Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the does-it-fly dept.

Transportation 216

puddingebola writes with news that Toyota will be bringing its first fuel-cell car to market in Japan next March. It's expected to cost about $68,700, and Toyota plans to bring it to the U.S. and European markets later that summer. With two of Japan’s three biggest automakers going all in on fuel cells, the country’s long-term future as an automotive powerhouse could now hinge largely on the success of what they hope will be an important technology in the next few decades. ... Japan’s governing party is pushing for ample subsidies and tax breaks for consumers to bring the cost of a fuel-cell car down to about $20,000 by 2025. The government is also aiming to create 100 hydrogen fuel stations by the end of March 2016 in urban areas where the vehicles will be sold initially. ... Hydrogen vehicles can run five times longer than battery-operated electric cars, and their tanks can be filled in just a few minutes, compared with recharging times from 30 minutes up to several hours for electric cars.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Fuel cell car for $20k (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317543)

Where can I reserve one?

Re:Fuel cell car for $20k (1)

Motard (1553251) | about 5 months ago | (#47318033)

The future. Perhaps before you can get a $20K Tesla.

Unless you'll settle for a forklift. These are starting to make big inroads on battery powered forklifts in warehouses.

hostage subscription model still undeveloped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317553)

only 100 'gas stations' so far.. maybe the solar magnet engines should be employed in the push to freedom from inescapable usury etc,,,?

Hydrogen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317567)

The Humanity?

Re:Hydrogen? (5, Interesting)

Motard (1553251) | about 5 months ago | (#47318115)

This is a common, but knee-jerk reaction. But as bad as it looked, I think many would be surprised to learn that most of the people aboard the Hindenburg survived the disaster despite it being engulfed in flames hundreds of feet off the ground.

Imagine if it were filled with gasoline fumes. Everyone on board would've been dead as well as most of the people on the ground.

Toyota was fired bullets at its pressurized tanks. Regular bullets just bounced. 50 cal rounds too chunks out. It took an armor piercing round to penetrate the tank. When that happened, the hydrogen simply leaked out. And, being lighter than air, it just rose up into the atmosphere instead of pooling on the ground.

Re:Hydrogen? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47318669)

When that happened, the hydrogen simply leaked out. And, being lighter than air, it just rose up into the atmosphere instead of pooling on the ground.

I don't assume they're going to put the fuel tanks on the roof of the car?

Re:Hydrogen? (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | about 5 months ago | (#47318839)

Hey, don't we all want flying cars?

Re:Hydrogen? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47319031)

>I don't assume they're going to put the fuel tanks on the roof of the car?

If it's safer, they will. Why not?

Gasoline is somewhat unstable, and only comes from nonrenewable sources.
Hydrogen is also somewhat unstable, and comes from renewable or nonrenewable sources.
Of course, diesel is very stable, and comes from renewable or nonrenewable sources.

Diesel is the future, because the future is a relatively boring place once you get there.

Why does the post fail to mention the real price? (1, Redundant)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 5 months ago | (#47317569)

The real price is $70,000. The target $20k price is subsidized by the Japanese government, don't expect similar subsidies in the US.

Re:Why does the post fail to mention the real pric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317617)

RTF Summary?:

It's expected to cost about $68,700

Re:Why does the post fail to mention the real pric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317695)

The real price is $70,000. The target $20k price is subsidized by the Japanese government, don't expect similar subsidies in the US.

Haha, yeah OK. Don't expect to see jack shit in sales without something similar.

Re:Why does the post fail to mention the real pric (2, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | about 5 months ago | (#47318751)

Right, because tesla haven't sold any of their $80,000 car that goes 1/5th of the distance, right?

Re:Why does the post fail to mention the real pric (1, Troll)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 5 months ago | (#47317699)

Forget subsidies for a moment. In 2025, 20K won't buy you shit with the rate of inflation we have now!

Re:Why does the post fail to mention the real pric (2, Informative)

rockout (1039072) | about 5 months ago | (#47317961)

Since 2008, inflation has been 3.0% or lower every single year. I'm not sure what point you were trying to make, but if it was "inflation is out of control!!" then you're obviously not reading about the history of inflation over the last 50 years.

Re:Why does the post fail to mention the real pric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318077)

That's quite high. Usually the inflation rate is calculated from some base items that may or may not be relevant. Have wages gone up at the same rate?? I'd say not, based on the fact that I and most of my colleagues earn the same as 10 years ago.

Re:Why does the post fail to mention the real pric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318087)

3%... if you trust those in power.

Using previous methods of inflation, we are between 6-10% inflation: http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/inflation-charts

"In general terms, methodological shifts in government reporting have depressed reported inflation, moving the concept of the CPI away from being a measure of the cost of living needed to maintain a constant standard of living. "

Re:Why does the post fail to mention the real pric (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 5 months ago | (#47318299)

So long as you're allowed to leave out everything that's actually going up in price, yes. Like houses, or food, or gas, or... well, pretty much everything you actually need. But if all you buy is Android tablets, wow, inflation is low.

Re:Why does the post fail to mention the real pric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318151)

Right there in the first paragraph. $68K.

Why does the post fail to mention the real price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318203)

The post doesn't fail to mention the real price.

It's expected to cost about $68,700...

Nor does it claim the price is $20K. It says they hope to get the price down that far, in *part* with subsidies and tax breaks. They're not going to offer $50K in subsides on a $70K car. Most of that price reduction is going to come from improvements in technology and production scale resulting in reduced costs. (Exactly the same way that gasoline powered cars became less expensive over time, going from luxury-only contraptions to the Model T.)

Nice to see. (5, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about 5 months ago | (#47317583)

Right now at the Gas Pump we have 87, 89 and 91 gas.
Having this change to Gas, Charging, and Hydrogen would be a welcome sign.
The problem we have with our energy policies is that we are trying to find a sliver bullet. This isn't the case anymore, we will need to have a more diverse set of engines that run on different methods. This will allow for greater competition in the energy market and keep price per performance uniform.

Re:Nice to see. (-1, Troll)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 5 months ago | (#47317751)

Gas. It will *always* be a form of petrol that's the main fuel for vehicles. Well, unless teleported technologies becomes feasible. Anyways, you won't find energy as dense, transportable, and quick to refuel as with a liquid hydrocarbon. Now, if you want to make petrol net carbon-neutral on the environment, we can have that discussion. The idea of going away from petrol is pure folly however!

Re:Nice to see. (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47317843)

Do you work for an oil company?

Re:Nice to see. (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 5 months ago | (#47317901)

Nope.

Re:Nice to see. (1)

rockout (1039072) | about 5 months ago | (#47318017)

yeah, really, when an oil company sees people making ridiculous blanket statements, for free, about how gas will ALWAYS be the main fuel for vehicles, why would they want to hire him?

Re:Nice to see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317903)

Maybe he's just an economist.

Re:Nice to see. (2)

rockout (1039072) | about 5 months ago | (#47317973)

Judging by his comments on inflation above, I'd say that's a remote possibility.

Re:Nice to see. (2)

es330td (964170) | about 5 months ago | (#47318727)

He doesn't have to work for an oil company to hold this opinion, though "always" is an awfully long time. Personal transportation presents one main problem to overcome, that the energy to power a vehicle must either be carried on the vehicle or delivered to it. Unless we want to all drive slot car racers, vehicles must carry their fuel, the optimal fuel being determined primarily by two factors. The first is the energy stored per unit of volume, the other is the amount of energy stored by weight. As of today, liquid petroleum is the optimal maximization point of the combination of these two factors. Lithium-ion batteries are very poor energy storage in comparison being beaten by a factor of 40 by weight and ten by volume. I certainly think that we will see improvements in both of these, but I hold the opinion that a different technology will be required to compete with liquid energy.

Re:Nice to see. (3, Interesting)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#47318029)

Going to hydrogen gas is also NOT a environmentally sound solution either.

Dispute the press and common belief otherwise, moving to Hydrogen does not reduce emissions overall, but is actually worse. Now I'm not saying that what comes out of the tailpipe of a hydrogen powered car is anything but water and heat, but the issue is where and how you produce hydrogen gas on an industrial scale. You basically have two choices on how you want to produce hydrogen gas, electrolysis or reforming natural gas.

Electrolysis is extremely inefficient. You loos about 50% of the electrical energy you put into this process. For now, electricity is produced MOSTLY from fossil fuels (especially in Japan right now) so it would be more efficient to just burn the fossil fuel in the automobile. Heck, it's more efficient to use a rechargeable battery instead of electrolysis and hydrogen as fuel.

Reforming Natural Gas is also not efficient and releases significant amounts of carbon-dioxide. I do not know the exact numbers on how efficient this process is, but it involves heating the gas and passing it though a catalyst, then compressing and cooling to separate the gas fractions to isolate the hydrogen gas. This requires both electricity and natural gas to do. This is obviously going to waste energy. So one can confidently claim that using this method is clearly going to be inefficient compared to just burning natural gas as a motor fuel. (Not to mention that there are problems with using hydrogen produced from this process in fuel cells due to the impurities produced from the hydrocarbon used as a source of hydrogen.)

All this is just simply nuts if you ask me. What we need to really do is burn natural gas as motor fuel, at least for the foreseeable future. If we ever really run out of fossil fuels (or if we want to plan to stop using them) then the only choices are electric power (rechargeable batteries, with renewable sources/Nuclear/Fission) and bio-mass fuels (diesel from vegetable oil, alcohol) assuming the latter doesn't cause food shortages and starve folks.

Re:Nice to see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318153)

Electrolysis is extremely inefficient.

It doesn't need to be efficient. It need to be convenient. I don't have hours to waste waiting for a piece of shit battery powered car to recharge.

Re:Nice to see. (1)

randallman (605329) | about 5 months ago | (#47318725)

How about one that's not a piece of shit?

Re:Nice to see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318989)

Not possible. Electric cars will always be a piece of shit because of the recharge time.

Re:Nice to see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318917)

I'm with you on this.
Stuff being able to charge my car at home. I want to go to the gas station - now THAT'S convenience!
Stuff charging my car on long trips while I'm eating. I wanna grab my six pack next to me 'n have a decent liquid lunch while I'm driving - now THAT'S convenience!
Stuff being able to plug in my car at work to charge it. I wanna queue up with everyone else at the gas station after work - now THAT'S convenience!
Stuff being able to out accelerate gas powered cars in a quiet car. I wanna press down on that pedal and make lot's of noise and blow out fumes for everyone to share - now THAT'S convenience!
Stuff not having to service my car as much. I wanna put my car in for service and then make my way to work with a loan car that breaks down as often as possible - now THAT'S convenience!

and how the fuck is a guy gonna get high sniffing battery fumes huh?

Re:Nice to see. (1)

qpqp (1969898) | about 5 months ago | (#47319079)

Why do you have to wait for the charge, if you can just replace the battery?

Re:Nice to see. (1, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 5 months ago | (#47318295)

Shorter version:

Modern human civilization is predicated on the cost per BTU of energy. The cheaper the energy, the less manual work a human needs to perform AND the more plentiful food can be made/grown. Raise the baseline cost of energy, and the entire world suffers in some form or fashion. Really, if you think about it, value isn't in money, or precious metals. Real value is pegged to the cost of BTU; which is why cheap nuclear energy is so critical. But until we transport, pack, and use energy to drive kW engines in the double-digits, the hydrocarbon will be the source of fuel for the majority of people. Nuclear is the only thing close to salvation, but we know that's not going to happen.

I love how my previous comment got modded into 0 TROLL. I'm proud to prove how fucking clueless the mods are. So yeah, fuck fuel cell technology. I'm better off investing in a bug-out bag considering how the absolutely clueless will drive civilization to ruin. Have fun with that, I'll be prepared.

Re: Nice to see. (1)

ahaweb (762825) | about 5 months ago | (#47318427)

You could be being silenced by the conspiracy to keep people from realizing that energy and wealth have an equivalency. (That conspiracy wants you to believe the economy is a thermodynamically closed system of labor and capital.)

Re: Nice to see. (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#47318849)

You mean it's not a closed system?

I love how you illustrated the point. Excellent way to explain this. I'm guessing though, that it will be lost on most of the people who read it, even on SlashDot as I've run into difficulty trying to find a majority that understand the thermodynamic concept of entropy enough to understand that "waste heat" isn't being wasted....

Re:Nice to see. (1)

Motard (1553251) | about 5 months ago | (#47318297)

Electrolysis may not be the most efficient way, but neither is carrying an extra 1,000lbs worth of batteries to haul around your electricity - as a Tesla does (comparision: Tesla Model S vs. Honda FCX Clarity).

But efficiency may not be that much of an issue. When you think about it, solar power can never be very efficient because the vast majority of solar power never comes anywhere remotely near earth. Yet solar power can still have a significant impact.

Why, let's just take some of Germany's new 22GW solar capabilities and merge them with the hydrogen zeppelin tech they had in the 1930s. These could now be piloted automatically by GPS (a heck of a lot easier than a Google driverless car). The hydrogen already on board could power the craft all the way to a delivery point where the hydrogen (providing a few thousand tankfuls of H2) could be replaced with helium for the trip back.

Of course, by this means of delivery, production wouldn't be limited to sunny Germany, but could utilize all sorts of energy of the sort that's available in places like Iceland. Hydrogen can float itself anywhere in the world. You can't do that with a battery.

Re:Nice to see. (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#47318957)

I'm not sure to laugh at that or not... I sure hope you are NOT serious because it's pretty funny if you take it that way, still....

Re:Nice to see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318309)

You're partly right that going to hydrogen doesn't *immediately* buy you huge, significant reductions in emissions. Here's just a few factors that you're missing though.
1) Large power generation plants produce less emissions per unit of fuel burned because they are run for peak efficiency, where the ICE in a vehicle is not.
2) Large-scale pollutant scrubbing is easier (and cheaper) to do at a single, large source of pollutants than it is to do at thousands of small sources.

Aside from that, however:
3) Once you move to Hydrogen and/or batteries as a power-storage medium for your transportation infrastructure, you can use *any* source of power to produce the hydrogen and/or electricity.
4) Until you do so, you're stuck using fossil fuels for that same infrastructure, so you don't get to take as much advantage of *having* cleaner power generation while you're stick using those fossil fuels to move everything around.
The beauty of the transition is that neither side of the equation has to do everything first, or all at once. The more clean power we generate, the cleaner a hydrogen- or battery-based vehicle gets in absolute terms, but even *before* you run it from clean power, it's still cleaner than the existing alternative (gasoline or diesel).

Re:Nice to see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318615)

I just wanted to say to the people who will counter this with "but... but... carbon dioxide sequestration!!" Arguing that suggests that natural gas is a viable method. Most of the point of this whole "renewables" thing was to switch over to sources of energy that would not realistically run out. So.... how does using methane to produce hydrogen fit into that?

Besides, even if you did manage to jam it back down the borehole that you retrieved the methane from (probably from fracking), how would you stop an immense quantity of ultra-pressurized carbon dioxide from simply permeating back out the crust? Methane is naturally found in groundwater already near these sites. And remember, carbon dioxide is far more soluble in water than methane, so it will simply dissolve and come back up into the atmosphere when we pump the water from the aquifers.

Re:Nice to see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318103)

100 years ago, it was ALWAYS!!! going to be "horse power" (aka, the pooping kind) that is the main method of transportation.

10 years ago, we'd never consider getting rid of copper lines to the home.

Re:Nice to see. (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#47318163)

10 years ago, we'd never consider getting rid of copper lines to the home.

Oh, you mean for DATA.... Ah... Well, I guess that because we use Aluminum for power delivery, you are still correct..

Re:Nice to see. (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 5 months ago | (#47318263)

I laugh at people like you when I drive by in my Leaf in the car pool lane.

Re:Nice to see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318853)

I laugh at the faggots I see in a Leaf

Re:Nice to see. (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#47318347)

You're going to feel really dumb about this, really soon. There are already multiple different battery technologies in development that have met all these requirements. Well, I suppose with a big enough filling system, liquid hydrocarbons could be hard to beat for refill times...

The Japanese government is going to feel dumb about this hydrogen car idea too. Just like so many others have before them.

Could dovetail with current electric vehicles (2)

helixcode123 (514493) | about 5 months ago | (#47317607)

The nice thing about fuel cell technology working it's way into to the automotive arena is that it can dovetail quite nicely with the ongoing developments being made with electric vehicles, since there is significant overlap between the two.

doves tails trials tears (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317905)

2nd comings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlzV0JOCHp4

Re:Could dovetail with current electric vehicles (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#47318099)

If you think of a fuel cell as a source of electrical power, your average hybrid car would require little "adjustment" (at least in the drive train) to accommodate getting power from a fuel cell instead of a generator attached to a gasoline engine.

But, this whole fuel cell thing is nutty from the start. Not a good idea.

Re:Could dovetail with current electric vehicles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318119)

I wish proper apostrophe usage would work ITS way into your brain case.

Re:Could dovetail with current electric vehicles (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 5 months ago | (#47318135)

Only if your goal is to make electric cars much more expensive. Each Honda Clarity FCX costs about $125,000 to manufacture. I haven't heard about any huge breakthroughs that would make this Toyota significantly less. The manufacturers are willing to take a huge loss on each one for a variety of regulatory and PR reasons. Increasing production from their currently tiny numbers isn't going to decrease the unit cost by that much since lots of exotic materials and components are required.

For recurring costs, hydrogen costs about the same per mile as gasoline. And unless you happen to live right next to one of a few dozen hydrogen refueling stations, you're going to waste a lot of fuel and time driving to and from one. My battery powered car costs a third as much per mile and I car recharge it in my garage.

This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Cells (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317621)

Fuel Cells run on hydrogen. Hydrogen can be obtained by refining oil, but that is more expensive than making gasoline and the only reduction in CO2 comes from the centralization of production (easier to cleanse a refinery's emissions than a vehicle's). Hydrogen can as be obtained without oil, but it is always more difficult than electricity to create and store. Hydrogen is also more difficult to transport than electricity. And now we find out that an established, mass market auto company can't even create an inexpensive Fuel Cell car. Their effort ended up with a car that is just as expensive as a very high quality, fully electric car which was created years ago by an almost brand new car company. Electric cars are superior to Fuel Cells in every possible way. They are the present and future of transportation.

Re:This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Ce (1)

rsborg (111459) | about 5 months ago | (#47317869)

Electric cars are superior to Fuel Cells in every possible way. They are the present and future of transportation.

I couldn't have said it better. Fuel cells are much of a roadbump in the long drive of automotive technology development as are 3D TVs for home entertainment (i.e., not quite as bad as DIVX, but ultimately not mainstream usable). The manufacture and distribution of hydrogen alone is a herculean task let alone the fact that it would require changes to an entrenched distribution network of gas/diesel.

Re:This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Ce (4, Interesting)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | about 5 months ago | (#47317897)

the only reduction in CO2 comes from the centralization of production

...where you can do CO2 sequestration and, theoretically, bring emissions down to zero.

(Other than that, I agree with everything you wrote. I worked in R&D on automotive fuel cells for seven years and quit because I believe there's no future in it. They might have been a good idea when the competition was lead-acid batteries, but not any longer.)

Re:This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Ce (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#47317951)

Hydrogen can be obtained by refining oil

Sure it can. But nobody does it that way. Most hydrogen comes from steam reforming [wikipedia.org] of natural gas.

Electric cars are superior to Fuel Cells in every possible way.

Except for range, fueling time, and (maybe) cost.

Re:This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Ce (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47318591)

Sure it can. But nobody does it that way. Most hydrogen comes from steam reforming of natural gas.

Which is predictably energy-intensive.

Electric cars are superior to Fuel Cells in every possible way.

Except for range, fueling time, and (maybe) cost.

Twice the range is good, but nothing to write home about when diesels are now getting 800 miles, and have been getting 400 for decades — and they can be filled up with carbon-neutral fuel right now, instead of carbon-positive hydrogen-from-natural-gas.

Re:This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Ce (1)

randallman (605329) | about 5 months ago | (#47318673)

According to Honda's website, the Clarity has a range of 240 miles, less than Tesla's EPA range of 265. Definitely not costs seeing as how the hydrogen costs more than gasoline. But you do have fueling time, assuming you can find a hydrogen fueling station.

Re:This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Ce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317983)

When technology first comes out, it's always expensive at first because they have to recoup research costs. Unless of course they decide to take a hit to improve market adoption, e.g. game consoles, but that is usually due to their money being made on something other than the actual product. After it attracts mass appeal and starts raking in the money, they can start lowering the price point significantly because it becomes self-sustaining. Then normal market forces of supply and demand kick in which affect the price. I actually want fuel cells to get popular, because they're good for the environment as they only exhaust water. I think the government, however, should mandate that in high humidity regions the local population should be required to purchase only non-fuel cell cars. But, for very arid regions this is going to finally help solve the drought issues.

Re:This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Ce (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 5 months ago | (#47318293)

In the case of fuel cells, they are expensive because they contain platinum. That isn't going to get any cheaper.

And the current generation of fuel cells can only use hydrogen as fuel, which is still a fossil fuel (as another poster points out, produced from natural gas). Just because they conveniently removed all the carbon for you centrally and you can feel better about none of it coming out of the tail pipe, doesn't make it less of a fossil fuel.

Re:This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Ce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318935)

What the hell kind of logic is that? Are you honestly trying to say that reducing emissions on our roadways won't help with air pollution and the heat islands caused by all of those emissions getting trapped? Are you really trying to say that scrubbing on an industrial scale is not inherently more efficient that millions of vehicles that also have to maintain horsepower? The argument is absurd.

Re:This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Ce (3, Informative)

blue9steel (2758287) | about 5 months ago | (#47318019)

On the plus side however hydrogen production would be a perfect match for intermittent power sources like wind or solar. Send any needed amounts to the grid and instead of wasting the excess run a hydrogen production plant.

Re:This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Ce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318261)

Actually the recharge time for electric cars is not superior, merely stating 'electric cars are superior in every way' does not make it so.

just don't call it water powered (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317625)

takes all the complexity away instantly

why wait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317667)

just ask jay? is this old news already? http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=leno+bmw+hydrogen

Hydrogen will be here next year... (2)

Maxwell (13985) | about 5 months ago | (#47317637)

...a true statement in any year.

Re:Hydrogen will be here next year... (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 5 months ago | (#47318281)

Free beer tomorrow!

Re:Hydrogen will be here next year... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318627)

Just after we get that cheap fusion reactor working.

Five times? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 5 months ago | (#47317651)

When did HFC cars start getting a range of 1000+ miles? Certainly not Toyota's [toyota-global.com] . Did the petrol-heads re-entrench with the HFCs now?

Re:Five times? (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about 5 months ago | (#47319113)

Yes, I like the fuzzy-math lazy reportage. Five times the range of an electric car is meaningless if you don't say which electric car. Heck, Teslas have a variety of ranges depending on which model you buy.

Good to keep in mind... (1)

sasparillascott (1267058) | about 5 months ago | (#47317671)

The oil industry likes fuel cells (have run advertising showing off their benefits in the past) - i.e. big money wants this to keep fuel cells going and happen.

Unsubsidized hydrogen is more expensive than gasoline (to go an equivalent distance in a fuel cell vehicle) at this point.

Electricity out of the plug, for a battery electric vehicle, in the U.S. averages $1.25 per gallon in gasoline equivalency (sometimes much less at night).

Re:Good to keep in mind... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47318617)

The oil industry likes fuel cells (have run advertising showing off their benefits in the past) - i.e. big money wants this to keep fuel cells going and happen.

They like them because they can get their fingers into your hydrogen. The problem with electricity from their standpoint is the same as Tesla's supposed free energy system. You can get it out of the sky. Batteries keep getting better long past the point where the doomsayers said they would, and cheaper as well. It doesn't take a crystal ball to figure out that it's going to get downright convenient to get your energy without any grid infrastructure whatsoever, and they will not have that. At least, not any quicker than they can avoid it.

What makes it so expensive?? (1)

tekrat (242117) | about 5 months ago | (#47317691)

This is a well-understood technology that has existed since the 1960's -- aside from some materials tech not normally associated with car production, it isn't a big leap to create a vehicle that uses a fuel cell -- heck, they could take an existing Plug-in Prius, pull the battery pack, add-in a fuel cell, and job done.

What *precisely* is making the car this expensive? (I did not RTFA, this *is* Slashdot after all)......

Re:What makes it so expensive?? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 5 months ago | (#47317741)

The fuel cell, and in specific the requisite platinum catalyst, also economies of scale (or rather lack there of).

Re:What makes it so expensive?? (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about 5 months ago | (#47317745)

Once fuel cells are common people won't wast time stealing catalytic converters.

Re:What makes it so expensive?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317799)

The main cost drivers, and by extension obstacles to widespread hydrogen adoption, are in storage. Long story short, it's difficult to store hydrogen in useful amounts, at an energy density sufficient to rival gasoline. It's the cost of compressing or cryogenically condensing hydrogen that drives up the price tag, as well as the lack of infrastructure.

Re:What makes it so expensive?? (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#47318215)

Heck just getting your hands on hydrogen gas to put into your storage system is quite the process. In fact, I would think it is the bulk of the effort and energy consumption here.

Supersize Meal... and a Diet Coke. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317719)

Nice to see fuel-cell cars, but they're addressing the wrong problem. Shrinking net energy availability is the problem, fuel-cell cars don't address that. I think smaller cars and (motor)bikes would be more useful. Why does a 100 pound woman buying 10 pounds of groceries need to take a 3000 pound vehicle along with her when a 20 pound bicycle and a back pack would suffice?

Re:Supersize Meal... and a Diet Coke. (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#47318129)

Because there are times when she needs to take five 200 pound adults and their luggage 300 miles and she can afford only one car.

Re:Supersize Meal... and a Diet Coke. (2)

oic0 (1864384) | about 5 months ago | (#47318819)

Because she probably has kids. Everyone wants their kids to be safe. If everyone else is in a 5000lb suv and you are in a mini, one good punt from an inattentive SUV and your kids are hospitalized or dead while the SUV lady's rug rats are fine. Someone puts their safety ahead of others, then it's a ridiculous arms race to keep up or be crushed. I'm not putting my hypothetical kids in a 1800lb car on an busy American interstate until everyone else is in them too.

Re:Supersize Meal... and a Diet Coke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318891)

Because she isn't a basement dwelling loser that can't afford a superior method of transportation.

10000 PSI Bomb (0)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 5 months ago | (#47317759)

Just what I want, twin 10000 PSI bombs waiting underneath me for just the right fender bender.

Re:10000 PSI Bomb (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47317815)

Just don't park next to a Tesla and you should be OK.

Re:10000 PSI Bomb (1)

chispito (1870390) | about 5 months ago | (#47317837)

I don't think it's the pressure of the rocket fuel that would make me nervous.

Just what I want, twin 10000 PSI bombs waiting underneath me for just the right fender bender.

Re:10000 PSI Bomb (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317853)

As opposed to an electric car with a battery containing enough juice to power a entire house for a whole day, or a 15-gallon fuel tank filled with a highly flammable liquid? Energy is energy, and no matter what form it is carried in, it is not without risk that needs to be accounted for in engineering. Fuel cell cars would be no different in that regard.

Re:10000 PSI Bomb (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 5 months ago | (#47318057)

There are distinctly different failure modes between those energy containers. I think I'd go for the battery's failure mode any day over the other two. Between those, I think it's a bit of a toss up. Given though that I suspect you'd be more likely to have prolonged suffering with the petrol I'd probably favor the hydrogen bomb for its immediacy.

Re:10000 PSI Bomb (3, Interesting)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#47318277)

Actually, given the standard size of a car and the amount of energy you could store in each of the three cases discussed, I would think that gasoline would be the hands down winner for the biggest boom. Hydrogen would run dead last.

Hydrogen's biggest benefit would be that any leaks would quickly dissipate, epically out doors, while hydrocarbons sink and stay close to the ground.

Re:10000 PSI Bomb (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 5 months ago | (#47318459)

The gasoline has to be mixed in the right proportion with air for it to be highly combustible. Though, if you watch a lot of old police chase shows on TV, you might not know.

Hydrogen is extremely reactive, the instant it leaks out.

Re:10000 PSI Bomb (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#47318885)

Hydrogen is extremely reactive, the instant it leaks out.

So what's the flash point of hydrogen? It may be reactive, but it's not going to just explode unless you have the right mixture and an ignition source. I've played with H2 on occasion (in small quantities) and it's not that dangerous.

Re:10000 PSI Bomb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318391)

Punctured hydrogen tanks don't generally explode. They quickly vent a stream of hydrogen, which just as quickly rises above the tank (and keeps going). If the hydrogen gas *does* catch fire, you end up with a very hot, very localized, very directional torch. The flame *is* hard to see, but its effects on any nearby structure of the car would not be.

FOOL Cells is what they are (1)

adric22 (413850) | about 5 months ago | (#47317861)

So for $70,000 why would I want to buy this car versus a Tesla Model S? Or two Chevy Volts?

Re:FOOL Cells is what they are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317895)

So for $70,000 why would I want to buy this car versus a Tesla Model S?

Because it doesn't take hours to "recharge" like the piece of shit tesla does.

Re:FOOL Cells is what they are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318061)

So for $70,000 why would I want to buy this car versus a Tesla Model S? Or two Chevy Volts?

Why would you buy an electric car over a gas powered car? You are comparing two different things. From the summary, not even the article, there are two big advantages over electric cars. Whether they are worth the increased price tag is up to the specific user.

"Hydrogen vehicles can run five times longer than battery-operated electric cars, and their tanks can be filled in just a few minutes, compared with recharging times from 30 minutes up to several hours for electric cars."

Re:FOOL Cells is what they are (1)

adric22 (413850) | about 5 months ago | (#47318639)

First off, a fuel cell vehicle IS IN FACT an electric car.. just instead of a big battery it uses a fuel cell. So, the Tesla is a very valid comparison being it is the same price and still an electric car.

Dumb questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317919)

Why use hydrogen with a fuel cell? Why not internal combustion instead? Wouldn't it be more efficient, simple, only by-product is water, etc.?

.

Re:Dumb questions (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#47318303)

Even better... Just burn Natural Gas in existing equipment.... Very clean compared to gasoline or diesel and refueling times that rival hydrogen.

Re:Dumb questions (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47318383)

Why use hydrogen with a fuel cell? Why not internal combustion instead? Wouldn't it be more efficient, simple, only by-product is water, etc.? .

(ICE x drive train) efficiency is maybe 35%. Fuel cell efficiency (%60) x electric motor efficiency (%90) is 54%, so the hydrogen ICE is not more efficient.

Simple depends on how you define simplicity, but ICE and drive train have many more moving parts.

Hydrogen ICE still produces NOx, so "only by-product is water" is not true.

Three strikes, your out!

Fuel cells are idiotic for cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47317923)

Great technology but they are being promoted by the fossil fuel industry because they fear electric cars. They focus on how they are clean and have invested millions in the "Hydrogen Economy (tm)" marketing to distract from the fact that Hydrogen has to come from somewhere - and that "somewhere" is the fossil fuel companies tracking. The reforming process from natural gas to Hydrogen generates massive amounts of CO2. It only shifts the problem out of the public eye. It's quite cynical what they are doing. Don't be duped

Re:Fuel cells are idiotic for cars (1)

Motard (1553251) | about 5 months ago | (#47318009)

HFC Cars *are* electric cars. Hydrogen *can* come from fossil fuels, but can also come from water, or other sources.

Jumped Off the Hydrogen Train (1)

organgtool (966989) | about 5 months ago | (#47318967)

I used to be extremely excited for fuel cell vehicles about 10 years ago. Then I learned that they don't perform well in cold weather, are very dangerous during impact, hydrogen is not easy or cheap to make, and most importantly of all, you still have to go out of your way every so many miles to find a damn station to fill up. Compare that to electric cars which require less maintenance, are safer, work better in the cold (albeit with slightly degraded performance), already have established channels for generating and distributing energy, and allow me to leave my garage fully recharged every day. At this point, electric cars have a big competitive edge and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Hydrogen Refueling Map? (1)

mojo-raisin (223411) | about 5 months ago | (#47319019)

Could I get a map of hydrogen refueling stations?

I want to plan all of my driving to remain at least a quarter mile away from those things.

One big "boom," and no one will ever drive these things again.

hydrogen storage (1)

SeanBlader (1354199) | about 5 months ago | (#47319087)

There's no mention of how they managed to store the hydrogen safely. It's a small and spacious gas, so trying to contain it in a high enough pressure safely to give a car powered by it enough range has been the historical biggest challenge. I want to know what guarantee there is that the hydrogen tank won't spontaneously burst, or what happens after I leave the car parked for a few weeks.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?