What do you think about hydrogen-powered cars?
- 5 years agoBest Answer
A hydrogen vehicle is a vehicle that uses hydrogen as its onboard fuel for motive power. Hydrogen vehicles include hydrogen fueled space rockets, as well as automobiles and other transportation vehicles. The power plants of such vehicles convert the chemical energy of hydrogen to mechanical energy either by burning hydrogen in an internal combustion engine, or by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to run electric motors. Widespread use of hydrogen for fueling transportation is a key element of a proposed hydrogen economy.
Hydrogen fuel does not occur naturally on Earth and thus is not an energy source; rather it is an energy carrier. As of 2014, 95% of hydrogen is made from methane. It can be produced using renewable sources, but that is an expensive process. Integrated wind-to-hydrogen (power to gas) plants, using electrolysis of water, are exploring technologies to deliver costs low enough, and quantities great enough, to compete with traditional energy sources.
Many companies are working to develop technologies that might efficiently exploit the potential of hydrogen energy for use in motor vehicles. As of November 2013 there are demonstration fleets of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles undergoing field testing including the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell, Honda FCX Clarity, Hyundai ix35 FCEV and Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell. The drawbacks of hydrogen use are high carbon emissions intensity when produced from natural gas, capital cost burden, low energy content per unit volume, low performance of fuel cell vehicles compared with gasoline vehicles, production and compression of hydrogen, and the large investment in infrastructure that would be required to fuel vehicles.
- 5 years ago
There are two types of hydrogen powered cars. Both suffer from the inefficiency of producing hydrogen. Presently 96% of hydrogen is made from fossil fuels. An ICE vehicle would be far more efficient and the overall process less polluting if it burned methane that the hydrogen is made from instead.
A hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle is far more efficient than an ICE fueled by hydrogen but only about 1/3 as efficient as a battery electric vehicle. So using electricity to produce hydrogen is also far less efficient than using it to charge a BEV.
In addition to production hydrogen tends to leak from any type of container. (H2 is the smallest molecule)
A leak of hydrogen that catches fire in daylight is very difficult to see as it burns primarily in the ultraviolet spectrum. Because there is very little Infrared radiation it is difficult to feel the heat from burning hydrogen until your hand is in the flame. These present unusual hazards not present with gasoline.
Gasoline is a liquid and will tend to burn from the ground. Hydrogen is a gas and will tend to rise as it burns. Present fire suppression equipment is not going go be effective against a hydrogen fire, or explosion.
The only present advantage a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle has over a battery electric vehicle is some ability to charge faster (EV are catching up quickly) and a longer range. But hydrogen vehicles would require a completely new fueling infrastructure, in the 5 years (optimistic estimate) that it would take to impliment the technology electric vehicles are expected to have much shorter charge times and longer ranges.
Hydrogen vehicles are a dangerous waste of energy, time and attention that will only benefit the oil industry.
- 5 years ago
The good points about them are that they are intrinsically safe (stored hydrogen is safer than stored gasoline) and that the only exhaust gas where the car operates is water vapour.
The bad news is that the hydrogen has to be generated and that's generally a messy and inefficient process. It normally comes from the electrolysis of water - so you need electricity and a plentiful water supply. The water used has to be purified or the electrolysis equipment would get clogged up with limescale and other impurities, and this requires more electricity. It is possible to generate electricity from renewable sources, but most of it (especially any additional capacity) comes from burning fossil fuels. It would be more efficient just to put the fossil fuels into the car - but campaigners are not very good at a holistic approach.
- PaulLv 75 years ago
I think they're a step in the right direction, but hydrogen takes rather a lot of energy to get at anyway, so all you're really doing is removing the problem of energy generation a step away from your car.
I'm also not keen on the idea of taking a little mobile power plant with you on car journeys. I think it's more efficient to have one gigantic power plant that we connect our vehicles up to - I'm talking about electric cars hooking up to the national grid. Then you can benefit from a wide range of generators, including solar, wind and nuclear (of which I'm a fan).
The sooner we get fusion generation sorted out the sooner we can have vehicles that are much more environmentally friendly.
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- Anonymous5 years ago
A hydrogen vehicle is a vehicle that uses hydrogen as its onboard fuel for motive power. Hydrogen vehicles include hydrogen fueled space rockets, as well as automobiles and other transportation vehicles.
- EdwardLv 75 years ago
Could be the future if the price can come down Japan has some on the road but they are exspensive.