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(Marketwatch)   Despite all the inroads that EV cars have made lately, governments continue to fund Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) technology. What do you think - are battery EVs really the way of the future, or do HFCs have a snowball's chance in hell?   (marketwatch.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Electric vehicle, Automobile, hydrogen fuel-cell, Internal combustion engine, mass-produce, Electrolysis, main reason, public hydrogen fueling stations  
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110 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 04 Oct 2022 at 3:05 PM (9 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



35 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-10-04 2:59:01 PM  
Politicians (and their masters) love the idea of hydrogen because they can sell it as green, but the cheapest source of hydrogen is currently still from fossil fuels.
 
2022-10-04 3:11:44 PM  
EVs work on any source of electricity and allow complete flexibility, from coal to solar or even nuclear.

Fuel cells bind you to one fuel.

The answer is relatively obvious.
 
2022-10-04 3:13:56 PM  
HFCs were never going to work.  Production of hydrogen is dirty unless you use solar electrolysis to separate water into its constituent parts, it's not cheap, it's inefficient, production can't be scaled up easily, and, quite apart from any of this is that you're driving a vehicle with an extremely reactive, highly explosive gas in it, so, y'know, don't get into any accidents.
 
2022-10-04 3:14:07 PM  
Hydrogen is very difficult to work with. Those tiny molecules are very adept at finding a leak (ask NASA).
 
2022-10-04 3:14:42 PM  
I mean, from what I understand, there are important potential use cases for hydrogen that it's currently unlikely to find battery alternatives for. I believe long-haul trucking and aviation are the big ones. Maybe large-scale shipping, too?
 
2022-10-04 3:19:02 PM  

koder: EVs work on any source of electricity and allow complete flexibility, from coal to solar or even nuclear.

Fuel cells bind you to one fuel.

The answer is relatively obvious.


That's why I prefer gasoline.  Gasoline cars run on light sweet crude, Venezuelan heavy crude, Saudi Arabian sour crude, West Texas Intermediate, Louisiana light crude, Brent North Sea crude, Bonny light, Canadian tar sand... it's limitless.

Electricity only comes from coal, solar, wind, water, and oil.  It's just so limited.
 
2022-10-04 3:19:59 PM  
Because you're talking about something that is fundamental to the human economy and way of life... there are going to be serious variables thrown in the way of all of these systems and we're going to need all kinds of alternatives.

So, you use the shotgun method, or spray and pray... invest in everything and see what works out.

We'll be able to glean insight from almost everything we put money into in one way or another...
 
2022-10-04 3:26:34 PM  

koder: EVs work on any source of electricity and allow complete flexibility, from coal to solar or even nuclear.

Fuel cells bind you to one fuel.

The answer is relatively obvious.


Wouldn't it be fairer to say HFCs work with any source of hydrogen?
 
2022-10-04 3:27:22 PM  

Gyro the Greek Sandwich Pirate: I mean, from what I understand, there are important potential use cases for hydrogen that it's currently unlikely to find battery alternatives for. I believe long-haul trucking and aviation are the big ones. Maybe large-scale shipping, too?


Instead of dumping money into hydrogen, we could spend that money funding wireless charging infrastructure.  There are already a few companies working on it and test roads set up in Europe and Detroit.
 
2022-10-04 3:29:37 PM  

Driedsponge: Gyro the Greek Sandwich Pirate: I mean, from what I understand, there are important potential use cases for hydrogen that it's currently unlikely to find battery alternatives for. I believe long-haul trucking and aviation are the big ones. Maybe large-scale shipping, too?

Instead of dumping money into hydrogen, we could spend that money funding wireless charging infrastructure.  There are already a few companies working on it and test roads set up in Europe and Detroit.


The inverse square law laughs derisively.
 
2022-10-04 3:29:59 PM  

Psychopusher: extremely reactive, highly explosive


Isn't gasoline extremely reactive, highly explosive?

And EV batteries never incinerate vehicles....

Just sayin'
 
2022-10-04 3:33:23 PM  

Driedsponge: Gyro the Greek Sandwich Pirate: I mean, from what I understand, there are important potential use cases for hydrogen that it's currently unlikely to find battery alternatives for. I believe long-haul trucking and aviation are the big ones. Maybe large-scale shipping, too?

Instead of dumping money into hydrogen, we could spend that money funding wireless charging infrastructure.  There are already a few companies working on it and test roads set up in Europe and Detroit.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-10-04 3:53:35 PM  
Plug Power seems to have a good angle on hydrogen for Walmart, Nike, Home Depot, Amazon and FedEx.
 
2022-10-04 4:01:39 PM  

vonster: Isn't gasoline extremely reactive, highly explosive?


Not nearly as much.  Contrary to what the the movies tell you, it won't ignite if a single spark or a lit cigarette butt touches it.  Hydrogen will, and hydrogen go BOOM.

Fark user imageView Full Size


EV batteries will incinerate cars if the cells are punctured.  How severe that is depends on the chemistry of the battery; Lithium iron phosphate, for example, would be less severe than lithium manganese oxide, which is safer than lithium cobalt oxide, and so on.  They'll still burn, but "safer chemistry" lithium batteries are less likely to violently outgas than more traditional lithium batteries.
Importantly, however, none of them violently explode.
 
2022-10-04 4:10:35 PM  

JessieL: Driedsponge: Gyro the Greek Sandwich Pirate: I mean, from what I understand, there are important potential use cases for hydrogen that it's currently unlikely to find battery alternatives for. I believe long-haul trucking and aviation are the big ones. Maybe large-scale shipping, too?

Instead of dumping money into hydrogen, we could spend that money funding wireless charging infrastructure.  There are already a few companies working on it and test roads set up in Europe and Detroit.

The inverse square law laughs derisively.


Who said solving climate change was going to be easy? or cheap?
 
2022-10-04 4:13:58 PM  
I can fit more armor when using the HFC

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-10-04 4:14:20 PM  
HFC (not high fructose corn syrup) is well suited to less accessible areas, areas that lack heavy electric infrastructure, or extremely cold places.
 
2022-10-04 4:19:21 PM  

Driedsponge: JessieL: Driedsponge: Gyro the Greek Sandwich Pirate: I mean, from what I understand, there are important potential use cases for hydrogen that it's currently unlikely to find battery alternatives for. I believe long-haul trucking and aviation are the big ones. Maybe large-scale shipping, too?

Instead of dumping money into hydrogen, we could spend that money funding wireless charging infrastructure.  There are already a few companies working on it and test roads set up in Europe and Detroit.

The inverse square law laughs derisively.

Who said solving climate change was going to be easy? or cheap?


I don't expect either, but I do like to start with "scientifically feasible".
 
2022-10-04 4:20:22 PM  

vonster: Psychopusher: extremely reactive, highly explosive

Isn't gasoline extremely reactive, highly explosive?

And EV batteries never incinerate vehicles....

Just sayin'


Hydrogen is much more combustible in a wider range of gaseous mixtures than gasoline is, and requires a much lower ignition energy to ignite.

EV's are far less likely to ignite than their gasoline or hybrid counterparts, per reports by the NTSB and BTS.

So really, what you're "Just sayin'" is that you don't really have any idea what you're talking about.
 
2022-10-04 4:29:06 PM  

JessieL: Driedsponge: JessieL: Driedsponge: Gyro the Greek Sandwich Pirate: I mean, from what I understand, there are important potential use cases for hydrogen that it's currently unlikely to find battery alternatives for. I believe long-haul trucking and aviation are the big ones. Maybe large-scale shipping, too?

Instead of dumping money into hydrogen, we could spend that money funding wireless charging infrastructure.  There are already a few companies working on it and test roads set up in Europe and Detroit.

The inverse square law laughs derisively.

Who said solving climate change was going to be easy? or cheap?

I don't expect either, but I do like to start with "scientifically feasible".


Wireless road charging for EVs (sae.org)
Roads That Charge Electric Cars Wirelessly Are Springing Up Everywhere! (intelligentliving.co)

Germany expects up to 10 million EVs on its roads by 2030 and is testing electric highways around Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Stuttgart. Sweden plans to build 2,400 kilometers (1,491 miles) of electric roads by 2037 as part of its plan to reach zero net emissions by 2045.

Israel, Korea, and the US also all have pilot programs for the technology.

We're already past the "scientifically feasible".  We're currently working on the "scale it up to commercially viable" phase.
 
2022-10-04 4:32:26 PM  
There's considerable overlap between EVs and fuel cell vehicles. They both need electric motors and some amount of battery. The difference is whether you add more batteries and a plug, or a fuel cell + hydrogen tank. In most cases "more batteries" will be the better choice.
 
2022-10-04 4:51:36 PM  

vonster: koder: EVs work on any source of electricity and allow complete flexibility, from coal to solar or even nuclear.

Fuel cells bind you to one fuel.

The answer is relatively obvious.

Wouldn't it be fairer to say HFCs work with any source of hydrogen?


No. They run solely on hydrogen, an inevitably limited fuel source, to produce electricity.  EVs run directly on electricity, which can be produced from hydrogen, too, or the magic energy beamed, for free, directly from a giant burning ball of hydrogen and various other fusion products.
 
2022-10-04 4:54:11 PM  
The actual answer is public transport but more immediately there just isn't enough lithium to replace all combustion vehicles with EVs.
 
2022-10-04 5:05:35 PM  

Psychopusher: HFCs were never going to work.  Production of hydrogen is dirty unless you use solar electrolysis to separate water into its constituent parts, it's not cheap, it's inefficient, production can't be scaled up easily, and, quite apart from any of this is that you're driving a vehicle with an extremely reactive, highly explosive gas in it, so, y'know, don't get into any accidents.


Gases are only dangerous when you enclose them.  The nice thing is that you can just vent the hydrogen and it floats up into the air where it is harmless.  Think about how how fast a kid's party balloon rises into the air when they let go of the string and that's how fast the hydrogen will go up and away from the car.  As someone else mentioned, even if hydrogen gets trapped somewhere it will more than likely find it's way out.  If something goes wrong with storage for gasoline it makes a mess all over the ground where it sticks around for a long time and a lithium battery will just sit there forever waiting to explode.
 
2022-10-04 5:32:49 PM  
When I was growing up, my next door neighbor had one of these about 1989-1982:

wired.comView Full Size


It's always bothered me that after about 1982, and until well past the turn of the century, there really was no advancement. At least as far as I know.

His commute was about 5 miles. They had a second car for longer trips, or trips on the highway.

I dunno. Just dropping this here. It's ugly, but all of us 8 year olds thought it was the coolest thing we'd ever seen.
 
2022-10-04 5:41:24 PM  

RogermcAllen: Psychopusher: HFCs were never going to work.  Production of hydrogen is dirty unless you use solar electrolysis to separate water into its constituent parts, it's not cheap, it's inefficient, production can't be scaled up easily, and, quite apart from any of this is that you're driving a vehicle with an extremely reactive, highly explosive gas in it, so, y'know, don't get into any accidents.

Gases are only dangerous when you enclose them.  The nice thing is that you can just vent the hydrogen and it floats up into the air where it is harmless.  Think about how how fast a kid's party balloon rises into the air when they let go of the string and that's how fast the hydrogen will go up and away from the car.  As someone else mentioned, even if hydrogen gets trapped somewhere it will more than likely find it's way out.  If something goes wrong with storage for gasoline it makes a mess all over the ground where it sticks around for a long time and a lithium battery will just sit there forever waiting to explode.


It wasn't the contained hydrogen that ignited.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-10-04 5:54:14 PM  

weddingsinger: The actual answer is public transport but more immediately there just isn't enough lithium to replace all combustion vehicles with EVs.


You'll have to show your math on that one. There are lots of variables like the amount of lithium per car, the time scale over which that replacement will take place, etc. Are you considering only existing lithium mines or are you accounting for future development?

Lithium is also not the only option for batteries. If it becomes more expensive due to supply constraints it provides more incentive to develop other technologies.
 
2022-10-04 6:20:17 PM  
I think that ultimately electric cars will either have two batteries, one charging all day from solar panels to be swapped at night, or will lease batteries.  Roll up to an exchange station, battery is exchanged and you're on your way.
 
2022-10-04 9:50:50 PM  

common sense is an oxymoron: RogermcAllen: Psychopusher: HFCs were never going to work.  Production of hydrogen is dirty unless you use solar electrolysis to separate water into its constituent parts, it's not cheap, it's inefficient, production can't be scaled up easily, and, quite apart from any of this is that you're driving a vehicle with an extremely reactive, highly explosive gas in it, so, y'know, don't get into any accidents.

Gases are only dangerous when you enclose them.  The nice thing is that you can just vent the hydrogen and it floats up into the air where it is harmless.  Think about how how fast a kid's party balloon rises into the air when they let go of the string and that's how fast the hydrogen will go up and away from the car.  As someone else mentioned, even if hydrogen gets trapped somewhere it will more than likely find it's way out.  If something goes wrong with storage for gasoline it makes a mess all over the ground where it sticks around for a long time and a lithium battery will just sit there forever waiting to explode.

It wasn't the contained hydrogen that ignited.

[Fark user image 735x601]


Go watch that video again.  No explosion (you hear a bang, but nothing big enough to even bend the weak metal frame) and the hydrogen burned for <1 minute before it had either been consumed in the fire or dissipated (the fire on the ground is the ship on fire).  If it wasn't already burning and you knew there was a problem, you could have cut the top off of Hindenburg and the hydrogen would have just escaped into the atmosphere and diluted below ignition threshold within  a few seconds.

Now go find yourself a video of a railcar full of petroleum on fire.  Also imagine the railcar isn't on fire yet, but it starts leaking.
 
2022-10-04 10:34:24 PM  

Billy Bathsalt: I think that ultimately electric cars will either have two batteries, one charging all day from solar panels to be swapped at night, or will lease batteries.  Roll up to an exchange station, battery is exchanged and you're on your way.


If we get charging infrastructure for everyone that has a dedicated place to park their car at home or at work that kind of battery swapping will be a once a month exception and 99% of your charging will be done while your car is parked someplace where you won't be needing it for a few hours. At which point battery swapping will be a niche market concept. Maybe rental fleets will find that useful so they can turn cars around faster and also support customers that need a road trip vehicle.
 
2022-10-05 4:01:32 AM  
HFCs are a subsidy to the natural gas industry, especially the frackers. That is why governments keep pushing them.
 
2022-10-05 4:05:00 AM  

vonster: Psychopusher: extremely reactive, highly explosive

Isn't gasoline extremely reactive, highly explosive?

And EV batteries never incinerate vehicles....

Just sayin'


Last time Fark had this discussion someone came up with the actual numbers. Turns out EVs had a lot fewer fires per passenger mile than fossil fuel powered ones.
 
2022-10-05 4:59:10 AM  

RogermcAllen: common sense is an oxymoron: RogermcAllen: Psychopusher: HFCs were never going to work.  Production of hydrogen is dirty unless you use solar electrolysis to separate water into its constituent parts, it's not cheap, it's inefficient, production can't be scaled up easily, and, quite apart from any of this is that you're driving a vehicle with an extremely reactive, highly explosive gas in it, so, y'know, don't get into any accidents.

Gases are only dangerous when you enclose them.  The nice thing is that you can just vent the hydrogen and it floats up into the air where it is harmless.  Think about how how fast a kid's party balloon rises into the air when they let go of the string and that's how fast the hydrogen will go up and away from the car.  As someone else mentioned, even if hydrogen gets trapped somewhere it will more than likely find it's way out.  If something goes wrong with storage for gasoline it makes a mess all over the ground where it sticks around for a long time and a lithium battery will just sit there forever waiting to explode.

It wasn't the contained hydrogen that ignited.

[Fark user image 735x601]

Go watch that video again.  No explosion (you hear a bang, but nothing big enough to even bend the weak metal frame) and the hydrogen burned for <1 minute before it had either been consumed in the fire or dissipated (the fire on the ground is the ship on fire).  If it wasn't already burning and you knew there was a problem, you could have cut the top off of Hindenburg and the hydrogen would have just escaped into the atmosphere and diluted below ignition threshold within  a few seconds.

Now go find yourself a video of a railcar full of petroleum on fire.  Also imagine the railcar isn't on fire yet, but it starts leaking.


I was responding to your comment that gases are only dangerous when enclosed, which they pretty much have to be if they're going to be used for any purpose at all, aside from certain uses of O2. The fact that petroleum fires can be more difficult to extinguish doesn't make hydrogen any safer, and hydrogen storage facilities require enhanced safety precautions for a reason.

https://www.colorado.edu/firelifesafety/sites/default/files/attached-files/compressedhydrogen.pdf
 
2022-10-05 10:05:34 AM  

common sense is an oxymoron: RogermcAllen: common sense is an oxymoron: RogermcAllen: Psychopusher: HFCs were never going to work.  Production of hydrogen is dirty unless you use solar electrolysis to separate water into its constituent parts, it's not cheap, it's inefficient, production can't be scaled up easily, and, quite apart from any of this is that you're driving a vehicle with an extremely reactive, highly explosive gas in it, so, y'know, don't get into any accidents.

Gases are only dangerous when you enclose them.  The nice thing is that you can just vent the hydrogen and it floats up into the air where it is harmless.  Think about how how fast a kid's party balloon rises into the air when they let go of the string and that's how fast the hydrogen will go up and away from the car.  As someone else mentioned, even if hydrogen gets trapped somewhere it will more than likely find it's way out.  If something goes wrong with storage for gasoline it makes a mess all over the ground where it sticks around for a long time and a lithium battery will just sit there forever waiting to explode.

It wasn't the contained hydrogen that ignited.

[Fark user image 735x601]

Go watch that video again.  No explosion (you hear a bang, but nothing big enough to even bend the weak metal frame) and the hydrogen burned for <1 minute before it had either been consumed in the fire or dissipated (the fire on the ground is the ship on fire).  If it wasn't already burning and you knew there was a problem, you could have cut the top off of Hindenburg and the hydrogen would have just escaped into the atmosphere and diluted below ignition threshold within  a few seconds.

Now go find yourself a video of a railcar full of petroleum on fire.  Also imagine the railcar isn't on fire yet, but it starts leaking.

I was responding to your comment that gases are only dangerous when enclosed, which they pretty much have to be if they're going to be used for any purpose at all, aside from certain uses of O2. The fact that ...


It does make hydrogen safer, because hydrogen has the unique property of un-enclosing itself.

Imagine you are standing in your garage with door open.  You are smoking a cigarette and have lit incense candles to try to cover the smell.  Now imagine fuel starts spilling all over the place:
-A gas line in your house breaks or you compressed natural gas truck starts to leak.  The garage fills with natural gas, it ignites on the open flame, and you die in a fireball.
-The gasoline tank of your car ruptures and gasoline spills all over the floor.  The gasoline evaporates, vapors fill the garage, the vapors ignite on the open flame, and you die in a fireball.
-The hydrogen tank of your car starts leaking.  The hydrogen floats up to the ceiling and out the door.  The little bit of hydrogen that gets stuck in the ceiling goes through the drywall, through the insulation, finds a gap in the plywood, and then escapes into the atmosphere.  If something in the ceiling ignites the hydrogen, then you see a fireball above your head (as opposed to all around you) and you safely run out the door
 
2022-10-05 10:59:32 AM  
Glad to see that the majority of farkers who care about this realize the futility of hydrogen as transportation fuel.
Another factor is that fuel cells are extremely expensive due to the amount of precious metals needed to make them work. That price isn't going to go down with mass production.
 
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