How many miles per dollar(mpd) do hydrogen cars get as of now?

For example, my car gets 28mpg highway, so in new york where gas is about $3.25 for me, I get about 8.6mpd highway. Anyway, if anyone out in California is more knowledgeable about hydrogen cars and knows how much it costs to fill one up and the car's range, could you shed some light on the miles per dollar you get in a hydrogen car.

The reason I'm asking is because there's a lot of debate over fully electric vs hydrogen cars. In my opinion companies like shell and exxon are pushing hydrogen cars so that they can stay in business. If we move to fully electric cars you plug in at home, then oil companies will not have anything to fall back on once fossils fuels are phased out(or simply run out, whichever comes first).

To downplay fully electric cars, people say that the energy coming from your house is probably fueled by dirty fossil fuels, but to counter this, I say that our whole energy grid should just be solar and wind energy.

I do understand that once hydrogen is produced at a higher quantity and the infrastructure to distribute it grows, it will be cheaper, but i was just wondering where it stands right now.

Anyway, I think the only argument for hydrogen cars is only if it will be cheap enough to produce in order for it to be cheap for commuters to fill their car also.

5 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Anywhere from 2 to 90 miles per dollar: The cost of hydrogen fuel is rather difficult to find. Here is an article that says hydrogen costs "$1 to $20 a kilo. A gallon of gasoline has the same energy content as a kilo of hydrogen, but vehicles using the latter get two to three times higher mileage."1 First some fact checking. Here is a chart that tells equivalencies and confirms that a kilo of hydrogen equals about the same BTU as a gallon of gasoline.2 While a hydrogen fuel cell electric car will get this kind of increase in mileage an internal combustion engine running on hydrogen probably will not.

    We can assume that an average car will get 20 to 30 miles per gallon and so a hydrogen car ( a fuel cell electric vehicle) will get 2 to three times this or 40 to 90 miles per kilo of hydrogen.

    At $1.00 per kilo hydrogen is going to give you a minimum of 40 miles and a max of 90 miles. This will cost you from ($1.00/40 to $1.00/90) $.025 to $.011 per mile at the low price. (40 to 90 miles per dollar)

    At the high price of $20 this would be ($20/40 to $20/90) $.50 to $.22 dollars per mile (2 to 4.5 miles per dollar.)

    The price of the vehicle seems to be from a low of about $100,000 to about $1,500,000. There is no way to know how heavily the price of the vehicle, the fueling station or the fuel is subsidized.

    The cost of adding hydrogen fueling stations seems to run about $50,000 while a fast charging station might be 1/10 the price and a natural gas fueling station might be 1/5th the price. Hydrogen is going to be made primarily from gas reforming as it is today and is the reason petrochemical companies are very interested. Then like an EV the vehicle may be operated cleanly but the infrastructure would be in doubt. The difference is that it is less likely that hydrogen would be acquired cleanly and certainly with less efficiency than simply powering a natural gas car or an electric car directly.4

    Source(s): 1 2 Efficiency of an PEM fuel cell vehicle is widely quoted at 50% at the wheels compared to about 90% for a pure electric vehicle or 15% for an internal combustion engine vehicle so the mileage claim seems reasonable. Convert kilo's to pounds by multiplying pounds by 2.2046. 3 pictures of hydrogen fueling pump: Here GM is helping to fund a hydrogen fueling station: 4 "...48% of hydrogen production (for industrial processes) is from natural gas, 30% is from oil, 18% is from coal, and 4% is from electrolysis."
  • 9 years ago

    "Critics charge that the time frame for overcoming the technical and economic challenges to implementing wide-scale use of hydrogen vehicles is likely to be at least several decades, and hydrogen vehicles may never become broadly available.[43][63] They believe that the focus on the use of the hydrogen car is a dangerous detour from more readily available solutions to reducing the use of fossil fuels in vehicles.[64] In May 2008, Wired News reported that "experts say it will be 40 years or more before hydrogen has any meaningful impact on gasoline consumption or global warming, and we can't afford to wait that long. In the meantime, fuel cells are diverting resources from more immediate solutions."

    -Taken from Wikipedia

    You are correct when you say that the hype about hydrogen is largely fueled by oil companies trying to remain in power.

    However, fully electric cars will never be a solution as long as our main electricity sources are coal and natural gas. Of course, like you say, a power grid that uses power from solar and wind is ideal - this is also a very long way off, decades at least.

    A great documentary on this is "Who Killed the Electric Car?".

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago


  • severn
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    the automobile has traveled 40 miles in an identical time that the airplane traveled six hundred. So your answer could be a million/15. I used a hand calculator and divided six hundred(miles) via 15(minutes) which components 40. Equaling 40 miles for the automobile travelling 60 miles an hour.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Make sure you factor in the $250,000 of a hydrogen powered car.

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