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Discussion Starter #1
Chevy dot com received 50,000 volunteers for the free trial driving as part of their Project Driveway:

Link

They too have an internet community, so it seems there is great interest in FCV's as well. If GM is smart, they will make a PFCV (plug-in fuel cell vehicle).
 

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Fuel Cell as range extender = bad idea

For a range extender, with the intention that is not used often, you want to reduce capital cost and you are less concerned about fuel cost.

Fuel cells and hydrogen are currently the opposite.

Furthermore, for a range extender you want to use fuel that is widely available, so, not hydrogen.

Fuel cell as range extender is not very smart.

Lucas
 

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Be it range extender or not, it would be wise to make a plug-in FCV, instead of just a pure FCV - that's all I'm saying.

California is already demanding there be a certain number of ZEV's sold in their state, and as that mandate spreads to other states, FCV's will become more prolific, as BEV's can't recharge quickly.

Hydrogen stations will start in dense metropolitan areas, then start appearing along various interstate highways. No need to worry, you will be tripping over hydrogen stations in a few years.
 

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My money is not on Fuel Cells BUUUUTTT!!! I must admit they have come a long long way pretty fast. The advancements have been coming in leaps and bounds.

Fuel Cell vehicles would not use the fuel cell as a range extender.
 

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My money is not on Fuel Cells BUUUUTTT!!! I must admit they have come a long long way pretty fast. The advancements have been coming in leaps and bounds.

Fuel Cell vehicles would not use the fuel cell as a range extender.
I don't think this is a correct statement. Even Honda is using the on-board batteries like a hybrid. The fuel cell, at this stage in development, is not powerful enough or fast enough to supply the high power that an ultra-capacitor or Battery can. The first generation of hydrogen cars will have a battery or ultra-capacitor, count on that. Also, the most important thing for hydrogen is the cost. Until I see the cost coming down I don't see a chance for it. Making and storing hydrogen is a costly business both in terms of mechanical devices as well as inherent inefficiencies. I still hope they can come up with something that will compete with hybrid electrics or BEVs but I doubt it. Time will tell.
 

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I don't think this is a correct statement. Even Honda is using the on-board batteries like a hybrid. The fuel cell, at this stage in development, is not powerful enough or fast enough to supply the high power that an ultra-capacitor or Battery can. The first generation of hydrogen cars will have a battery or ultra-capacitor, count on that. Also, the most important thing for hydrogen is the cost. Until I see the cost coming down I don't see a chance for it. Making and storing hydrogen is a costly business both in terms of mechanical devices as well as inherent inefficiencies. I still hope they can come up with something that will compete with hybrid electrics or BEVs but I doubt it. Time will tell.
Well stated, which is why I believe a PFCV is the most feasible ZEV design, as people will be able to use cheap electricity as their everyday fuel, and hydrogen as their backup when they don't have time to recharge.
 

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I didn't mean to imply that fuel cells were going to replace the li-ion and ultracap vehicles anytime soon. Just trying to say that 3 years ago the technology was there for a li-ion battery vehicle already, but 3 years ago it looked like fuel cell vehicles were about 50 years away. At the rate of improvement the fuel cell vehicle has made in the last 3 years it might beat that 50 year mark by a considerable sum.
 

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I didn't mean to imply that fuel cells were going to replace the li-ion and ultracap vehicles anytime soon. Just trying to say that 3 years ago the technology was there for a li-ion battery vehicle already, but 3 years ago it looked like fuel cell vehicles were about 50 years away. At the rate of improvement the fuel cell vehicle has made in the last 3 years it might beat that 50 year mark by a considerable sum.
Kinda makes you wonder if those claims about fuels cells being too heavy, too expensive and too inefficient weren't simply deceptions spread by BEV proponents.
 

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Kinda makes you wonder if those claims about fuels cells being too heavy, too expensive and too inefficient weren't simply deceptions spread by BEV proponents.

Are you freakin kidding? Everyone clamouring so loudly for the Volt here would be cheering even louder for hydrogen fuel cells if they were even remotely close to being practical. All of the government incentives, funding, and research has been solidly behind hydrogen fuel cells since 1998 as well as most corporate research programs. BEV's have been a distant afterthought and mostly only benefitted from the synergies with HEV development. Phoenix Motorcars is throwing hundreds of millions of dollars away if HEV's can be made for under $200,000. There is also currently a $10,000 rebate in California for HEV's and $0 for BEV's.

Light duty HEV's may arrive some day but once the second generation of EREV's arrive in 5-7 years, the will be a product without a market unless they are as cheap to buy and operate as combustion engines are. The vast majority of car buyers will be able to eliminate 85% or more of their onboard power generation needs, so that power generating source won't be important in the purchase decision.
 

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Are you freakin kidding? Everyone clamouring so loudly for the Volt here would be cheering even louder for hydrogen fuel cells if they were even remotely close to being practical. All of the government incentives, funding, and research has been solidly behind hydrogen fuel cells since 1998 as well as most corporate research programs. BEV's have been a distant afterthought and mostly only benefitted from the synergies with HEV development. Phoenix Motorcars is throwing hundreds of millions of dollars away if HEV's can be made for under $200,000. There is also currently a $10,000 rebate in California for HEV's and $0 for BEV's.

Light duty HEV's may arrive some day but once the second generation of EREV's arrive in 5-7 years, the will be a product without a market unless they are as cheap to buy and operate as combustion engines are. The vast majority of car buyers will be able to eliminate 85% or more of their onboard power generation needs, so that power generating source won't be important in the purchase decision.
By proponents of BEV's over fuel cells, I mean battery suppliers and electric utilies, not consumers.
 

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I agree. The question is not if Hydrogen cars work - they clearly do. The question is can they compete on a cost basis when compared to the other alternatives. Those alternatives are looking to be plug-in hybrids with flex fuel ICEs (the fuel used could be anything from E85 to biodiesel) or pure BEVs with quick charge capability. It's my strongest belief that BEVs with quick charge capability will beat a cost effective HEV to market. The BEV is inherently more efficient and mechanically more simple.
 

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I agree. The question is not if Hydrogen cars work - they clearly do. The question is can they compete on a cost basis when compared to the other alternatives. Those alternatives are looking to be plug-in hybrids with flex fuel ICEs (the fuel used could be anything from E85 to biodiesel) or pure BEVs with quick charge capability. It's my strongest belief that BEVs with quick charge capability will beat a cost effective HEV to market. The BEV is inherently more efficient and mechanically more simple.
How can you say a quick charge BEV is more cost effective than a PFCV, when quick charge batteries aren't even for sale, and the infrastructure to support quick charging vehicles hasn't even begun to be built? There are dozens of FCV's on the road, and dozens, if not hundreds of hydrogen fuel stations around the country.

I believe it will be more a matter of application, than expense, as we may find that there are some climates that favor one tech over the other.
 

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By proponents of BEV's over fuel cells, I mean battery suppliers and electric utilies, not consumers.

Ahhh...you meant the all powerful US battery lobby. Yes, they are a power hungry and conspiring bunch. Strange, they couldn't convince California that range extended BEV's were the worthy technology until just recently when their imminent production slapped CARB in their faces startling them out of a 10 year hydrogen induced stupor. If you were a Electric Utility, wouldn't you support a technology that requires 3-4 times more energy? In actuality, the utilities are sufficiently motivated to support both.

Texas, I know this was discussed at length on some previous threads but I just don't see the quick charge market developing from light duty vehicle demand. Now...heavy duty vehicles are another animal. I think a discussion of freight carriers and other long range heavy duty vehicles could be very interesting. Because of the mileage and energy requirements, there may not be a better alternative than a diesel electric EREV or blended mode PHEV for some time. To be practical, they would probably require at least 100KWh battery pack and 1hr or less recharge. This may be a market demand that brings forth quick charging. It may also be one that hydrogen fuel cells can serve.
 

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How can you say a quick charge BEV is more cost effective than a PFCV, when quick charge batteries aren't even for sale, and the infrastructure to support quick charging vehicles hasn't even begun to be built? There are dozens of FCV's on the road, and dozens, if not hundreds of hydrogen fuel stations around the country.
Jason, I didn't say a quick charge BEV IS more cost effective. I said:

"It's my strongest belief that BEVs with quick charge capability will beat a cost effective HEV to market. The BEV is inherently more efficient and mechanically more simple."

The kind of quick charge batteries that will be needed are not for sale - they are scheduled to go on sale this or next month. However, Please direct me to the location where I can buy a production hydrogen car or drivetrain... Exactly. You call the few hydrogen fuel stations around the country an infrastructure? Ridiculous. These are only used for testing purposes.


Koz, Yes. We did talk about quick-charge BEVs eventually becoming the transportation alternative of choice before but... We just disagreed. ;) As I have stated in other threads, I feel that hybrids will fill the short-term solution until battery technology catches up (mid-term). However long that takes (even 25 years), I still think it will always be ahead of the hydrogen car in terms of cost and practicality in becoming the transportation market leader.

I agree that if we are talking about big trucks that's another issue. They require a lot of energy, no question about that. Not only that but they also stay on the road for many years. I believe biodiesel is the best choice at the moment and as I have mentioned many times before hydrogen might play a role. Hydrogen, for it's weight, is even more powerful than diesel (although it's a few times larger - when liquified). It can also be burned in an easily modified ICE. Converting big trucks to run biodiesel is simple and the fuel has the required energy density. You can also blend in more and more as biodiesel production increases. I feel 2nd generation biofuels will make it to the market and they will be a good alternative to petroleum fuels. Additionally, something like algal oil can be used to make plastics, fertilizer and other products and thus cut our use of petroleum even more.
 
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