Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell vehicle! Highway 50 east of Placerville. :eek: Geez, I didn't even know they existed! Fascinating! I looked them up, and learned that Toyota gives the new buyer three years of free fuel!. (Up to $15,000) Huh! Now there's an incentive. My first thought was, "Well that's great! Three years of free driving. But where and how far do you have to drive to fill your tank with hydrogen?" I may be wrong, but it seems that EV charging stations are way more ubiquitous at this point than hydrogen fueling stations. Plus you don't have to transport a flammable fuel that just gets turned into electricity anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
Yes! A friend of mine spotted a couple of them in West Sacramento on I-80; probably because the fuel cell filling station (the only one that I know of) is right off of Harbor Blvd. there at the fuel cell HQ on Industrial Blvd. Anyhow, he followed one of them for a while and got a kick out of the water coming from the tailpipe! I've been looking for them around Sacto for a while and have yet to spot one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well I'll be darned. I jus looked up hydrogen fueling near me, and found Placerville has one. And there's one in Citrus Heights, Rocklin, Truckee...
Propel Fuels. Who knew? Hey, Well, more to the electric party!

The Mirai's advantage is, it can fill it's tank as fast as an ICE car. Good for Toyota. Anything that can help replace the ICE car. Wonder how much hydrogen costs compared to gasoline?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
Yes, glad you are starting to see more out and about.

Back in 2006 GM launched a fleet of 120 of them, and gave the keys away in a lottery to lucky drivers that lived near the refueling stations. The GM fuel cell fleet accumulated over 3 million real world miles in testing and lots of lucky folks got to experience a quick, silent, fun EV.

https://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2013/Oct/1022-fc-equinox.html

and to your point, as they are still working out exactly how to charge for fill-ups, all the lease deals include all you can eat fuel!
Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai currently lease FCEVs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
770 Posts
This looks all nice and clean...but I'm going to have to be the bear who drops shade on this alternative energy vehicle Kumbaya moment. I'm open as the next concerned Joe, but aren't Hydrogen cell vehicles simply greenwashed pigs in disguise? Don't these cars, when calculating for wheel-to-wheel emissions, emit more CO2 than Gasoline powered ICEv's? At best a 30% non-weighted reduction.



All of the commercial Hydrogen cell refueling producers/operators use Hydrogen steam reforming or commonly: steam methane reformation because its like 80% cheaper than any other method. Additionally, I have yet to see a Hydrogen cell BigRig tanker truck moving finished hydrogen from the refinery to the "H-Pump".

In reality, hydrogen (H) at-the-pump comes from the Gasification of coal or Natural Gas. The U.S. doesn't import a lot of Natural gas, but produces it domestically which is commonly extracted via hydraulic fracking. Of course EV's use grid electricity, the majority of which comes from NG or coal...but not in States like California. California only uses about 33% of its energy from NG/coal. The same holds true for Oregon. Whereas H refining has no chance of economically using renewable energy in the conversion process.

Isn't using a Hydrogen cell vehicle tantamount to Importing pollution? Creating emissions elsewhere, then pretending that the amount of emissions is "Zero" when the vehicle is moving. Don't get me started about being a slave to some multinational chemical company...again. Where one is forced to go somewhere to get energy for their vehicle - and rely on the goodwill of that company NOT to up the price of their fuel by 50% in a short span (the history of retail petrochemical producers provides a clue). Who longs for that indentured servitude anymore? Not anybody that has the freedom to wake up, walk in their garage, to see a full tank of energy "pumped in" overnight.

But again, I'm open to an explanation as to why H-cell personal transportation isn't a total crock of s♄i.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,557 Posts
Don't get me started about being a slave to some multinational chemical company...again. Where one is forced to go somewhere to get energy for their vehicle - and rely on the goodwill of that company NOT to up the price of their fuel by 50% in a short span (the history of retail petrochemical producers provides a clue). Who longs for that indentured servitude anymore? Not anybody that has the freedom to wake up, walk in their garage, to see a full tank of energy "pumped in" overnight.

But again, I'm open to an explanation as to why H-cell personal transportation isn't a total crock of s♄i.
In all fairness, there are people working on home refueling stations for HFCVs.

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1108482_simplefuel-home-hydrogen-fuel-dispenser-wins-1-million-doe-prize

However, I do share your skepticism. I think the entire scheme is unworkable on several levels and will only become a reality if it is forced on us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Wow, I plead ignorance. :( I had no idea the way they produce hydrogen results in more CO2. And I hate fracking more than anything! :mad: And yeah, I was ignoring the whole idea of getting "hooked" on another commodity who's supply chain is subject to the same downsides as petroleum. Very good point.

So the CO2 produced as a hydrogen production by product is not captured and used elsewhere?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,203 Posts
I think the entire scheme is unworkable on several levels and will only become a reality if it is forced on us.
While I share your view regarding hydrogen fuel cells, I feel compelled to point out the irony that your statement exactly matches the opinion held by many people about battery electric vehicles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
770 Posts
So the CO2 produced as a hydrogen production by product is not captured and used elsewhere?
Hydrogen produced by coal gasification without carbon sequestration will release almost twice as much carbon to the atmosphere per unit of energy as is contained in gasoline.
Natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) when combusted in a new, efficient natural gas power plant compared with emissions from a typical new coal plant.
  • Thus NG fired electricity production isn't "clean" at all, but almost twice as "clean" as coal - CO2 emissions wise
Common industrial electrolyzers have a nominal hydrogen production efficiency of around 70%. High power dissipation value is the most important drawback of such systems since electric power expense has the largest share in the price of electrolytic hydrogen.
  • Thus, generating electricity with NG loses about 40% to heat, then using that electricity to produce Hydrogen loses another 30%.
Technologies are emerging to isolate this carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by
sequestering it in the ocean or in geological formations; however, the long-term effects of carbon
sequestration and storage security are not entirely known. Geologic or ocean storage of carbon
dioxide could prove to be a difficult, costly, or even impossible solution.
  • Thus: Carbon Sequestration is vaporware
Currently, most of the world’s electricity is produced by combusting fossil fuels. It is very
unlikely that hydrogen produced by mostly fossil fuel electricity will ever be competitive with
hydrogen produced directly from the fossil fuels since the efficiency of electricity production is
much less than direct hydrogen production.
Fossil fuel feedstocks will be more expensive per
unit of hydrogen if they are combusted to create electricity first.
The way I understand these facts is that:
A.) Production of Hydrogen is only economically feasible using coal or NG as a feedstock.
B.) Production of Hydrogen using electricity doesn't even begin to make sense.
C.) Any type of Hydrogen production creates unnecessary C02 emissions where far more efficient options are present (EV's)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,557 Posts
While I share your view regarding hydrogen fuel cells, I feel compelled to point out the irony that your statement exactly matches the opinion held by many people about battery electric vehicles.
Good observation. So true. However, consumers like myself are choosing to go to a BEV and more are everyday. We demonstrate to others that it is workable and we don't need to force BEVs on everyone, they will get here on their own.

Meanwhile, I think the only reason a small number of people are signing up for the HFCVs is the free fuel. If the day ever comes when consumers actually have to buy their HFCVs for what they really cost to make and they have to actually pay for their hydrogen for what it costs to make, hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will fade into history as the failed experiment it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
Anyhow, he followed one of them for a while and got a kick out of the water coming from the tailpipe!
Sorry to "burst that bubble" but all gasoline vehicle eject water from the exhaust pipe. Look up what makes a molecule of heptane or octane and combine all the hydrogen atoms with oxygen to make H2O using a chemical equation. You will see that there are plenty of H2O molecules per heptane or octane molecule. So all hydrocarbons (the name implies "water") do have H2O as its product during combustion (oxidizing).

What makes gasoline a contaminating fuel are the CO2 molecules, excess heat, and some other contaminants due to incomplete combustion, additives, or high temperatures reacting with the nitrogen.

The advantages of gasoline as a fuel is its facility to be pumped and stored at ambient temperatures. Hydrogen needs to be pressurized or converted to a supercold liquid to be transported and pumped. So until a chemist develops a new fuel that contaminates much less than gasoline, we will be better going all the way to electric storage in batteries than using hydrogen and fuel cells to extend our range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
Yes, glad you are starting to see more out and about.

Back in 2006 GM launched a fleet of 120 of them, and gave the keys away in a lottery to lucky drivers that lived near the refueling stations. The GM fuel cell fleet accumulated over 3 million real world miles in testing and lots of lucky folks got to experience a quick, silent, fun EV.

https://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2013/Oct/1022-fc-equinox.html

and to your point, as they are still working out exactly how to charge for fill-ups, all the lease deals include all you can eat fuel!
Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai currently lease FCEVs.
I bet some were converted to full EVs by removing the fuel cell and hydrogen tanks, then increasing the battery size. They already have electric motors moving the wheels. BTW, those fuel cell Equinox vehicles (I have the User Manual) are historically the very first electric powered CUV/SUVs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,818 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
A couple of years ago I got a mailer from Toyota asking me to test drive a Mirai but the cost of the car was something like 75k so I figured for that I could buy a Volt and a BoltEV and besides the hydrogen fuel locations are / were few and far between; at that time the only one I knew of around here (Sacramento) was at the Hydrogen Fuel Cell HQ but now I see they have one called Linde https://cafcp.org/content/west-sacramento ;looks like MSRP now is $58,365

Still way too much of a hassle. EV is the way to go for us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
A lot of water comes out of the tailpipe of every ICE car: the Mirai burns hydrogen and oxygen (from air) and emits only water (zero carbon dioxide), while a gasoline or diesel powered vehicle burns hydrocarbons and oxygen (from the air) to produce carbon dioxide and water. The water in the exhaust is usually in gas form (not liquid), so it's not noticeable. But some of it does condense in the exhaust system of every ICE vehicle, so water trickling out of the tailpipe is common on gasoline powered vehicles too.

While gasoline and diesel powered ICE vehicles are required to get smog checks, hydrogen powered ICE vehicles are exempt from smog checks in California. This is curious, as one of the sources of air pollution from any ICE engine is related to the engine itself, regardless of what fuel it burns. These include nitrogen oxides and unburned hydrocarbons from oil that gets past the various seals in the engine (piston rings and valve seals). The ICE engine wears with use, and these pollutants can increase with wear.

https://www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/Smog_Check_Requirements_by_Vehicle_Type.pdf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,203 Posts
...I think the only reason a small number of people are signing up for the HFCVs is the free fuel.
This would not surprise me at all. There's been a flood of new DC fast chargers pop up here in Vancouver and in southern British Columbia most of them are free for some unspecified introductory period. The ones here in the city are almost always in use, so it's fortunate that I only very rarely have to use them. The ones farther out aren't quite as bad, but are still very popular. I'd far rather see them all have some sort of fee so that people would only use them when they really need to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I think we can all agree, the BEV is the cleaner way to go. And yeah, it sure is cool to be able to juice up at home. Lots of really good and interesting information presented here guys. Thanks! Most informative.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top