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      10-14-2014, 03:13 AM   #1
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Will BMW's EVs come to be "dead" before they really get going? The HFC threat

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I just saw this from a show, TechKnow, that airs on Aljazeera America: Introducing the era of hydrogen cars | Al Jazeera America .

Supplementary information: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/24/au...anted=all&_r=0





Hydrogen Cars Could Hit Roads by Next Year, Automakers Say - Going Green | Redondo Beach, California Patch

Please watch the video before commenting.

I am far more interested in hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) cars than I am in electric ones. Foremost among the reasons I would buy an HFC and not an electric vehicle (EV) is that the former doesn't require me to change anything about my driving habits. (Or at least if/when hydrogen fueling stations become ubiquitous, it won't.) Moreover, as the output of an HFC is H2O, hydrogen is a fully recoverable and reusable resource, to say nothing of its being by far, far, far the most abundant element on the planet. We'll never run out of hydrogen, and if fission becomes something that can in the future be done on industrial levels at sane prices, more can be made if needed.

Interesting: Toyota giving away its first hydrogen car in US


Take a look at the video and then share your thoughts.

As for EVs, I can't say I'm certain they are "dead" before they really get out of the starting block. The limited range and long recharging times have just been unacceptable to me, so while my favorite car maker offers two EV models, one of which looks awesome to me, I have refrained from buying one. I can see plenty of use for them, particularly in large cities and as the power for small, personal transport vehicles, such as bikes, motorcycles (if a small and long lasting enough and effective enough battery exists), and commuter cars like the Smart Car. In that context, I can see the EV coexisting with HFCs.

All the best.

The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.
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      10-14-2014, 12:29 PM   #2
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Hydrogen is probably our cleanest 'burning' fuel, but its production may not be! Nor is transporting the stuff easy. It takes a lot of electricity to split hydrogen from water, and most production facilities today get H2 from natural gas and a byproduct of that is CO2, so other than the energy it requires to get it, that isn't the greatest for the environment, either.

It will be a very long time before hydrogen fueling stations are as readily available as an electric plug or a gas station is. CA has forced the availability of some refueling stations, but outside of CA, there is not much incentive to build them. There are very few of them around.

The exotic metals required in the fuel cell stack are not inexpensive (well, nor is the lithium in an EV's battery pack), but stuff like platinum is a LOT more expensive. We may see lots more of FC vehicles, but outside of CA, it's going to take awhile. There are only a few areas where it will be viable in the near term, and then, even though you may have decent range, you won't be able to easily go cross-country with one. Some of it is the chicken and egg problem, which also affects EVs with the lack of fast DC charging.
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      10-14-2014, 12:48 PM   #3
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Since BMW have a partnership with Toyota, in the future, we will have this tecnology running on BMW's. Thats one of the reasons why BMW chose the letter "i" for "inteligent" and not "e" for "electric"
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      11-09-2014, 05:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009
I just saw this from a show, TechKnow, that airs on Aljazeera America: Introducing the era of hydrogen cars | Al Jazeera America .

Supplementary information: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/24/au...anted=all&_r=0





Hydrogen Cars Could Hit Roads by Next Year, Automakers Say - Going Green | Redondo Beach, California Patch

Please watch the video before commenting.

I am far more interested in hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) cars than I am in electric ones. Foremost among the reasons I would buy an HFC and not an electric vehicle (EV) is that the former doesn't require me to change anything about my driving habits. (Or at least if/when hydrogen fueling stations become ubiquitous, it won't.) Moreover, as the output of an HFC is H2O, hydrogen is a fully recoverable and reusable resource, to say nothing of its being by far, far, far the most abundant element on the planet. We'll never run out of hydrogen, and if fission becomes something that can in the future be done on industrial levels at sane prices, more can be made if needed.

Interesting: Toyota giving away its first hydrogen car in US


Take a look at the video and then share your thoughts.

As for EVs, I can't say I'm certain they are "dead" before they really get out of the starting block. The limited range and long recharging times have just been unacceptable to me, so while my favorite car maker offers two EV models, one of which looks awesome to me, I have refrained from buying one. I can see plenty of use for them, particularly in large cities and as the power for small, personal transport vehicles, such as bikes, motorcycles (if a small and long lasting enough and effective enough battery exists), and commuter cars like the Smart Car. In that context, I can see the EV coexisting with HFCs.

All the best.

The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.
― Nikola Tesla
Tony,

We saw this leapfrogging take place with lightbulbs.

Factories ramped up and transitioned from standard light bulbs to CFL.

Now, LED's are safer, no toxic gases, last longer, and take less power.

Yes. You make a very astute point! The Evs my not succeed.
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      11-09-2014, 07:40 PM   #5
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Chicken/egg problem. People won't buy FC powered cars if they can't get fuel, except where government arm twisting has gone on, hydrogen fuel stations are very few and far between. You can't ship liquid hydrogen very far economically, so you need a local source, and who is going to invest to install them so more cars/trucks will be able to use them?

Hydrogen may 'burn' clean (releasing an electron, heat, and water as a byproduct), but it still takes a lot of energy to break away from whatever it is combined with (maybe the largest source is water), but then, once you have it, it must be compressed, and that takes a fair amount of energy, too. Maybe the best use of hydrogen is fusion, but doing that so that it is reliable and a net source of energy is still a ways away (look at the research being done at Lawrence Livermore and elsewhere).

Fuel cells are getting more efficient at what they do and more reliable, but it all comes back to where are you going to get your energy from. Hydrogen refueling stations are still a ways away from being as common as a plug, or a gas station and until then, except in very limited markets where you have access to the required fuel, nobody's going to buy one.
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      11-09-2014, 10:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
Chicken/egg problem. People won't buy FC powered cars if they can't get fuel, except where government arm twisting has gone on, hydrogen fuel stations are very few and far between. You can't ship liquid hydrogen very far economically, so you need a local source, and who is going to invest to install them so more cars/trucks will be able to use them?

Hydrogen may 'burn' clean (releasing an electron, heat, and water as a byproduct), but it still takes a lot of energy to break away from whatever it is combined with (maybe the largest source is water), but then, once you have it, it must be compressed, and that takes a fair amount of energy, too. Maybe the best use of hydrogen is fusion, but doing that so that it is reliable and a net source of energy is still a ways away (look at the research being done at Lawrence Livermore and elsewhere).

Fuel cells are getting more efficient at what they do and more reliable, but it all comes back to where are you going to get your energy from. Hydrogen refueling stations are still a ways away from being as common as a plug, or a gas station and until then, except in very limited markets where you have access to the required fuel, nobody's going to buy one.
TY for sharing your thoughts.

I think you note several challenges that need to be overcome. No question in that regard. I think, however, that every one of those challenges is being considered by someone as an opportunity, not an impediment.

I'm sure getting a ship to the Moon was at one point was fraught with things that needed to be overcome, very hard to solve problems. Ditto commercial flight or even mass appeal automobiles. And yet, we've sent a men to the Moon, millions of folks fly around the planet annually, and cars are ubiquitous and almost as important to daily life in many places as air, food and water.

All the best.
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      11-14-2014, 02:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
TY for sharing your thoughts.

I think you note several challenges that need to be overcome. No question in that regard. I think, however, that every one of those challenges is being considered by someone as an opportunity, not an impediment.

I'm sure getting a ship to the Moon was at one point was fraught with things that needed to be overcome, very hard to solve problems. Ditto commercial flight or even mass appeal automobiles. And yet, we've sent a men to the Moon, millions of folks fly around the planet annually, and cars are ubiquitous and almost as important to daily life in many places as air, food and water.

All the best.
Fuel cell cars are not going to make it. Infrastructure, need I repeat it infrastructure is a very big problem to overcome and it will be costly. Heck what is easier then a 120 volt outlet and infrastructure is still the problem with electric vehicles. So not in my lifetime will fuel cell technology be a reasonable technology for powering cars. People won't but them in significant numbers until they can go across country and be able to fuel them without any problems and that is the big rub!
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      11-14-2014, 03:47 PM   #8
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Fuel cell cars are not going to make it. Infrastructure . . .
+1

Cost for this infrastructure will be enormous and not too much motivation financially with Level 2 chargers springing up everywhere. May survive in states like CA.
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      11-15-2014, 05:48 AM   #9
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I'd just like to point out that as long as commercial aviation and GA planes are going to use jet fuel and AV gas, there is going to be gasoline. The same infrastructure that produces aviation fuel produces gasoline. Until the cost of gasoline (at the production level and at the retail level) exceeds that of alternate fuels, alternate fuel vehicles are going to be a small part of the market place.

In my opinion all the regulation around CO2 greenhouse gas emissions has curtailed any advance in doubling the efficiency of the internal combustion engine, which is really where the R&D dollars should be going.
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      11-16-2014, 12:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
I'd just like to point out that as long as commercial aviation and GA planes are going to use jet fuel and AV gas, there is going to be gasoline. The same infrastructure that produces aviation fuel produces gasoline. Until the cost of gasoline (at the production level and at the retail level) exceeds that of alternate fuels, alternate fuel vehicles are going to be a small part of the market place.

In my opinion all the regulation around CO2 greenhouse gas emissions has curtailed any advance in doubling the efficiency of the internal combustion engine, which is really where the R&D dollars should be going.
I can't say I know what the potential for efficiency improvement is for combustion engines used in cars, but I know the Federal CAFE provide quite a bit of motivation for makers to come up with improvements somehow. That they've chosen to lighten the weight of cars or use turbo chargers is testament to there being sufficient motivation. I suspect dramatic changes to combustion engines is among the more costly ways to meet CAFE requirements, but sooner or later that's the only option that'll be left.

All the bet.
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      11-16-2014, 05:12 PM   #11
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Internal combustion engines have been around for over a century. Yes, there are some ways it probably could be made more efficient, but there are no miracles out there that would produce a quantum leap, just some incremental ones, especially if the manufacturers want to retain the equipment they currently have to produce them.

THere's some research on novel horizontally opposed pistons being done that looks interesting. If you believe that the manufacturers' engineering departments aren't trying, I think you are mistaken. The US government (and most others as well) have an interest in efficiency for themselves, too (and ultimately us)...our armed services use a HUGE amount of fuel, and it would help us all if they were more efficient, so there are labs working on fundamental research into that area outside of the manufacturers as well.
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      11-16-2014, 07:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeins View Post
Since BMW have a partnership with Toyota, in the future, we will have this tecnology running on BMW's. Thats one of the reasons why BMW chose the letter "i" for "inteligent" and not "e" for "electric"
From Autocar UK.

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/ne...gen-fuelled-i5
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      11-22-2014, 09:29 AM   #13
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Would be interesting to see BMW's version of this. However my understanding the tech is really new and the cost to refill is not as favorable as electric cars in terms of actual cost per mile.
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      11-22-2014, 08:19 PM   #14
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It's not particularly energy efficient to make H2 - it really likes to be bonded with other things. Then, you have to compress it and ship it. Electricity 'ships' much easier, and depending on how it was produced, it may be pretty cheap. It's certainly more available, almost everyone has electricity readily available. H2 likes to leak out of things, after all, it is the smallest, least complex element in the universe. There's lots of it, too, but most of it isn't 'free', it's combined with other things.
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      12-06-2014, 06:06 AM   #15
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My $.02, for what it's worth. At face value, I like the idea of HFC powered, well, anything. After all, H2 + atmospheric gases usually yield water, unless the reaction conditions vary significantly from STP (Standard Temperature (25C), and Pressure (1 atm) for the Chemistry challenged ).

But, then I started to think about the source H2. While there is some "free" H2 in our atmosphere, you can't really use it for this purpose. That being said, where will it come from?

There are 2 major sources for H2; seawater and methane (ethane/ethanol can be used but methane is more abundant and cheaper). The seawater solution is, to me, retarded. It takes electricity to split H2O into H2 and O2 then mechanical energy to compress the H2 and more mechanical and thermal energy to transport the compressed/liquified H2 to a filling station. Then more electricity is used to pump or flow regulate the H2 as it enters my car just so I can turn it into electricity to operate the vehicle. In summary, it takes electricity to make H2 plus a ton of other energy sources to transport it so my car can convert with heat loss to electricity. Am I the only one that sees this as a bit stupid?

OK, so forget about seawater. Let's get those hydrogens from CH4 (methane or natural gas). This is a fairly simple and actually considerably more efficient. But, there's a catch. The byproducts of CH4 + atmosphere include CO2 and some nasty NOx molecules (acid rain) so it's not a clean solution. In fact, since the energy density of H2 is so low, a currently operating vehicle of the same weight class as an H2 powered vehicle that used LPG as its fuel is cleaner, cheaper, and no one has to wait 10 years for a roll out. They've been in operation for decades.

For the reasons listed I don't see H2 going anywhere. It's expensive, it's not clean, and it's a fuel transportation nightmare. What exactly is there to like?
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      12-06-2014, 05:00 PM   #16
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My $.02, for what it's worth. At face value, I like the idea of HFC powered, well, anything. After all, H2 + atmospheric gases usually yield water, unless the reaction conditions vary significantly from STP (Standard Temperature (25C), and Pressure (1 atm) for the Chemistry challenged ).

But, then I started to think about the source H2. While there is some "free" H2 in our atmosphere, you can't really use it for this purpose. That being said, where will it come from?

There are 2 major sources for H2; seawater and methane (ethane/ethanol can be used but methane is more abundant and cheaper). The seawater solution is, to me, retarded. It takes electricity to split H2O into H2 and O2 then mechanical energy to compress the H2 and more mechanical and thermal energy to transport the compressed/liquified H2 to a filling station. Then more electricity is used to pump or flow regulate the H2 as it enters my car just so I can turn it into electricity to operate the vehicle. In summary, it takes electricity to make H2 plus a ton of other energy sources to transport it so my car can convert with heat loss to electricity. Am I the only one that sees this as a bit stupid?

OK, so forget about seawater. Let's get those hydrogens from CH4 (methane or natural gas). This is a fairly simple and actually considerably more efficient. But, there's a catch. The byproducts of CH4 + atmosphere include CO2 and some nasty NOx molecules (acid rain) so it's not a clean solution. In fact, since the energy density of H2 is so low, a currently operating vehicle of the same weight class as an H2 powered vehicle that used LPG as its fuel is cleaner, cheaper, and no one has to wait 10 years for a roll out. They've been in operation for decades.

For the reasons listed I don't see H2 going anywhere. It's expensive, it's not clean, and it's a fuel transportation nightmare. What exactly is there to like?
Perhaps I've forgotten something from the article, but can you help me understand why you brought up deuterium? I realize that the military and industry create it from H2O, but I've been of the mind that protium -- H1, or just plain H (one proton and no neutron for the chemically challenged <wink>) if one isn't specifically discussing hydrogen isotopes -- is the hydrogen isotope that is being used for automobile fuel cells.

All the best.
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      12-06-2014, 06:05 PM   #17
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We're not talking isotopes here...we're talking hydrogen as you'll find it. You will NOT find single atom hydrogen around in nature...you'll always find a molecule of hydrogen, or H2 (two single hydrogen atoms combined into a molecule of hydrogen). IOW, atomic hydrogen is a very transient item in nature. ANd, even then, it likes to combine with other things, so raw hydrogen is not readily abundant, it has to be extracted from those compounds with the expenditure of a moderate amount of energy that is NOT free.

Now, there are special uses for the heavy isotopes of hydrogen, but that's another issue altogether. I actually have some sitting on my wrist right now in a Ball watch (tritium filled glass tubes marking the minutes and hands).
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      12-08-2014, 04:28 PM   #18
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Personally, I see hydrogen being quite a ways out for a practical every day daily driver consumer vehicle. Gasoline cars should start to decline in the coming years, I can see diesel taking over first just like how it has in Europe. From there, electric cars will take over and then other alternatively powered vehicles will lead the pack.

Personally, I love Volvo's V60 Plug in Hybrid R-Design

Diesel plug in hybrids will be the "next big thing"
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      12-08-2014, 09:39 PM   #19
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Personally, I see hydrogen being quite a ways out for a practical every day daily driver consumer vehicle. Gasoline cars should start to decline in the coming years, I can see diesel taking over first just like how it has in Europe. From there, electric cars will take over and then other alternatively powered vehicles will lead the pack.

Personally, I love Volvo's V60 Plug in Hybrid R-Design

Diesel plug in hybrids will be the "next big thing"
I've wondered why a diesel hybrid hasn't yet come to market...seems like it'd make for a huge "leapfrog" moment.

All the best.
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      12-08-2014, 10:16 PM   #20
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Realities aside, unfortuantly so much of what drives alternative fuels and their uptake seems to come down to consumer perception (among the layman out there). This perception doesn't actually match reality, but it is what it is...

Electricity is percieved as 'clean', 'abundant' and possibly 'free' (or atleast extremely cheap).

Hydrogen is perceived as 'clean-ish' but more importantly as 'combustible' (ie dangerous).

Again, this isn't the reality, but thats the perception, and I can see that as being enough to stop HFCV from getting off the ground without a concerted public brainwash operation.

BMW was really on the forefront of H2 combustion (BMW H2R and BMW Hydrogen 7), but of course infrastructure was the biggest problem back then. This new way of thinking with a hydrogen fuel cell sounds really awesome and the way to go for it, and I would actually love to try a HFCV out as they do in many ways seem to make more sense to be then plug in electric vehicles. But I am a little fearful that the avg Joe just wont accept HFCV unless its really forced down their throat. Which won't be happening anytime soon with cheap gas, and perception of electric as the 'it' thing right now.

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      12-09-2014, 09:21 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
Perhaps I've forgotten something from the article, but can you help me understand why you brought up deuterium? I realize that the military and industry create it from H2O, but I've been of the mind that protium -- H1, or just plain H (one proton and no neutron for the chemically challenged <wink>) if one isn't specifically discussing hydrogen isotopes -- is the hydrogen isotope that is being used for automobile fuel cells.

All the best.
I didn't mention deuterium. My H2 shorthand referred to the hydrogen gas bonded as H-H since hydrogen, like oxygen, is diatomic.

Protium refers to hydrogen in its nuclear state, that is just the nucleus, and so there is no electron. Protium may or may not have a neutron, which is rare, or two, which is extremely rare. Protium is what turns water into acid. In fact, the only reason hydrogen is able to hang on to its electrons in its natural state, a gas until nearly 0 Kelvin, is because of the covalent bond in S1 for the diatomic H2 molecule.
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      12-20-2014, 03:26 AM   #22
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Not a chance.

EV's are here to stay.

Other than BMW's horrible choice in plug standard, they will do well once there is a fast charging network that covers the ridiculous choice of plug they decided upon.

So, for now sales of the BEV model will suffer accordingly.
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