Hope for Hydrogen? CARB Conditionally Certifies Tri-Generation Fuel Cell Plants as Renewable H2 Power Source

Aside from the obvious challenges that come from implementing a brand-new refuelling infrastructure capable of safely storing and pumping compressed hydrogen (and the costs associated with building hydrogen fuel cell stacks), the other major problem with using hydrogen as a fuel source is that right now, the majority of hydrogen produced around the world comes from the reforming of fossil fuels like compressed natural gas or waste gasses produced during the fracking of oil.

That fact puts a massive dent in the claim that hydrogen fuel is the zero carbon fuel of the future. And while there are plenty of other ways you can produce hydrogen — electrolyzing water with an electrical current to split H2O into its constituent elements for example — most require a large amount of external energy in order to produce meaningful amounts of hydrogen. Unless that energy is produced from renewably-generated electricity such as photovoltaic solar or wind power, there’s still some inherent carbon footprint.

Tri-Generation sites can turn waste into hydrogen, heat, and electricity without using external water.

Tri-Generation sites can turn waste into hydrogen, heat, and electricity without using external water.

But two weeks ago the California Air Resources Board gave contingent certification to FuelCell Energy, Inc.’s Tri-Generation Fuel Cell waste plants under the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), laying down a future path where hydrogen could be generated with a carbon neutral or even carbon negative footprint.

While tri-generation processes can operate on a variety of different fuels, the system contingently certified by CARB uses waste biogas from the anaerobic digestion of solid waste and waste water to produce electricity, heat, and hydrogen. Because it captures methane and other biogasses which would naturally be released into the atmosphere through natural decomposition processes, a Tri-Generation Fuel Cell plant can actually be carbon negative.

To make the plant work, a steady supply of solid and treated liquid wastewater is fed into the anaerobic digestion chambers, where bacteria decompose the waste and produce a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide. These gasses (known as biogas) are fed into specialized fuel cells where the biogas is converted into a hydrogen-rich mixture, heat, and electricity. Then, through a process known as water-gas shift, hydrogen is produced from the hydrogen-rich mixture.

Some of the hydrogen generated can be used to power the wastewater treatment plant attached to the facility, while some of the excess heat from the fuel cells can be used to provide extra heat to the anerobic digestion chambers, thus speeding up the waste-to-gas process. Any remaining excess heat can be used to heat nearby buildings or homes, while the remaining hydrogen produced can be compressed and stored for use in an onsite hydrogen filling station or compressed and transported elsewhere for use in hydrogen fuel cell stacks or hydrogen fuel cell cars.

Using such systems, H2 cars become carbon neutral.

Using such systems, H2 cars become carbon neutral.

“Our commercial solution for generating hydrogen is technologically, operationally and financially superior to conventional hydrogen generation alternatives and our ability to generate renewable hydrogen affordably and with private capital is a game-changer that addresses the challenges faced by regulators and auto manufacturers,” said Chip Bottone, Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy, Inc. “The key aspect of supporting the hydrogen infrastructure necessary for widespread fuel cell electric vehicle adoption is a clean and carbon-friendly solution that is priced competitively to the cost of gasoline, which is what we can deliver.”

The certification itself comes from the completion of a successful three-year tri-generation project where a fuel cell system has been used to produce electricity, heat and hydrogen from biogas at the Orange County Sanitation District in Fountain Valley, California.

Of the plants already in operation (including one at Inland Empire, California and next to a data center in Cheyenne, Wyoming) FuelCell Energy says its largest unit produces around 1,200 kilograms of hydrogen per day from the biogas reformed through its fuel cell unit. That, it says, is enough to refuel around 300 hydrogen fuel cell cars or 50 hydrogen busses.

Additionally, 2 megawatts of excess electricity is produced alongside 2 million BTUs of heat, which can provide heat to nearby homes.

“The economics [of hydrogen] change dramatically for would-be fueling stations owners and investors because they can sell the electricity and thermal energy alongside the hydrogen, or use it to offset their own on-site operating costs,” a spokesperson for FuelCell Energy told us via email.”In terms of hydrogen, the process does not require a water input as other methods do either.”

In some instances, Tri-Generation systems are carbon-negative.

In some instances, Tri-Generation systems are carbon-negative.

While some would argue that hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are still far less efficient than battery powered ones due to the energy losses that occur during the production of hydrogen and the conversion of hydrogen and air into electricity, water and heat inside an average fuel cell stack, this particular way of producing hydrogen is one of the cleanest we’ve seen to date.

Additionally, given the scales involved, it points to a future where hydrogen can be mass-produced cheaply and easily while reducing total greenhouse emissions. And if that happens, both hydrogen fuel cell cars and hydrogen range-extenders for electric vehicles become far more practical. Although it is our opinion that battery electric vehicles present a more sensible option for the majority of use cases, range-extenders operating on cleanly-generated hydrogen are by far preferable to ones operating on fossil fuels like gasoline.

______________________________________

Want to keep up with the latest news in evolving transport? Don’t forget to follow Transport Evolved on Twitter, like us on Facebook and G+, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

You can also support us directly as a monthly supporting member by visiting Patreon.com.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInDigg thisShare on RedditEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest

Related News

  • Ad van der Meer

    If hydrogen cars reach a certain level of volume, this might add to the solution.
    1200kg per day is nothing in the scale of the problem and I believe adding the biogas to the natural gas grid will make more sense for some time to come.

    • Chris O

      1200kg/day means that the tri-generation plant in the pictures that looks absolutely huge could support up to 2000 cars. There appears to be a complete mismatch of scale here.

      • Bob Wallace

        the article above says 300 cars.The nation might be able to produce some 5-10% of its transport energy this way. Thats good.

        • Chris O

          The math really isn’t that hard. 1200KG/day means 300 cars can be filled everyday with 4KG of H, all an H car will take basically. Since people are unlikely to fill up every day it’s not too far fetched to assume that the biggest tri-generation plant currently in existence could support a little bit more than 300 cars don’t you think? 2000 would put daily mileage closer to the US national average.

          Don’t know where that 5-10% comes from but it’s not in the article neither is it particularly impressive.

          • Dig Deeper

            It’s on the Mirai website, and turning waste into that much power is impressive. The thing about batteries is they take a very large amount of energy and materials to produce, and much of the material is finite and located in only a few particular areas, creating one hell of a market constraint. Basically every major automaker acknowledges this through their investments.

            There are now over 1 billion vehicles on the planet, and it is simply impractical for them hypothetically to be powered by Li-ion batteries.

          • Chris O

            A more nonsense to debunk, this time the peak lithium canard. That’s really an oldy and so many times debunked since. It’s going to be a challenge to find the sort of platinum needed to build significant amounts of fuel cells though. It just doesn’t exist and prices would explode pretty soon.

          • Dig Deeper

            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Is-There-Enough-Lithium-to-Maintain-the-Growth-of-the-Lithium-Ion-Battery-M

            Not a canard.

            A modern fuel cell stack uses barely any more platinum than is in the catalytic converter of one of the billion vehicles already on the road.

          • Chris O

            Of course it’s a canard. Oil is a prime example what happens if there is real sustained demand for a commodity, ever larger amounts are discovered and produced. Also there is recycling to be considered plus the fact that future battery chemistries might not even be lithium based any more, but in the meantime there is plenty to go around.

            Source for your low platinum use claim?

          • Dig Deeper

            Oil and other such extracted commodities (NG) have seen price volatility throughout history. Li is very unlike oil in that the resource is primarily concentrated in two specific countries – knowing a little about supply and demand, the geopolitical details of these countries, and the reserve quantities we are talking about vs the potential demand for global vehicles, it is pretty clear to every major auto factor that a global vehicle market that relied solely on Li ion technology would be tenuous. This is pretty common knowledge, we aren’t going to see a billion 200 mile range Li ion powered vehicles based on the technology as we know it, the supply market is far too constrained for that to be practical.

            Here’s some info on platinum reduction in fc stacks http://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/04/20150429-mirai.html

            It’s only getting better with the next gen according to GM and Toyota as is power density, and if you care to google it a lot of news on alternative nickel based catalysts has surfaced lately as well.

            Here’s my suggestion: if you are going to insist on being opposed to fuel cells, at least bother developing a working knowledge of the current status of that tech first.

          • Chris O

            Well, at least your not suggesting I jump of a bridge like you did elsewhere in this thread when your nonsense was challenged. It’s invariably a certain type of people that show up to defend the hydrogen hoax and I’m sure that’s one of the many reasons hydrogen is wildly unpopular among readers of green car blogs.

            Good luck with your mission to defend this canard.

          • Dig Deeper

            Fuel cells are quite popular with many of the top scientists and engineers who advise the biggest automotive R&D departments in the world. Name one major auto manufacturer which doesn’t see fuel cell development as an important strategy.

            Why the opinion of anonymous commenters on the internet with unknown credentials would outweigh the opinion acted upon by major automakers is unclear to me.

          • Chris O

            Scientists who don’t buy into the hydrogen hoax include Nobel laureates like George Olah and Burton Richter. Many carmakers have been focally sceptical about HFCVsin the past including VW, Ford and GM suggesting it’s a long term solution at best. It’s no surprise the industry doesn’t reject HFCVs outright, at the very least it’s the enemy of their enemy that really does have the potential to shorten the ICE age: the EV. Also showered with ZEV credits, the infrastructure largely paid for by the taxpayer they make passing sense as compliance cars and there is the lure of the all important red herring effect, it keeps lawmakers chasing a mirage while the ICE age lingers on.

            Carmakers apprehension with HFCVs main rival, EVs was bluntly expressed recently by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne who went on record warning for the process that he called “disintermediation”, under which carmakers have gradually lost control over elements of a vehicle’s contents to suppliers. GM Bolt is a great example of that, it might as well have been called the LG Bolt. Likewise FCA’s own Fiat 500E might as well be called a Bosch. Clearly powertrain core technology is important for carmakers, yet carmakers don’t
            appear to be all that interested in keeping HFCV tech to themselves, everybody is teaming up indicating nobody is seeing a real winner here, just a sideshow attractive for the reasons I mentioned above. Carmakers know what sells and cars that run on compressed fuels and come with lots of compromises have never been it.

            And yes, there is no reason to take anything some anonymous poster submits on internet forums too seriously, especially the sort that has to occasionally change their screennames as the old one became
            toxic for them wouldn’t you agree…Davemart?

          • Dig Deeper

            LG has no more direct control over the direct commodity items in the battery than any major automaker could, given they chose to invest vertically in the battery supply chain.

            Back around 2010 Toyota, currently the 14th largest corporation in the world, gave Li Ion batteries very serious consideration, even going so far as acquiring stakes in South American lithium mines. But after careful consideration they have concluded that fuel cell vehicles can better serve the customer need and offer Toyota as a company a better opportunity to make profit margin. The reason is that fuel cells don’t come along with the material constraints that batteries do. The materials that go into fuel cells are much more common and abundant, they are less in mass and volume, and they don’t come with the environmental impact of mining and large scale chemical extraction.

            When massed produced at equal scales, a 115 kW fuel cell capable of powering a mid size economy vehicle would most certainly be cheaper to manufacture than the batteries necessary to give this vehicle a 250+ mile range, which I think most consumers would prefer at minimum.

            Japan is an industrious island nation, but they have no significant energy sources of their own, and grid interconnection and cheap import of energy from other countries is not feasible. This is why the Japanes government, under the guide of large companies like Toyota and Panasonic, has been a leader at exploring strategies that don’t rely on importing coal or oil – and Toyota and Panasonic are both heavily involved in fuel cell technology because it is a technology that Japan has the resources to make on its own and wouldn’t be beholden to a tenuous relationship with Afghanistan for vital resources. Japan as a nation is investing heavily in fuel cells for transport and distributed energy production.

            Sure battery electric vehicles in operation are more efficient and have more performance potential, but there are some other major practical considerations that you are glossing over.

          • falstaff77

            ” Name one major auto manufacturer which doesn’t see fuel cell development as an important strategy.”

            “Important” is a relevant term. Name a major mfn that does not have much, much more invested in BEVs or PHEVs. Toyota had global sales of some 75,000 of its PHEVs in 2015 for ~$34K, but built only 700 of the FCV Mirai. Wiki has a list of perhaps hundred PHEV or BEVs in production (including past production) If production means, say, at least a thousand vehicles per year, then there are no production FCVs. Likewise, there is no mass deployment of hydrogen refueling stations. If there has even been a plausible economic model for mass deployment of hydrogen, I’ve not seen it.

          • Dig Deeper

            Your skepticism is fine by me, but I’m not so sure the delivery of gasoline by tanker truck is a considerable portion of the cost of the fuel.

            A typical tanker truck holds around 9000 gallons of Gasoline, Linde has developed a jumbo tube trailer that can deliver 1100 kg of H2 compressed to 7250 psi. Eventually tube trailers will be able to carry H2 at 10,000 psi. In terms of delivering more fill-ups at the station the tanker truck would have a 3:1 advantage (1 kg of hydrogen is equivalent in use to around 2.4 gallons of gasoline), but the question is whether in the larger picture this cost is a considerable portion of the overall cost of the delivered consumable.

          • falstaff77

            That typical 9000 gal gasoline tanker is carrying almost 1100 GJ. That H2 tube trailer you reference (1100 kg of H2) is carrying only 156 GJ, a seven to one advantage, not counting the energy lost compressing to 7250 psi, or the high MWs of compressors required at the H2 tube trailer depot. The more common gas tube trailer in existence for years uses ~3K psi so there the ratio goes to double digits, a dozen H2 trucks running back and forth for every one gasoline truck.

            The kg of gasoline to kg of H2 basis for future transport prediction is flawed because the gas tankers walls are relatively thin gauge steel; high pressure vessels can not be. The standard high pressure (4k psi) gas bottle seen riding around on the backs of trucks or in the basement lab weighs 145 kg. Yes lighter materials can be used and are (carbon fiber) but those tanks are considerably more expensive (so far), a show stopper for mass distribution. Carbon fiber pays on $200 million jumbo jets, not the common transpo fuel truck. Also, the gasoline depot doesn’t require 7K or 10K psi compressors.

            The above is brief summary of why liquid fuels dominate alternatives.

          • Dig Deeper

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bd648fa3b4db24cd6f12afee749a7ac4eae0e6f585ce4a0afccfdd5cd1999c5c.jpg

            I think your math is off. Per unit mass H2 has more than 2x the energy density of gasoline.

            The new H2 tanks being deployed in FCEVs are carbon fiber reinforced polymer, not purely carbon fiber. I don’t have confirmation that that is what the Linde jumbo tube trailer uses, but my guess is that it does. http://www.the-linde-group.com/en/news_and_media/press_releases/news_20130925.html

            There are various processes in the petrol supply chain that take infrastructure, energy, and investment that H2 obviates as well.

            I don’t think distribution bottlenecks are the showstopper for NG powered vehicles, rather lack of a significant value proposition in comparison to the conventional fuels seems to be the issue, along with higher up-front purchase cost. According to this consumer reports article, the cost of delivered NG for automotive fuel is significantly lower than Gasoline: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/03/the-natural-gas-alternative/index.htm

          • falstaff77

            Yes per unit mass; you formulated the trucking comparison in terms of gals of gasoline vs kg of H2

            H2:1100 kg*142 MJ/kg = 156 GJ / tube truck at 7K psi
            gasoline: 9000 gal*121MJ/gal = 1089 GJ / standard tanker truck.

            Carbon fiber will help the high pressure gas container problem, but it can’t zero the gap with liquid fuel containers, because of the forces involved at the pressures required. A would be tank pressure of ~7300 psi is the ~same pressure seen at a depth of 5000m in the ocean, the deepest of the deep. And so a tanker truck (20’x8′) sized volume (~90,000 in^2) at 7k psi would have a total internal force on the vessel of over 300 thousand *tons*, the mass of two giant container ships. Such would be the reality an large 7k psi H2 truck driving down the highway. By contrast, the mass of 9000 gals gasoline is 27 tons.

            Then there are the temperature issues to deal with during extreme compression and expansion (PV=nRT), and …., etc.

            The widespread distribution of fuel for transportation via compressed gas (7K psi and up) transportation is not on the table. If it were feasible the H2 demand from the fertilizer business would have made it happen long ago. Nobody is seriously considering such a thing for mass deployment. What must happen instead is something like conversion to NH3 (ammonia) for transportation, or some kind of solid hydrogen storage, or …

          • Dig Deeper

            Based on the numbers it’s essentially 3 H2 trucks to get the equivalent delivery of 1 gasoline truck, both because the H2 has a higher energy density and because the FCEV has twice the efficiency of an ICEV.

            And in addition the H2 trailers would likely be more expensive. But exactly how much more expensive? You’re claiming that it is non-feasible to build them at scale, which seems in direct conflict with Toyotas plans to build 10,000 psi tanks for their vehicles at scale. At the very least these vehicles will see considerable deployment in Japan.

            If transporting the fuel were a considerable cost of the price at the pump then I may agree with you, but I’m not so sure that is true, and as I’ve said before gasoline production involves a number of processes that H2 doesn’t require at all.

            NH3 may very well be a better carrier but involves additional steps. Maybe these additional steps make it better or worse than using a high pressure tube trailer… I’m not so sure.

            It seems large corporations and national governments are seriously considering a number of ways to distribute H2. This doesn’t prove that it will be a future fuel, but I am going to disagree that it is completely non-feasible.

          • falstaff77

            ” it’s essentially 3 H2 trucks to get the equivalent delivery of 1 gasoline truck, both because the H2 has a higher energy density and because the FCEV has twice the efficiency of an ICEV”

            Agreed, with 7k psi fuel trucks, if and when.

            “…which seems in direct conflict with Toyotas plans to build 10,000 psi tanks for their vehicles at scale.”

            Fine for small tanks but they don’t scale up economically because the tank mass:fuel mass is upside down. The Mirai fuel 10k psi fuel tanks (two) hold ~5kg of hydrogen, but the tanks themselves have mass 87.5 kg, or 17:1 tank mass to fuel. That’s backwards from the typical hauling truck, where load weighs more than the tank.

            “If transporting the fuel were a considerable cost of the price …”

            That assumption is no longer valid with three trucks and three trips in place of one, and when the H2 trucks are clearly more expensive. Also, all the best to Linde, but at the moment the 3k psi tube truck is all that’s licensed and available, i.e. ~a dozen trips and trucks in place one.

            ” I am going to disagree that it is completely non-feasible.”

            I also don’t know if H2 for mass transportation is feasible, or not; some new storage tech may emerge. I only say that doing so via the specific method of some 10K psi delivery trucks is *not* feasible, and I doubt its feasible by any kind of high pressure truck delivery.

          • Dig Deeper

            are you suggesting that if gasoline were delivered by 3000 gallon trucks out of some legal necessity (meaning tanker deliveries tripled), that this would cause the price of gasoline to rocket upward? I very much doubt that.

            This is a very complicated issue, and I fully welcome your input and viewpoint, but I remain very optimistic that Hydrogen can be a major automotive fuel. Is there truly a viable alternative to large vehicles, or applications requiring a long range and/or fast recharge?

          • falstaff77

            I suspect service as is wouldn’t happen at all. The gasoline station operations and road leading in/out are not going to work with a dozen times the traffic in tractor trailer rigs in/out. Zoning laws would call such a cite industrial instead of commercial. You’d have to have many more, smaller, gas stations spread out over more land, and, yes, that would drive up the price considerably.

          • Dig Deeper

            I can count on my hand the number of times I’ve actually seen a tanker truck at servicing a refilling station, so the frequency doesn’t seem to be too high. I also think it very doubtful that the cost of this step is a considerable portion of the price of gasoline at the pump.

          • falstaff77

            Well they come off peak hours, but agreed, at 9000 gals it’s relatively rare.

  • Matt Beard

    I quite like this system, but I think that using the hydrogen for cars is a bad target. Electric cars are a solution that works now, or in the near future, for the majority of cases. However, for many years there will be some cases that don’t electrify well; trucks and planes are a good example here, and even rockets! I would rather see plants like this either producing H2 for equipment that can’t easily be electrified, or possibly even modify the design to produce a liquid fuel. It is also probably more efficient to use on-site fuel-cells and pump electricity into the grid rather than feeding a large number of small, mobile fuel-cells.

    • One-Of-A-Kind

      Many people do not live where they can park their car to be charged every night. This idea that the BEV paradigm works for everybody is simply not true. Multi-housing dwelling situations where many people park their cars in tight park lots, on the street, in parking garages, etc. Many times, each night they don’t know where they will park – no designated parking.

      This doesn’t even get into the immense power draw that would put to shame the peak summer hours of hard AC draw.

      • Bert

        Outlets and wiring usually isn’t very expensive to install. The cost of electrifying parking spaces could easily be rolled into the rent cost. In fact, not having electrified parking spaces could eventually cause one apartment complex to lose customers to another complex. Once electric cars result start to take off, there is no reason why apartments wouldn’t start electrifying parking spaces. Electric chargers have plenty of room for a sizable return on investment. A low to non-existent return on investment is one of the greatest problems plaguing hydrogen stations at the moment.

        You also speak of the power draw, but what of the energy storage capabilities that electric cars being to the grid? Power companies are already experimenting with ways to take advantage of the power stabilization possibilities that electric vehicles can bring. If your car is plugged in at night, you won’t need it to be charging 100% of the time. If the power companies design the proper BEV charging plans, this could be a great boon to the power industry, and also the intermittent renewable energy sources.

        • Dig Deeper

          This isn’t right. Enabling an apartment complex to have a charging station at every parking stall is definitely not as simple as extending wire to each space. There are major distribution requirements to be met in allowing all the cars in such a complex or a typical neighborhood to charge simultaneously on top of whatever other loads may occur.

          Our distribution grid IS NOT prepared for this yet.

          • Bert

            Our grid distribution system is being monitored and upgraded where there is a lot of demand. I could be wrong, but I doubt electric vehicles will take off at a rate too fast for the power companies to keep up with (for the most part). BEVs bring a huge profit incentive to increase the distribution capacity of the grid. So far, power companies have been keeping up just fine.

          • Dig Deeper

            Yea I agree, all I’m saying is that we aren’t prepared for an overnight change as a society. If my wife and I and out driving teenagers all needed to charge our vehicles each night then I would have to incur a cost to make my distribution panel handle this. If my whole neighborhood went this route the upgrades would have considerable cost.

            The thing about charging stations is they work so slowly that we would need many of them. Fueling stations can serve many many more customers in a given period than a charging station.

          • Bert

            Of course you can’t have an infrastructure revolution happen in just one night, I’m sorry, but the complaint that we can’t handle a complete take over overnight is just a bad argument.

            For your argument about hydrogen station vs fast charging stations, please consider the following:
            http://www(dot)greencarreports(dot)com/news/1099082_ca-fuel-cell-car-drivers-says-hydrogen-fuel-unavailable-stations-dont-work
            Fast chargers are getting faster (newer supercharging stations have better cooling systems that are clearly preparing for a power output increase at some point).
            Fast chargers are a lot cheaper in terms of fuel cost.
            Hydrogen stations cost about as much as 10 supercharging stations.
            Most current hydrogen stations can handle about 20 cars/day and only have two nozzels (one for 35MPa vehicles and one for 70Mpa vehicles like the Mirai).
            598 Superchargering stations have been installed within a timeframe of just over 3 years.
            Superchargering stations average 6 chargers if I remember correctly
            Fast charging does NOT need to handle the entire car fleet, just those who are on roadtrips. The others can be easily charged at home. Hydrogen stations DO need to handle the entire car fleet.
            Hydrogen refueling times are closer to 10 minutes than the claimed 5.
            Porsche is promising an 80% charge of their Mission E BEV in just 15 minutes.
            Tesla charged approximately what it costs to refuel the Mirai for a 1.5 minute battery swap. There was not a ton of demand for the service from the customers and it has been shut down for now.

          • Dig Deeper

            Current costs of H2 stations mean nothing, it’s a brand new tech without even an established permitting process.

            It’s simply impractical from a supply standpoint to have every one of the 1 billion+ vehicles on the planet carry 1000 lbs + of lithium ion batteries. This is known, it’s why major automakers are investing huge sums of money into things like fuel cells.

            No one doubts that the battery is going to be an integral part of the evolution of the personal vehicle as we know it, it’s just that the majority of vehicles are unlikely to be purely battery powered for purely practical reasons.

          • Bert

            You’ve done very little to refute any of my points. What about the other 10 or so that I made? You just picked out the weakest of the lot (and I knew they were the weakest going in, I just decided to put all the options on the board). Also, FCVs have been around every bit as long as lithium ion BEVs.

          • Dig Deeper

            Fuel cells are a much more immature tech, have improved much more recently and that is expected to continue. GTM reported a week or two ago that Li ion costs are expected to bottom out around 2020.

            Batteries will definitely be a crucial part to most cars in the future, it’s just that the typical vehicle will not be purely battery powered.

          • Bert

            Well, at the costs that GM currently claims to have, a 60 kWh battery would only cost $8700. 4 years of improvement may be plenty. Did they give ANY indication at what they think the final price would be or why they think the manufacturing costs would stop dropping there?

            I agree with that last paragraph, just insert consumer between typical and vehicle, then replace battery with hydrogen.

          • Bert

            Tricky you…. You tried to dodge my arguments again. What about all the other points I made? Does your attempts to ignore them mean that I’m right and you just don’t want to say it?

          • Dig Deeper

            I really don’t think you are either right or particularly informed on this matter

          • Bert

            And I really think you are continuing to dodge my arguments instead of giving me direct responses like I am asking for. You aren’t helping your case, that you supposedly know what you’re talking about, by ignoring so many of my arguments. If you really know better than me on this subject, THEN GIVE ME CONCRETE, DIRECT RESPONSES TO MY ARGUMENTS.

          • Bert

            I should say this:

            I can be proven wrong. I will admit when I have been proven wrong. I will seriously review and consider any sources that you post. I will not purposely ignore any argument you make (if I miss an argument, please let me know and I will address it).

            HOWEVER, I must be proven wrong with data and facts. If I truly believe that I am right, then I will fight you tooth and nail until you either prove me wrong, or you decide to leave the thread. If you are going to debate me, then do so with data and facts. You will get nowhere otherwise.

            In the end, I don’t care what you believe. I care if you have the evidence to back up your claims or not. So far, you haven’t provided the necessary evidence to back up your claims.

          • Dig Deeper

            Rather than fighting me tooth and nail just learn about what is in an automotive Li battery, how that material is supplied, and do the same for fuel cells. Compare the volume needed for the two needed for different range and vehicle applications. So quick to argue without having the open mind to study this stuff.

          • Bert

            I already told you. I tried. I hit a roadblock trying to research the production expenditures of fuel stacks. Once again I ask you to please share the source of your infinite wisdom and provide me a study on fuel stack production, then we’d be in business. Unless you do that, then you really have nothing to offer to me on fuel stack vs battery production. You’ve offered me nothing to get passed the research roadblock that I’ve hit.

          • Dig Deeper

            learn about the constituent materials involved in a fuel cell stack – primarily the nafion membrane (or alternative) graphite separators, and the catalyst mass.

            There is no comprehensive study on fuel cell manufacturing yet, but I can tell you for certain that building a ~115 kW fuel cell stack for automotive applications is going to take far less energy than producing the 7000 LiNiCoAlO2 cells that the base model S incorporates (and uses to achieve inferior range).

            If this information isn’t pleasing to you then go jump off a bridge. I don’t give a damn whether you are educated enough to be convinced or not.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            “Fuel cells are a much more immature tech, have improved much more recently and that is expected to continue.'” Except for the fact they have been in development since the 60s.

          • Dig Deeper

            But never produced at scale. Economies of scale bring large cost reductions.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            “But never produced at scale. Economies of scale bring large cost reductions.”
            With no demand, it will never happen. Platinum is very expensive.

          • Dig Deeper

            Modern fuel cell vehicles use similar amounts of platinum as is in the catalytic converter of a Honda Civic.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            And they cost close to $100,000. They cost too much.

          • Dig Deeper

            57,000 for Toyotas new FCEV

          • Joseph Dubeau

            Didn’t you know, they are loosing money on each one.

          • falstaff77

            When available; at the moment the Mirai is not available anywhere in 2016 (production runs of ~700/yr) and in 2015 Toyota delivered 57 cars in the US. In the US the Mirai has never been available outside the California beta area. That is, the Mirai is not in mass production, meaning the actual cost to produce might be several times as much with Toyota selling at a loss. One media source has the FC stack *alone* at $50K, actual cost.

            http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1101338_portable-hydrogen-fuelers-go-to-six-toyota-mirai-dealers-as-stations-lag

            http://gas2.org/2015/04/29/toyota-mirai-production-capped-3000-per-year/

          • Dig Deeper

            Bosch and Toyota have both commented on expectation that cost and profit margin of FCEVs is expected to be on par with hybrid vehicles in the 2020s.

            So I get the skepticism, but I don’t think there is any component or process involved which prevents the FC power train from being cost effective to mass produce – which is why I think Toyota is backing it. The hurdles in producing and distributing H2 are the part of uncertainty, but the vehicles themselves seem likely to deliver on all points we need them to (cost performance reliability) which is exciting.

          • falstaff77

            MIT has a report out on future transportation trends, On The Road toward 2050. Intesrestingly, by 2050, they have FCV sales slightly bypassing BEV sales, but just slightly. They come to that conclusion while acknowledging h2 infrastructure is *hard*; however, they think charge time limitations won’t be tolerated by mass market drivers in BEVs ( 20-40 mins, or double, triple that with a queue)

            Neither fares particularly well though, with BEVs at 5% and FCVS at 7% in 2050. PHEVS at 12%, hybrids 18%, and the balance still with ye’olde but much efficient 2050 ICE.

            See the summary chapter here
            https://mitei.mit.edu/system/files/On-the-Road-toward-2050_Chapter-11.pdf

          • Dig Deeper

            Thanks for sharing that link. I think it’s a hard thing to predict but I would agree that ICEs, hybrid or not, should continue to dominate for decades to come. They are just such a refined technology with such a robust global infrastructure already in place, and it will be awfully hard for electric vehicles of any type to compete in the many heavy duty and freight applications that exist.

            At the very least it’s going to be interesting to watch unfold.

          • falstaff77

            Even the fuel costs savings of EV over ICE is slipping. US electricty averages 12 c per kwh, but gasoline at $2 a gallon now is 6c per kwh equivalent (33 kwh per gal). Yes EVs were maybe 2.5 x more efficient than the 25 mpg fleet a few years ago, but now new vehicles avg 36 mpg on their way to 50 mpg. I’d guess fuel costs are about break even unless a carbon tax shows up.

            EVs need have no fear though in CA (nor FCVs ) for price competition with ICEVs, as the collective subsidy can be as high as $45k (you are welcome EV owners. Maybe buy me a steak dinner sometime).

          • Dig Deeper

            yes, and if the opposed motor designs come to market in compact cars in the next 10 or so years that will largely erase much of the green merit of the electric cars of any variety. Achates is working with Argonne labs with such a motor, a gasoline one too, boasting a 20% fuel economy edge over state of the art ICE system. That increased fuel economy in the motor itself can be coupled with a technology that allows individual cylinders to come on and offline as needed – a modular motor.

            In addition the opposed piston motor has much improved power density, meaning the manufacturing process will be even less material and energy intensive than it already is.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fae300efaa22029dbe0b74e554020fd3628221a93f0865daa16fc84f608e4d6e.jpg

          • falstaff77

            “Bosch and Toyota have both commented on expectation that cost and profit margin of FCEVs is expected to be on par with hybrid vehicles in the 2020s.”

            If Toyota built 1M FCVs per year like they build Prius, possibly so. At some low beta level production rate, several thousand per year, parity price with hybrids *and* margin is impossible. How do they ever ramp up? Tesla has always had the market entry mechanism of selling to some thousands who were good with around town driving and home charging. Who can build the 15K or 20K H2 stations around the western US, and supply them, to handle a million Mirai?

          • Dig Deeper

            at 500k a year, the costs are expected to reach competitive level. That’s according to multiple outlets. Fuel cells have much more potential for cost reduction than a long range Li ion powered vehicle.

            To support a global deployment of 500k FC vehicles, the station requirements would be around 3500 according to a study from UCI. It’s not as staggering as you think, we just have many idle gas stations because the retail merit justified their over-build. Bare minimum we need only 15% of h2 to gas stations to serve the same amount of vehicles. For more convenience that number is maybe 2x, but the state of California certainly doesn’t need 10,000 H2 stations to allow mass adoption of Fuel cell vehicles. A couple hundred could allow them to be fairly common and practical and the state will have 48 operational at the end of the year.

            None of this is as far fetched as many think. It will take time but it seems like the powers that be (large auto companies, petrol companies, and governments) are set on making it happen.

          • falstaff77

            The h2 stations can’t be just in California at 500k vehicles per year on the street; they need to cover, I think, all the western states at a minimum. I dont think mass market buyers will accept a vehicle that won’t let them leave the state. Also, recall what a gasoline station equivalent is, up to 36 pumps. None of those existing h2 stations rise yet to that capacity of energy delivery.

          • Dig Deeper

            all I can say is we’ll see

          • Joseph Dubeau

            “Current costs of H2 stations mean nothing, it’s a brand new tech without even an established permitting process.” except for the 2 million dollars.

            “It’s simply impractical from a supply standpoint to have every one of the 1 billion+ vehicles on the planet carry 1000 lbs + of lithium ion batteries.” not true.

            “it’s why major automakers are investing huge sums of money into things like fuel cells.”
            No they aren’t.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            ” I would have to incur a cost to make my distribution panel handle”
            You can charge with a 120 outlet.

          • Dig Deeper

            Not all 4 of the vehicles in my family simultaneously

          • Joseph Dubeau

            Sure you can. But all FUD you are spreading isn’t charging is it?
            People that come this website are EV fans, not hedge funds investors.

          • Dig Deeper

            Nope

          • Joseph Dubeau

            “Our distribution grid IS NOT prepared for this yet.” – not true.
            You can buy a 100 ft extension cord for $17 at Lowes.

          • falstaff77

            An extension cord which you would run out the window through an apt parking lot. Sure, that would work 2 mins or so before failing and receiving a decist order from the apt manager.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            I bet you I can find an outside outlet. It’s fairly common in the U.S.

          • falstaff77

            From where does this “we’ll just use the free stuff” mentality originate among greens?

            Apartment complexes don’t give away power, nor do they have in place now nor the resources for the future to rework their parking facilities to have an outlet per car slot.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            “Apartment complexes don’t give away power, nor do they have in place now nor the resources for the future to rework their parking facilities to have an outlet per car slot.”
            You are completely wrong. You attempts to spread FUD has failed!

          • falstaff77

            Yes well you can babble, or simply find one high rise apt complex that provides power to every vehicle. One.

        • falstaff77

          “In fact, not having electrified parking spaces could eventually cause one apartment complex to lose customers to another complex.”

          In the same way that not providing delux expresso machines and hot tubs to each apartment causes customers to find another complex that does. Expresso machine for each is far cheaper than retro wiring parking spaces with a 6KW circuit for each, and then upgrading the electric service for the entire complex (roughly double the amp service). As it is well known that apartment building owners relish spending on upgrades for their tennants, built-in expressos, or parking lot chargers, one or the other, should become universal real soon now.

  • Chris O

    Apart from efficiency, durability and environmental issues the biggest problem with hydrogen as a car fuel is cost. Currently a kilo of distributed hydrogen costs ~$13,- which is like driving a Prius on $10/gallon gasoline which makes for a market potential for HFCVs very close to zero in the absence of huge subsidies.

    This set up claims to reduce cost compared to more conventional methods, but that cost reduction needs to be absolutely huge to make HFCVs a more viable proposition. The distribution conundrum alone that comes with production methods of a tricky element like hydrogen that aren’t on site makes one fear the worst in that regard. It would be interesting to know distributed cost of thus generated hydrogen for use in HFCVs compared to simply turn this hydrogen into electricity straight away to power EVs.

    Even if the numbers aren’t too horrible (which I seriously doubt) there is still the cost issues of HFCVs, lack of utility that comes with dragging around huge tanks and fuel cell stacks, lacklustre performance, having to fill up more often, each session taking up to 10 minutes rather than the usual 2 minutes etc. that need to be solves to create serious interest for HFCVs.

    The idea of using hydrogen fuel cells as range extenders doesn’t make any sense either. That would just exacerbate the packaging problems that come with ICE range extenders, dramatically increase vehicle cost, create an immense infrastructure conundrum all for getting a slightly more environmentally friendly solution for that residual 10% of miles that are down to the range extender in serious AER PHEVs like the Volt.

    • Bob Wallace

      US DOE and NREL have authored reports speculating that H2 costs have the potential to be equivalent to gasoline costs. Large auto manufacturers (Toyota, Honda, GM) would seem to agree based on their large continued investments in development of fuel cell technology.

      huge tanks and fuel cell stacks? The fuel cell stack in a FCEV is much much smaller by mass or volume than the battery bank of a 200 mile range BEV (~1000 lbs of batteries). An FCEV such as the Mirai carries only 5kg of fuel, a gasoline vehicle carries about 6x as much. The H2 is compressed so the volume of fuel isnt very large either, a design down side for FCEVs is that the tank must be cylindrical in shape which makes integration more difficult to achieve without impinging on cabin or trunk space, but the volume of the tank itself isn’t much different than a conventional vehicle.

      Environmentally speaking a fuel cell stack itself has a much much lower footprint in terms of raw materials and manufacture than Li-ion batteries. Fuel cell stack is smaller, takes far less energy to produce, and contains mostly materials that are far easier to procure than the supply-constrained materials required for batteries.

      Fuel cell stacks also have far greater potential for continued cost reduction, whereas Li-ion batteries have been reported to be near basement cost according to recent Green Tech Media research.

      In terms of efficiency battery electric vehicles are around 90% efficient with use of on-board energy, whereas fuel cell vehicles are only around 60% efficient…. however producing hydrogen from natural gas is about 2x as efficient as producing electricity from it, producing hydrogen from high temperature nuclear heat can be more efficient than producing electricity from the same source, and hydrogen allows us to store energy from intermittent sources like wind or solar which may be necessary in order to rely more heavily on these sources going forward. Storing the fuel for later dispensal is seen as advantageous compared to hoping that BEV users are ready to charge during windy or sunny periods and that they have the charge capacity to absorb all of these resources.

      Also since both the FCEV and BEV are very efficient compared to the conventional petrol vehicle, the savings in either fuel, carbon emission, or money associated with driving a BEV vs an FCEV will not be very large, and will likely be more than offset by the higher upfront cost in fuel (energy), carbon emission, and money associated with manufacturing a BEV…..

      In other words don’t write off fuel cells.

      • Chris O

        -Speculations about H prices are are one thing, $10 gallon gasoline equivalent is reality.
        -Mirai weighs 4100LBS, Bolt weighs 3580LBs. Hyundai Tucson HFCV weighs 800LBs more than its ICE siblings. HFCVs don’t have weight advantages over BEVsbut huge packaging disadvatages.
        -It’s actually mostly the taxpayers money that was historically invested in H tech and these days to fund H stations.
        -Mirai is only 3 inch shorter than Model S yet seats only 4 where Model S will seat up to seven. H powertrains have very low power density and limited packaging flexibility, therefore eat up interior space.
        -storing 5 kG of H takes tanks 2-3 times bigger than your average fuel tank
        -theories about relative efficiency are interesting, the absurd price of H speaks volumes.
        -grid storage in batteries is the alternative for storage in H that doesn’t involve wasting 2 out of 3 durably generated electrons. Also it’s the solution that’s actually currently being implemented.
        -please show lifecycle number references to prove the life cycle emission point
        -I don’t have to write off fuelcells the consumer will as people are not going to buy tech that has no advantages but myriad disadvantages compared to the industry benchmark, currently gasoline, soon EVs.

        • Dig Deeper

          GM and Toyota have each invested over 1 billion in fuel cell research. It’s certainly NOT just gov spending.

          The Chevy Bolt is a smaller car than the Mirai, which is basically a Lexus in trim, and the 200 mile range of the bolt is impractical for many drivers. The model S battery pack alone weighs 1200 – 1500 lbs depending on model, this is very considerable compared to any vehicle, ICE or FCEV.

          Grid storage in batteries is wildly unrealistic, as is providing a billion vehicles with 1000 pounds of lithium ion batteries in them. There are two open source books I recommend on understanding the scale of powering a city on batteries or on resource constraints involved with them – ‘sustainable energy without the hot air’ and ‘sustainable materials with both eyes open’

          • Bert

            Why are you all so fixated on the raw weight data recently? What does that tell you on it’s own?

            Pretend you have two vehicles, vehicle A and vehicle B. The only thing you know about these two vehicles is that vehicle B is significantly heavier than vehicle A. Other than that, you know nothing about the two vehicles, not even the powertrain that they use. Why, in this hypothetical scenario, is vehicle B automatically worse than vehicle A in some regard that the consumer would actually care about?

          • Dig Deeper

            Well first of all there are very real supply constraints in regards to batteries. Secondly Recovering useful materials from used batteries is very challenging technologically and economically compared to the other power train options. When this component also exceeds the other two options in weight by a factor of 2, then I think there are real concerns.

          • Bert

            The only real supply constraints I’ve heard of us currently having is that we haven’t build enough battery manufacturing facilities yet. Not to worry, Tesla, Panasonic, and LG chem are all working on that problem.

            “Recovering useful materials from used batteries is very challenging technologically and economically compared to the other power train options”
            We’ve had no problems recycling over 99% of lead acid batteries. Sure there will be challenges along the way to recycling a similar amount of Li-ion car batteries, but why on Earth do you not believe they will be overcome? Do you have anything specific that would make recycling them in-feasible? There are many valuable resources to be had in those batteries. That’s why lead acid batteries have the highest recycling rate of anything.

          • Dig Deeper

            The lead acid battery in my car pales in comparison to the battery bank in an BEV.

            There are definite supply constraints for EV batteries http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Is-There-Enough-Lithium-to-Maintain-the-Growth-of-the-Lithium-Ion-Battery-M

            This article doesn’t even go into the geopolitical and economic constraints associated with these resources being concentrated overwhelmingly in two central locations.

            Without some unforeseen breakthrough batt chemistry the world isn’t going to have primarily pure battery vehicles. The entire auto industry understands this and is investing with that understanding.

            Yea batteries are going to be increasingly important in vehicles and featured as part of the power train in virtually all vehicles, and yes pure BEVs will grow in usage and find many suitable applications, but not BEVs as we know them will not become the primary form
            of transport for purely practical reasons.

          • Bert

            “The lead acid battery in my car pales in comparison to the battery bank in an BEV.”
            Which means that the profit to be gained by recycling lead acid batteries probably pales in comparison to the profit to be gained by recycling BEV batteries. The profit in recycling lead acid batteries has been MORE than enough.
            I already talked about how that article was really badly done, and so did the commenters on that article.

          • Dig Deeper

            Dishonesty Bert. Your comment indicates you haven’t any actual knowledge of what it requires to recycle a lead-acid battery or a Li ion battery, and what the market for either looks like.

            Ciao

          • Bert

            Isn’t it kind of hypocritical to give hydrogen a complete pass on all the current difficulties because they are a new technology and then say that lithium ion recycling can’t happen, even though they haven’t even really had the feedstock to attempt it with lithium ion car batteries yet, but not give any real reasons? I personally think that the up front cost issues with both technologies will be overcome, but the fuel cost difficulties are a different story. I can never see how hydrogen fuel would become cost competitive with electricity and I think that will be the primary driver keeping it largely out of the consumer market.

            Here is a decent article detailing the challenges and possible solutions facing lithium ion recycling: www(dot)sciencedirect(dot)com/science/article/pii/S2214993714000037
            According to this article, we have 9 more years before we would have the feedstock to attempt lithium ion battery recycling on any sizable scale. is there any specific reason you don’t think this will work? And please do link something better than that other article if you provide another link. You claim to be so knowledgeable, here’s your chance to prove it.Please tell me why this all won’t work with specific data and sources.

          • Dig Deeper

            Li ion batt recycling is not a new issue, consumer electronics have had it for decades. Is it possible that an advance is made? I suppose, I just doubt chemistry revolution will occur.

            At 65+ mpge, and projected H2 cost per kg that the U.S. dOE has projected, I don’t think a little extra cost at the pump is going to sway consumers much into purchasing a more expensive and shorter range vehicle.

          • Bert

            You didn’t day say why you don’t think recycling will become viable.

            You claimed to know oh so much, yet in the end you still provided me with no concrete data to back up your claims.

          • Dig Deeper

            What breakthrough in chemistry is going to make seperating the constituent materials in such a battery take so much less energy and effort? I don’t see it, just like I don’t see the Li ion technology increasing greatly in performance.

            Hell I certainly could be proven wrong, but my educated guess is that these things won’t happen. It seems pretty certain though that costs will continue to be slashed from the manufacture of automotive fuel cell stacks because the process has never been attempted at any meaningful scale, and the performance increases continue to be considerable.

            My uncertainty with fuel cells has nothing to do with the vehicles themselves, it hinges only on the development of the refueling infrastructure.

          • Bert

            I wouldn’t know about a specific breakthrough for two reasons.
            1) I never claimed to be a battery scientist. I doubt you are either though, or you would stop being so vague.
            2) it wouldn’t be a breakthrough, but incremental improvements if I could predict what the ‘breakthrough’ would be. On that note, battery density has been improving at a steady 5% to 8% a year. It can’t go on forever, but the trend is there and it shows no signs of slowing at the moment.

            Lithium ion powered cars have also never been attempted on a huge scale before. Hell, lithium ion battery production in general had never been attempted on this large a scale before. Tesla aims to outproduce the rest of the world in lithium ion batteries at their one plant.

            My uncertainty with fuel cells also has nothing to do with the vehicles themselves. It has EVERYTHING to do with the infrastructure and fuel costs.

          • Dig Deeper

            The cells tesla is using are from Panasonic and aren’t terribly different than laptop battery cells they have been producing in large quantities. They are going from producing large global quantities to larger global quantities. There is expected the be some costs cut as a result but many (including Panasonic whom continually declined to take as large a stake as Tesla wanted) believe the gigafactory is a risky investment. Nevada providing a billion dollars worth of incentives helps.

            http://web.greentechmedia.com/jc.aspx?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.greentechmedia.com%2Fresearch%2Freport%2Fgrid-scale-energy-storage-balance-of-systems-2015-2020&d=FWF4WCUAEAIEL77FV2DRBS4ZORKZ6IRKCVSEFD2V6TXRTNF2TTB3SN6CAVTQ3CZFCQ4CQEACTRUMGSQI46XVFXNYZ5U467ULMGMLEX6WE2KPZVN643GEVM5IJIM24233IM4OUZOE6MBA%3D%3D%3D%3D

            According to this report Li ion batts are expected to bottom out in cost reductions around 2020.

          • Bert

            You are correct in saying that they use an optimized version of the widely used 18650 cell. I actually pulled 6 of these cells out of my dead laptop battery for use in my laser pointer a while back.

            I can’t find it at the moment, but there was an article way a few months back where one of the Panasonic higher ups said that Musk’s 30% reduction prediction was actually a bit on the low side. I’ll let you know if I find it.

            Sure, Elon may have wanted more, but $1.6 billion is nothing to sneeze at. After all, it is you who were saying that a $1 billion investment in fuel cells by GM shows how invested they are in the technology. Panasonic is spending more than that on this single factory.

            I see nothing on that website or in their free brochure that says Vista will stop dropping street 2020. The predictions ruin through 2020, but I didn’t see anything about cost reductions stopping there. They also said nothing about what the battery $/kWh would be in 2020. Maybe they said something in the full report, but, unfortunately, I can’t justify spending $3,000 to read a report for you.

          • Dig Deeper
          • Bert

            But at what price? Some experts claim that the major tipping point for gas vehicles vs electric vehicles will be at $100/kWh.

            GM claims to get batteries at $145/kWh. If we assume that Tesla gets them at a similar price or that LG Chem gets a similar cost reduction from their growing scale (http://www.autonews.com/article/20151214/OEM06/312149992), then that alone would lower the cost to $101.5/kWh. That’s just the predicted cost benefits of the economies of scale. That alone basically gets to the predicted point where it’s “all over” for gas cars.

          • Bert

            Apparently I missed one more thing. It took a little research (and by that I mean a five second Google search), but I found the article in question. I see NOTHING in the article that gives any indication that battery costs will stop dropping in 2020. The article merely says that the report attempts to predict the cost reductions from now through 2020. It says nothing about what would happen after 2020. I’m only making predictions about fuel cell cost reductions from now through tomorrow. Does that mean the cost of fuel cells will stop dropping after tomorrow?

            Next time, you and Jesse should make sure that the article you use as evidence actually supports your position.

          • Dig Deeper

            It’s a report not an article, and it’s not available by Google search.

          • Bert

            What the Twitter guy linked was an article on the report and the article mentioned nothing about the cost reductions tapering off after 2020.
            http://www.utilitydive.com/news/bigger-than-batteries-why-the-cost-of-other-components-matters-to-storage/411827/

          • Dig Deeper

            That’s just an article about grid storage, it references the GTM report with a link.

          • Bert

            It talked about the report briefly and said it only made predictions through 2020.

            Out of curiosity, what did they predict the cost/kWh would be at that time? I asked you this in that other comment, but haven’t gotten a reply. This is a pretty important consideration, so I’m asking you again.

          • Bert

            Look at you, clever you, slithering out of the way of my question. WHY is the higher vehicle weight a problem without considering any other factors? I’m going to be careful now and I won’t let you dodge the question.

          • Dig Deeper

            Why would we not consider other factors? What a shitty question.

          • Bert

            I don’t know, why didn’t you consider them? That’s what I was asking you. Go read my list again and respond to them if you think it so wrong to ignore them.

  • Stephen Noctor

    The energy costs of making the H are quite high, and the car’s themselves are a little better than a Prius. EPA 67 MPG for Mirai. I just drove a fully loaded 2012 Rav4 EV 115 miles up a 7000 feet elevation climb and averaged better than that, over 80 eMPG (2.45 miles per kWh * 33.7). The hydrogen powered cars have a ways to go to convince me it’s worth the time energy and effort.

    • Dig Deeper

      Stephen, mpg is a very misleading term, as the mpg goes up the rate of fuel saved goes down. In other words the difference in fuel savings, carbon savings, or money savings in a 67mpge car vs a 80 mpge car actually isn’t very high.

      My explanation here isn’t perfect, so please refer here for a full mathematical explanation of why mpg is a terrible unit for trying to understand fuel savings: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/06/06/want-to-boost-fuel-economy-stop-thinking-about-miles-per-gallon/

      On top of this consider that making a long range battery electric vehicle takes considerably more energy and resources than making a hydrogen vehicle.

      • Bert

        Do you have a source on that last statement? I have tried very hard to find a study that compares the two production cycles, but I’ve found nothing comparing the two. If you found a study on hydrogen fuel stack production, I would GREATLY appreciate it if you would post a link.

        • Dig Deeper

          studies already exist for BEV vs gasoline… Even the Nissan Leaf with very low range takes about 25% more energy to produce than a typical ICE.

          And I know fuel cells will take less energy to produce because I know what is in a fuel cell and how it compares in volume and mass to a battery bank in a long range battery electric vehicle. The auto industry isn’t investing in fuel cells because they are crazy, the writing is on the wall for any one that researches supply constraints and upfront cost that batteries at least as we know them will not be a do-it-all solution. Petrol or possibly hydrogen PHEV is the clear path forward, not putting 1500 lbs of batteries into every vehicle, that makes no sense.

          • Bert

            I know BEV vs battery studies exist. What I haven’t been able to find studies on is the fuel stack. All I’ve been able to find on that front was a vague study that said fuel cells were more energy intensive than gas to produce, but less energy intensive during the use cycles. Unfortunately, it didn’t mention BEVs and I don’t even remember it even giving me solid numbers.
            I’m sorry, but “I have no data but I know I’m right” isn’t a good argument, or even really an argument at all. Remember that size isn’t everything. Without a source, or at least some sort of raw data, your claim is useless to me. You may be right, but you may be wrong. The real problem us that there are a ton of unknowns and I’ve been unable to find any data to indicate one way or the other.

            “not putting 1500 lbs of batteries into every vehicle, that makes no sense.” And yet you JUST said that the auto companies wouldn’t invest in something that doesn’t make sense. Basically every auto company has invested into BEVs to some extent. In particular, GM, Nissan, Tesla, and BMW have done quite a bit of investments into BEVs. GM is actually being quite aggressive in the electric car arena recently.

          • Dig Deeper

            Yea and GM is investing a lot into fuel cells as well.

            The unknowns start to go away a bit when you educate yourself of what a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cell is, what its made out of, what it takes to make it, how it works etc. your disdain for it might even subside.

            If suggest studying that and doing the same for batteries keeping in mind the requirements of the global market, the end users, and how available resources may or may not be able to meet those requirements.

          • Bert

            GM is investing in a military implementation, which I think could actually be a good idea based on the different factors at play. I’ve not heard of them making a fuel cell vehicle for the consumer market though.

            So what you’re saying in the second paragraph is that you’ve still got no data to base an argument on. Telling me to figure out why you’re right or wrong is a burden of proof logical fallacy. You made the claim, I’m just asking you to back it up with something concrete. If you aren’t going to do so, then we’re going to get nowhere.

            I have done a fair bit of research on batteries. So far the only resource concern that I’ve heard about is that we may someday run low on cobalt. Luckily, there are many other battery chemistries, even lithium ion chemistries that don’t require cobalt. Recycling used batteries will also help to lessen the burden on the raw materials.

          • Dig Deeper

            GM and Honda are planning to jointly build a factory for fuel cell production. GM has already invested over 1 billion dollars into the technology.

            Columbia and afgahnsitan have the lions share of Li, and we don’t have enough for all cars to be long range Li ion in any realistic scenario, not even close:

            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Is-There-Enough-Lithium-to-Maintain-the-Growth-of-the-Lithium-Ion-Battery-M

          • Bert

            GM is planning to use those fuel cells in the military test vehicles though. I’ve not heard of any plans to use them in consumer models.

            Oh hey, there’s THAT article again. The one that COMPLETELY ignores recycling among other factors. The one that everyone tore to shreds in the comments section. Yeah, I’m going to have to ask for a better source. That one is pretty bad.

          • Dig Deeper

            No, the Colorado fuel cell vehicle that GM is providing to the military isn’t going to be built in that factory, you’re pretending you are familiar with these topics but you aren’t. I am.

            Recycling costs money and takes a lot of energy.

          • Bert

            Where are they going then? Sources please.

            Recycling also recovers a lot of raw material that is worth more money than recycling costs (or they wouldn’t be doing it, and they are doing it, just not on the large scale) and you don’t have to mine as much material out of the ground (another costly and energy intensive process) thanks to recycling.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            “Even the Nissan Leaf with very low range takes about 25% more energy to produce than a typical ICE.” You are lying.

            “The auto industry isn’t investing in fuel cells because they are crazy,” because it cost too much.

          • Dig Deeper
          • falstaff77

            And as discussed before, I’ve never been able to verify the manufacturing figures used in that chart. IIRC, some of the rationale was not justifiable, like counting the energy used to make the battery several times over because of the assumption that the battery only lasts five years, etc. As of a few years ago at least, nobody had any actual close accounting by auto make of the energy in a given EV, rather, the results were just modeled and assumed: electric motor: x joules, it just is, with no actual information from a Nissan or Tesla.

          • Dig Deeper

            Studies that I know of on the topic (linked below) corroborate the chart j provided, though I haven’t scrutinized the methodology so have at it if you’d like. Keep in mind that the representative EV in the studies is not a 200+ Mike range vehicle, and that in reality a mass adopted BEV (which would likely offer 200+ miles per charge) would probably have more than 2x the attributed upstream resource inputs related to the battery bank.

            http://www.environment.ucla.edu/media_IOE/files/BatteryElectricVehicleLCA2012-rh-ptd.pdf

            http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00532.x/asset/jiec532.pdf?v=1&t=hh57sc6o&s=437e6af7417123015a19ba2ecb3a6c7eda5cc82d

            http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/es903729a

          • falstaff77

            Right, studies say, and immediately flaws are apparent when one digs in. The CARB study assumes a BEV is identical to a CV but for swapping out the CV engine and battery:

            “The BEV assumed weight is 1575 kg, consisting of the same 1275 kg of vehicle parts but also a 300 kg lithium-ion battery.”

            While that might have been fine years ago for a rough guess, with EV’s in production we now know that’s nonsense. The EV has no: exhaust manifold and emissions control devices, fuel/oil pumps, fuel/oil/air filters, oil/fuel/transmission-fluid reservoirs, lead-acid starter battery and starter motor, alternator, passenger cabin heat firewall, 5 gear transmission, ignition system, …

          • Dig Deeper

            It does however have an electric motor. The Nissan Leaf and Nissan Versa are both about 3300 lbs. one travels 80 miles on a charge the other 350.

            Mass adopted BEVs will have to have more than 2x the battery capacity of the Nissan Leaf type vehicle that these studies are focused on, so weight aside (not sure why that is super relevant) the battery component will have more than 2x the attributable upstream resource inputs.

          • falstaff77

            Sure, BEV has e-motor and battery and inverter. CV has 500 kg combustion engine plus all the other things I listed to start it, cool it, fuel it, lube it, pull air, reject exhaust, reject heat. The mass is relevant because a kg of steel requires x amount of energy to smelt, shape, and transport.

          • Dig Deeper

            A 4 cylinder engine is nowhere near 500 kg, more like 300 lbs and getting lighter. Most V8s are well under 600 lbs these days. A tesla model S has something like 1200 – 1500 lbs of batteries in it depending on the model (kwhs). the battery pack also has its own elaborate cooling system with intumescent fire retardant.

            I think both ICEs and FCs will be able to be produced with considerably less cost than the state of the art Li-ion battery allowing for any appreciable range.

          • falstaff77

            ” and getting lighter”

            So is the battery. And 1200 lbs is the high-end battery, the Tesla 85 KWh, including the cooling, the works.

          • Dig Deeper

            No the 85kwh is closer to 1500 lbs. Doubtful Li Ion batteries get a whole lot lighter as they rely on electromotive force and need a given amount of material to generate the potential and on board energy.

            In 2016 Ford makes a 3.5 L 6 cyl with 100+ more horsepower than my 5.7 L V8. And there are companies like ecomotors and a few others working on literally doubling (or coming very close to it) the power density of the ICE. I don’t think we will see such power density increases or weight reductions with Li ion batteries, but in the last 5 years we have been seeing them with fuel cells as the catalyst layering technology has greatly advanced and the size of a FC stack per KW has greatly decreased.

          • falstaff77

            “A 4 cylinder engine is nowhere near 500 kg, more like 300 lbs”

            I came across some more detailed information. You’re right of course for the engine block alone. Argonne’s 2012 GREET has a component breakdown by mass Here’s the mass of some components an ICEV (lbs) they use in their model, that at least the Tesla EV doesn’t (mostly) contain.

            engine: 450
            transmissions: 193
            exhaust: 99
            driveshaft/axle: 163
            differential: 55
            powertrain thermal: 53
            Total: 1012 lbs

            I assume the numbers come from long experience from ICEVs. The GREET model also lists EV component mass, but these occasionally appear to be guesswork. For instance, they list the motor mass for an EV at 169 lbs, when the Model S’s powerful motor is known to weigh 70 lbs. GREET also assumes a traditional driveshaft and differential mass for an EV; the Model S has none and is instead inline with the rear axle.

            https://greet.es.anl.gov/files/update-veh-specs (Table 12)

          • Dig Deeper

            Always appreciate the feedback falstaff.

            I now have a H2 station about 2 miles from my Mission Viejo CA home, and being the nerd that I am I like to quiz the Mirai and Tucson drivers that I see filling up (on the rare occasion that they are there). I also quizzed the people installing the pumps.

            Toyota commissioned a study with University of CA Irvine which found that to theoretically support full FCEV adoption of all vehicles the number of H2 pumps required would be only 15% of gas pumps. This wouldn’t be ideal obviously but it points to a reality of the matter that gas pumps are more ubiquitous than need be as driven by simple market principles… So that changes the underlying assumptions of this narrative a lot.

            My belief that fuel cells are going to be a mainstream automotive technology within 15 years, and not some funding curiousity, is as strong as it’s been.

            Along with the fact that natural gas is cheap and abundant, and many people lack access to overnight charging outlets and will for the foreseeable future, there are Two additional reasons:
            1) Li ion powered vehicles use very significant range capabilities in cold weather driving due to the need to supply heat that ICEs and Fuel Cells create by normal operation. If combined with hwy driving the range losses of a vehicle like the Tesla Model S in cold weather can approach 50%. For a NY or Chicago resident this would bring the total range of a model 3 to around 100 miles, something pretty unacceptable to most of us. Fuel cell vehicles on the other hand have no operational issues in winter weather.

            2) Li Ion batteries are very unlikely to work for larger vehicles, the cost advantage in that regard is markedly on the side of fuel cells.

            I think the auto industry at large has for a while demonstrated an ambition to displace conventional ICE technology, and I think the inertia to do so will only grow stronger as time passes. It may be hard on face value for the FCEV to comepete in cost with the ICEV, but the political will to reduce localized pollution, and the sexiness of a new technology will likely overcome this.

            In other words, I’m still bullish.

          • falstaff77

            Any more details on the new h2 station? Owner investor? Cost? Method of resupply ( ie tube truck or on site production)? Maximum service capacity? Delivered pressure 10k or 3k psi?

            I don’t think the Tesla falls below 40% range loss, just from cold alone, in the coldest cold. Other factors like snowy roads make it worse but ICE suffers range loss from bad roads too. Still bad, but not that bad. Also cold temp range loss can be mitigated some by pre-heat while parked and plugged.

          • Dig Deeper

            i think a 40% range loss on an expensive 200 mile vehicle just because it’s cold is going to be a big deal.

            The H2 station is a single pump 10k psi with 200 kg capacity, its on site at a Chevron station so if assume they are the owner, though the equipment doesn’t have their markings. Refill is by tube truck. Unlike the few early stations in CA this one can refill dozens of cars in sequence without pause for re-pressurization. Technically it can serve 45 kg continuous supply without pause for the boosters, but in practice there is time between refills to repressurize so there is no real difference from the end users perspective comparing this to a gas pump. H2 equipment is contained in an above ground shelter probably 10×15 ft, for whatever reason it’s not permissible to store H2 underground I guess.

            One thing of note is that he current price per kg on the pump is something like $14, which is astronomical. But Toyota and Hyundai are covering these costs for now. According to my calculations $6/kg is where H2 needs to be to be practical, $4.50 is where it would need to be to make the green car decision (BEV vs FCEV) a no-brainer, and NREL has projected such prices given certain assumptions, but when and if that can happen remains to be seen. For the foreseeable future the cost of the fuel will have to be subsidized by the car manufacturers to make fueling the vehicles affordable.

          • falstaff77

            Very unlikely the gasoline station owner is also the owner of the H2; rather i imagine they lease the access to some h2 owner. Chevron franchise has motivation to lease via more visitors to the site, but not to invest a large sum ($one million?) and manage h2 inventory. Toyota might own, but that’s not a sustainable business model as it conflicts eventually with other future FCV makers. If CA owns as it does some others then that’s also a statement that the there’s no sustainable market yet. Appearance of third party fuel suppliers would be the first sign of a possible viable market

          • Dig Deeper

            One would think that the rather enormous and continued sunken R&D funds among the majors (GM, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, VW, Daimler) would indicate a possible viable market.

            The companies with large stake in North American oil are largely the same companies with large inventories of natural gas… I’d suspect that behind the scenes a lot of that which is guesswork to us on this topic is known to the large corporations that continue to pursue this and lobby governments to generously support it. The evidence to me seems to suggest that the inertia to make the FC technology a mainstream has been very strong for some time, I can think of no reasoned alterior explanation for the funding efforts we have seen at this point.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            You are a fake and you are lying.
            It really is simple physics electric motor most efficient than ICE.

          • Jeff Songster

            So,,, in the lovely chart above… how many EVs are charged by coal… versus my 2 solar lovelies? Answer… less and less every year by stinky coal and rotten oil… and more and more by wind, hydro, natgas, and solar… so not perfect… but way better than burning dinos and getting better everytime we phase out the crappy power generation stations.

          • Dig Deeper

            Natural gas is a green house gas emitting power source as well, you realize that right?

            Insert nuclear power into your picture and you can have a reliable grid without any GHG emitting generators at all – Ontario Canada is damn near close to that, as is France. No other country is near as clean in terms of elec gen. Need hydro or nuclear as part of mix for reliability, and hydro is limited in availability.

          • Jeff Songster

            Nuclear is great but for the crappy reactor designs omitting dead man switches and not dealing with their waste well. So… admire France’s implementation… but not GEs.

          • Dig Deeper

            Nuclear is not immune to technological advance, but because of the regulation involved and up-front cost it is more difficult for companies to innovate new designs and have the NRC approve of them. but there are no doubt perfectly viable solutions to the waste problem and we can make reactors that are not physically capable of melting down at all. But people need to voice support for it.

            nuclear is the linchpin to cleaning up the energy system because it is reliable and scalable, but it needs support because the last thing fossil lobbyists want is more nuclear plants taking a huge bite out of their revenue.

            And environmentalists need to wake up and realize that nuclear is the best generation technology in almost every environmental aspect.

            For instance: *A typical 2 reactor nuclear power plant would take well over 100 miles worth of solar panels to replace in most parts of the country*.

            This is a reality that should not be taken lightly.

          • Bert

            The real problem with nuclear generation is the politics/public opinion. Unfortunately, politics can be one of the hardest obstacles to overcome.

          • Dig Deeper

            Political opposition to nuclear will be overcome in the end because there is just no way the world shifts majorly away from fossil fuels without it. Not enough sites for more hydroelectric or geothermal, biomass uses too much land and isn’t exactly carbon neutral, and wind and solar are highly variable and can produce very little for weeks at a time even over large parts of continents.

            Believe it or not smart people understand this and the tide is turning. The richest man in the free world is a staunch nuclear advocate and started his own nuclear company which is partnering with China to develop a new reactor, and the U.S. Senate just passed a vote 87-4 to pass the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act.

            You’re right, but we are on our way to overcoming the obstacle. Will still take a 2-3 more decades before we are deploying the types of reactors that will make most points of opposition completely unfounded. By that time we may even have Fusion as well. Conservation of energy was never really the issue, it’s all about making the energy used cleaner.

          • Dig Deeper

            Well yea, but how are batteries made? With a lot of fossil fuels. The bigger the battery bank the more considerable the amount of fossils used in the production of the vehicle. That’s the point in trying to make.

          • Jeff Songster

            Not enough to outweigh the costs of the fossil burners. Maybe we should decide that the miners can only use solar powered electric tools, trucks and railroads.

          • Jeff Songster

            Also this fails to take into account the energy spent retrieving and refining the gasoline and motor oil.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            Dig Deeper is just making stuff up.

      • Stephen Noctor

        MPG is not misleading, it’s quite easy to understand. And the difference in efficiency between the Mirai and a BEV is quite large. I achieved better efficiency than the Mirai, 82 MPG, while climbing 7000 feet in a fully loaded Rav4 EV. And by fully loaded I don’t mean nice sound system but loaded to the gills with luggage, people food. And to to the point you need extra energy, in any car fueled from any source, to climb altitude. In the case of my BEV you need 1.8 kWh extra to climb each 1000 feet, more if you load the car down as I did. When driving around my area with just myself I get over 120 eMPG. These are simple calcs.

        • Dig Deeper

          Actually mpg is very misleading. Don’t just argue, read: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/06/06/want-to-boost-fuel-economy-stop-thinking-about-miles-per-gallon/

          The RAV4 ev is rated nowhere near 120 mpge and Toyota discontinued it

          • Stephen Noctor

            MPG is not misleading at all. Your point is not about MPG but about math. The point of the article you link is that 3 is a larger percentage of 12, than it is of 30. I got 82 MPG driving up 7000 feet. My point is quite simple. The Mira is less efficient than the Rav4 EV driving up a steep incline. EVs are more efficient. I get well over 120 MPG in the Rav. It is very easy to achieve if you don’t mind driving 55 on highways. As an aside the same driving style gets me 53 MPG in my Prius rather than the EPA rated 50. Take a Rav for a ride. You’ll like it!

          • Dig Deeper

            The RAV4 ev was rated by the EPA at 76 mpge combined.

            You claim 120 going a constant 55 mph on the highway, I don’t doubt you but the thing is this hyper miling isn’t unique to
            EVs, just google for yourself and you will find extensive testimony (much of it verified) of people hyper-miling Jetta diesels (tdi), getting mpg and range way beyond EPA estimates, and the same could be done with the Mirai.

            Let’s say you drive 10,000 miles a year. The RAV4 EV would save you about 18 gallons of fuel vs driving the Mirai based on EPA numbers. 18 gallons of fuel for an entire year, that’s not much…AND the RAV4 ev only has a practical range of less than 100 miles.

            18 gallons a year isn’t very significant in terms of money, especially when the EV is likely to cost more upfront or have a shorter range. And 18 gallons a year doesn’t amount to a lot in terms of CO2 emissions considering the fact that battery electric vehicles have a considerably larger CO2 footprint in their manufacture.

            Mpg is not a good way to frame efficiency whatsoever. It is very misleading.

          • Stephen Noctor

            No, once more MPG is not misleading. However, if you would like to point out that MPG is only one of several factors, sure. For example, what’s the source of the fuel? How much energy is required to produce the fuel? How much energy is required to store, transport, and store again on local sites for distribution to autos? What’s the cost of the fuel to societal health? What is the true expense in national treasure? Can you store that fuel in your garage or make that fuel on the roof of your house? All that before you get to MPG, and then of course what’s the wheel to well carbon cost of the vehicle. And no EVs don’t have a considerably larger footprint: http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2015/11/Cleaner-Cars-from-Cradle-to-Grave-full-report.pdf. One thing you got there is that the non-Tesla EVs have a shorter range than the Mirai, (not considering the current lack of H2 fueling stations). I suspect this is going to change quickly. Good night Dig Deeper. Believe it or not I’d be happy to take up this conversation again later.

          • Dig Deeper

            http://www.environment.ucla.edu/media_IOE/files/BatteryElectricVehicleLCA2012-rh-ptd.pdf

            http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00532.x/asset/jiec532.pdf?v=1&t=hh57sc6o&s=437e6af7417123015a19ba2ecb3a6c7eda5cc82d

            These studies claim that even low range BEVs (aka ones without big battery banks) have significantly higher upfront energy footprints in manufacturing than conventional petrol vehicles. When the battery grows 2-3x the size to allow for the desired range, then unfortunately it really erases a lot of the merit that a BEV provides in the first place.

            There are certainly processes for generating energy that are much more efficiently suited at charging a battery than creating a fuel, but there are also others that are more advantageous at creating a fuel like hydrogen than charging a battery… And fuel synthesis creates the enormous advantage of flexibility with the usage and exploitation of energy (such as surges in wind turbine output or sunlight).

            There is a tired anthem about solar panels charging BEVs. It’s tired because most people are not home to take advantage of this, rather they charge at overnight, and secondly, accumulating a charge on a BEV from a typical residential PV system would take an awfully long time in most conditions.

            Sure BEVs have a definite place in the future, but neither batteries nor solar panels (or wind turbines) are going to be all-encompassing answers. For modern nations to go fully green then things like nuclear power and probably fuel cells are going to have to play roles as well.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            “Actually mpg is very misleading” Only the facts don’t support your poor comments.

      • Jeff Songster

        Only takes more energy if you fail to account for H2 fuel extraction costs.

        • Dig Deeper

          H2 can be made in a variety of ways.

          • Jeff Songster

            But currently and for the forseeable future… it is big oil making it.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            ” it is big oil making it.” No, big oil has more problems these days than to mess with hydrogen.

          • Dig Deeper

            Yes steam methane reformation of natural gas. But this is the same fuel that will power most electric cars, and in some areas, coal provides most the elec which is worse.

  • Jeff Songster

    The window for H2 cars is closing. As the world moves on to 200+ mile BEVs at under 35k… and a rapidly increasing number of DC quick chargers. Who needs all that complicated infrastructure and refineries… Solar panels and batteries are so much simpler.

    • Dig Deeper

      Having an apartment complex support the simultaneous overnight charging of a couple hundred cars is not simple. Powering this effort by solar panels is actually not possible during the night.

      Listen, I’m sure solar panels and batteries seem like the obvious answer to power New York City as far as you’re concerned, but before you get too carried away just stop and ask yourself “do I really know what I am talking about here” and then when your conscience prevails and you admit that you don’t, maybe you will take a more scientific approach to understanding this and other complicated issues.

      Please pass it on to Bernie Sanders

      • Jeff Songster

        The writing is on the wall. The need for fossil fuels is going to wane as the years go on. The big oil folks need to find a better way to make money and the US needs to detangle itself from the Middle East. Wind, Solar and especially batteries can easily make this happen. I and many others are working for it… the economics are there. The apartment complex issue is silly and solved by batteries and public DC quick chargers. The overnight charging goes at a slower rate while most excess grid capacity exists. No worries.
        Oh… and Bernie is doing fine. Big oil is dead. They abused us for too long.

        • Dig Deeper

          You don’t have the first idea of the scale of solar or batteries needed to replace conventional energy systems. If we are talking about powering cities on solely solar and batteries then we are talking about power plants visible from space – if you had even a basic understanding of what it takes to make solar panels and batteries, then you would very well question the environmental merit of this to begin with… And in addition I can assure you that the economics of long term battery storage to power a city aren’t even remotely competitive with conventional energy sources.

          Be informed, not just opinionated.

          • Jeff Songster

            Ok… time will tell. I have officially been informed by you… and you by me… can’t wait to see whose method is better in the long run. Cheers. I don’t buy big oil products any longer. Never will again if I have my way.

          • Dig Deeper

            Solar panels and batteries are big oil products though, so you do. Solar panels have gotten much cheaper because they are produced with dirty coal, cheap labor, and low to no environmental regulation in China. Materials used in batteries are extracted from
            the earth using a lot of energy, and extracted from ore using chemical processes that leave behind large quantities of waste mine tailings.

            I’m sure your conviction is in the right place, we need cleaner energy for sure, but it is a very complicated issue. Solar panels and batteries have roles to play, but cannot do it all. We will need hydroelectric, geothermal, and yes nuclear power plants as well to clean up our energy system. These 3 options are reliable unlike solar power, and require far less land and material per unit energy produced.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            “Be informed, not just opinionated.” take your own advice.

            “And in addition I can assure you that the economics of long term battery storage to power a city aren’t even remotely competitive with conventional energy sources.”
            You are lying.

        • falstaff77

          ” Big oil is dead. ”

          Global oil production
          2000: 68 million barrels per day
          2010: 74 million barrels per day
          2015: 80 million barrels per day

          Who’s going to tell the oil industry they’re dead?

          It may be that there’s a difference between “working for” an issue and actually building something, like a 12 million EV’s per year (US auto production rate).

          • Jeff Songster

            Global climate change will tell them. If we humans are truly stupid enough to destroy ourselves by continuing to burn dinosaurs rather than switching over to EVs then we deserve what we get. I sincerely hope that all climate change deniers put their money where their mouths are and buy up all the shore front properties. That way they will be the first to go. The fuel cell is not practical. As batteries continue to get cheaper… PV panels continue to get cheaper, the economics will bear it out. Why waste money promoting it now by subsidizing big oil obfuscation.

          • falstaff77

            There’s no “we”. There’s only you, posting on the net about which you don’t understand, promoting socialist answers.

        • falstaff77

          “The apartment complex issue is silly and solved by batteries and public DC quick chargers.”

          That “silly” issue is why current technology passenger BEVs are not going anywhere in China, the land that houses its billion plus people in rows of 25 story high rises. BTW, domestic auto sales of traditional combustion passenger vehicles in China recently passed the the US, making the China the largest market in the world (as for many things).

          • Joseph Dubeau

            “That “silly” issue is why current technology passenger BEVs are not going anywhere in China, the land that houses its billion plus people in rows of 25 story high rises”

            People are charging their EV and the simple fact is there nothing you can do to stop it.
            The charging network continue to grow.

          • falstaff77

            I don’t want stop EV charging, it stops itself. With a lack of viable plan, you are in favor of more climate emissions in the world’s largest combustion vehicle market, China.

  • Paul Gracey

    I live not far from this facility, and so I can say with assurance that it is not the triumph of Private enterprise it is being touted as. Taxpayers and ratepayers such as myself get to pay that company’s “profit” whether or not we utilize the Hydrogen source it provides. In other words it is subsidized by the necessity of having to have the sewage treatment. Were all such profits directed toward lowering my rates I might be happier. I am happy for the “Three-fer” that helps keep the costs down, of course. The Methane burned on site to produce electricity for car charging(done there also) was perhaps a little less carbon neutral, but quite a bit of electricity will have to be used to compress the hydrogen for use or for transport to distant customers. That is not as carbon neutral as just charging cars in the first place, especially if the hydrogen transport gets done with diesel trucks.
    Hydrogen fuel cells only make sense to me for large fleets, and possibly railroads where refueling is done on a large scale at a minimum number of locations. A Hydrogen fueling station competing on every corner, as was the trend with gas stations in the late sixties, only led to a real estate bonanza in corner lots for sale by the major fuel companies after the OPEC Crisis of the seventies. Maintaining their control of the auto fueling market seems to be what is happening here.

Content Copyright (c) 2016 Transport Evolved LLC