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Toyota introduces advanced FCV.

21509 Views 86 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  MarcDannenberg
Toyota introduces advanced FCV:


Please forgive the author's ignorance of hybrid vehicles. The author tries to compare a parallel hybrid to a fuel cell vehicle, and totally botches it. It's best to stick to the first couple paragraphs.

The race for fuel cell vehicles is on.
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I think PFCV's will be the ultimate config - it's easy to store hydrogen, than build 1 or more powerstations on every corner. It will have the same 40 mile (and up to 100 miles eventually) initial EV range with a hydrogen fuel cell for long trips.

Too late. Japan and Iceland recognize the wealth their nations can create by using their vast geothermal energy sources to generate hydrogen for export, so it will flourish in their nations. If it flourishes there, it will be a competitor in the US market, and it will force battery makers to create rapid refill batteries, or be relegated to a mere 40 mile initial range for a fuel cell range extended vehicle.
I can't figure out if all of these post our being sarcastic are not. How is using electricity to convert water to hydrogen so you can create electricity a better deal than just electricity??? :confused:
Two ways:

1) Rapid refill - you can recharge your hydrogen tank in 5 - 15 minutes.

2) Batteries are very expensive. Current 200+ mile range BEV's cost $100K as a direct result of the battery costs. Honda and Toyota are marketing next gen FCV's that will be much cheaper to purchase. GM is setting up a fuel cell range extender arrangement using the Volt platform, so that their fuel cell is only 70 hp, instead of 150 - 200 hp, as in typical FCV's, so it will be cheaper still.
Rant and rave against hydrogen all you want, but Iceland and Japan, which have been historically resource poor, will finally be resource rich island nations.

New compression and storage techs, as well as on site generation of hydrogen will limit transport concerns. Moreover, microfuel cells are growing in use, so people will become comfortable with fuel cells long before quick car batteries for automotive applications actually show up.

Of course, if one were to ship liquid hydrogen, one would use as much as possible of the vented hydrogen as the energy source for the transport.

All your other points are well taken.
... my hero ...
Rant and rave against hydrogen all you want, but Iceland and Japan, which have been historically resource poor, will finally be resource rich island nations.


Ha! Now I know you have lost it. Please explain to your fans exactly how Japan, which now imports most of it's energy, is going to first eliminate all of that imported energy demand, then use extra energy to generate the hydrogen? Where are they going to get the energy? Sun? Wind? Tidal? Nuclear? If they started today with an Apollo like project how long would it take? Please give us the details of your thoughts.
Geothermal - Japan is an island situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire.
There is a very efficient process that removes this step, and it is very simple. Do the electrolysis under very high water pressure. The separated gasses are already compressed. Compressed gasses stores energy, aside from the energy of hydrogen itself. The compressed gasses can also be utilized just like in cars running on compresed gas, but after the decompression step, you can use the gasses for the fuel cells. The Dutch were the first to pioneer the approach of doing electrolysis under high pressure and temperature... The overall efficiency if you can recapture the energy of the compressed gasses plus the energy value of hydrogen is nearing 90%, but still not as good as some energy recharged unto batteries.
Wow, that is such an obvious solution to the compression issue - 90% sounds good enough to me - forget heavy batteries, here comes lighter than air hydrogen!

All options must be pursued, and not just the ones any individuals prefer over another. Breakthrough happen everyday that cause one tech to leapfrog another - even ethanol is now being produced from bio-waste and algae, so don't rule anything out.
I don't believe in throwing dice to make decisions or evaluations. The universe we live in has certain constraints. The laws of thermodynamics are irrevocable. Water runs downhill. The mere fact that life exists dictates the fundamental constants and balances of the universe. One can rely on the laws of probabiliities: Ocam's razor, "Murphy's Law". Physical processes have certain limits and implications. Designing a product is a process of making a series of best judgements and cost implications out of a sea of almost infinite possibilities. Design is the process of making these specifications explicit. Yes there will be new discoveries, in some case unexpected, but they will be made by those who have a deep understanding of their work.
... and those who continue to follow the old cookbook engineering paradigm will fall to the two groups who exploit their weakness:

1) visionaries, who can see beyond the "common knowledge"

2) genetic algorithms, which will pursue all options, allowing the solutions that consumers prefer to evolve

Today, multiple visionaries are pursuing varying solutions from which consumers will select the most viable, while cookbook engineers continue to naval gaze and shout from the peanut gallery.
... and those who continue to follow the old cookbook engineering paradigm will fall to the two groups who exploit their weakness:

1) visionaries, who can see beyond the "common knowledge"

2) genetic algorithms, which will pursue all options, allowing the solutions that consumers prefer to evolve

The visionaries are still constrained by many things. Cost, physics, to name just two.

Genetic algorithms are very useful in nature. There are, for example, gazillions of insects in the world; permitting RANDOM mutation and selection to change the population is therefore possible, the cost of a single insect with a bad or useless outcome is insignificant. You could implement a genetic algorithm in a computer, where the cost of each calculation is very low (because memory and computes are very, very cheap).

Government and industry can't work like that with energy projects. The cost of a blind alley is significant and we avoid it by focussing on the likely and finding ways to rule out the unlikely.

If a technology requires high capital cost, several significant breakthroughs or even just one "breakthrough" that's really a stop at the wall of physics, it's best to consider the alternatives.
... and yet, when we allow only the "knowledgeable" to select our only paths, we end up spending close to $1 trillion to develop the Tokamak, with no results ...

The fact is, VC supported firms will pursue techs that government and university bookworms will not, for reasons that government and university bookworms will not, and consumers will select their solutions for reasons that government and university bookworms will not.

What you say is true, but this is only a part of the picture. Let me give you a quote and mantra from the leader of one of the most innovative and visionary companies, ever, Andy Grove, CEO, president and chairman of Intel, "The devil is in the details." Yes, vision will lead to new paradigms and breakthroughs. But, the vision will be unfulfilled, and litter the dustbin of history, if it doesn’t comply with the inexorable contraints of reality. The details that that will make or break it.
... so we should allow all paths to proceed without interference, as each will innovate to increase their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses. You only have to look at the automotive industry in general to see how multiple solutions, which optimize different aspects, find their niche markets.
The efficiency in using PV to directly charge batteries is 2 to 3 times greater than any sunlight to hydrogen process. Once you get hydrogen, you have to use electricity to compress it. Then you put it into a fuel cells which are very expensive, typically 100 times more expensive per kW output than conventional internal combustion engines. The fuel cell then has an efficiency of 60% and only works above -20F (i.e. southern states). The losses in generating and using (high pressure) hydrogen make it an expensive alternative to the grid/16 kWhr battery. Those are the facts.
Where is your "evidence of fact" that fuel cells cost $150,000? Honda and Toyota are moving forward with their FCV's, so I doubt fuel cells are anywhere near that expensive.
Japan funds are getting all the growth, and this author points to Japan moving first on FCV's, while countries like India are burdened with petroleum price increases.


Do all the analysis you want, speculators are placing their bets with those nations moving first and fastest on hydrogen.

There are plenty of companies in countless nations working on battery solutions, so fuel cell development isn't taking any resources away from them. Moreover, fuel cell tech is available for transportation sectors where batteries simply can't work, like aviation, as we've recently seen fuel cell aircraft making maiden voyages.

Expanding on your analogy, BEV's are one stitch, REEV's are another stitch, ethanol vehicles are another stitch, high mileage ICE vehicles are another stitch, conservation is another stitch ....

It's going to take all those things to address all the niche markets out there for automobiles.

No one is disputing that fact, but hydrogen has other attributes that make it valuable is certain applications:

1) rapid refill - you can recharge your fuel tank in 5 - 15 minutes with hydrogen, while BEV's require a min of 3 - 4 hours in the best cases, and 6 - 8 for the typical vehicle. Military applications will demand rapid refill, while automotive customers will prefer it - paying a premium

2) specific energy - energy storage in hydrogen is much lighter than batteries, making it an optimal aviation fuel

Nanoptek has created a solar hydrogen generator that skips the electrolysis step and uses sunlight to directly generate hydrogen very efficiently.
Electric is the future. All this talk of hydrogen is a lot of hot air. I was a beliver in hydrogen for awhile, but when you research it, you find it is just not viable. The cost of transportation, splitting, storage, infrastructure, and so on is not needed. When you can simply plug a car in, you got every other tech beat.
Your information is out of date, which is exactly why all tech should be allowed to move forward.

Regarding the batteries this Jason guy mentions. Better check on eEstor. They have made a battery that takes all of 3 mins to charge, and it will be coupled with a car from ZENN motors. It will be a major challenge to Volt and other electric vechiles. Of course a battery that can be charged in 3 mins takes a lot of amps, and household electric services will have to be upgraded.
EEstor is developing a capacitor, not a battery.

The car that TaTa motors in India is coming out with beats hydrogen also. It runs on compressed air, and will be avaible even sooner than the Volt.
ZPM has licensed MDI's (Tata) tech for an Air Car in the US.

Enginair has a rotary air motor, which would be good as a range extender.

20X Cost factor, per kW, that's why I think we should look also at H2 ICEs. Ford already has the engine and so does BMW.
Old articles:

To me, the only real way to move to all electric is to transition, as I stated above, from gasoline to hydrogen to ? to full electric, depending on the advancements in battery tech.

I think GM has a good stop gap with the Volt, but Ford and Honda may have the jump on the Hydrogen front, but GM is still my pick because they are not far behind on Hydrogen.
The two configs which will eventually win out will be PFCV and rapid recharge BEV. Compressed air and ethanol will end up being the low cost vehicles for the poor, while PFCV and rapid recharge BEV will be the high performance vehicles for the wealthy.
Is that just the cost of the tank or all of the systems needed:

Do realize those tanks are over 4 inches thick of extremely expensive carbon fiber, have limited life and will probably need to be water tested every 5 years? That's what the DOD currently requires for high pressure tanks that travel on the road. Only $64 for 16 kWh? Bull$%^&. YOU ARE DREAMING... PLEASE WAKE UP.
It must kill you to see all the pieces coming together for hydrogen. Small, high pressure tanks, cheap fuel cell stacks, EV systems and components cost reduced in REEV's, so that fuel cells and hydrogen tanks can swap right in later.
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