GM Volt Forum banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,156 Posts
I thought it was interesting. Didn't really catch the anti-EV bit. Agree that the Volt solves the criticisms of BEVs to some extent (you still have to carry the engine around).

Interesting points about different ways to make hydrogen. If you can make hydrogen from H2O then the calculus changes. You also need a technology that can scale up for SUVs and trucks and BEVs aren't well suited for that.

From a consumer's point of view, I don't see the point. I can lease a Volt for $250 a month and fuel in my own garage. With this vehicle I'd need to pay $499 a month and head for the fuel station once a week (the one and only hydrogen fuel station in San Diego will be located a couple miles from my house). Doesn't seem like a hard decision as to which is preferable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,936 Posts
Hydrogen can be made with PV solar. It is a very inefficient way to do it.
However, if you have excess solar or wind energy, producing hydrogen with the excess is better than turning it off.

Other storage methods may be cheaper/more efficient, either now or in the near future. I don't know where the balance point is though as far as cost and efficiency.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here's a quote from a Toyota USA talking head about FCVs that really chaps my ass:

“It’s the technology that lets people act the way they normally drive without making any compromises,” Mr. Scott said.

No compromises indeed. Except you can't fuel it at home (like you can all EVs). There are only a few dozen fueling stations in the country (compared to how many millions of outlets). You won't be able to even buy a FCV until who knows when (lease only) and even then, they are only offered in CA in miniscule, compliance numbers. And let's not even talk about the cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,511 Posts
@bro1999

I disagree with your asssessment. I found the article to be very fair and presented both sides of the EV and H2 arguments, although I might disagree with some of the finer points, like about the feasibility of larger EVs (the author makes a semi-specious argument that EV tech will stay limited to smaller vehicles). It's also disappointing that EREV is not included in discussions like this, because IMO EREV technology can be developed and expanded to dramatically reduce our gasoline consumption in a completely painless way, and relying almost entirely on existing infrastructure. Of course Volt owners know this; why the rest of the world can't seem to figure it out is a mystery to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
686 Posts
@bro1999It's also disappointing that EREV is not included in discussions like this, because IMO EREV technology can be developed and expanded to dramatically reduce our gasoline consumption in a completely painless way, and relying almost entirely on existing infrastructure.
...reasonable men might argue, but I was surprised the other day, at an EV hearing how few EV voices were heard. Lay people don't see that FCVs would chase gasoline out of PHEVs only at the margins.

NYT, and then there was the radio spot I heard on one of the most listened to stations, in my area this morning. Imagine your mega-popular metro DJ suddenly talking about FCV?? The northeast might be seeing a blitz, here, relative to how battery cars are promoted. Just in time for winter, too. Clever, aren't these guys?

In CA, 200 million was approved for H2 stations, on public support. I haven't heard if there will be as direct subsidy, with Toyota's fuel station partner. If they do it alone, and Toyota carves off the tiniest chip of their 1.3bb in Q3 '14 earnings, I suspect there will be plenty of H2 stations. Forget about what competing L3 formats are doing to fast charging. Toyota plans on really confusing things, by funding a deeply flawed market. It dove-tails so well with the hit pieces they produce, like contrasting the i3 REx (which may as well be the Volt) against the Lexus CT200h:

http://www.autobild.es/noticias/bmw-i3-vs-lexus-ct-200h-version-resacon-las-vegas-237841
PS - this is one of the few links to this ad Toyota hasn't yet killed...see what they really think. Both funny, and pathetic, at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,200 Posts
I think the Volt got the best balance when it comes to EVs. It has a relatively small battery to take care of daily commutes, and an extended range high-energy-density gasoline engine that is easily refillable and provides extended range. It makes the best use of the two most widely available fuel sources - electricy at home for daily commutes and gasoline for longer trips. Even if EV charging stations were available all around the planet, recharging still takes a lot more time to filling up with gas. Imagine waiting 1 hour or more every 200 miles to refill (which is what Teslas require). As more Teslas start travelling long distance, the wait times would be even more.

The Volt could easily replace its gasoline generator with a hydrogen fuel cell IF and WHEN Hydrogen refueling facilities is wide spread. Or it could replace the gasoline engine with an air compressor, or a compact nuclear reactor, or a natural gas based fuel cell (bloom energy), or a ... you get the point.

When the time is ripe, the Voltec technology is ready to adopt any such new technologies. The idea of lugging around a 300 mile low-energy-density slow-charging battery all the time because you may need it one day is not a great concept, IMHO. It is crude, brute force and expensive. What we need is a hybrid electricity generating approach. Capacitors to handle regen and quick bursts of power, relatively small traction batteries to handle daily commutes (~50 miles) and a long range electricity generating solution that is quickly refillable with widely available fuel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Hydrogen production is very inefficient coupled with the current Toyota fuel cell which is only 60% efficient EV and PHEV are much more efficient use of the energy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,650 Posts
It's mostly the kind of balanced article I have come to expect from the New York Times, presenting both sides without leaving out important details or passing judgement, except for this paragraph:

But battery electric cars have major technological shortcomings, too. They take time to recharge, they do not go as far as hydrogen cars between refueling, and the batteries required for larger vehicles make building them impractical, because the current lithium-ion batteries simply cannot hold enough energy to take larger vehicles over longer distances.
There are some unsubstantiated claims here. Time to recharge doesn't matter when you do it at home or at a destination. There is already a bus in California that runs on batteries and recharges at an automated drive-in fast charging station. It appeared on Jay Leno a while ago, with Mr. Leno driving the bus.

I am intrigued by this paragraph, though:

After bacteria digest what has been flushed down toilets to produce a mix of carbon dioxide and methane, the gases are cleaned up and fed to a different type of fuel cell that produces electricity, heat and hydrogen, and the hydrogen is piped to the pump.
I would like to know more detail about that process. How are the gases cleaned up? It sounds like the process supplies its own energy; how efficient is it? Where does the carbon dioxide go? Carbon dioxide is a less potent greenhouse gas than methane, so just releasing it to the air may be better than releasing unprocessed methane.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,882 Posts
The EV naysayers almost never mention the Volt because it addresses the two main issues they bring up about range and about lugging around a huge 300 mile battery pack. The Volt addresses both extremely well and destroys the premise.

The third argument is recharge time.

But as we know, the car sits for most of the day at home or at work. Plenty of time to conveniently recharge. And they routinely ignore the convenience of recharging at home and instead focus on 5 minute fuel refills, something the typical Volt owner does once every month or two. And they COMPLETELY ignore the cost per mile because electric's win hands down. It's not even a contest.

As far as EV's being higher cost, well, so is a FC car. So that's at most a wash. And there are now EV's in the low $30k and less range, so cost really isn't a huge issue.

If they want something that does give a FC a possible advantage, I'd say it would be lack of charging infrastructure for apartment dwellers. That the only advantage I can think of. But most apartment dwellers I know could not afford the Toyota anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
Best thoughtfull look at the issue I've seen!

I think the Volt got the best balance when it comes to EVs. It has a relatively small battery to take care of daily commutes, and an extended range high-energy-density gasoline engine that is easily refillable and provides extended range. It makes the best use of the two most widely available fuel sources - electricy at home for daily commutes and gasoline for longer trips. Even if EV charging stations were available all around the planet, recharging still takes a lot more time to filling up with gas. Imagine waiting 1 hour or more every 200 miles to refill (which is what Teslas require). As more Teslas start travelling long distance, the wait times would be even more.

The Volt could easily replace its gasoline generator with a hydrogen fuel cell IF and WHEN Hydrogen refueling facilities is wide spread. Or it could replace the gasoline engine with an air compressor, or a compact nuclear reactor, or a natural gas based fuel cell (bloom energy), or a ... you get the point.

When the time is ripe, the Voltec technology is ready to adopt any such new technologies. The idea of lugging around a 300 mile low-energy-density slow-charging battery all the time because you may need it one day is not a great concept, IMHO. It is crude, brute force and expensive. What we need is a hybrid electricity generating approach. Capacitors to handle regen and quick bursts of power, relatively small traction batteries to handle daily commutes (~50 miles) and a long range electricity generating solution that is quickly refillable with widely available fuel.
+1...very well said!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,783 Posts
@bro1999

I disagree with your asssessment. I found the article to be very fair and presented both sides of the EV and H2 arguments, although I might disagree with some of the finer points, like about the feasibility of larger EVs (the author makes a semi-specious argument that EV tech will stay limited to smaller vehicles). It's also disappointing that EREV is not included in discussions like this, because IMO EREV technology can be developed and expanded to dramatically reduce our gasoline consumption in a completely painless way, and relying almost entirely on existing infrastructure. Of course Volt owners know this; why the rest of the world can't seem to figure it out is a mystery to me.
Maybe the world can't figure it out is because of articles like this that completely ignore the EREV concept, and its virtues. Or, maybe the authors are taking their cues from GM's lack of advertising - I mean, if the manufacturer thinks so little of the product, why bother talking about it?

Let's hope that Gen 2 changes all that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,352 Posts
For those thinking Toyota built this vehicle exclusively for the US market, think again.

Japan has a very aggressive hydrogen program including plans that are already underway to build the hydrogen highway that we only “dream” about in the US. Part of the reason for Japanese gov’t support is the fact that Japan imports 100% of their oil.

Japanese automakers have made a commitment as part of the Japanese Fuel Cell development project to manufacture at least one FCEV. This is one of Toyota’s vehicles.

It took little or no additional effort to also release this vehicle in the US. All they had to do was move the steering wheel to the left side...

So as we analyze Toyota’s success, what happens in the US will almost be irrelevant. This vehicle stands a good chance of success in Japan because of the commitment to build a hydrogen refueling infrastructure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,634 Posts
http://online.wsj.com/articles/honda-delays-fuel-cell-car-launch-until-2016-1416235880

Honda is about ready to launch too, but delayed (still less than 2 years out, sooner than Tesla 3). I think fuel cells will be more popular in Japan than in the US, just a hunch. Japan is investing in the infrastructure.

To me? I would rather have a Tesla 3, Volt, or ELR and we don't even know specs yet. Success of Prius? I think not, the Prius was successful because it burns gasoline, not hydrogen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,511 Posts
Maybe the world can't figure it out is because of articles like this that completely ignore the EREV concept, and its virtues. Or, maybe the authors are taking their cues from GM's lack of advertising - I mean, if the manufacturer thinks so little of the product, why bother talking about it?

Let's hope that Gen 2 changes all that.
Amen!

I also think the next wave of higher range, "affordable" EV's, which include next gen Leaf, Tesla 3, and some secret car from GM, are going to make new inroads in the market. These hoped-for buyers are the same (relatively) early adopter types that H2 cars would be aimed at. So the very market segment will be weighing next-gen BEVs and next-gen Voltec against the almost wacky prospect of a FCV, and I think the results are somewhat predictable. No wonder Toyota is planning to build only 700, but talks out of the other side of its mouth about Prius-like growth.

The biggest thing H2 has going for it is that it could be a lot more convenient for people without private homes and/or garages for overnight charging, and who want to get off of gasoline. And that's a huge percentage of people. I guess it all comes down to the different infrastructures as to which will win out... maybe one, maybe both, maybe neither.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
But doesnt hydrogen escape after a few weeks in your tank? With gasoline, you can drive around weeks, or up to a year with the gasoline in your tank. As I understand it, the hydrogen will heat up in time, and then vent to the atmosphere
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,018 Posts
Does anyone have a good source of information on the energy and emissions impact if hydrogen cars?
The NYT article seems to suggest that H2 production in California is OK because the electric energy mix here is cleaner than in other states. That could be useful to compare the net per-mile emissions of an ICE car vs a hydrogen fuel cell car.

To compare an EV with a hydrogen fuel cell car, it would be good to know the H2 production losses. Wikipedia mentioned a reference that there is a 25-50% energy loss when producing H2. If that is true, then H2 cars make little as EV battery charge losses are 10-20% only.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top