• 46
Mercedes-Benz' investment of nearly 2 billion euros ($2.73 billion U.S. at the current exchange rate) into fuel-cell technology over the past 15 years will partially be paid back by those who agree to dish out $849 a month over three years (plus tax) to lease the automaker's hydrogen-fed B-Class F-Cell. In order to make the high price tag seem a bit more reasonable, the monthly fee includes fuel and insurance. Interestingly, Mercedes-Benz opened ordering for the F-Cell in early October, but waited until just days ago to finalize pricing.

M-B will deliver a limited number of F-Cells to select customers by the end of next month. In addition, the automaker expects at least 70 more Californians living in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, two regions with adequate access to hydrogen refueling stations, will take delivery of the B-Class hatches in 2012.

The front-wheel drive F-Cell uses a 100 kW electric motor that puts out an impressive 214 pound-feet of torque. MB claims this powertrain will offer performance that's comparable to a 2.0-liter gas-powered auto (the run to 60 miles per hour is estimated to take under 11 seconds) while returning the equivalent of 54 miles per gallon (according to the U.S. test cycle FTP combined EPA-Label) and offering up to 249 miles of operating range between fill ups. Impressive? You bet. However, we'd wager that the F-Cell's steep price tag is beyond the means of many who might otherwise be eager to lease one.

[Source: Daimler]

PRESS RELEASE

Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL: Mercedes-Benz brings the latest fuel cell fleet to the USA
Stuttgart


Nov 17, 2010

Right in time for the Los Angeles Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the new B-Class F-CELL as the first fuel cell powered electric car produced under series production conditions in the USA. The first vehicles will be handed over to selected customers before the end of this year. In 2012 a total of around 70 of these environmentally friendly cars, which are being made available on a rental basis, will be operating on a daily basis in California.

"California, with its almost traditionally demanding and restrictive environmental regulations, is the ideal region for day-to-day operation of a genuine Zero Emission Vehicle," says Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler AG Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Development for Mercedes-Benz Cars. With the model year 2011 B-Class F-CELL, Mercedes-Benz is the first manufacturer to date to bring a fuel cell powered Zero Emission Vehicle onto the roads which has been certificated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CARB (California Air Resources Board). Dr. Thomas Weber: "After more than 580,000 kilometers covered with the A-Class F-CELL trial fleet in practical operation, we will continue to build on our experience with the latest generation of electric cars with fuel cell drive. The 70 B-Class F-CELL cars in customer hands in California alone are more than twice the size of the U.S. A-Class fleet and a further milestone on the way to market maturity of this technology by 2015."

Latest generation of fuel cell powered vehicles

With an operating range of around 400 kilometres and short refuelling times, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL combines locally emission-free mobility with long-distance comfort and compelling performance figures. The technical basis for the drive system of the B-Class F-CELL is the optimised, latest-generation fuel cell system. This is some 40 percent smaller than the system in the A-Class F‑CELL, which has been undergoing practical trials in the USA since 2004, but generates 30 percent more power while consuming 30 percent less fuel. The cold-start capability of the B-Class
F-CELL is down to minus 25 degrees Celsius.

In the current B-Class F-CELL the 100 kW/136 hp electric motor, which develops a powerful torque of 290 Nm from the instant the engine starts to turn, delivers driving pleasure and dynamism on a par with a two-litre petrol model. At the same time the B-Class F-CELL achieves an NEDC consumption (New European Driving Cycle) equivalent to only 3.3 litres of fuel (diesel equivalent) per 100 kilometres. Fuel consumption according to the US test cycle FTP combined EPA-Label (Federal Test Procedure) is 54 mpg.

Everyday use by customers

This vehicle concept is suitable for everyday driving and highly impressive: during the NHA Hydrogen Conference & Expo in May 2010, California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was enthusiastic: "I would love one of these fuel cell powered Mercedes cars!" On the basis of market research data, Mercedes-Benz has chosen a representative customer group consisting of fleet operators, public institutions, public figures and private customers. The primary aim is to gain further experience in day-to-day operation which can then be incorporated into succeeding model series. The full-service rental rate is 849 US Dollars excl. tax, with a contractual duration of up to 36 months.

Fuel cell safely integrated into the sandwich floor

At the heart of the B-Class F‑CELL is the new-generation electric drive system powered by a fuel cell, which is compact, powerful, safe and fully suited for everyday use. The fuel cell generates the electrical power on board from a chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen, producing only pure water and zero emissions. The key drive components are located in the sandwich floor, where they are protected and do not take up much space, leaving the vehicle's interior and trunk fully usable. This makes Mercedes-Benz the first manufacturer to produce a fuel cell based electric drive system in a series-production compact car. Vehicle safety also benefits from accommodation of the tanks within the sandwich floor, and is at the very high level to be expected of a Mercedes.

The integrated safety concept of the B-Class F‑CELL takes the specific characteristics of the innovative drive system into account. The experience garnered over many years by Mercedes-Benz with the electric drive powered by fuel cells from the A-Class F‑CELL and the high-voltage technology involving the lithium-ion battery from the S 400 HYBRID went into honing the concept. The high level of safety means that Mercedes-Benz fuel cell vehicles can use underground car parks, multi-storey car parks or tunnels with no restrictions whatsoever. The vehicle configuration also results in particularly safe and agile handling characteristics.

Operating radius around 400 kilometres: filling-stations within range

The hydrogen used to run the fuel cell is stored in three tanks at a pressure of 700 bar. Each tank holds just under 4 kilograms of the gaseous fuel. The tanks are hermetically sealed from the outside world, preventing the escape of hydrogen into the atmosphere even if the vehicle is left to stand for long periods. Thanks to the high compression ratio, the B-Class F‑CELL can cover long ranges of up to 400 kilometres with the tanks full, over twice as far as the A-Class F‑CELL of 2004. Once the tanks are empty, they can be filled simply and quickly in less than three minutes, thanks to a standardised refuelling system.

Targeted initiatives relating to the fuel cell

In order to further the commercialization of fuel cell powered vehicles, Mercedes-Benz is involved in the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP), an association of automobile manufacturers, energy suppliers, government bodies and technology companies, as well as in the newly formed Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA).

While the CaFCP is currently furthering the transition from a demonstration project to early commercialization of fuel cell drive systems at all levels, the State of California has already made $27 million available towards the development of a hydrogen infrastructure, with an additional $14 million anticipated in 2011.

There are currently five public hydrogen filling-stations in the greater Los Angeles area, with four more due to be opened by the end of 2010 and one more in the San Francisco Bay area.

Key facts about the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL
  • Purely electrically driven vehicle with an operating range of around 400 kilometres in the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle)
  • A chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen produces electric power which is fed to an electric motor
  • Water is the only emission
  • The liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery as the energy provider has a storage capacity of more than 1.4 kWh
  • The vehicle has front-wheel drive
  • Designed as a compact family car with full day-to-day suitability, the B-Class F-CELL consumes the diesel equivalent of only 3.3 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres in the NEDC

Drive

Electric motor with fuel cell

Rated output (kW/hp) 100/136

Rated torque (Nm) 290

Max. speed (km/h) 170

NEDC fuel consumption
(diesel equivalent in l/100 km) 3.3

FTP combined EPA-Label consumption (mpg) 54

CO2 comb. (g/km min.–max.) 0.0

Range (km) NEDC 380

Energy content / output lithium-ion battery (kWh/kW) 1.4 /35

Cold-start capability down to -25 °C


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 46 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Has this thing been crash tested?
      I'd like to see that video.

      How did they calculate fuel economy?
      Before or after the hydrogen was converted from natural gas?

      Why the Hydro BS? Why not just build natural gas fuel cells.
      Which is more explosive hydrogen or natural gas?
        • 4 Months Ago
        Thanks for that very informative comment Chris.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Hydrogen is more explosive, it ignites with a wider range of fuel/air mix ratios than natural gas. Also, Hydrogen is a smaller molecule than natural gas thus it more readily leaks, and can even diffuse through materials that natural gas won't.

        But the most interesting fact has to do with volumetric energy density, with natural gas having 3x greater energy than H2 for the same volume and pressure. That would lead to 3x greater range for the same tanks, or perhaps somewhat greater range with smaller or lower pressure tanks!

        Then when you figure the energy losses for converting natural gas into H2, well, the direct natural gas fuel cell would use less natural gas and produce less CO2!
      • 4 Years Ago
      A small limited number of vehicles leased at a really high price . . . and still probably subsidized. Yeah, that is fuel cell vehicles.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am sure if they are leasing the Mercedes in America is has been crash tested.
      The fuel economy is independent of how the hydrogen was made. The Shell station in Santa Monica California makes its own H2 on site using electrolysis of water. Some hydrogen is made using wind farm electricity. And still some is made through steam reforming of natural gas.
      Hydrogen is as safe as gasoline. Please see: http://www.cafcp.org/why-h2/benefits/myths
        • 4 Months Ago
        Yes, steam reforming is the primary way H2 is produced. No, it isn't the cheapest way, though it is very efficient though (80%). Wind turbine electrolysis of water would be the cheaper method.

        I have no idea who Greg is. My name is Dave.

        • 4 Months Ago
        @ Dave D Thank you for telling me who Greg is.

        I am not into long drawn out arguments. People will believe what they want. Just as I believe what I want. I can state some facts, just as others can state facts to the contrary. I don’t attack people or their beliefs. I simply say what I read, what I am taught and what I have experienced. I have driven a General Motors Hydrogen Electric Fuel Cell Equinox (for 5 weeks) and a Chevrolet Volt (less than a half hour). That in no way makes me an expert, but it does give me a good insight into the viability and feasibility of the technology. I went to several information seminars on Electric and Hydrogen powered vehicles. I follow the news on environmentally friendly vehicles and technologies. I am not a spokesman for any company and I don’t belong to Green Peace or any other organizations. I am not an environmental warrior. I do believe we have to turn around our dependence on fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels is ruining our planet (again my thoughts, maybe not shared by all) and they will eventually run out (fact ). Hydrogen on the other hand is the most abundant element in the known Universe (fact). So why would we not want it powering our vehicles?
        • 4 Months Ago
        Greg refers to Greg Blenco, a very forceful hydrogen advocate who used to come on here and argue with everyone about H2 and why it was going to succeed.
        • 4 Months Ago
        You mean a bunch of corporations deeply invested in hydrogen say their product is as safe as gasoline? shocking!

        "The California Fuel Cell Partnership is a collaboration of organizations, including auto manufacturers, energy providers, government agencies and fuel cell technology companies, that work together to promote the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. "
        • 4 Months Ago
        " Maybe that's why Mercedes is hiding the fuel cost by rolling it into their lease. "

        No, the reason the fuel cost is incorporated into the lease is because retail hydrogen sales to the public aren't currently legal in every location. It's also why most stations aren't currently open to the public.

        Part of moving towards the hydrogen economy includes the government creating appropriate regulation - and in the case of H2 that means creating the codes covering sales, dispensation, and taxation of fuels. The hydrogen codes are still incomplete, at the moment, which is a hindrance to building new H2 stations generally.
        • 4 Months Ago
        > And still some is made through steam reforming of natural gas.

        Oh really only some hydrogen is made from natural gas?! Isn't it the primary way that hydrogen is made? Isn't this the only cheap way to make hydrogen? Doesn't shell subsidize the cost of its solar hydrogen so it appears to be a viable transportation fuel?

        GreenInLA, you have a way with words that makes me think your first name is Greg.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Sorry, but "Wind turbine electrolysis of water" would not be the cheaper method. Average wholesale price of electricity from wind turbines is slightly higher than the average wholesale price from all electrical sources, so while it would be cheaper than solar electric derived H2, it's still more expensive than steam reformed natural gas.

        But the per mile cost of H2 is still higher than the cost of petroleum fuels, versus. a much lower per mile cost for driving electric. Maybe that's why Mercedes is hiding the fuel cost by rolling it into their lease. But wouldn't high fuel costs make the leases unprofitable? Well, yes, but with such a limited range they can't wander too far from the "hydrogen islands" of LA and SF, or even go from LA to SF so fuel consumption will also be limited. As will be the number of leases.

        As for abundance, well, electrons are far more abundant than hydrogen is, so why not use electrons to power our vehicles?
      • 4 Years Ago
      it'll be a raving success : )
      and probably wont even happen.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Too little, too late. Hydogen is still stuck at the "test fleet" level while electric cars are entering mass commercialization. Since it already has a motor, they could swap the fuel cell system for a battery pack and get a full EV.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Actually, Mercedes is also developing the "E-Cell" using the same type of vehicle but with batteries instead of fuel cell and H2 tanks, it is also being leased for testing, but in greater numbers. It's easy to guess which one will make it to production and sale first.

        The advantage for H2 over electric for long trips is already disappearing. Plug-in hybrids like the Volt can do local commuting on cheap electricity, but still take long trips using readily available fuels. Improvements to battery capacity and rapid "under an hour" charging makes long distance travel more reasonable, and battery swapping is even quicker than refilling a hydrogen tank. And of course, the construction of "powered roadways" would make unlimited range EV travel possible. Oh, but long trips using H2 fuel aren't really possible now, due to lack of refueling stations outside the "hydrogen islands" of LA, SF, Washington DC, and NYC.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @GreenInLA,

        "Unfortunately, the U.S. and North America are far behind Germany and Japan in hydrogen infrastructure"
        Not really. That's a scare tactic by H2 proponents to drum up money for the massive infrastructure investments required. "USA needs to step up, otherwise it'll fall behind, because Germany has *plans*." Well, governator Schwarzenegger had plans for a hydrogen highway stretching all the way along California. It hasn't happened but I'm sure there are German-language articles about how California is in the lead.

        Last time I checked, most of Germany's hydrogen fueling stations were behind a fence in industrial facilities. I guess you could drive up and ask for a refuel, but it's not a fair comparison with USA's public hydrogen stations.

        "Once the infrastructure is in place"
        You mean "if", and it's not a single event, it's a long process that over time makes FCV more appealing to more people in more regions.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Of course hydrogen cars aren't meant to replace electrics. They (FCVs) are perpetual lease monkeys, thrown out to justify a decades long money pit, while EVs are actually coming up for sale. They (FCVs) also have an incredibly shortlife span and cost in the upper six-to-seven figures to build. Thats the reason why automakers are always pushing actual SALE dates far into the future.
        • 4 Months Ago
        One thing I think you should understand is Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles are not meant to replace Electric Vehicles. H2 powered vehicles are quickly recharged (refueled) to full capacity in about 3 minutes, not three to eight hours as with electrics. Electrics are perfect commuter cars, but to go longer distances the weight and volume of needed batteries grows exponentially. It will reach a point that the vehicle has no cargo or passenger space to go far. Both platforms (H2 & electric) have their own purposes. H2 can go farther faster (by faster I mean without having to stop for hours to recharge). As long as there is a H2 station in range it is just like taking your internal combustion engine powered vehicles to a gas station.

        As for the “stuck at the test fleet”, they really aren’t. Like when cell phones first came out they (and their service) were very expensive. Until they are produced in mass the price to build them will remain high. I guarantee that Chevrolet is taking a loss on each Volt it sells for at least the first year. The H2 vehicles cannot be made in mass yet due to infrastructure’s slow growth. Who would buy a car you cannot drive? The electric infrastructure is already in place, so naturally they can be sold in mass right now.

        I live in Los Angeles there are several H2 stations around my area, and there are more being built. Unfortunately, the U.S. and North America are far behind Germany and Japan in hydrogen infrastructure. Once the infrastructure is in place the H2 vehicles will begin to sell on the market to consumers.

        I hope this has helped shed some light on the H2 and electric vehicles usages. Also, I hope you understand that neither one is out to replace the other. They both have their place in the future of mainstream automobiles.
      • 4 Years Ago
      San Francisco is a region "with adequate access to hydrogen refueling stations"? Yes, if you drive 20+ miles roundtrip to SFO airport for a fill-up, or pay bridge tolls to go to the two in the East bay. The press release mentions plans for only one more.

      Then there are no stations for hundreds of miles to the north and south, so you can't drive the F-Cell to LA. I guess the Hydrogen Highway much touted by our soon-to-be-former Gropinator Ahhnold has yet to happen, though you can drive to Sacramento to see him. http://www.cafcp.org/stationmap

      A hydrogen car's value over electric is that you can go long distances and fill up quickly. But in the real world of 2011 you can only drive a long distance in certain directions. If you live close to a hydrogen station and you make a lot of 100-200 mile trips around your region or you don't have a plug at home, the car is better for you than a BEV. That's a pretty small market, about the size of these small trials.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Seems like you'd be better off with a Volt.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I ca't wait to read some real-world owners' experiences.

      Certainly not a cheap lease, but considering fuel and insurance are part of the bargain, it's not out of the ordinary for owners of M-B.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "No, I think Dave is right for bringing in Tesla. Made me realize that Daimler is offering a car that cost them no doubt at least twice the price of a Roadster to build at half the lease price. I'd say this is a real bargain!"

        Actually, Mercedes has spent about $3 Billion on hydrogen fuel cells.

        And theyve build maybe 300 fuel cell vehicles including cars, buses, and various prototypes. So, if you want, you can say that each one cost $10 million.

        (Of course, that doesnt mean they always will cost that much.)

        • 4 Years Ago
        Since you've brought up that comparison, how about comparing the 249 mile range of the F-Cell with the 244 mile range of the Roadster, or the 0-60 time of 11 sec. for the F-Cell with the 3.9 sec. time for the Roadster.

        Sure know which would be more fun to drive, and which one would more impress my friends...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Dave
        Why are you bringing in the Tesla? That's a totally different market segment (Porsche/Ferrari territory).

        This car is more comparable to the Leaf ($349/month), and is a direct analog to lease programs like the MINI-E ($850/month, $600/month extension) and the Smart ED from Daimler itself ($599/month).
        • 4 Years Ago
        "It's one or the other. You can't sustain that kind of acceleration, and enjoy the full range."
        Can't do that either with the F-cell.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Its a whole lot cheaper than leasing a Tesla Roadster, at least:

        "The company, which last month filed to raise up to $100 million in an IPO, now says it will offer the Roadster and the Roadster Sport with "a three-year, 30,000-mile contract and with monthly payments as low as $1,658."

        The $1,658, however, is just part of the fees interested parties can expect to pay. Tesla says that in light of a retail price of $111,005 each for the cars, the leasing customer needs to provide $12,453 due at signing, which includes a $9,900 down payment and $895 acquisition fee but not taxes, title, license, registration, and "locally applied" fees. "


        http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/feb2010/tc20100225_189974.htm
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Can't do that either with the F-cell."

        Actually, with an FCV, there is a difference from a BEV in that the battery is continually being recharged (sustained, if you rather) by the fc stack.

        An FCV has the benefit of quick power bursts from a battery, and sustained power from the stack.

        So, yes, you do get your maximum design-spec'd acceleration - which I grant isn't particularly quick in the F-Cell's case - as well as a predictable range, even at highway speeds. Unlike a pure BEV, where those quick battery bursts simply drain the only source of electrons on board.

        • 4 Years Ago
        "...244 mile range of the Roadster, or ... the 3.9 sec. time for the Roadster. "

        It's one or the other. You can't sustain that kind of acceleration, and enjoy the full range.
        electronx16
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, I think Dave is right for bringing in Tesla. Made me realize that Daimler is offering a car that cost them no doubt at least twice the price of a Roadster to build at half the lease price. I'd say this is a real bargain!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, let's see:

      - 36 x $849 = $30564 + TAX (after 36 months, you have to say goodbye to the car AND your money)
      - No hydrogen distribution infrastructure
      - only ~70 selected customers => no real market presence, just the usual "test fleet" BS
      - way below BEV efficiency

      => failed.
        • 4 Months Ago
        And is there an initial amount of money they need to put down at the start of the lease?
        • 4 Months Ago
        star
      • 4 Years Ago
      More science experiments where you pay for the privilege of providing them with test data.

      Here is some hint about the actual cost of an FCV:
      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/11/tmc-20101118.html

      "Although currently a price under ¥10 million (US$120,000) seems attainable, TMC aims to further reduce costs to bring the vehicle to market at a more-affordable price."
        • 4 Months Ago
        "all positive steps towards reducing CO2 and GHG emissions."

        That's a good point. Let's do a little math:
        If you steam reform NG to form H2, I think you use this equation (once CO oxidation is taken into account).
        CH4 + 2 H2O -> 4H2 + CO2
        [16g] [36g] [8g] [44g]

        so for every 8g of H you get, you get 44g of CO2 (12 + 2*16).
        So to produce 1kg of H2, you release 5.5 kg of CO2.

        When you burn a gallon of gas, you produce 8.8 kg of CO2.

        This vehicle holds ~12kg of H2, and has a range of 249 miles. So you get about 21 miles/kg, or releases [5.5kg/21miles =] 260 gCO2/mile.

        Using gas, to produce the same CO2 per mile, you'd need to get [8.8kgCO2/gal / 260 gCO2/mile =] 34 mpg.
        Hmmm. That's oddly low. Did I do something wrong?

        I wonder what the mileage of the gas version of this vehicle is?

        Also, this calculation did not include the energy used in the steam reformation process.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @letstakeawalk

        How will you CO2 and GHG emissions when the hydrogen is made from natural gas?
        • 4 Months Ago
        "Hmmm. That's oddly low. Did I do something wrong?"

        Yes. You made a faulty assumption, here:

        "This vehicle holds ~12kg of H2, and has a range of 249 miles. So you get about 21 miles/kg"

        Your fault is easy to understand, you've assumed that the total capacity of the H2 tanks are used to cover the stated distance. This is similar to saying that a BEV uses the entire capacity of a battery - just as a battery has capacity in reserve, so do H2 tanks, because some H2 always remains unused in the tanks.

        The tanks really have a usable capacity of 3.7kg. (note the article: "Each tank holds *just under* 4 kilograms) 11.1kg capacity is closer to reality, and that's a maximum. As pointed out above, the maximum capacity of the tanks isn't depleted, because there is always some H2 left - otherwise, where would the pressure be to push the H2 out of the tank? I'll use 11.1kg though, to provide a top-end number.

        So that's you're first error, and it's an easy one to miss, no problem. Then there's this one:

        "So to produce 1kg of H2, you release 5.5 kg of CO2."

        Without getting into your math, I'll just say you're wrong. During SMR of natural gas, 2.51kg of CO2 are produced for every kg of H2.

        http://www.getenergysmart.org/files/hydrogeneducation/6hydrogenproductionsteammethanereforming.pdf

        So, reworking your faulty numbers with corrected ones:

        2.51kg/21.6miles = 116.2g CO2/mile

        This 116.2g CO2/kg number is on the high side, based on using higher H2 volume values in my calculations.

        Of course, this is a moot point, considering that the CO2 produced via SMR can be easily contained instead of being released directly into the atmosphere.
        • 4 Months Ago
        To build on my "Without getting into your math..." comment, try this formula instead:

        "Total CO2 emissions can be determined by measuring the flow and composition of the natural gas entering the reformer as feed and fuel with conversion to CO2 according to the following hypothetical reaction:

        CXHY+ (X+Y/4)O2 --> (X)CO2 + (Y/2)H2O

        For a typical natural gas composition approximated as 90% methane and 10% ethane, X equals 1.10 and Y equals 4.2."

        http://www.praxair.com/praxair.nsf/0/6D73B5DA741457DA8525772900703E30/$file/Praxair-CO2EmissionsReductionCapture-WhitePaper.pdf (Page 3)
        • 4 Months Ago
        We will have to see how much under $120 000, they get by the time 2015 rolls around, but now as it is getting closer, what we will really have to see how much longer 2015 lasts as a date.

        Soon it will be less than 5 years into the future and probably time for an update to 2017.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Sorry to Snowdog if you're the only one who reads this (if you still get notification of replies).

        @letstakeawalk:
        " Without getting into your math, I'll just say you're wrong. During SMR of natural gas, 2.51kg of CO2 are produced for every kg of H2. "

        As the reference your provide points out, the output of the SMR process is H2 and CO.

        In my post I specifically commented "once CO oxidation is taken into account". The reference you posted states quite correctly that the secondary reaction to oxidize CO produces MORE CO2 (obviously). It also produces more H2. I put those two reactions together into one chemical equation to simplify the post.

        Your second post gives the molar comparisons of products in a simple combustion reaction, so the reaction you copied out does not really provide any useful information relating the mass of CO2 produced during the evolution of a mass of H2. It does, however, confirm that CO2 is produced in both stages of production.

        They use the bafflingly convoluted units of [Short tons CO2 per day per Million cubic feet H2 per day], so let's see what that means:

        The density of H2 at STP is 0.08988 g/L, or 2.54g/scf. So a million cubic feet weighs 2.54 metric tons, or 2.8 short tons.

        Figure 3 in the your second reference states that for every 100 MMscfd of H2, 2500 TPD of CO2 are produced. The same ratio is given in Table 1. That much H2 weighs 280 short tons. So for each of those tons, almost 9 tons of CO2 are produced.

        Those are the number in a real physical system, rather than my nice neat chemical reaction. I came up with 5.5 kg(CO2) per kg(H2), Praxair comes up with 8.9 kg(CO2) per kg(H2).

        http://www.praxair.com/praxair.nsf/0/6D73B5DA741457DA8525772900703E30/$file/Praxair-CO2EmissionsReductionCapture-WhitePaper.pdf

        Thanks for that reference. It was really helpful.

        • 4 Months Ago
        The whole efficiency debate is moot. Hydrogen proponents always take the best-case scenario for H2 to come up with some numbers. They completely ignore the case when a high-compression engine (much cheaper and simpler to build than a fuel cell) is powered directly by natural gas. No losses in conversion to hydrogen, it is easier to handle than H2 (doesn't leak through materials), and still has lower CO2 per mile than gasoline. And to make their case against EVs, toyota with their "advanced" hydrogen model take as a comparison the efficiency of an EV when the electricity comes from natural gas burned in a SINGLE cycle turbine. They quote efficiency of 39%, while in reality those turbines are only used for peaking loads, and have an extremely low capacity factor. When you take cogen turbines, with efficiency of 60%, it is no competition at all, and when you take into account that electricity can come from wind, solar, nuclear etc and be used directly, it is really not funny. So let's see some mpg numbers from a prius with a CNG engine, and then we can compare CO2 numbers and price. And CNG infrastructure is already way ahead than H2 infrastructure, considering the number of homes that use natural gas and the gas pipes running across the US. So the hydrogen from electrolysis is cheaper than the electricity used to make it, but this still makes sense to people?!?
        • 4 Months Ago
        Thanks for the tidbit:

        "Fuel Cell Vehicles. TMC is continuing development of a sedan-type fuel-cell hybrid vehicle (FCHV), with sales aimed to start in around 2015 in Japan, theUS and Europe—markets in which hydrogen supply infrastructure is expected to develop.

        Although currently a price under ¥10 million (US$120,000) seems attainable, TMC aims to further reduce costs to bring the vehicle to market at a more-affordable price."

        Programs like the M-B F-Cell, and the Toyota FCHV-adv, as well as the Hyundai, Honda, GM, Peugot, Nissan, and Chinese FCVs that are under development for launch in the next decade are all positive steps towards reducing CO2 and GHG emissions.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How did anyone miss the mpg? 54mpg isn't very impressive for a HFCV. The Clarity was about 70mpg and it's a much bigger car. That's about 20% worse for no apparent reason and makes the overall efficiency calculation even worse. It might truly push the energy calculation to worse than an NGV since all previous calculations were mostly based on the Clarity. I'll have to take some time to redo some calculations with this figure.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @GreenInLA
        Thanks. So the F-Cell has a 1.4 kWh battery, so small as to not be worth plugging in. Honda doesn't say how big the Clarity's battery is.

        I don't see someone pulling into their garage in an electrically-propelled car that they can't plug in as the cheapest and least-polluting way to travel the first XX miles. But if you're an apartment dweller without access to a plug, an FCV could work.
        • 4 Months Ago
        $2.5 Billion, a decade and a half of research...and 70 lease-only cars that manage a measly 54mpg is all they can come up with? Maybe they were rushed out to coincide with the EV onslaught? If so these cars will probably be having alot of problems....not very reassuring considering the extremely explosive hydrogen in them.
        • 4 Months Ago
      bajohn3
      • 4 Years Ago
      Total waste of time that does nothing to address the real world physics of FCV's and the entire, nonexistent, hydrogen infrastructure. Another hydrogen scam.
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