How to Promote the Hydrogen Economy Hoax

Discussion in 'General' started by Pushmi-Pullyu, Jan 7, 2018.

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  1. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    "Funny, I would say just the opposite."

    Well, 98 to 99 percent of your fellow Americans disagree. They are not buying. Roughly the same percentage here in the UK. Despite a huge grant to buy one, and immunity to congestion charges in London, sales remain dismal.
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  3. I've never even seen a hydrogen car here. Electrics are all over the place.
  4. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    Perhaps all the EVs are sold near you, with even less sold elsewhere. Or someone is fiddling the figures.

    You can't miss the Mirai. It is a very ugly car indeed to my eye. Despite that, its year on year sales growth is almost ten times that of EVs so someone must love it.
  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    It always helps to include the numbers as ‘almost ten times’ could be sold 1 and later 10.

    Bob Wilson
  6. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    Point taken Bob.

    What I meant by this is that in January 2018, 213 Mirais were sold - 157% up on on the 83 sold in the previous year. If you look at the number of EVs sold in January 2018, you find 12,116 were sold - 10% up on the 11,004 sold the previous year.

    In fact, this is not a ratio of ten to one, but nearly sixteen to one. However January was a poor month for EVs. If you do the same thing for other months you find the same thing, though the ratio of the two growth figures is nearer ten.

    Granted, you can see large percentage increases when small numbers are involved, but over 213 is not a small figure when compared with individual plug-ins listed. It is bigger than 26 of the 41 cars listed, about two thirds of them. Clearly, its sales are restricted by lack of refuelling facilities too.

    We will have to wait and see if the Mirai and the Nexo together can sustain this sort of growth rate. It will be very interesting to see what happens in the next two years or so.
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  8. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Yup, I'm talking about specific energy at the cell level. Packaging methods are widely varied and will continue to vary, depending on the needs of the chemistry. One thing to note, though. The weight of the packaging doesn't increase with the increase of energy density of the cells. For instance, say the packaging portion of a hypothetical battery pack weighs 200 lbs today. If the energy density of the cells are doubled, the packaging may actually be less than 200 lbs. The amount of packaging lessens as the number of cells needed to make a pack decreases.

    But, anyway, seeing as how we are reaching 300 miles+ per charge with Tesla's approx. 250 Wh/kg older 21650 cell, I'm confident that doubling that density to 500 Wh/kg will only further cement batteries in place.

  9. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    As they say, Martin: "You're entitled to your own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts."

    One can easily see that plug-in EVs are vastly outselling FCEVs, and in fact BEVs alone are doing so, handily. Once again, your assertions vis-a-vis PEVs vs FCEVs appear to be based on your wishful thinking, and not on reality.

    Your claim that FCEV sales are increasing much faster than PEV sales... is simply not true. If that was true, then we'd have to reconsider everything we know about basic economics, if not also what we know about physics and thermodynamics.
  10. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Right. I got all excited when there was a jump in PEV sales between 2011 and 2012, of (if I recall correctly) 313%. Unfortunately that wasn't the start of a trend; it was just a reflection of how very small the sales numbers were in 2011, so it was quite easy for the sales numbers in 2012 to exceed that by a very high percentage. I think the same sort of thing has Martin excited here about an even smaller number of FCEV sales.

    In any case, FCEVs have been in development about as long as the modern EV (that is, ignoring the first generation of PEVs that ended circa 1914), so it's not like they haven't had time to compete with modern PEVs. The reason sales of FCEVs aren't competing with sales of PEVs is because they simply can't, for reasons which have already been repeatedly spelled out in great detail.
  11. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Generalizing from a single month's increase in sales of a single model of car isn't even remotely valid as an argument. Automobile sales are quite seasonal, and any reasonably informed industry watcher knows better than to read too much into the month-to-month rise and fall of the sales of a single model of car.

    To judge actual growth or shrinkage of sales, we need to look at year-by-year figures, not month-by-month figures.
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  13. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Quoting from the very recent (January 2018) InsideEVs news article "Toyota Mirai Sales Eclipse 3,000 In California":

    Toyota announced that 3,000 Mirai hydrogen fuel cell cars have been sold in California since the vehicle’s introduction in late 2015.

    The Japanese flagship currently accounts for more than 80% of all hydrogen fuel cell cars in the U.S., which means that there are no more than 3,750 of them in the country.
    3750, sold over two years plus a few odd months, is only 34% of January's (last month's) PEV sales in the USA. Compared to last December's PEV sales, it's only 14.4%!

    Reminds me of when Toyota claimed the Mirai would be "Flying off the shelves!" Well, it's a very small shelf.
    o_O :p :D :cool:
  14. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    Year-by-year growth in BEVs is 33% over five years and if anything is falling. Year by year growth in hydrogen cars is 78% and seems to be growing in latter months.

    Most plug-ins of the 41 listed are not growing at all. The growth is in a small number of fashionable models and the introduction of new models

    2112 to 2103 growth was 85%
    2113 to 2114 growth was 26%
    2114 to 2115 growth was -5%
    2115 to 2116 growth was 36%
    2116 to 2117 growth was 26%

    Look at the Mirai

    2115 to 2116 growth was 1,436%
    2116 to 2117 growth was 78%

    '15-'16 data is artificially high as the Mirai was launched towards the end of 2015. However, taking the last three month of both years, the increase was still 350% or so Initial small numbers can give a false impession however.
    '16-'17 is the first full year's comparison. data towards the end of 2017 for monthly comparisons from the previous year imply that the 78% figure will increase.

    It is too early to say how well hydrogen cars will do, although the growth rate is encouraging, but there is now enough data to show that plug-ins do not appear to be growing much in popularity.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  15. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Only because you looked at U.S. data only.


  16. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    This forum is mainly about US sales though. FCEVs are quite popular in Japan and Korea and China has announced support for them. Europe accounts for only about 10% due to refilling stations being distributed across the union.

    I see no problem in both technologies being supported. Let the consumers be the ones to decide which they like best. There seem to be a number of new FCEV due to appear too.
  17. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Presumably, then, you also support renewed support for steam engine cars, since they are certainly every bit as practical and energy-efficient as hydrogen-powered fool cell cars.
  18. Cypress

    Cypress Active Member

    Sure it will. WE don't need nearly as many EVSE stations as we do gas stations.
  19. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    Well if somebody wants to have a go at one, why not? They'd have a job meeting emission standards, but if they can do it and produce something the public likes, why ever not? I note Tesla has just announced its biggest quarterly loss on cars so far. I wonder how long this loss-making can go on. They are upbeat about the future though, and I wish them luck too.

    But I'm pretty sure that hydrogen will prevail eventually, mainly because it involves less hassle or change in driving habits than any other alternative. I could easily be wrong, but I am all for allowing the public to decide from as many alternatives as can be fielded.
  20. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

  21. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Thanks, I don't follow the latest fuel cell technology but at the end was description of a home hydrogen station described here:

    If you want to set up your own hydrogen refueling station, just talk to IVYS. The Massachusetts-based company is promoting its Simple Fuel station as an easy, relatively affordable (if you’re a fleet operator, any way) box that can pump compressed hydrogen fuel into your vehicle while only needing a power source, a water inlet, and a vent mast exhaust pipe. If you’ve got those things – and the $250,000-$300,000 that a Simple Fuel station costs, depending on options – you’re good to go.
    . . .
    To figure out how much time it takes to produce a kg of hydrogen, you can just do simple math. So, for the machine that makes 10 kilograms of hydrogen a day (all of these numbers will be based on the top-of-the-line, 700-bar, 10-kg unit, the SF-70-10), it takes 2.4 hours to make one kilogram of H2. That kilogram requires a total of 68.4 kWh of electricity to make. About 55 kWh are needed to electrolyze the water, and the rest is used for compression and operating features. Lastly, a kilogram of hydrogen needs just under a gallon of water (3.8 gallons, or 14.4 liters). And that’s RO standard (reverse osmosis) water in this case.

    Now we have some numbers:
    • 68.4 kWh / kg :: hydrogen generation electrical cost
    • 274 mi ~= 68.4 kWh / 25 kWh/100 mi :: Prius Prime EV miles for 1 kg H{2}
    • 236 mi ~= 68.4 kWh / 29 kWh/100 mi :: BMW i3-REx, EV miles for 1 kg H{2}
    Mirai specs:
    • 62 mi / kg ~= 312 mi / 5 kg :: Mirai fuel tank capacity and EPA range
    • 62 mi ~= (62 mi / kg) * 1 kg :: Mirai miles on 68.4 kWh
    Please double check my work. It looks like this home electrolysis generation, compression of hydrogen, and use in a Mirai is ~4 times less efficient than using the same 68.4 kWh to charge batteries in a BMW i3-REx or Prius Prime.

    As another check:

    . . .
    Hydrogen gas is sold by the kilogram instead of the gallon and at the station we used to fill the Mirai in La Canada, Calif., it was $16.63 per kilogram. The Mirai was three-quarters empty at that point and the tanks hold around 5 kilograms of hydrogen, so it took 3.81 kilograms to fill back it up at a cost of $63.51. The trip meter read 195.3 miles at that point. That put the cost per mile at around $0.33. This is still much higher than the cost of fuel for a gasoline vehicle; the EPA estimates the cost per mile of a 2016 Prius to be $0.04 per mile.
    . . .

    Bob Wilson
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  22. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    I haven't checked the figures you quote. They look reasonable enough and I am quite sure I can trust you that they are right. I also accept your conclusion about the poor efficiency.

    But you should ask yourself why anyone should care about efficiency if the electricity comes, free, from the roof of your house? As far as the user is concerned, all that is required is a means of providing him with free transport.

    I guess the BEV enthusiast could recharge his car from the roof more or less directly, if he only goes out at night, because you cannot simultaneously charge your car and drive it, but that is not very convenient so he needs TWO sets of batteries if he plans to use it during the day. Moreover, he needs to be sure that it is not a dull day if he wants to use the car the day after, so perhaps he needs more than one extra battery, or at least a bigger one.

    The hydrogen car driver, however, needs only to ensure that he has a large enough tank to stockpile hydrogen so that he has enough for his average use with enough extra for days when he may use it more than average. The average driver does only 40 miles a day, so generating a kg of hydrogen a day should be more than adequate for his needs, the Mirai doing about 60 miles on a kg of the stuff. The rest can be stockpiled for a long run.

    Efficiency really doesn't come into it, except perhaps how it affects the capital cost of the solar panels. As they are steadily falling in cost, I submit that this too is something of decreasing concern.

    It is worth mentioning, too, that if the hydrogen car driver DOES run out of hydrogen, he can quickly fill up in a filling station (assuming he can find one) so he is not constrained by charging time if he needs to do a long journey in a hurry.
  23. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    The solar installations I admire have a big battery, like a Tesla PowerWall, to store the excess energy.

    Bob Wilson

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