Read more »
electric-car-insider.com

+1c

Is the +1C the additional cost per kWh that the wind farm would have to spend to build and maintain H2 storage tanks, and then transport that H2 to filling stations?

*grin*

I think his point was that ‘excess wind’ such as from gusts, which cannot really be used for ‘grid electricity’, unless there is some kind of battery or flywheel storage; could also be used to intermittently make hydrogen – since the electricity truly is free, if there are no other storage devices – otherwise, the electricity cannot be used.

Bill, wind gusts are no problem for wind farms to capture. There are multiple levels at which all the energy from a gust of wind can be fully captured: 1) Large blades on the windmills themselves have a flywheel effect. Windmills are basically a giant generator with their own built-in flywheel storage. 2) Distribution of windmills across an area of land means that the wind gust won’t hit every single windmill at the same time. This further buffers the affect of gusts. 3) Multiple windmill sites tied to the same grid further buffers the affect of gusts, for the same reason. The same gust won’t hit multiple sites at the same time, equalizing grid voltage overall. 4) Even if there is a sustained gust, that produces more electricity at all windmills at all sites at the same time, that would be absorbed into the grid as higher voltage. The way the grid balances mismatches between supply and demand is to change voltage. This is all specified in the ANSI C84 standard, where the “tolerable” range of voltage for a 240V Nominal Service Voltage, is actually anywhere between 208V and 254V. So there is no such thing as short term “excess… Read more »

If there is a point in time in the distant future where there becomes a significant amount of excess wind power, somebody will figure out how to re-route that excess electricity into charging EV’s directly.

With a smart grid, it could be as simple as offering electricity cheaper to smart grid connected cars, and have the smart grid time-shift charging to when it would use excess wind power.

Or whatever brilliant plan smart people come up with in the future, that would use the excess electricity more efficiently than making H2 that would then have to be stored also in expensive H2 tanks until it is needed.

Sunshine and off peak night coal drive 99% of my trips refueled at home.

Wait we can waste more energy Converting into Hydrogen… I’m sure we can keep the blinders on the public sheep = sucks of the fool cell industry.

If a wind farm is making a realistic profit of say 10%, then the cheapest that the wind farm can sell its electricity is for no less than 2.25 cents a kWhr. Below that price, the wind farm is running at a loss and wont be around very long to supply free H2.