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Kia Borrego FCEV – Click above for high-res image gallery

While plug-in electric vehicles are scheduled to arrive in some dealer lots later this year, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are still a ways away. It's not that automakers aren't interested in hydrogen technology, it just that they haven't really taken off, yet – in part because of a slow-to-grow refueling infrastructure.Things may be about to change, though, if Kia can meet its optimistic hydrogen vehicle targets.

What targets? Well, Kia hopes to become the world leader in fuel cell vehicles by having 10,000 in consumers' hands by 2015. To reach the goal, the company will kick-off sales to government fleets and research institutions later this year. Beginning in 2012, the company hopes to release its fuel cell vehicles to the general public. R&D-wise, the company has made significant progress on its Borrego FCEV, pictured above. This hydrogen-powered Borrego can scoot to 60 miles per hour in 12 seconds, reach a top speed of 106 mph, cover 375 miles before refueling and we walked away impressed during our brief stint behind the wheel. We know that Kia has a solid offering and hope that its hydrogen goals can be obtained, but many hurdles still remain ahead. Hat tip to Larz!



[Source: WhatCar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 94 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'll believe it when I see it. I very much doubt we'll see 10,000 on the road by 2015.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The BEV side has also been making the argument for years that the next breakthrough was right around the corner. It may be for both. Thats the neat thing about it. Both the BEV and FCV camps are providing the motivation (and the money) for pushing the technology envelope. My personal guess (and hope) is that by 2015 both BEV's and FCV's will be looking as viable alternatives to ICE cars and trucks of all types. Each will have an advantage for certain requirements. I don't care if BEV or FCEV vehicles or both win. Just so they are EV.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's an interesting way of seeing it. The two alternative energy camps battling it out for survival. That's a good thing! The consumer benefits.. :)

        • 4 Years Ago
        The big difference was that, in all cases, the BEVs actually reached consumer hands (this was true in the early 1900s, a short revival in the 70s, the CARB era 90s-early 00s, and right now with the Tesla Roadster). With hydrogen, it was always promised, but never reached consumer hands (the closest was the limited lease with the Honda Clarity).

        Also rechargeable battery technology has improved by leaps and bounds in the last 20 years (nimh and lithium only came into the scene in this time frame).

        The platinum based PEM hydrogen fuel cell came into being in the 50-60s and was used in the space program since then.

        Right now it is the BEV that is reaching the market once again, and on the hydrogen front, we still have promises.

        Right now the automakers have set a clear deadline of 2015 for release (although they have set deadlines before for "commercial release" ending up with limited leases at the best, so I can't tell how serious they are). Personally I'm interested to see what they will come up with by then, but if they break their promise again, I'm ready to completely give up on seeing any kind of serious HFCV effort.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I found page 12 of http://www.electricdrive.org/index.php?ht=a/GetDocumentAction/i/15321

      VERY INTERESTING

      They project that when they are producing 10,000 stacks per year, the price will be $180/KW

      If they were to produce only 1,000 stacks per year, the price will be $600/KW

      Right now, producing 100 or less, the price is above $1000/kw (what I have been saying).

      -----------

      This is good news. The economies of scale are working.

      The 115 kW FCV shown above currently has a stack that costs over $115,000 USD

      When they start production, it will drop to $69,000 USD per fuel cell stack.

      When production is fully ramped up to their goal of 10,000 units per year...
      each fuel cell stack will only cost $20,700 USD

      --------------------

      It makes an FC SUV affordable for some. Fleets and such that absolutely need to have longer range, short refuel times, and zero tailpipe emissions.

      I would imagine that MSRP for this FCV would be around $45k - $50k. Not bad IMHO.

      --------------------

      However, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that by 2015 (earlier probably), the costs of a 100 mile Li-ion pack for an SUV that size should be about 32 kwh and cost about $350/kwh... $11,200 USD! Making for an SUV BEV MSRP (alphabet soup) of about $30k - $35k by 2015

      Sure, not the same range or refuel time. But, 5 years is plenty of time to convince most of the personal vehicle market that 100 miles is plenty when you can charge at home and fast chargers are available for road trips and such.

      ------------------

      So I am reiterating my point that HFCV will work, and be a great solution for commercial fleet use (and maybe a few commuters who drive 100+ miles per day) but way too expensive for the light-duty consumer fleet.

      Oh.... unless emission standards allow companies to get away with driving CNG vehicle.. since both the car and the fuel will be much cheaper burning Natural Gas directly than Fuel Cell Vehicles getting the hydrogen from SMR (natural gas the long way round)... just a little more CO2 per mile. So it depends on the carbon taxes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @David,

        I will try to clarify my points and address your concerns:

        --- 1)

        "How much would building roadside access to the many without garages cost for battery only EV's?"

        Apples and Oranges.

        No charging infrastructure only REDUCES the market potential of EVs. There are still enough people with access to home charging to provide millions of potential customers. Public "road side" chargers are a supplement, not a requirement for EV adoption.

        No hydrogen infrastructure "eliminates" the market potential for FCVs. Unless people could make sufficient quantities of hydrogen in their garage... you and I both know that is not possible.

        --- 2)

        "The Germans, for a start.
        The costs may be large, but they are not fantastic."

        Are these the same Germans that you say wasted resources by putting solar panels everywhere? Since they don't really get a lot of sun.

        THere is no accounting for stupidity in some government programs. However, they also support charging infrastructure too. It seems to be just throwing money at the wall and seeing if anything sticks.

        --- 3)

        "You then for some reason cast doubt on the projected cost decreases for fuel cells, but not for batteries."

        I have skeptism on both. For anybody who says Li-ion batteries will fall to $100/kwh in 4 years.... I say hogwash with just as much gusto.

        Let's look at two automaker's claims. Kia and Nissan.

        Nissan currently makes packs for ~$750/kwh and hopes to make them for less than $375/kwh within 3 - 5 years. Bringing the 24kwh Leaf pack from $18k to $9k. A reduction of 50% in about 4 years and based on increasing production from less than 100/yr to 50,000/yr.

        In the same 4 years, Kia seems to think they can go from over $1000/kw to $180/kw... a reduction of 82% while only increasing production from less than 100/yr to only 10,000/yr.

        *** If you are not skeptical, then something is wrong. Prices dropping 3 times as fast using only 1/5th production capacity??? Not the same!

        --- 4)

        "fuel cells are a less mature technology than batteries."

        No doubt there. The cost reduction will be greater... but only given MUCH MORE time. They are claiming huge reductions in such a short time. 4 years is not a long enough to mature Fuel Cells and drop cost 82%. It took Li-ion batteries MUCH longer to reach this point.

        --- 5)

        "but personally other things being equal it seems like a great option to have, especially if it means not needing to lug around several hundreds of extra kilograms of batteries..."

        I have already stated how "other things are NOT equal"... FCVs to not only compete with BEVs but with PHEVs too. And when you want range, the PHEV is the cheapest solution. A PHEV with a CNG engine would be also be almost as clean during RE mode.

        --- 6)

        "Hyundai seem to have decided that fuel cell costs are going to drop further and faster than costs for batteries, and are putting in the money and work to make it so."

        I will believe it when they put in as much money and commitment as Nissan does for BEVs. That day may come, but it is not today.

        Companies have "talked" about doing FCVs for a long time. They will even fund R&D and produce prototypes to parade around politicians.

        Have they put money down for a fuel cell factory yet?
        Have they begun pre-production for a FCV?

        Money talks... how much have they spent (not counting money recieved externally as incentives for a hydrogen economy)?

        Battery electric vehicles ARE funded in part with incentives, grants, loans and such... but historically, BEV funding has been much less than Hydrogen funding... and despite this fact, they have progressed faster.


        ***************************

        Regarding your second post:

        --- 1)

        "Taking the overall travel numbers, then 20% is a more realistic figure, as some need to regularly travel long distances, and indeed may use purely fuel cell cars."

        The numbers can be a little misleading, true. Automakers get that number from "the majority of the majority". Meaning that 90% of folks do NOT regularly (daily or more than twice a week) travel long distances (50+).... a.k.a. the commuter. And those folks will only drive over 100 miles 5% of the time.

        So realistally, they are only targeting 80% of Americans to handle 95% of "their" driving needs.

        --- 2)

        "The issue is really simple. It is not sensible to try to cram all transport into one model."

        Agreed. Many folk think that way unfortunately. If American
        • 4 Years Ago
        Joe,
        'You have yet to respond to my argument that PHEV will compete everywhere that BEVs don't... leaving FCVs without a chair. Is this difficult to argue against?'

        I am a bit disappointed at that fling. It is quite difficult in this format to keep track of all the arguments, and you will have to take your chances in the normal rough and tumble of discussion rather than expect every word you say to be inordinately cherished.

        However, to the point, you simply assume, or argue, that there is little benefit to going to an all electric power train, and I do not, and more to the point, neither do the likes of Nissan.
        Foolishly I did not keep the URL, but one of the Renault reps was asked about fuel cells, and said that the work which they had done on battery cars applied almost as much to fuel cells, with only the drive train being different, so that when they were happy with their fuel cell they reckon they can pretty well just slot it in with everything working.
        In addition you use current costs to 'prove' that ICE cars are better for a range extender.
        Well, if costs were never going to fall for fuel cells then they would be, so any sensible discussion of them starts from the assumption that efforts to reduce costs will be successful, as if they aren't fuel cells will simply not happen.

        Present fuel sources are not going to last forever, so if we want anything as well as batteries the usual arguments about the inefficiencies of hydrogen get stood on their head, as ICE cars if they have to use hydrogen or it's derivatives are around half as efficient as fuel cells.
        So the use of ICE is very unlikely to be a long term solution, then only question is when fuel cells take over.
        It presently seems likely that we will be able to get to competitive costs and enough durability in around 5-10 years.

        What is more, if they can be made to work cost-effectively there seems to me no question that fuel cells are a far better solution than ICE.

        I would prefer on-board reforming, but apparently not only are there difficulties with the fc being poisoned, but they are not classed as ZEVs, whilst hydrogen fuel cells are.
        Thus are our fates decided sometimes by something as arbitrary as a Californian law.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You have a second monitor? Jealous. I sometimes have to reply via my phone web browser.

        It has a speech to text function through Google servers that is pretty awesome. However, if I speak to fast, it has problems. It can be funny at times. It once wrote that, "it is cheaper to burn LoL cats in an engine".

        ---------------

        I haven't seen any automakers other than Kia give such "clear" and "understandable" cost projections on fuel cells yet. If you know of any documents such as this from another automaker, please let me know.

        Kia seems to be on a fast track. It still may or may not lead anywhere. I hope that they aren't talking bloatware now in hopes of securing more funding and/or waiting for someone to build more H2 stations. It seems that they are planning to launch in Korea. I don't honestly know anything about the market there.

        ---

        "savings in complexity by going all-electric"

        The complexity of an PHEV (serial hybrid or EREV) is should not be exaggerated. The genset is simple, and a mature technology that doesn't cost much. AC Propulsion was able to slap a genset together on a trailer using a motorcycle engine.

        Just because GM probably can't do it in cost-effective manner, doesn't mean that the technology is too complex.

        ----------------

        ""Running the figures for the ~50% of UK drivers who have no garage, you have around 12 million cars.
        For 1,000 hydrogen stations at $3m each, that comes to around $250 each.
        That is a lot cheaper than building out on-street charging...""

        You're gonna make me do math, aren't you?

        source: CAFCP Action Plan
        http://www.cafcp.org/sites/files/Action%20Plan%20FINAL.pdf

        Those $3million hydrogen stations produce about 50kg - 100kg of H2 daily

        Let's say 75kg then. Average use of a FCV is about 1 kg per day.

        So 75 cars can be serviced by 1 H2 station that costs $3mil

        With 12 million cars needing H2 (and by your calculations, spreading the cost)...

        160,000 (of those $3mil each) stations would be needed to get ~50% (12 million FCV) of the UK on H2

        ---

        This is backed up by another press release

        http://www.cafcp.org/press/california-fuel-cell-partnership-action-plan-46-retail-hydrogen-stations-2014-six-california-c

        Which shows $180 million USD needed to build 46 H2 stations ($3.9mil each) and can service only 4,300 passenger vehicles and 20 buses. Which is about 95 vehicles per station.

        Running the numbers again...

        126,000 (of those $3.9mil each) stations would be needed to get ~50% (12 million FCV) of the UK on H2

        ----------------

        Okay, so that was reducing your argument to the absurd... 12 million FCVs in the UK! Not likely
        SO how much will it cost just to do 1,000 H2 stations?

        1,000 stations that cost $3mil and service 75 FCVs each. 75,000 FCVs paying for $3 Billion USD.

        $40,000 each!!!

        Almost looks like what Fast Chargers were going to be costing. But Nissan is projecting $8k for each DC 48Kw fast charger.


        ---------------------------------------

        And that is ONLY counting the "intial" station costs. The CAFCP calculates about $250,000 per year is needed in maintenance, logistics, and land use. As I have mentioned countless times before, chargers don't need serious maintenance. The Level II chargers surely don't need annual costs. The Level III may needs some, but not on the level of a fueling station.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Using Joe's figures and putting them into the Peugeot plug in fuel cell hybrid:
        http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/12/fisypac-20091208.html#more

        The 13 kwh battery gives you 47 miles of all electric range, whilst the 17kw fuel cell extends that to 311miles using a 4.2 kg of hydrogen storage.

        The costs come out to 13*350 = $4550
        and 17*180 = $3060,
        Total $7610.

        Of course, you have the cost of the rest of the system to add to this, notably the cost of the hydrogen storage, but at that price it is a perfectly practical way of doing things.

        In common with many here, I would prefer to use something other than hydrogen, perhaps methanol, but hydrogen would seem to be OK if that is not practical.

        The costs of the hydrogen stations would be much reduced as most miles would be on the batteries, as would the cost of the hydrogen, whilst many of the complexities of combining an ICE motor in an electric car would also be avoided.

        At around 62miles/kg for hydrogen and using a cost of $5 kg for hydrogen then if you do 20% of 12,000 miles using that rather than batteries then the hydrogen should cost you around $200 a year.
        Some might prefer the likely ~200 mile range from ~50kwh of batteries probably available by then, for around $17,500, but it will be nice to have a choice of not having to recharge for longer journeys, and for some uses batteries just will not do.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I missed the bit about the size of the fuel cell stack. It is no big deal to build a smaller stack, as they are modular. Here are Peugeot's plans for an 80kw and 20kw modular system.
        http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/01/peugeot_citron__1.html

        As for ' why would anyone bother to build a fuel cell infrastructure which is only going to be used for 5% of the travel' again you are cutting the numbers to suit your case.
        Taking the overall travel numbers, then 20% is a more realistic figure, as some need to regularly travel long distances, and indeed may use purely fuel cell cars.
        In addition, the long distance travel will be overwhelmingly on the major highways, or there will be an opportunity to fuel up before leaving the city.
        At most, if you are talking about comparing it to 100 mile range battery cars, then you at any rate need ~1/3rd of the stations.
        In fact, if one were limited to battery cars, then any long journey would need a vast infrastructure for people breaking off to refuel over 30 minutes.
        This is not needed if most long distance travelers are getting a 3 minute hydrogen top-up, 1/3rd as often.

        The issue is really simple. It is not sensible to try to cram all transport into one model.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I didn't ever mean to offend... I understand this format is difficult... it may also not convey proper tone.

        It is just that in everyone of my posts (nearly) I have included an argument (assumption) about PHEVs. Which I believe was very compelling, yet unaddressed.

        ---------------

        The simplicity of an non-mechanical drive train is appealing... but it is very simple and cheap to have a on-board genset when compared to a hydrogen tank pressurized to 700 bar and associated pumps.

        My thoughts are that the ability to profit from the more expensive FCV model over the PHEV model... makes companies like Nissan want to continue on this path. Many times, what is good for the consumer, is not good for the company. But I suspect there is much more to it than either of us know.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @david

        Sorry, I think I misunderstood your argument a bit. Let me try to address it more accurately.

        ""As for ' why would anyone bother to build a fuel cell infrastructure which is only going to be used for 5% of the travel' again you are cutting the numbers to suit your case.
        Taking the overall travel numbers, then 20% is a more realistic figure, as some need to regularly travel long distances, and indeed may use purely fuel cell cars.""

        You cannot think in terms of tournament progression. For example, A B C and D are all competing for ranking of #1. Second place is better than 3rd and so on. A fights B and separately, C fights D. The winners go on to fight each other.

        You cannot think that in 2015 or even 2020, or 2030 that there will be only BEVs and FCVs. There will still be direct competition with ICEVs, CNG, and PHEVs, and perhaps some FC-PHEVs

        ICE is the incumbent... so any part of the market that BEVs cannot handle will be handled by ICE. Any gaps occur between BEV and ICE (due to high gasoline prices intersecting with customer demands for long range and quick refueling) will be handle by PHEVs.

        Even 20% of the potential market for new automobiles is a huge stretch for pure FCVs. If they do make any in significant volume, it probably will only appeal to less than 5% of the "potential". Which is too low to warrant the investment in an infrastructure.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Kia's report shows 10,000 as their goal for the foreseeable future.

        http://www.electricdrive.org/index.php?ht=a/GetDocumentAction/i/15321

        slide 15 (Roadmap for FCV Development)

        Step 5, as they call it.

        Beyond that, they would be hoping for scientific breakthroughs:
        "New and Innovative materials and technology" page 12

        ------------

        When you start talking about 2020... well, then anything is possible. Flying cars, Fusion power, Lithium Air batteries, etc.

        This article is about 2015:

        "10,000 on the road by 2015"

        I am sure that if governments around the world spent 100 trillion dollars** building the hydrogen infrastructure needed to support several million FCVs.... well then, sure... Kia might produce 100,000 or more each year.

        ** made up for dramatic response

        -------------

        "Any car model that sells less than ~50,000 units per year is heading for the axe"

        Plenty of cars are low volume... for different reasons. I won't list them here... my doctor says Carpal Tunnel risks are too high.
        • 4 Years Ago
        skierpage


        Thanks for the idea... i have used google docs for file storage... but never thought to publish my calculations so you guys can see how i got the numbers.

        I will try from now on to use that method.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Joe,
        I often find the format here difficult for discussion in depth, and inadvertently miss or elide points.
        This of course is not due to disrespect to you are the points you make, and I have on this occasion fired up my second monitor to ensure that I am fully responsive to the points you make.

        1. Yep, of course many will be able to have access to chargers.
        Many cannot, and in my view it is essential to plan accordingly.
        I of course do not think that people will be making hydrogen in their garages.

        2. Plainly, the Germans being in my view ill advised to install solar panels does not alter the fact that they have, and still less does it alter the fact that they are installing a fairly comprehensive hydrogen infrastructure.
        The advisability of the one has little bearing on the other.
        The fact is that a hydrogen infrastructure is likely to become available in a major nation to enable testing and build of hydrogen vehicles, and further cost reduction, so the question of 'where is the infrastructure?' seems to be in the process of being answered.

        The remaining points in your reply to my first post amount to continued expression of skepticism of Hyundai, and presumably Toyota's and others, cost reduction projections for fuel cells.
        Well the fact is that neither of us know, as we have not got access to the data that they have.
        I rather doubt that they are just making figures up.
        One active participant in fuel cell development who perhaps deserves to be accorded the benefit of the doubt is Nissan, who clearly see both the need and the possibility of the technology progressing to the point where it can serve needs batteries can't.
        They, in common with everyone else in the field, accept that it will take a bit longer than for batteries, so criticism of how far it is behind is perhaps not very relevant.

        The remainder of your arguments are essentially saying that combustion hybrids are more economical than using a fuel cell as a range extender.
        Of course that is the case, and really feeds back into your dismissal of what the folk in the field say that they think is achievable cost-wise.
        Of course, ICE engines would be cheaper even if fuel cells are at $180kw.
        However, this is to ignore the savings in complexity by going all-electric, and to discount that costs could be further reduced.

        The cost figures you give clearly show that if they are achieved something on the lines of the Peugeot fuel cell plug in hybrid would be perfectly practical if they are reached.
        Of course, they may not be. But I have not seen anything persuasive to convince me that the folk engaged in this are either lying or mistaken, and they are the ones with full access to the information.
        On the infrastructure question there would also seem no reason that you have given why a charging structure at perhaps 10-20% of the number of present petrol stations cannot be built, or why it could not provide long distance mobility perfectly adequately.

        I do not expect that we will get there before around 2015-25, but the goal seems perfectly feasible.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry David Martin, I must go with Joe on this one. A main sticking point is the incentive to produce more H2 or methane stations, if as you state Mr Martin that only $200 per year in fuel may be needed for purchased, as Joe points out where is the incentive to expand? Of course in the future there will be less incentives for petrol for the same reasons. Volume lost will have to be made up in price increases so it will be profitable for the gas or H2/methane stations to stay open not to mention poor OPEC. Hmm. I see fueling stations becoming less prevalent and charging stations taking over. I see OPEC loving it because less demand, higher prices means there magical inventories will grow like a baby unicorn, or lets just say there reserves will last for many, many, many years longer, forever sucking on our economy like the proverbial vampire they and we have positioned them to. At least with B-ER FCV's we use domestic fuel.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My head is starting to hurt too... must be a computer virus if we are both showing the same symptoms.

        ------------

        Thanks for the links... I will go over them in more detail in time.

        Directed Technologies seems to be the odd duck here with no methodology explaining how they got such low numbers. And it seems they misinterpreted CAFCP numbers as well.

        -----------

        If you want to throw the capital costs of producing the electricity...

        (like referencing building Nuclear plants *which just happens to be one of the most expensive capital energy investments*)

        ... then you have to also start calculating the additional Natural Gas exploration, extraction rigs, extraction energy, processing, compression, distribution, water usage, SMR, additional compression, etc... needed to support those 25 million FCVs.

        Start counting the costs for SMR and the additional compression of H2.... and then FCVs start to look worse than CNG vehicles too.

        Whenever somebody start piling up reasons to cast doubts on BEVs, they always seem to neglect the other side of the argument.

        It is misleading... and I have come to expect it of the Hydrogen lobby.

        -----------

        We both agree that any of the quoted projections are not the best. So I am resolved to let this play out in Korea and look intently at the results. Best of luck to them, however, that country does have it a bit easier.


        *****

        P.S.

        You have yet to respond to my argument that PHEV will compete everywhere that BEVs don't... leaving FCVs without a chair. Is this difficult to argue against?


        • 4 Years Ago
        With batteries getting cheaper I would think they could use slightly more batteries and then use a fuel cell of half the size. If your paying ~$1000/kW you want as few kW as possible.

        Using an SOFC as an aux power unit on a truck or in a building as co-gen is a good idea, but hydrogen as a mainstream automotive fuel is very unlikely IMO as it is such a poor energy carrier.

        You need a plug in hybrid with X miles of battery capacity and a genset rated at Y kW

        Where X is your commuting distance and Y is the average power required over a 4 hours drive at highway speeds.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "When production is fully ramped up to their goal of 10,000 units per year...
        each fuel cell stack will only cost $20,700 USD"

        Where did you get the impression that 10,000 units per year is their goal?

        Kia sells 1.6 million vehicles per year. 10,000 per year is still just an introductory pilot test fleet. Any car model that sells less than ~50,000 units per year is heading for the axe.

        GM wants to produce 10k per year in 2015, but believes that their production cost will be ~6 times lower in 2020 when they are producing 100k per year than at 10k per year:

        http://green.autoblog.com/photos/general-motors-generation-v-fuel-cell-stack/med/#2211030
        • 4 Years Ago
        Joe,
        Sorry to be a bit touchy - my health is not the best, and when I get tired I can be a bit cranky.

        I suppose what I am saying is simply that if they can hit the target costs they are aiming at then fuel cells would seem a very good way of building range extended vehicles, and that for liquid fuels we are going to have to move beyond petrol anyway, so that many of what are at present the comparative advantages of ICE alternatives disappear, whilst the excellent fuel economy and simplicity of the fc remain.
        Will the costs go down far enough for this to happen? If so, when?
        I have no idea, so all my statements about fuel cells are conditional on their being successful.
        Fundamentally though what appeals to me is the relative simplicity of all electric.
        I would agree that it is presently more economic to use other range extenders, but we are focused on a different time frame and it would appear to me that this may not be true in, say, 2020, let alone in 2030, and so give a totally different weight to yourself to present costings.

        Skier,
        I have put in better order things where I can get firm costings - for instance in my remarks on the costs of off-shore wind, the statements I make are based on costings which can be drilled down through many layers, as extensive analysis has been done by the likes of the British Government and Brinkerhoff based on their figures, so that all the figures from installation costs, maintenance etc including the assumptions made can be clearly viewed.
        The answer to that one is that it is ruinously expensive, but still the program trundles on, wasting cash and delaying real alternatives.

        What Joe and I found when we looked at the figures for hydrogen infrastructure was essentially that the detailed work does not seem to exist.
        The figures I gave for some sort of hydrogen filling station infrastructure in the UK have little backing, I can't tell you whether the connections to supply the hydrogen or natural gas the equipment to reform it are included, I can't tell you if costs estimates for hydrogen, which range from about $1.50kg up to $8, include distribution and hence the filling stations, in fact the background to the figures is not there.

        The figure I gave for a comprehensive infrastructure for the UK of around £12 billion could be half as much, or it could be double.

        Governments and companies seem to be proceeding on the basis of looking mainly at the next step, and getting a few costs for the relatively minor amounts of infrastructure needed at this stage to enable folk with some sort of hydrogen powered car to get about.
        I am much happier about this than Joe, as I feel that too little money is usually spent on early stage development, and people try to go firm on a design too soon, on the mistaken idea that this will save them money.
        Here is Bill Gates on the energy challenge, and why we should adopt something of a scatter gun approach rather than pumping money into feed-in tariffs:
        http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html

        We got ourselves into immense difficulties by prematurely deploying a sub-optimal nuclear technology, and we are now doing the same with wind and solar.

        We should in my view spend a few billion where needed to try alternatives, and in my view this includes hydrogen.
        It is a false economy not to do so.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I know I seem to be overtly pessimistic with regards to a hydrogen infrastructure while being optimistic about charging.

        I think one of the big differences between your views and mine is that you believe H2 infrastructure can be scaled more easily than I do.

        Charging infrastructure can be scaled all the way from 0% to 100% and everywhere in between since BEVs do not REQUIRE public charging to enter the market.

        H2 fueling, on the other hand, absolutely MUST reach a "critical mass" of market demand Before any reaction (profitability) can occur. The cost of each station is just too high. And the high cost is not based on anything that can be substantially reduced (in contrast to the fuel cell technology). The majority of cost is tied into non-technological expenses.

        You cannot economically scale down h2 fueling past a certain point. The 26 small "test" h2 fueling sites in CA that Shell and Chevron have running still costs them millions of dollars, and they only service a handful of FCVs. Not enough to be profitable... only enough to try and convince policymakers to give them more money.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Joe, you appear to me to be cutting the numbers to suit the case.
        Who is going to build the hydrogen infrastructure?
        The Germans, for a start.
        The costs may be large, but they are not fantastic.
        A thousand hydrogen stations can be built at a cost of $3-4 billion.
        How much would building roadside access to the many without garages cost for battery only EV's?
        The view on the costs of making the stack is similarly weighted. Sure, you need higher volumes of vehicles to reach the same costs for the stack - but that is a lot easier when the cost per car is cheaper.
        Peugeot is specifically designing their stack with this in mind, so that you can buy a 20kw module or the full-on 80kw module, and so the costs and economies of scale should be looked on as additive, not either/or.
        You then for some reason cast doubt on the projected cost decreases for fuel cells, but not for batteries.
        As many here never tire of telling us, fuel cells are a less mature technology than batteries.
        Well, in that case, the cost reduction curves tend to be more favorable.

        Many here may not need to travel 500 km before a refill, and since they don't see no reason why anyone else should either, but personally other things being equal it seems like a great option to have, especially if it means not needing to lug around several hundreds of extra kilograms of batteries when they are not needed.

        Hyundai seem to have decided that fuel cell costs are going to drop further and faster than costs for batteries, and are putting in the money and work to make it so.
        Do you have any solid data on why they are wrong?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your and David Martin's figures are fascinating.

        May I suggest that you go to http://docs.google.com and create spreadsheets for your math?! You can then publish them, easily revise them, etc., others can copy your formulae, etc.

        Here's a simple one I made,
        http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AsrBLktJsSovdFZnMk1oX1FCOTFoX05ySlpoQV9lU0E&hl=en
        • 4 Years Ago
        Running the figures for the ~50% of UK drivers who have no garage, you have around 12 million cars.
        For 1,000 hydrogen stations at $3m each, that comes to around $250 each.
        That is a lot cheaper than building out on-street charging, and a darn sight more convenient for the drivers than going to a charging station every day.
        No doubt the charging network on street will be gradually extended.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Perfectly reasonable.... on the surface.

        But fuel cells cannot beat ICE in price (even when as a range extender).

        The $180/KW is a VERY optimistic goal.

        Batteries dropping from $750/kwh to $375/kwh such as Nissan plans to do by increasing production from 100 to 50,000 units per year is still only 2 fold.

        Kia is claiming 10 fold decrease in cost per kw of fuel cells by increasing production from about 100 to 10,000 units pwer year.

        ----------------

        Here is were hydrogen fuel cells get kicked when it's down.

        The production volume numbers do not come from a vacuum... they come from the manufacturer receiving ample investment based on how many they think they can sell.

        ---

        For example, only now (after 100 years of false starts) does a company finally believe that the world is willing to buy 50,000 units of 24 kwh packs. And the factory gets built to supply that demand. In Smyrna, TN.

        BEVs have a clear advantage over ICE in every way except for range and refuel time. But the advantages outweigh the disadvantages enough to warrant 50,000/yr volume production.

        And lack of fast charging infrastructure only shrinks the market away from apartment dwellers, folks without a dedicated carport, and folks who drive excessive distances daily. But even with a shrunken market, there are millions of consumers that a BEV can still apply to. The home ownership rate in the US is over 50%... it is safe to assume that most drivers actually have a permanent place to plug in at night.

        ---

        For HFCVs, the economics are way different. The chicken and egg paradox returns. Even when the HFC is used as a range extender.

        The Chicken:
        Who will build a hydrogen infrastructure knowing that people will fill up with hydrogen ONLY when exceeding the AER in rare situations such as roadtrips? Not only will VERY expensive H2 stations only be visited by a small segment of drivers (those with HFCs), but only for 5% of those miles driven on them.

        **This is the reason for the automakers only leasing FCVs to select test drivers who happen to live next to a H2 station.**

        The Egg:
        With so few hydrogen stations to refuel them, the market for FCVs shrinks down to folks who live near them. So a handful of cities. When compared to BEVs.... Many more people have the ability to plug in a BEV than people who live near a H2 station.

        *** This presents a problem for a company like Kia who would LOVE to ramp up production to 10,000 units per year so they can drop the price to $180/kw by 2015.

        --------------

        Since using the HFC as a range extender, the market demand for H2 will decrease 20 fold (range extender used primarily for 5% of driving needs).. the H2 stations can be built smaller (that's the only good news I can think of).

        Decreasing the demand will increase the price of H2 at the pump. And minimize the profits of the H2 stations, thereby also decreasing the incentive to build them in the first place.

        -------------

        Now on to the smaller fuel cell stack.

        Kia's projections of $180/kw by 2015 was based on ramping up production to 10,000 units per year. Each unit for Kia... is a 115 kw stack. Not a 17 kw range extender stack.

        For production and manufacturing... that is a HUGE difference. Sure, it may be the same price to assemble.. but we are talking 6.7 times smaller... which is probably 6.7 times less catalyst surface area too.

        Using dirty math... (these are my assumptions, I know, I know)

        Kia would need to produce 67,000 units per year to meet their goal of $180/kw
        but, as discussed above, market demand is too low to warrant that level of commitment and investment.

        Or if they only produce 10,000 units (@ 17kw)... then that means they are producing the equivalent of only 1500 units (@ 115 kw)..... so the price per kw goes back to $600/kw

        And that 17 kw range extender begins to costs over $10,000 USD (not $3k)
        So the FC Hybrid winds up costing a lot more.

        -------------------

        Alternative product:
        Since even great ideas must compete in the marketplace with bad one... what does a FC hybrid compete with? A PHEV (or EREV) using a gas/flexfuel/diesel/CNG ICE range extender.

        How can a FC Hybrid using even a 17 kw RE compete with the low production cost of even a 35 kw ICE? It cannot. And the lack of H2 stations makes a regular PHEV so much more appealing. Why would a customer, who doesn't want to buy a BEV because of range anxiety, want to drive a FC Hybrid which would trade range anxiety for "where is that damn H2 station"?

        For 5% of driving needs... consumers won't have a problem with using dirtier fuels since it is so damn cheap to do so.
        • 4 Years Ago
        EV,
        I am giving $200 as the costs to you or I, but there are plenty of road warriors out there who do 30,000 miles a year and who will use a lot more, and for whom 100 miles or even 150 miles ( 200 miles reduced somewhat to take account of highway speeds ) are utterly impractical.
        So for them the choice is petrol or hydrogen.
        It is not an either/or question anyway, and you don't just order a hydrogen infrastructure, or go without.
        There are plenty of petrol stations which are for Aunt Minnie to top up as she runs around town, but long distance drivers can be coped with without them.
        There are about 9,000 petrol stations in the UK, but for going distances on trunk routes around 1,000 should do fine.

        There is always an 80:20 rule in these cases, around 80% of the volume is accounted for by 20% of the stations.

        The 'Aunt Minnie' stations will be taken over by electric chargers, so that you can always make the few miles home or to a hydrogen station.

        An all-electric battery solution also seems to take little account of the needs of those who haven't got access at home to a charger.
        They might either need to drive a mile or two to charge up and hang around while they were doing it, or in the system I suggest could have a full tank of hydrogen, top up as and when was convenient with electric when they were at the shops or whatever, but would not have to worry if it was difficult.

        Batteries alone simply can't cover everything and everybody.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Joe,
        this is making my head hurt.
        I have found a couple of other references:
        Costs in Shanghai:
        http://pubs.its.ucdavis.edu/download_pdf.php?id=139
        Argonne Lab - $500 bn for national US rollout
        http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/AF/224.pdf
        Directed Technologies, giving the costs as a fraction of that - little detail:
        http://www.energyindependencenow.org/pdf/fs
        /EIN-HowMuchWillHydrogenInfr.pdf

        On the whole the report you referenced seems the most detailed, and tallies fairly well with Argonne.
        From page 19 we see that they give the cost of a 1,000kg/day station as $5.5 million.
        For a start it is not really clear to me what this represents, as there are different types of fuel on processing possible - this could be reforming natural gas on site, or relying on hydrogen delivery by tanker, or whatever.
        If the hydrogen is produced from natural gas somewhere else, then that still costs money, and conversely you might need more hydrogen storage on site if you had it delivered as such.

        The real issue though is that this is for just 1,000 kg a day, enough for perhaps 50 normal cars, although perhaps more for hydrogen.
        An average petrol station serves hundreds.
        So how do costs scale?

        To work with what we have though, the UK has about 25m cars.
        They do around 12,000 year on average, conveniently around 30 miles/day, or 1 gallon of petrol.
        That is about 1kg of hydrogen, so if 20% of the miles traveled were by hydrogen rather than battery, that would use around 5 million gallons of petrol equivalent, but fuel cells are about twice as efficient so that is about 2.5 million kg/dy.
        At $5million/1,000kg that is around $12.5 billion for the stations.

        To some extent I am having my cake and eating it, as I have argued that this would make life easier for the ~12 million cars which are on the road rather than in a garage, so it could be argued that more than 20% of current petrol use would be needed.
        As against this though we in reality have several years to go before we would need such an extensive network, either of chargers or of hydrogen stations.
        Folk who do not have a garage may prefer to go for a slightly larger battery, for instance the Peugeot by around 2015 should be able to be built with a 26kg battery pack enabling around 100 miles on a charge with no more weight or volume.
        The fuel cell then would mean for them that they would not have to worry if they had not been to a charge station, as well as for long journeys, but the average off battery mileage would still be very low.

        This compares with perhaps $25-35bn for building 12 million on-street chargers, although of course both using hydrogen and installing chargers have other costs.

        Incidentally, the cost for building the nuclear power stations for 25 million cars at 2,400kwh/year is for around 7gw, so at $5m/MW that is around $35bn.
        For off-shore wind at £3.6m MW installed
        ie around $5.4mMW and at 33% capacity (actual average British North Sea) costs around $16mMW, so would be around $112 bn

        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Martin and Joe, this was the point I knew this was going to get good. Joe said, "You're gonna make me do math, aren't you?"

        So one says 250 dollars for 12 million FCV's to be fueled and one says 40k dollars.

        Nissan announced 0-80% charge in under 30 minutes for 17k dollars each.

        http://gas2.org/2010/05/27/nissan-plans-on-selling-an-inexpensive-under-30-minute-fast-charging-station-in-the-u-s/

        Now I will go see what else I can glean from you two heavy weights comments.

        • 4 Years Ago
        "The answer to that one is that it is ruinously expensive, but still the program trundles on, wasting cash and delaying real alternatives"

        That is how I feel about hydrogen.

        And I feel that the only reason why it is happening is because hydrogen has the potential to make the most money in the long run.

        Good for business, bad for consumers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Steady progress continues!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ David Marin, "The output also remained consistent over 10,000 cycles, at least ten times longer than commercially available platinum models that begin to deteriorate after 1,000 cycles. That’s a “Wow!” moment.'

        I did not know the current commercially available platinum models were so craptastic at only 1000 cycles. So the current $70k fuel cells are scrapped after 1000 cycles. They damn well better come up with a, "wow moment". Sounds good but like Estor they may have trouble mass producing there equivalent of "white powder".

        • 4 Years Ago
        EV, to use your words, the batteries in the beloved Leaf for automative purposes are also 'craptastic' after 1,000 cycles.

        The prototype fuel cells used are also using much more platinum etc than any production model will, so that is recycled after use.

        You don't judge the final production model's costing on the cost of prototypes - they are not designed to be cost effective.

        It baffles me why so many here are keen on battery technology, but not on the closely related fuel cell technology.
        Personally I would love to be able to take my fully electric vehicle for a 500 km run knowing that I could refuel in 3 minutes, and that I could also still do my day-to-day running around using very inexpensive battery power.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Using Joe's figures and putting them into the Peugeot plug in fuel cell hybrid:
        http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/12/fisypac-20091208.html#more

        The 13 kwh battery gives you 47 miles of all electric range, whilst the 17kw fuel cell extends that to 311miles using a 4.2 kg of hydrogen storage.

        The costs come out to 13*350 = $4550
        and 17*180 = $3060,
        Total $7610.

        Of course, you have the cost of the rest of the system to add to this, notably the cost of the hydrogen storage, but at that price it is a perfectly practical way of doing things.

        In common with many here, I would prefer to use something other than hydrogen, perhaps methanol, but hydrogen would seem to be OK if that is not practical.

        The costs of the hydrogen stations would be much reduced as most miles would be on the batteries, as would the cost of the hydrogen, whilst many of the complexities of combining an ICE motor in an electric car would also be avoided.

        At around 62miles/kg for hydrogen and using a cost of $5 kg for hydrogen then if you do 20% of 12,000 miles using that rather than batteries then the hydrogen should cost you around $200 a year.
        Some might prefer the likely ~200 mile range from ~50kwh of batteries probably available by then, for around $17,500, but it will be nice to have a choice of not having to recharge for longer journeys, and for some uses batteries just will not do.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Really...... batteries cost less than supercaps? kinda shocking actually.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Skierpage,
        I don't think they got away from the supercaps because they didn't store enough energy for regen. A 4000lbs. SUV can regen 183Wh going from 60mph to a full stop. It loses about 50Wh to mechanical friction and aerodynamic loses so that leaves about 130Wh. That is easily handled by about 25 Maxwell B3000 modules.

        I think the problem is cost. Those 25 modules go for about $115 a pop or about $2,875. That is well over twice what it would cost in batteries, perhaps 2.5 times as much. And you'd still need some batteries if you wanted to have any range for being all electric so the supercaps are mostly extra expense.

        Of course, if they counted the fact that the supercaps could extend the life of the batteries by handling the regen braking....it might be worth the extra cost up front to pay less in warranty cost for the battery pack.
        • 4 Years Ago
        OTOH, if they get this working on industrial scale:
        'In the laboratory performance tests the palladium/iron-platinum nanoparticles generated 12 times more current than commercially available pure-platinum catalysts at the same catalyst weight. The output also remained consistent over 10,000 cycles, at least ten times longer than commercially available platinum models that begin to deteriorate after 1,000 cycles. That’s a “Wow!” moment.'

        http://newenergyandfuel.com/http:/newenergyandfuel/com/2010/05/26/cracking-the-fuel-cell-platinum-problem/

        Then pretty soon folk might be complaining about the darn short comparative life of their Toshiba batteries in this combination!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I qualified my comment to EV, which was made in the same jocular spirit as his, with the statement that the Leaf batteries 'for automative purposes' are dead - ie they are rated for around 1,000 cycles down to around 70%, after which they are deemed by Nissan to be more suitable for use outside of the car, just as the fuel cell probably has some performance left after 1,000 cycles, but not enough.
        In short, both of our phrasings and statements were funning around.
        Do lighten up! - and get with the notion that people do have fun, and it is easy to miss the tone, especially when the remarks on both sides were to each other, not to yourself.
        • 4 Years Ago
        From what I understand, one of the ways they reduced cost was to change from using supercaps to using a battery.

        This has an interesting preview of the 2012 model might look like:

        http://www.electricdrive.org/index.php?ht=a/GetDocumentAction/i/15321
        • 4 Years Ago
        And it would have to be slow charge, not fast charge.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I found page 12 of http://www.electricdrive.org/index.php?ht=a/GetDocumentAction/i/15321

        VERY INTERESTING

        They project that when they are producing 10,000 stacks per year, the price will be $180/KW

        If they were to produce only 1,000 stacks per year, the price will be $600/KW

        Right now, producing 100 or less, the price is above $1000/kw (what I have been saying).

        -----------

        This is good news. The economies of scale are working.

        The 115 kW FCV shown above currently has a stack that costs over $115,000 USD

        When they start production, it will drop to $69,000 USD per fuel cell stack.

        When production is fully ramped up to their goal of 10,000 units per year...
        each fuel cell stack will only cost $20,700 USD

        --------------------

        It makes an FC SUV affordable for some. Fleets and such that absolutely need to have longer range, short refuel times, and zero tailpipe emissions.

        I would imagine that MSRP for this FCV would be around $45k - $50k. Not bad IMHO.

        --------------------

        However, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that by 2015 (earlier probably), the costs of a 100 mile Li-ion pack for an SUV that size should be about 32 kwh and cost about $350/kwh... $11,200 USD! Making for an SUV BEV MSRP (alphabet soup) of about $30k - $35k by 2015

        Sure, not the same range or refuel time. But, 5 years is plenty of time to convince most of the personal vehicle market that 100 miles is plenty when you can charge at home and fast chargers are available for road trips and such.

        ------------------

        So I am reiterating my point that HFCV will work, and be a great solution for commercial fleet use (and maybe a few commuters who drive 100+ miles per day) but way too expensive for the light-duty consumer fleet.

        Oh.... unless emission standards allow companies to get away with driving CNG vehicle.. since both the car and the fuel will be much cheaper burning Natural Gas directly than Fuel Cell Vehicles getting the hydrogen from SMR (natural gas the long way round)... just a little more CO2 per mile. So it depends on the carbon taxes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        WhatCar UK makes it sound the other way around, "The fuel cell stack delivers electricity to an electric motor through a super-capacitor, not a battery, for quicker response." But the end of that presentation (actually at http://www.electricdrive.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/15321 ) shows "Next Step for 4th Generation FCV" with a picture of Tucson iX prototype with "2012 Series Production, Small scale production, Lithium Polymer battery".

        So Kia changed auxiliary power and are changing again. Super caps have tiny energy storage, so not enough to be worth plugging in, and maybe not enough to capture all the energy from regenerative braking in a big SUV. Barring a breakthrough lithium battery makes more sense.

        The current 2008 Borrego FCV: 115 kW "HMC, Carbon BP" fuel cell, Super-capacitor auxiliary power, 115 kW motor system, 7.9 kg H2 @ 700 bar. 60 miles per kg." Not bad, but for most drivers making long trips still not as good or remotely as practical as a Chevy Volt.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Darn, I forgot to check. At 47 miles/day the batteries will only take you ~17k a year, so the figures don't work!
        If neither have shelf life issues though you should be good for 15,000 miles/year over 40 years!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @David. Leaf's batteries are dead after 1,000 cycles?!? Where did you get that little tidbit of info? Nissan has stated publicly that after 10 years the Leaf's battery will lose no more than 30% of its capacity. So I'd say you pulled that out of a very dark place.

        Tsk, tsk. I was so pleased with the relatively civil fuel cell discussion going on here. Anyway, it would be great if the 2015 deadline is actually met. Personally, I fear that it will be just another repeat of several fuel cell deadlines that came and went without a second mention of the promised advances.

        Any company that wants to use its own funds to research and/or build their FCV models can go at it. Just keep your hands out of my wallet. And also know that everyone who today hates using gas and hates the oil companies for their monopoly on supply, price gouging, and vulnerability to supply chain disruption will also hate a fuel cell vehicle because it will be subject to the same price gouging, the same supply chain disruptions and will be owned by the very same monopolies. No sale.

        I'll take my electric vehicle and when I can afford it (and prices come down) I'll put solar on my roof to power my home and electric vehicle(s).
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have to admit, I made my assumption about the move from ultracaps to a battery based on the Hyundai Tuscon ix35 FCV concept. It makes sense to me that Hyundai and Kia would share the platform.

        "Key innovations embodied in Hyundai’s Geneva unveiling include adoption of metallic separators, or “bipolar plates,” in the ix35’s fuel-cell stack. These replace traditional separators of graphite that are difficult (spelled $$) to manufacture and a challenge to make durable. The metallic separators are said to reduce material costs dramatically and also simplify the fabrication process.

        Advances in modularization also ease FC final assembly. Engineers at Hyundai’s Eco-Tech R&D Center in Mabuk, Korea, have integrated complex arrays of components, thus improving production scalability. The necessary man-hours to assemble an FCEV are said to be significantly reduced by this.

        FCEVs require on-board electric storage, essentially as a buffer for the energy generated by the cell stack. Hyundai’s latest design features a 21-kW lithium-polymer battery pack in lieu of the ultracapacitor technology previously employed. The company notes that LiPoly batteries are already in mass production and thus enhance economies of scale.

        Last, the ix35 FCEV used induction-type electric propulsion rather than a permanent-magnet design. Hyundai admits that induction motors aren’t quite as efficient as those of permanent-magnet variety, but the latter depend on rare earth elements, the costs of which have soared in recent years.

        Each of these innovations evidently reduces that 10:1 cost parity cited by specialists and brings FCEVs closer to commercialization."

        http://www.roadandtrack.com/auto-shows/geneva/hyundai-tucson-ix35-concept

        • 4 Years Ago
        BTW, as a plug-in hybrid the durability of the fuel cell would be fine just as it is at present for most folk - if most of your miles are on the battery then your 120,000 miles or so for the fuel cell is fine!
        Perhaps you would use the batteries 80% of the time and if you had the Toshiba SCiB ones:
        'SCiBTM batteries, however, can go through 6,000 charge-discharge cycles, after which they will still have a capacity of above 90%. Giving a high load by repetition of quick charging and discharging, SCiBTM batteries still have a capacity of over 80% after 6,000 charge-discharge cycles. (Fig.2)
         For durable goods such as automobiles in use over years, batteries that have long service life bring significant merits in terms of cost of ownership. Assuming that some battery has a service life of 1,000 cycles and is charged every day, this means its replacement will need after around three years or so. In contrast, 6,000 cycles of SCiBTM service life means about 20 years. This is to say that the life of a battery is longer than that of an automobile itself.'
        http://e2af.com/interview/091006.shtml

        Then you should be good for 600,000 miles over the 20 years, and 30,000 miles a year!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Understood Mr Martin but one craptastic innovation for 70K (FC) is much more $ than the other which is 18k or 9k (battery pack).
        • 4 Years Ago
        All of the stuff you site David Martin and the fact the SCib batteries are safer if punctured in a accident as anode does not conduct electricity and so does not suddenly release high voltage discharge. The SCiB batteries also seem to solve the low and high operating temperatures problems as well. One article sited said they can recharge in 1.5 minutes but I imagine the charger would have to be extremely powerful and they did not reference the pack size for this charge time, it may have been a small hybrid battery they were talking about. The SCiB battery also acts like a supercapacitor but with more capacity, it will be able to utilize much more regen braking because it is able to absorb larger amounts of power quickly. Kia's FCV probably switched from a ultracapacitor to the Toshiba battery once they found out it would handle tasks very similiar to a ultra cap.
        • 4 Years Ago
        EV,
        Current energy density for the battery they are releasing in 2011 is around 100wh/kg.
        They hope to increase that to about 150wh/kg, a bit less perhaps than that for the manganese lithium cobalt one AESC are working on, but it should be possible to build a car with 150-200 mile range using it, I would have thought.
        I would advise buying, not leasing the battery! ;-0
      • 4 Years Ago
      Kia's got one in the works.... now i kinda feel like an idiot for being a hydrogen doubter :P
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Kia Motors (Korean: 기아자동차) is South Korea's second largest automobile manufacturer, having sold over 1.6 million cars in 2009.[1].....With its headquarters in Seoul, the company is partially owned by the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group."

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kia_Motors

        "Hyundai Motor Company (Hangul: 현대 자동차 주식회사, Hanja: 現代自動車株式會社 Hyŏndae Chatongch'a Chusik-hoesa) (KRX: 005380), a division of the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, is the world's largest automaker by profit,[2] the world’s fourth largest automaker by units sold[3] and the world's fastest growing automaker.[4][5]"

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyundai_Motor_Company
        • 4 Years Ago
        I knew that.
        Kia is basically Hyundai's Pontiac though. Or maybe this.. it's Acura's Honda.

        It's a pretty low-rent nameplate.
      • 4 Years Ago
      10,000 by 2015? No suh! They will be sitting in their owners driveways...

      Sincerely, Neil
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wildly over-optimistic, considering that they've only produced a handful of prototypes so far. Even if they somehow manage to set up a production line, there simply isn't enough fueling stations to support those numbers, and to make matters worse, plug-ins (both BEV and PHEV) will still be much less expensive, have better performance, cost less to run, and have a much more widespread "refueling" infrastructure in place. H2FCVs won't be able to compete.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Some of the dinosaur auto corps think Ghosen from Nissan is taking a gamble attempting to mass produce EV's at this point in time, what with the GW hoax and the general public and nations still floating in what is widely perceived as a seemingly inexhaustible oil resources being subsidizing to the max.

      Consider what type of gamble Kia is taking producing 10,000 FCV's, a very long shot indeed but like the bankers they are most likely playing with tax payers subsidies anyway.

      Ballard would be bankrupt by now, if not for the subsidies.

        • 4 Years Ago
        "Consider what type of gamble Kia is taking producing 10,000 FCV's, a very long shot indeed but like the bankers they are most likely playing with tax payers subsidies anyway."

        Not much of a gamble. Kia sells ~1.6 million cars per year. That means that for every one FCV they sell in 2015, they will sell ~160 ICE vehicles.

        10,000 cars per year is just a start.
      • 4 Years Ago
      People say that H2 cars will be "affordable" by 2015 but electric cars are coming this year and next. Some are even out already. And I'm sure in 2015 the number of plugin-capable cars will significantly dwarf Kia's "world-leading" 10,000 unit target - heck, Nissan has 13,000 pre-orders for the Leaf already.

      It seems rather silly to focus on building refueling networks for cars that aren't even out yet when companies and governments could be investing in fast charging networks for cars that are out today or will be released imminently.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Pedantic Grouch has it right.

        The only true market that hydrogen can lead is space applications... were mass of the fuel is so critical. 1 kg of hydrogen has as much energy as 3 kg of the most dense of liquid fuels.

        Forget volume... in space, no one can hear your girth. Equipment in space doesn't have to worry about being too large... only about being too heavy.

        And NASA doesn't care how expensive the fuel is... or how efficient or inefficient it's production cycle may be.

        -----------

        Here on planet Earth... hydrogen is a piss poor energy carrier. And it's primary source of energy (natural gas), is better utilized directly.

        ----------

        LTAW, what percentage of forklifts use fuel cells?

        What percentage of backup power systems use fuel cells?

        Just because a company that specializes in fuel cells tries to infiltrate other markets, doesn't mean they are well suited for that purpose.

        what percentage of forklifts use natural gas or propane directly?
        what percentage of forklifts use batteries?

        What percentage of backup power systems use flywheels?
        What percentage of backup power systems use capacitors?
        What percentage of backup power systems use batteries?
        What percentage of backup power systems use diesel fired generators?

        ---------------

        If you remove your attention away from a company's advertisements and investor luring statements.... you might see that those commercial applications do not choose fuel cells. They have good reason. It is not economical.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Just wanted to make a comment about the stationary fuel cells that Letstakeawalk brings up. I'm fairly sure those are SOFCs running directly off of natural gas. There's no energy wasted converting it to hydrogen, and there are no storage and transport issues since it's piped directly into homes and businesses. These are a great technology and hopefully will continue to develop.

        I've said it probably dozens of times here by now, but the main problem with HFCVs is not the fuel cell, it's the hydrogen. Using hydrogen for a transportation fuel makes very little sense given the alternatives.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh, yes, Chris M, the "high-end" market of fuel cells for back-up power in cell towers, and in fork lifts in warehouses. I underestimated how glamorous it is to make products depended on by hospitals and telecoms...

        As far as "specialized", you do understand they're pretty modular, right? Basically you pick the size you need for the application you have... not particularly specialized, IMHO, no more than a big battery (with better power density, naturally).

        Of course, the people here can look through Ballard's product sheets themselves...
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Way back in the '80s Ballard was researching H2 as a replacement for natural gas for homes, and even made vague plans for a real estate development to be "fueled" by H2. Nothing ever came of it, as the cost was far too high and there was little benefit."

        ...and to specifically refute this point, Ballard does currently produce domestic cogeneration units that reduce the amount of energy a household uses by 20-30%, which can be a substantial financial savings.

        http://www.ballard.com/Stationary_Power/Cogeneration_Fuel_Cells/Application_Overview.htm

        "Setsuko and Yasushi Isayama live in a small community an hour’s drive south of Tokyo, and get their power from an Ebara Ballard fuel cell cogeneration system powered by a Ballard Mark1030 fuel cell stack. This system, delivered and serviced by Tokyo Gas provides the Isayama’s with electricity to run everything in their home, from the fridge and stove to heating the water that comes out of their faucets.
        Inside the house, the only noticeable hardware is an electronic monitor on the kitchen wall - about the size of a digital thermostat - that shows how much electricity the household is currently drawing from the cogeneration unit and how much (if any)
        is coming from the grid.
        As well, it displays the temperature and level of water in the hot water tank, and provides an easy way to monitor electricity usage.

        The monitor alone has made the couple and their two children conscious of exactly how
        much power is consumed by every device in their house. As a result, the family goes out of their way to stay within the power-supply limits of their cogeneration system by checking the monitor before turning on the television or plugging in the iron, and utilizing off-peak times for high energy consuming tasks such as the laundry.

        Over the first ten months the Isayama’s power bill dropped 13% - 50% each month, compared to their electricity costs for the same months in the previous year."

        http://www.ballard.com/files/Resources/Cogen_Case_Study_FINAL.pdf
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm even more tired of the limits of hydrogen power, since I can't get any. I've at least driven an electric golf cart -- but the last time I saw hydrogen put to use was in my high-school chemistry lab.

        BTW, here's a question for the hydrogen advocates: why aren't we using hydrogen in fixed applications? I'd love to replace the natural gas furnace and hot water heater in my house with hydrogen-powered ones -- it doesn't require any new technology, and it's a very natural fit. Also, my house uses much more energy than my car (my house is modest, but I bike/bus/walk/run to work). Why isn't anyone doing this?

        It's a rhetorical question, of course, and it seems to me that the answer is because hydrogen isn't a fuel, and isn't cost-effective as an energy-transfer medium. But I'd love to be wrong. Can anyone point me to someone who is using hydrogen in place of natural gas for household purposes?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Way back in the '80s Ballard was researching H2 as a replacement for natural gas for homes, and even made vague plans for a real estate development to be "fueled" by H2. Nothing ever came of it, as the cost was far too high and there was little benefit. If the H2 was made by steam reforming of natural gas, there was a 30% loss of energy thus required 30% more natural gas. If made from electricity, there was a 50% loss of energy thus requiring twice as much electricity! Much better to use natural gas or electricity directly.

        Ballard later focused on H2 fuel cells and provided fuel cells to various auto makers, until they sold off their automotive division. The former leader in H2 technology has almost dropped it completely, doing only high end specialized fuel cells.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Seriously LTAW, I'm not trying to be argumentative. I'm trying to understand if I'm missing something. If this is really a more efficient, cleaner approach and could be cheaper on a large scale, then why don't utility companies start switching to H2 fuel cells in droves?

        There is a huge move to use a lot more natural gas. Even though overall energy usage in the US declined last year, natural gas generated power has gone up by 62% since 2000 (from 518 to 841 billion kWh). And a huge part of that jump came from 2008 to 2009. They are making changes so they could change to anything they wanted. Did they do this to reduce CO2? HELL NO. They did it for the simple fact that natural gas is now cheaper than coal. Simply put, they did what was most economical.

        These are utilities who fight to save pennies on every kWh produced. It would certainly be cheaper and easier for them to go to a new technology than to try and put it into a mobile industry like autos. And they would be better able to take advantage of economies of scale. Yet I see absolutely no push or even consideration of something like that. There must be some reason.

        It looks like Joe is correct and that the references you pulling up are for companies who want to push it and bring in investors. Of course they make glossy brochures and tell wonderful stories about the advantages of H2. But if it was true in the real world, then I would certainly expect to see utilities making massive moves in that direction.

        And if it's hard and not economical for stationary utility applications, then there is no way it could be better for mobile applications which are always harder to deal with.

        No, it would be simpler and cheaper for everyone to put that natural gas under higher compression and support long haul travel than to convert it to hydrogen and put it under three times the pressure for the same results.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They'll get tired of the limitations of battery power.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Pedantic Grouch, that is the best question I think I've ever heard asked of H2 advocates. If H2 is so good then why isn't it used in obvious, cheap and non mobile applications today? If it's better to steam reform natural gas into H2 and then use that in your car...then why don't we target all the houses that heat with natural gas today? Why do we have Natural Gas plants burning it to turn turbines?

        Hey, it's a much better fit! No need for a distributed infrastucture. No need to try and reduce the size and cost and worry about the power per kg, etc. It's a GREAT application for H2...IF it is really any good at all!

        Show me the plans to stop creating natural gas plants for utilities and to start doing H2 and fuel cells.

        Are you guys telling me it's easier and cheaper to do it in a moving vehicle and to build out a distributed infrastructure for supplying H2???

        It is so much more obvious to simply burn the natural gas in a long haul truck. I just don't get the logic of any of this.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The former leader in H2 technology has almost dropped it completely, doing only high end specialized fuel cells."

        Chris M loves to downplay fuel cell companies, but that's because he has no idea what they or the industry is doing.

        Ballard did sell off their automotive division (mostly to Mercedes, who is now considered a world leader - not a bad investment) but they still produce state of the art fuel cell stacks for a variety of applications, including motive power. Their main products are stationary, portable, and back-up power systems, but they make systems for buses and material handling equipment as well.

        Dr. Steven Chu (who is a vocal supporter of stationary fuel cells) has seen fit to have the DOE award Ballard funding to support DOE research programs:

        "In addition to Los Alamos National Laboratory, Ballard will be partnering with other leading U.S. technology organizations, including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Georgia Institute of Technology, Michigan Technical University, University of Hawaii at Manoa and University of New Mexico.

        "The receipt of significant funding from the DOE clearly demonstrates the Department of Energy's interest in fuel cell market adoption," said Dr. Christopher Guzy, Chief Technology Officer at Ballard Power Systems. "This funding is completely aligned with Ballard's plans to continue investing in strategic enhancements of non-automotive fuel cell products."

        http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=76046&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1400126&highlight=

        Ballard continues to be a world leader in fuel cell development and production, despite Chris M's mistaken and ignorant belief that Ballard has "almost dropped it completely."
        • 4 Years Ago
        What part of "high end" and "specialized" don't you understand, LTAW? All of those Ballard operations fit my description perfectly.
      • 4 Years Ago
      good news
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hello all,

      Has anyuone seen this yet: http://www.thegreencarwebsite.co.uk/blog/index.php/2010/05/26/an-interview-with-dr-sae-hoon-kim-of-hyundai-kia-eco-tech-research-institute/
      I have not seen it mentioned by anyone.
      $35K for their car in 2015 they say. Thats more like it. :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry, that is £35k, not $35k - and about the same as Toyota are aiming at.
        The cost curve looks hopeful though, and those of us who are keen on fuel cell vehicles were really looking at their coming into general use around 2020 anyway.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Joe,
        Hyundai are not the Korean Government, but neither should it be imagined that they do much that is important without choreographing it with them.
        Here is the Korean plan, modest enough it is true, as yet, but clearly defined:
        http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/south-korea-hydrogen-highway.htm

        But where will Korea get the lithium for batteries, as even fuel cell cars need a lot of battery?
        Well, how about from the sea?
        http://www.tradingmarkets.com/news/stock-alert/pkx_gov-t-posco-to-invest-30b-won-in-lithium-extracting-plant-751107.html

        Hyundai's plans, including those for fuel cell cars, are only part of the picture.
        That is one of the reasons I think Hyundai have a lot more to go on than guesswork in their cost projections for fuel cells.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Hyundai-Kia’s first vehicles 10 years ago cost around £600,000 each to make. By 2008 this had reduced to half that.

        Dr Kim said: "Our target is to get that down to around £35,000 by 2015 – and costs will also come down as we build volume."

        Nice hard numbers! Thanks for the link.
        • 4 Years Ago
        35,000.00 EUR = 42,585.44 USD

        I posted yesterday:

        "It makes an FC SUV affordable for some. Fleets and such that absolutely need to have longer range, short refuel times, and zero tailpipe emissions.I would imagine that MSRP for this FCV would be around $45k - $50k. Not bad IMHO."

        I was close, but still a bit off.

        -------------------

        "Dr Kim said: "Our target is to get that down to around £35,000 by 2015 – and costs will also come down as we build volume.""

        I think something got lost in translation (as Korean to English sometimes does).

        Take out the "also".

        Building volume IS the reason that costs will drop to £35k. So don't expect the costs to drop first, before they actually produce 10,000/yr.

        -----------------

        ""Dr Kim said that in Europe a number of carmakers, including Renault-Nissan, Ford, Opel, Toyota, Daimler and Ford, as well as the Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), have signed a letter of understanding with fuel providers to guarantee volume production of fuel cell vehicles by 2015 in order to make the establishment of filling stations viable.""

        I think this is the main area of interest... this SOU agreement.

        They call each other back and forth...

        you start yet?
        no, you?
        ...
        no.
        well somebody's got to start.
        ...
        I'm ready when you are.
        Well, I'm ready when you are.
        ...
        So you gonna build some H2 stations?
        are you gonna build some fuel cell vehicles?
        ...
        I've built a few... your turn.
        I built a few too... waitin on you.
      harlanx6
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's cool. I noticed they didn't mention price. How much are they per copy, damit HOW MUCH? Nothing about these makes any sense.Do you have any idea how many solar panels it would take to split enough water to power one car?
      I missed you, Gorr!
      • 4 Years Ago
      We've heard the same from other companies and have already seen them walk back these promises.

      Looks like we have another $600 lease-only grant pony...and why not, the US government is giving away 100s of millions to any company willing to fleece them for it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Polo, you idiot, I'm not Greg Blencoe.

        It's no wonder you can't understand the progress FCVs are making - you can't even comprehend I'm not who your fevered imagination thinks I am!

        LOL.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This is a desperation move. There will be literally millions of BEVs world wide and the H2 guys have to move NOW or they are completely out of the game. So they will have a TOTAL of 10,000 in customers hands by the end of 2015? Nissan alone will have over a million BEVs in customers hands by then. BMW will probably be matching their pace with MegaCity by then. Audi...ready to announce the A2 for 2012? Mercedes and Toyota investing in Tesla. How many electrics are announced and shipping from the big guys between now and 2013?

        I think it's going to simply be another missed goal for the H2 crowd, but what else do they have to lose now? They might as well role the dice and go for it because if they don't say "me too" at this point then they lose the game anyway. So they might as well start making announcements whether then can meet them or not.

        Just simple logic as well as desperation from the H2 crowd at this point.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "We've heard the same from other companies and have already seen them walk back these promises."

        Surely you mean to say that we've heard the same from other companies, that GM, Mercedes, Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, Renault, Nissan, and others plan to have commercial FCVs on the road by 2015?

        Because, that's what they're saying...

        "Leading vehicle manufacturers in fuel cell technology—Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation/Opel, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation, the alliance Renault SA and Nissan Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation—issued a joint a Letter of Understanding (LoU) regarding the development and market introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles.

        The signing automobile manufacturers strongly anticipate that from 2015 onwards, a “quite significant” number—a “few hundred thousand units” over the initial products’ lifecycles—of fuel cell electric vehicles could be commercialized. These companies have built up extensive expertise in fuel cell technology; the signing marks a major industry step towards the serial production of such locally emission-free vehicles.

        As every vehicle manufacturer will implement its own specific production and commercial strategies as well as timelines, commercialization of electric vehicles powered by fuel cells may occur earlier than 2015, the automakers noted."

        http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/09/automakers-fcv-20090909.html

        Polo's cynicism and doubt has clouded his ability to objectively process information that continues to point towards FCVs being commercially produced.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Greg Blencoe, we all already know about those announcements. Its just a goal post the automakers move around every few years. Probably a requirement to qualify for the free government subsidies.. Spend a few minutes on google and you'd see similar promises for 2010 and 2012, and in a couple years you'll hear about 2018 and 2020 being the "real date".

        I'm sure you're going to keep flooding this thread with your hydrogen spam but it doesn't change the fact that the fundamentals haven't changed (mass production/fueling infrastructure too expensive to be viable),and the only way we'll be seeing these on the road are as (extremely) limited production lease-only prototypes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Letstakeawalk isn't Blencoe, as Blencoe would never say anything good about BEVs. and LTAW doesn't go off in a snit when challenged. Blencoe couldn't stand anyone challenging the Hydrogen Hype.

        The 2015 date was set by the H2 promoters in the DOE, and the automakers are all giving it lip service. Ironically, all those auto makers will be producing plug-ins (BEVs and PHEVs) well before that date, at lower prices and in far greater numbers. I'm expecting delays to be announced, the dates to be pushed back, and eventually H2 will be quietly dropped.
        • 4 Years Ago
        owch.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Is anybody running a tally for how many times Polo calls him Gleg Blencoe?
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