Thought of the Day: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Uses

Welcome to Thought of the Day! Join Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield as she poses a question for you all to think about and answer.

Today, we’re asking if — now that Toyota has begun to realize hydrogen fuel cell cars aren’t as practical as it once through — hydrogen fuel cell technology can still be useful in other applications. Moreover, we’re trying to compile a list, and have a couple of suggestions of our own.

Watch the video above, and leave your thoughts in the Comments below.


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  • Phoenix Electric Car Driver

    Where do hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) trump plug-in battery beyond range? Let me count the ways.

    FCVs have a 3-5 minute re-fueling time compared with the much longer recharging for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Moreover, FCVs are able to power a larger automobile (one you can put your whole suburban family in) than what a plug-in battery can power – See Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell. Additionally, the colder weather in many parts of the country serves as a reminder that plug-in battery – and not hydrogen fuel cell – cars have had challenges operating when the temperature dips. FCVs also can act as a distributed energy source on wheels, which can absolutely come in handy when the power goes out. For example, in Japan, the Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity have the capability to act as a backup power source for Japanese households for up to 7 days. While an FCV may be able to power a larger home in the U.S. for a few days, even one minute is more than what the current vehicles on the road bring to the table.

    The range superiority Nikki mentions in her thought of the day, combined with far less time needed to re-fuel, ability to serve larger vehicles, as well as the car’s potential uses as an energy source in some emergency situations demonstrate the advantages of fuel cells.

    As the fueling infrastructure comes on line in California and the northeast, FCVs have multiple applications attractive to American drivers and families. Let’s not pit BEVs against FCVs (after all, they are both electric cars). Rather, let’s support all alternative fuel vehicles as a way to meeting our nation’s economic and environmental goals.