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https://cleanvehiclerebate.org/eng

The Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity get $5000--double the $2500 Bolt owners get! Isn't it cleaner and easier to absorb free electrical energy into solar panels to charge an EV than produce hydrogen to use in FCVs??? I'm not understanding their logic in giving a much bigger bounty for buying these cars which appear less cost-effective and much harder to find refueling for.
 

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The answer is found in a wonderful book I got for Christmas, “Car Wars, The Rise, The Fall, And The Resergence Of The Electric Car” by John J. Fialka. Chapter 19, entitled “The Chickens Come First” outlines the development, and government (especially CA) support of fuel cell electric vehicles. I loved the book and read its 229 pages in three days. There was SO much I never knew, or understood, about electric vehicle development. I recommend it to all and hope a few of you will read it.

FCEV interest had its genesis in the NASA Gemini program and its push from the Cold War. BEV gains truly turned on Tesla. But hydrogen enthusiasts (including the “nearly all-powerful” petroleum industry) still have a good foothold. Surprisingly, it may be the Bolt which fastens the coffin of hydrogen.
 

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I think surgeonFWW has the right answer. Much of it is politics and inertia and a function of who's got their hands in the till.

But there's also the simple truth that these credits are initially designed to spur on development of new technology, things that are not yet cost effective. So you have to give bigger credits for things that aren't quite ready for market yet. That's why the EV credits expire after 200k vehicles per manufacturer: at that point the manufacturer has had time to learn what they need to learn.
 

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I really don't care - it's not as if there are 25,000 fuel cells sold every year in CA (or even 2500).
 

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I still personally believe that hydrogen would be a better solution to our problems than battery powered electrics. Honda set up a Clarity at my college and it was pretty cool. Sure, there are logistical problems to be worked to get to the hydrogen like anything else, so don't get me wrong. If not, our battery technology is going to have to evolve significantly due to the limited resources available to make them. I sort of think EVs are going to be the stepping stone towards another technology in the long run and only time will tell.
 

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I sort of think EVs are going to be the stepping stone towards another technology in the long run and only time will tell.
One would hope. And hope it doesn't take 100 years to find it. Any time you scrunch a bunch of potential energy into a small container, you are going to have issues of one kind or another...

BEVs seem to be doing better than hydrogen or any other non-petro at the moment.
 

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I still personally believe that hydrogen would be a better solution to our problems than battery powered electrics. Honda set up a Clarity at my college and it was pretty cool. Sure, there are logistical problems to be worked to get to the hydrogen like anything else, so don't get me wrong. If not, our battery technology is going to have to evolve significantly due to the limited resources available to make them. I sort of think EVs are going to be the stepping stone towards another technology in the long run and only time will tell.
Where do you get the hydrogen? That's the problem. Electrolysis is highly inefficient, you're better off putting that electricity directly into a battery. So you're stuck with where most of it comes from today, from fossil fuel production, particularly fracking.
 

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IMHO a lot of this is Monday morning quarterback discussion. GM, nor CA, Honda, Toyota, etc wanted to bet on a single solution. Most of them (except Toyota) invested in FCEV, PHEV, and BEV solutions.

We now have 2020 hindsight. As recently as a year ago I would have bet on PHEV to win for a much longer time. It was not until I drove, and subsequently acquired, the Bolt that I grasped how far and how fast BEVs were progressing. Mostly how fast automotive batteries were falling in cost. The Bolt is truly a game changer.
It will take time for the market, and the subsidies, to adjust.
 

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Where do you get the hydrogen? That's the problem. Electrolysis is highly inefficient, you're better off putting that electricity directly into a battery. So you're stuck with where most of it comes from today, from fossil fuel production, particularly fracking.
Lots of ways - not saying they're easy or practical at the moment, but neither was gasoline in the beginning. https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/hydrogen_production.html
 

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IMHO a lot of this is Monday morning quarterback discussion. GM, nor CA, Honda, Toyota, etc wanted to bet on a single solution. Most of them (except Toyota) invested in FCEV, PHEV, and BEV solutions.

We now have 2020 hindsight. As recently as a year ago I would have bet on PHEV to win for a much longer time. It was not until I drove, and subsequently acquired, the Bolt that I grasped how far and how fast BEVs were progressing. Mostly how fast automotive batteries were falling in cost. The Bolt is truly a game changer.
It will take time for the market, and the subsidies, to adjust.
2020 hindsight is pretty good, considering it's just the very beginning of 2018! >:)
 

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Lots of ways - not saying they're easy or practical at the moment, but neither was gasoline in the beginning. https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/hydrogen_production.html
While sourcing/producing the hydrogen may be solved, it doesn't change the fact that it is a pretty poor energy storage material (which is how it is used in fuel cell applications)

Even if it manufactured "on site" at fueling stations, the amount of energy needed to both compress it for storage (currently 10,000 psi tanks in FCEV's) and also cool it as it is compressed makes the math problematic. The electricity used to refine, compress, and cool the hydrogen could indeed be put directly into a battery and yield a better result.

Oil companies like the hydrogen idea. Produce it from fossil fuels, truck it to stations, and dispense into vehicles. Fit's their current business model to a "T". Currently hydrogens major advantage is the (mostly theoretical) refueling speed (few existing stations can actually refuel vehicles at the quoted rate). 150 kW or even 350 kW charging (currently just starting to be installed) will mitigate or even eliminate that advantage. Combine that with the convenience and savings from charging at home (hopefully with solar) and you have a model that is pretty compelling to consumers.
 
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