Will battery cars be eclipesed by fuel cells and hydrogen?
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Thread: Will battery cars be eclipesed by fuel cells and hydrogen?

  1. #1
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Default Will battery cars be eclipsed by fuel cells and hydrogen?

    The present battle in the petroleum market has delayed the time when electric cars are an economic must. It could give time to allow the hydrogen powered vehicles to take over. PSA and Renault are not playing in this space. Renault wants to recover its investment in battery cars and is developing ways to make them more economic and practical. PSA is not playing because of lack of money and is spending its restricted R&D budget on plug-in hybrids.
    Toyota and Honda are showing fuel cell powered cars and the Germans have them under development. The problems remain of sourcing and distributing hydrogen which still look a lots more difficult than generating electricty.

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    Last edited by gerry freed; 11th January 2015 at 05:06 AM. Reason: typos
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    Gerry I like to think that many of my posts are thought provoking and therefore contributing positively to aussie frogs. Having said that i also realise they are abrasive and irritating people. Bearing that in mind i just want to take the opportunity to say that your posts are the most interesting, constructive, well thought out. factual and informative information i have ever read on any discussion forum. I m sure i m not alone in thinking this and i sincerely thank you for your continued fascinating input and insight.

    If I Were a person who could emulate your faultless profile on this forum it would undoubtedly be to my credit.

    I have almost never encountered this with anyone but if you said something is so then i would accept it without further investigation. That is a rare quality.
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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Thank you for those thoughts. I teach engineers, mostly Chinese, about the structure and competitive forces in the global auto industry, so I have to track the trends and then stimulate discussion among them as to the future. It is easy to share this with AFs. Sitting here in France one gets a somewhat narrow field of view of globalisation but good insights into the French industry and its management. As I am reading a lot of press material, technical and financial about the French contributions to the world of autos, it is no big deal to translate some of the more franco-centric comments and strategic challenges. France is certainly a social and economic entity with its own view of the world and it is hard to separate the industry's local challenges from politics.
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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    While on talking futures, there is a Boston Consulting Group research paper being quoted which suggests that by 2035, 10% of the world's cars on the road will be driverless.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    While on talking futures, there is a Boston Consulting Group research paper being quoted which suggests that by 2035, 10% of the world's cars on the road will be driverless.
    Firstly, I endorse Alexander's comments!

    Wow. I've been following the fuel cell business a little. I wonder, in today's age, how you'd get approval for the widespread uncontrolled use of something as volatile and dangerous as petrol, and they are considering hydrogen? It does burn very cleanly of course, if there is an accident. Most people survived the Hindenberg disaster if I recall, if singed badly. It's hard to see that flying in the short to medium term in comparison with electric cars as their range increases and they become more numerous. More than half the world now lives in cities so, IMHO, range isn't a killer really but the perception of short range maybe is a killer at present.

    I certainly can see the driverless cars finding a niche. Some mines in Australia have their haulage fleet inside the mine fully automated and it is quite eerie to see them trundling repeatedly to the same place, within mm, to be loaded and then to drive to the crusher, to the mm, and unload. Sophisticated algorithms in the computer control. A telling point: no other vehicles are allowed near them unless they have an electronic beacon so that the driverless truck can recognise their presence.

    Interesting areas.

    Hope you'll find Tassie a wider field of view!! In some ways, it might be.

    Cheers
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    My tuppence worth on this debate is this is akin to the tussle between electric cars and petrol cars at the start of the 20th century. It was a lot easier to transport a drum of petrol to remoter places than to get access to the then nascent electricity grid. Petrol won on accessibility and EV's died off.

    Now - the electricity grid is everywhere and there are next to no hydrogen refill stations. Suspect EV's will win out this time as it is too easy to plug in anywhere to 'refill' and hydrogen refuelling is at the very early stages of design with almost no availability outside of a few trial spots. (i.e Even less availability that the grid had at the start of the 20th century). As for the debates over safety - hydrogen is a whole lot safer that petrol to move & store, but there is also a lot more awareness of safety issues now - so it will be extremely slow to get approvals for hydrogen production, transport and urban storage. I therefore cannot see any wholesale hydrogen car building, or take-up, happening before battery EV's are pretty much ubiquitous.

    Predictions:
    1. hydrogen will become more accessible late this century due to home and larger hydrogen production systems being developed for use as storage units for the excess generation from much more efficient home PV's in combination with the needs of a grid based on entirely renewable (and thus variable) generation;
    2. Late this century hydrogen powered fuel cells will replace batteries in EV's as a more environmentally friendly alternative to the production and recycling of batteries;
    3. A best documentary Oscar nomination in 2090 for the film "Who Killed the Hydrogen Car?"
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    1000+ Posts driven's Avatar
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    Fuel Cell Vehicles still need batteries, fuel cell could just replace the range extender engine, easy

    Fuel Cell Vehicles

    Production storage and distribution of Hydrogen will remain problematic

    Alternative Fuels Data Center: Hydrogen Production and Distribution

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    Default loose debate!!

    Hi all contributers for a rational debate on this interesting and perhaps important subject.

    I am constantly amazed by the lack of factual discussion on some subjects like this in the general press etc. We know that people beaver away in back rooms at lots of interesting projects to get a handle on new technology and test ideas.

    However in this case hydrogen seems to have slipped out and captured the popular press in some way that is hard to fathom This has flavoured the public debate and raised some expectations that you just "get" some hydrogen and burn it in an engine and only water and energy is produced. No down sides at all. Ahhhh the perfect world. Just mine a bit of hydrogen, lets go for it. I can almost hear our Federal government handing out the grants backed by the Daily Telly writers.

    Thanks for the rational discussions.
    Jaahn

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    Certainly for the time being hydrogen is a sideshow.
    I think it will be a niche for certain specialised applications, but for the majority of commuter use BEV will be king before too long and for a long time.
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    Battery technology continues to improve at a fast rate however the price needs to half for EV conversions to become viable. Tesla has developed a system of charging stations Supercharger | Tesla Motors that promise 270 kms range on a 30 minute charge. Brisbane to Sydney could take an extra 2 hours or so but don't they say we should stop every 2 hours anyway? Anyhow I like the idea of stopping and relaxing a little, having a coffee, chatting with other travelers, so I'm feeling very positive about electric cars. In a short time the range will improve and quick charge times as that is what people demand.

    The big seller with electric motors is massive torque at virtually any speed... consider that the quickest street legal cars are now electric (heard of White Zombie......imagine what our little frenchies could do!). Beside the lack of efficiency, heat and toxic fumes emitted by internal combustion engines....there are so many things to not worry about any more such as leaky exhausts, oil changes, injector problems, starter motor brushes, suggestive selling at the petrol station, etc. Sure it doesn't get rid of all the problems but for the fact that a study in the U.S. found 95% of car journeys are less than 80 kms......EV's have it pretty much covered. The best thing is that virtually any car can be converted to electric and there are hundreds of examples on the web so it may just be a timely boost to the manufacturing sector and independence from foreign fossil fuel reserves.

    Today I drove my GS a short distance and while I love the engine, the noise it makes and the clever engineering......I am sort of ready for electric conversion and made easier by the copious amount of oil leaking, toxic fumes from exhaust and burning oil, fuel filler tube leak, carby rebuild needed etc etc.....If I don't overhaul the engine soon I'm really considering a GS EV conversion...or I'll wait a couple of years for the batteries to come down in price. It's a tricky choice but it just seems time...who knows what will happen to the price of oil after this sudden dip??

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    A recent road test of the Tesla on an intercity trip across the country showed that it is perhaps not as attractive in European conditions as in the US. The quick getaway, characteristic of electric motors is of amusement value for a second or two when the lights go green. The car in front is soon caught up with and the adventure ends. Once on the autoroutes passing power surges in the 90- 120kmh range are needed and the Tesla shows little benefit versus modern petrol engines in comparable cars. Worse, a lot of that action depletes the batteries fast and the range quoted is not available. Recharging time increased the point to point time considerably. Paris -Caen for a lunch meeting and drive back in the evening requires more care of fuel conservation than stopping at the autoroute filling station. Another generation of battery improvement is awaited.
    I drive my GS as everyday transport but would not consider a conversion. I would rather wait until I can buy a car designed around electric energy.
    Last edited by gerry freed; 21st January 2015 at 08:23 PM. Reason: typo
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    A recent road test of the Tesla on an intercity trip across the country showed that it is perhaps not as attractive in European conditions as in the US. The quick getaway, characteristic of electric motors is of amusement value for a second or two when the lights go green. The car in front is soon caught up with and the adventure ends. Once on the autoroutes passing power surges in the 90- 120kmh range are needed and the Tesla shows little benefit versus modern petrol engines in comparable cars. Worse, a lot of that action depletes the batteries fast and the range quoted is not available. Recharging time increased the point to point time considerably. Paris -Caen for a lunch meeting and drive back in the evening requires more car of fuel conservation than stopping at the autoroute filling station. Another generation of battery improvement is awaited.
    I drive my GS as everyday transport but would not consider a conversion. I would rather wait until I can buy a car designed around electric energy.
    I agree entirely. Conversions are fun but the ones I know of have less range than, for example a Leaf. Mind you, a range of 100 km would do 95% of my daily and weekend use. Most days I do less than 30 km.
    JohnW

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    Battery costs dropped 40% in 3 years and keep falling.
    Next gen Leaf and the new midsize Tesla will have 300km range, more than enough for almost anybody.
    Very few people would not be able to live with the range of a Tesla S.....

    As for conversions, with the current availability of well engineered factory vehicles it no longer makes sense if all you want is an economical commuter.
    It is in the niches where it is still a factor.
    Expect more classic conversions...

    Our second imiev was damaged in a crash, we are tossing io whether to say ok to repairs and then sell it (it was up for sale when it was hit...new baby means we needed more than four seats...) or take a bit of a loss on it, and keep the wreck to use in a conversion.
    Looking at converting an EJ Holden, because both of us love them, weight is similar to the imiev so performance and range should be similar, and a silent electric EJ Premier replica would be pretty awesome...
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    Icon14 For the motoring futurists and inventors, infinite possibilities.

    What I would like to see is an emphasis on a hydrogen based charging system. Much like each home can now have their own battery charger, a simple home based charging system for the fuel cell would almost eliminate the need for establishment of a costly service station style Hydrogen storage fill system.

    Service stations for fuel distribution would then be so much yesterdays technology. I guess that somewhere in the world there are inventors working to eliminate safety issues and simplifying the process. A pelletized system where solid state elements are processed by the fuel cell could also be an interesting development, all things are possible once free of restrictive conventions.

    The dream of a simple tap water based system as a method of fuelling, is probably just dream of a generation of automobile loving individuals.

    Ken

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    The dream of a simple tap water based system as a method of fuelling, is probably just dream of a generation of automobile loving individuals.

    Ken
    It will never work! I once tried to run an Austin Kimberly on tap water. It it ran for about 30 seconds, then stopped. It was extremely difficult to start after that. My four year old son, unbeknown to me had filled my tank with tap water from the garden hose, only stopping when liquid ran out of the filler cap. Only took an hour or so to drain all the water out and get fuel back into the carbies!
    Last edited by Kim Luck; 14th January 2015 at 01:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugnut403 View Post
    Looking at converting an EJ Holden, because both of us love them, weight is similar to the imiev so performance and range should be similar, and a silent electric EJ Premier replica would be pretty awesome...
    Agree, except safety with the EJ. Mind you, the R8 isn't exactly a tank I must admit.
    JohnW

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    Hydrogen is not a fuel - it is just a battery. Entropy will always win.

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    Jeez Haakon, I thought Entropy was something they needed to use an Entroposcope to look up yer ars* with to check if you had it?
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    A recent road test of the Tesla on an intercity trip across the country showed that it is perhaps not as attractive in European conditions as in the US. The quick getaway, characteristic of electric motors is of amusement value for a second or two when the lights go green. The car in front is soon caught up with and the adventure ends. Once on the autoroutes passing power surges in the 90- 120kmh range are needed and the Tesla shows little benefit versus modern petrol engines in comparable cars. Worse, a lot of that action depletes the batteries fast and the range quoted is not available. Recharging time increased the point to point time considerably. Paris -Caen for a lunch meeting and drive back in the evening requires more car of fuel conservation than stopping at the autoroute filling station. Another generation of battery improvement is awaited.
    I drive my GS as everyday transport but would not consider a conversion. I would rather wait until I can buy a car designed around electric energy.
    Thanks for your thoughts Gerry, do you still have a link to that road test? (It's important to regard real-world testing).

    This page Model S Efficiency and Range | Tesla Motors explains a bit more and all the factors leading to reduced mileage at highway speed. At 80 MPH constant you would be looking at a 200 mile range which is about 130KPH giving about 320 km.

    Paris to Caen is about 235 km so according to these figures you would probably make it there and the Tesla supercharger station claim Supercharger | Tesla Motors is that you will charge the battery to 100% in 75 minutes.......so that's not a quick lunch but if you are going to Caen there seems much reason to spend that time there.

    Of course improvements are still to be made but I'm just a little awe-struck by the ingenuity of Tesla in the way I regard the days of a reasonably independent Citroën where innovation was driven by the ideas of clever engineers and designers and less about consumer focus studies and narrow-minded motoring journalist ideas of how a car should be. Bienvenue à l'ingéniosité!

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Back at home and Holden can create a good looking affordable EV with decent range......and then sell it somewhere else! Holden Chevrolet Bolt electric car wows Detroit motor show
    And from 5 years ago.....The electric revolution is on track | Business Spectator......see how little progress has been made here it's puzzling

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    1000+ Posts driven's Avatar
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    Will have to get a Tesla P85D

    85 kWh Performance
    253 miles range (EPA est.)
    691 hp motor power
    221 hp front, 470 hp rear
    3.2 seconds 0-60 mph

    No Renault will match this
    155 mph top speed

    Model S | Tesla Motors

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    Quote Originally Posted by driven View Post
    Will have to get a Tesla P85D

    85 kWh Performance
    253 miles range (EPA est.)
    691 hp motor power
    221 hp front, 470 hp rear
    3.2 seconds 0-60 mph

    No Renault will match this
    155 mph top speed

    Model S | Tesla Motors
    By my probably quite incorrect calculations that car has a full throttle endurance of about 34 minutes and a range of about 90 miles, making for a very quick commute at 155 mph!
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