Need any more proof that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are getting another shot in the arm in the U.S.? Take a look at the fall and rise of the Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus.

Yes, after years of a decidedly anti-hydrogen DOE, the federal government is giving H2 some more attention, and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Hoeven (R-ND) decided to get the band back together, re-launching the Caucus during a luncheon in Washington, D.C. recently.

What's interesting is that the flyer put out by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association announcing the revived caucus has three pictures on in, none of them are of cars. Instead, there's a forklift, a bus and a building. The press release put out announcing the re-launch also only lists hydrogen-powered vehicles as one small part of the larger role that fuel cells will play in the coming years. The only automaker that actively took part in the re-launch was General Motors, which sent speaker Joe Guzzo to talk about the company's plan to bring a fuel-cell vehicle to market by 2015.
Show full PR text
U.S. Senators Re-Launch Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus

WASHINGTON, D.C., - Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Hoeven (R-N.D) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) hosted a U.S. Senate policy briefing as a first step in re-launching the bipartisan Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is also a Caucus Chair but was unable to attend the re-launch due to several back to back member meetings.

This caucus will promote the continued development and commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the United States. The senators hosted the briefing to educate the public about the value of these clean energy technologies - which have helped to create 11,000 jobs in the United States -and to invite innovative ideas to advance the industry.

The United States is the world leader in fuel cell manufacturing, research, and development; however, fuel cell and hydrogen industries are becoming more popular abroad. The senators are rolling out the new bipartisan Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus to help demonstrate interest on Capitol Hill to maintain the United States' leadership in this area, and to identify further policy and investment solutions to support these technologies, which have already created thousands of American jobs.

The House of Representatives' Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus has 40 members and is chaired by Joe Wilson (R-SC).

The re-launched Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus will also include Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), all of whom offered support for this briefing and the formation of the new caucus.

The launch featured a variety of leaders in the industry. These leaders welcome the Senate caucus as it confirms the progress made by the industry and demonstrates that these forward-thinking legislators understand the importance of developing and commercializing fuel cell technologies.

Dr. Shannon Baxter-Clemmons, executive director of the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance (SCHFCA) led the opening of the launch. "It is imperative that we unite as a nation to support hydrogen and fuel cell technology--a US clean energy technology--as part of our "all of the above" energy security strategy. This is crucial year for the industry, and we need to maintain our place as a global leader in developing alternative energy and fuels."

Fuel cells are currently saving money, preventing harmful emissions and achieving up to 90% efficiency rates for residential buildings, grocery stores, hospitals, and many well-known companies. Fuel cell technologies are powered by hydrogen and other resources readily available in the United States, which help to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

During the meeting UTC Power, a US developer and manufacturer of fuel cell technology, reported that the new One World Trade Center (previously the Freedom Tower), replacing the World Trade Center Towers destroyed on 9/11 in New York City, will use fuel cell power.

"We are incredibly proud that the New York Power Authority selected UTC Power PureCell systems to provide clean, efficient and reliable energy to the new World Trade Center and three other new towers under construction at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan," said Katrina Fritz Intwala, Director of Business Development and Public Relations at UTC Power. "Each of the four towers will have three PureCell systems installed in their basements. Combined, the fuel cells will provide 4.8 MW of clean power for the towers and rank as one of the largest installations of fuel cells in the world. Being a part of such an important project means a great deal to our company, and also to our employees."

Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power, described to the senators how fuel cell-powered forklifts are creating a return on their investment in less than two years, while saving space in the warehouse and time due to the fast refueling capability with hydrogen.

South Carolina, a recognized Top 5 Fuel Cell State, features fuel cell-forklifts throughout the state. BMW, Bridgestone-Firestone, Kimberly-Clark/GENCO, and Michelin are all companies that utilize fuel cell-forklifts in South Carolina. Nationally, there are more than 50organizations that use fuel cell-forklifts.

General Motors described to the caucus how they plan to meet a 2015 commitment to commercially launch fuel cell vehicles. Joe Guzzo of GM spoke about how his company is pursuing advanced vehicle technologies such as fuel cell electric vehicles. GM, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, and Daimler have all made significant investments in fuel cells and have previously announced plans to widely launch fuel cell vehicles.

The event follows US Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu's statement of support towards hydrogen and fuel cell technology; which was made public last month. Dr.Chu specifically cited two points that influenced this change of mind.

"The most important thing that changed my mind was the fact that we have now natural gas in abundance. Hydrogen is reformed from natural gas. That's point number one."

Dr. Chu then explained his second point, which focuses on the emerging technology that allows for natural gas to burn in "a little starved" partial oxygen atmosphere. This results in a pure stream of hydrogen and a pure stream of carbon dioxide. The new technology will combat the loss of energy that fuel cells previously faced. "That will change things. The pure stream most," Dr. Chu stated.

The reasons for this renewed interest are clear. In today's increasingly unstable energy marketplace, fuel cell and hydrogen technology offer a solution that is readily available in the United States, which helps reduce our dependency on foreign oil. The more that people learn about fuel cells, the more they come to understand how these systems can answer many of our toughest environmental problems. Fuel cell and hydrogen technologies are an investment in America's future and are ready for commercialization now.

The launch of the Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus took place at the Senate Russell Building in Washington, D.C. on July 18.

About SCHFCA

The South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance is a public-private collaboration for cooperative and coordinated utilization of resources in the state used to advance the commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Founded in January 2006, the alliance was created by six core institutions and organizations devoted to hydrogen and fuel cell initiatives. The Alliance is a non-profit partnership of government, business, academia and citizens working together to grow economies of local communities, the state and the nation, to enable energy security and to limit our environmental footprint with the use of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies that are cost-effective, convenient and produced with local resources.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 88 Comments
      Marcopolo
      • 3 Years Ago
      PeterScott I would invite you to reconsider the last sentence in your post as being inaccurate and gratuitously unworthy. "Which speaks to financial more than personal motivation." I can assure you that Dave Mart's integrity is beyond reproach !
      Chris M
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not exactly the same: http://cafcp.org/sites/files/20120720_Roadmapv%28Overview%29_0.pdf Little typos make big problems in web addresses.
      Dave
      • 3 Years Ago
      "A California Road Map: Bringing Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles to the Golden State (Overview) " http://cafcp.org/sites/files/20120720_Roadmapv%28Overview%29_0.pdf
        JakeY
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave
        The previous CA hydrogen highway had 150-200 stations planned by 2010. Obviously that failed (because of the economic meltdown). The 2010 grant PON-09-608 for hydrogen infrastructure was $19 million to 11 stations. On the EV side it only has $3.2 million for EV infrastructure PON-09-006/PON-11-602 and $2 million for regional plug-in readiness PON-10-602. http://www.energy.ca.gov/contracts/PON-09-608_Revised_NOPA.pdf http://www.energy.ca.gov/contracts/PON-09-006/PON-09-006_Application_Manual_Infrastructure.pdf http://www.energy.ca.gov/contracts/PON-11-602_NOPA.pdf http://www.energy.ca.gov/contracts/PON-10-602_NOPA_revised.pdf I find it unlikely the CAFCP can raise $65 million in grants they require for the hydrogen 68 stations by 2015.
          Chris M
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          The current version is much less ambitious, it states: "If all stations are developed as planned from currently available funding California will have about 37 public hydrogen stations in 2015. These represent roughly half the stations needed for the initial commercial rollout." Currently, there are only 19 H2 stations, two of which are test facilities that will be closed. They're planning to build heavily subsidized stations, costing roughly 65 to 67 million to subsidize operation and/or construction costs for the 68 stations they hope to somehow get built by 2015. Methinks their 2015 plans will fall short in the same way that their 2010 plans did. They're still pushing the "island and connector" plan, which might not work too well with the fuel cell plug-in hybrids that GM and Ford are planning - most local driving will be done on cheaper electricity, resulting in insufficient local H2 sales, and there won't be enough "remote" H2 stations to support long distance drives. They'll have plenty of plug-in places, though.
          JakeY
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          Almost forgot the link to the page for CA infrastructure grants: http://www.energy.ca.gov/contracts/transportation.html#infrastructure
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          JakeY Although there's nothing wrong with your facts, it your basic assumption that distorts your conclusion. You seem to assume that hydrogen and FCV technology will not advance. 19 million for 11 stations is peanuts to a major oil company. The problem is that both battery and FCV technology are still at a very early stage of development. The BEV is range restricted, but that may change with advanced technology, and the EREV has proved a terrific pathfinder. OTOH, FCV technology allows for the same range and refueling as ICE. The only question remaining is can the cost of mass produced H20 and FCV be made economically competitive ? If so, then the problem of refueling infrastructure is immaterial, and needs no subsidies. The major oil companies will rush to effect infrastructure to sell the new fuel.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave
        Weirdly, I could not link to the sites via the URL. Googling 'A California Road Map.....' brought up the same link which did work! For those who may be having difficulty, this link to the main site may help: http://cafcp.org/go/CAroadmap It boils down to basic infrastructure needing around 68 stations to get going, and that will cost public financing around $1 million in incentives per station. Essentially, peanuts. Also brought out in this report is that California mandates will specify that 33% of hydrogen should be from electrolysis from solar, wind etc or from biomass. This should have the twin effects of ensuring that costs per kg are not out of hand due to the rather higher costs of these pathways, but at the same time emissions are held down and these paths are stimulated to develop.
        Dave
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave
        The more technical, detailed version: http://cafcp.org/sites/files/A%20California%20Road%20Map%20June%202012%20%28CaFCP%20technical%20version%29_1.pdf
      mazdamattyp5
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yup, Let's end our corn-ethanol subsidies and then start pouring money into this waste of time. Why aren't we spending our R&D dollars on batteries and THEN focusing on the next thing? Too many pie-in-the-sky projects cutting into the BEV.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mazdamattyp5
        Batteries *are* getting the bulk of the funding. The Obama Admin. spent $2.4 on BEV R&D grants in 2009, and called for more in 2011, while hydrogen fuel cell tech (including stationary and portable as well as automotive) has received around $2.5 Billion from 2002-2011. Battery Manufacturer Grants in 2009: Johnson Controls - $299.2 million A123 Systems - $249.1 million Dow Kokam - $161.0 million Compact Power - $151.4 million EnerDela - $118.5 million Battery-powered vehicles have been actively researched by the government since 1976: "Congress first acted to support electric and hybrid vehicle technologies in 1976, when it established a demonstration project that was to lead to the federal purchase of 7,500 electric vehicles." Then USCAR in 1992, which included advanced battery research USABC. That became PNGV under Clinton, and then FreedomCAR under Bush. (It is here important to note that the batteries that currently power the Chevy Volt were developed by research funded during the Bush administration) The Obama Administration projected 45,600 electric-powered vehicles to be sold in 2011, and 177,600 to be sold in 2012. “One Million Electric Vehicles by 2015: February 2011 Status Report,” U.S. Department of Energy, p. 4. http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/12017_historical_fuel_cell_h2_budgets.pdf
          George Voll
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I know that 2 of the battery manufacturers are out of business, A123 and EnerDela, are there any more. What a waste of taxpayer money.
          Dave
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "The Obama Administration projected 45,600 electric-powered vehicles to be sold in 2011, and 177,600 to be sold in 2012." 45,600 x $7,500 = $342,000,000 in projected tax credits for 2011 177,600 x $7,500 = $1,332,000,000 in projected tax credits for 2012
      Jeff
      • 3 Years Ago
      We need Distributed Power! Photo's: World's largest fuel cell park open for business http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/photos-worlds-largest-fuel-cell-park-is-open-for-business/10391 Also... "New fuel cell sewage gas station in Orange County, CA may be world's first" Impressive in my opinion! http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/orange_county&id=8310315
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      In other news, Congress keeps pushing to build tanks that the military does not even want: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/07/30/158730/m1-abrams-tank-builder-pushes.html It is said how our legislators often approve projects just because they are located in their districts or they got campaign donations. No matter if the experts say the projects are a bad idea. :-(
        JakeY
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Reminds me of the whole F-22 debacle. "It is said how our legislators often approve projects just because they are located in their districts or they got campaign donations." The latter is certainly an issue, the former not necessarily. Senators/Reps have the job of representing the interests of their districts, so it's natural for them to be against decisions that negatively affects jobs in their district.
          brotherkenny4
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          It's not very "free market" is it? I'd expect the democrats to be all over the pork, but the republicans claim a higher calling. Or, maybe not, maybe they are just cynical politicians willing to say anything about fiscal responsibility even when they know they don't mean it. I guess the money to be made as a Rep. or Senator is so good they all lie for it.
        Actionable Mango
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I don't understand what this has to do with green autos or hydrogen fuel cells.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        @ Spec You miss the point of building more military hard ware ! How else can all those Generals justify their existence? Now, sooner or later those Generals and the guys in the Dept of Defence will realize what a waste it is not to use all those weapons, then ....... Uh, oh,...ah, ...yeah, I think I see what you're getting at !
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      One day some worker will drive to his workplace with a hydrogen car or suv, then he will work on a forklift powered by hydrogen and his workplace building will be powered by hydrogen fuelcell. All that without pollution and few fuel cost and long range. The batteries of many forklifts have already been replaced and will never appear again, it will be the same with tesla, leaf, imiev.
        Chris M
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        A majority of warehouse and industrial plants using electric forklifts are still using batteries, as they are cheaper to buy and operate. Electricity costs less than H2 fuel, and always will. The only facilities using H2 fuel cell forklifts are facilities running 3 shifts that don't have room to park extra forklifts for recharging, or companies that have a top executive wowed by the latest hydrogen fad.
          goodoldgorr
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          Peoples will do the same with upcoming fuelcell cars and suvs that they do with fuelcell forklifts. The main problem is to refuel so bye bye stupid, bothersome, weighthy, costly, limp batteries and hello hydrogen that take 5 minutes to fillup. Also the range is easilly 4x or more for hydrogen then battery. So for the numbers charging a battery take, for 5 days of operation, 5 hours a day multiply by 5 = 25 hours compare with 5 minutes. Explain this to any consumers but just mention that the refuling time take 25 hours divided by 5 minutes = ( 25 divided by 1/12) = 0.3% . Yes it take 0.3% of the time hurry.. and also it take just 1 system as a battery take 3 battery for each forklift. It remind me the better place fueling system with battery swap that must take 2 to 3 batteries for each registered car. Chris M is becoming an anti-hydrogen proponent with outdated numbers and arguments
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          "The only facilities using H2 fuel cell forklifts are facilities running 3 shifts that don't have room to park extra forklifts for recharging, or companies that have a top executive wowed by the latest hydrogen fad." Can your opinion be any further misinformed? Most of the facilities have space to store and recharge batteries - it's the time element that they don't want to waste. Likewise, saying that one executive made a decision based on being "...wowed by the latest hydrogen fad." is quite specious. There are plenty of very good reasons to consider fc lift trucks, and running a fleet to gather the data indicates that management is trying to implement measures that save the company time and money. Ace Hardware GM Nissan North America Baldor Specialty Foods Golden State Foods Ozburn-Hessey Logistics BMW Manufacturing Co. ISOLA Laminates PBR Bridgestone-Firestone Kimberly-Clark/GENCO Sysco Foods Central Grocers Kroger Co. Testa Produce Coca-Cola Leigh Fibers United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) EARP Distribution Martin-Brower U.S. Foodservice East Penn Manufacturing Michelin Walmart FedEx Freight Nestle Waters WinCo http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/11017_industry_lift_truck_deploys.pdf
        Ele Truk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        The batteries from forklifts are recycled, not thrown into landfill or some mysterious black hole as you imply. And there are warehouses using hydrogen power forklifts already. A real bonus would be if they are in plants where hydrogen is a waste byproduct, but I haven't heard of any particular synergy plant as of yet.
        Ele Truk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        The batteries from forklifts are recycled, not thrown into landfill or some mysterious black hole as you imply. And there are warehouses using hydrogen power forklifts already. A real bonus would be if they are in plants where hydrogen is a waste byproduct, but I haven't heard of any particular synergy plant as of yet.
      PeterScott
      • 3 Years Ago
      Stationary Natural Gas SOFC stacks (PureCell in PR) can be very sensible, though they are completely different animal than what we are usually talking about around here. Forklifts are a pretty good niche for H2 Fuel Cells. As you are more concerned with all day operation than costs, and you can co-locate a fueling station.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Instead of engaging in the well known mud-slinging on ABG, let's briefly analyze - on the account of fairness - the actual press release of the article: "This caucus will promote the continued development and commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the United States. The senators hosted the briefing to educate the public about the value of these clean energy technologies..." - As clearly even the majority of so-called "green" people on ABG with great "environmental consciousness" and focus need this kind of education badly. "The United States is the world leader in fuel cell manufacturing, research, and development; however, fuel cell and hydrogen industries are becoming more popular abroad. The senators... help demonstrate interest on Capitol Hill to maintain the United States' leadership in this area..." - The senators finally recognized, if they don't act quickly other countries will take the lead in fuel cell commercialization, which they don't - as well as - shouldn't want. It also means: if the U.S. don't act simply other powers will rip the benefits of this growing and more and more powerful technology. "Fuel cells are currently saving money, preventing harmful emissions and achieving up to 90% efficiency rates for residential buildings, (e.g. the new One World Trade Center (previously the Freedom Tower as well) grocery stores, hospitals, and many well-known companies. Fuel cell technologies are powered by hydrogen and other resources readily available in the United States, which help to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil." - Fuel cell power is an all round energy generating technology which will soon replace many older fossil fuel based inefficient and polluting technologies, saving money and reducing nations' (so not only the U.S.) dependence on foreign oil. "General Motors described to the caucus how they plan to meet a 2015 commitment to commercially launch fuel cell vehicles... GM, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, and Daimler have all made significant investments in fuel cells and have previously announced plans to widely launch fuel cell vehicles." - They said it again. "US Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu's statement of support towards hydrogen and fuel cell technology... Dr.Chu specifically cited: The new technology will combat the loss of energy that fuel cells previously faced. "That will change things..." Dr. Chu stated." Things have changed.
        Chris M
        • 3 Years Ago
        How does one get the H2 fuel for H2 fuel cells? Either use fossil fuels (natural gas, coal, nuclear) or use electricity to electrolyze water. Fossil fuels would predominate, simply due to lower cost. Electrolysis is inefficient, resulting in expensive H2 fuel that would have trouble competing with electricity. Fuel cells for stationary power use are fueled by natural gas, either directly, or through steam reforming. Higher efficiencies are achieved through co-generation, using waste heat for heating purposes. H2 fuel is at best only indirectly used.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          So, in the case of artificial photosynthesis the hydrogen can be considered as "concentrated sunlight" or as an energy storage device / carrier i.e. a "battery" for solar energy. H2 also can make renewable energy sources (solar, wind etc.) with fluctuating output a viable solution by storing their (excess) energy (and make it available when need be).
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          @Chris M I already posted the answer at the previous fuel cell article, but I repeat it for you here too (unchanged): "By artificial photosynthesis - using only the sunlight - we can produce hydrogen from water very efficiently or even hydrocarbon fuels adding CO2 from the atmosphere to the process. Listen: The Economist - "The Difference Engine: The sunbeam solution" "In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama drew special attention to the $122m research programme on artificial photosynthesis that is underway in laboratories across California. “They're developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars,” said the 44th president." "Two different catalysts are required: one to split water into hydrogen and oxygen; another to convert carbon dioxide and hydrogen into hydrocarbons. The various components for doing this will then need to be engineered into a practical bench-top system for demonstrating not only that solar fuel can be made efficiently and economically, but also that the process can be scaled up for commercial application. Current state of technology: ...At present, the JCAP team uses a carpet-like structure of microfibres made of a silicon-based semiconductor similar to those employed in photovoltaic solar panels. But instead of generating electricity, the charge-carriers produced by the semiconductor drive the catalytic process for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. Special membranes vent the oxygen away, while collecting the hydrogen." ...Platinum is excellent for splitting water into storable hydrogen and oxygen, but it is far too expensive to use on a commercial scale. A more practical substitute has been developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Daniel Nocera and his colleagues have perfected cheap and durable catalysts based on cobalt and phosphate, and, more recently, on nickel and borate.  Sun Catalytix, a Massachusetts-based company founded by Dr Nocera, was awarded a $4m contract by the Department of Energy to commercialise the process. The company aims to develop solar-fuel stations..." ========= NOTICE: IT IS UNDER COMMERCIALIZATION ========= And the final words of the article: "Your correspondent is gratified to see that artificial leaves are sprouting everywhere—and promising to make the world a greener place" http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2011/02/artificial_photosynthesis Also important (I already posted this too): "Robert Bienenfeld Senior Manager, Environment and Energy Strategy American Honda Motor Co., Inc.: “Fuel‐ cell electric vehicles are very promising because their well‐to‐wheel CO2 profile is very good, and compare very favorably against battery electric vehicles..., since the US energy grid is so dirty. Even when the US grid is cleaned up, fuel‐cell electric vehicles look quite good.” So, we actually shouldn't worry about fuel cells at all.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          "How does one get the H2 fuel for H2 fuel cells?" I've explained this to you before, and this time, even Sec. Chu explained it clearly. Tri-generation. Fuel cells powered by natural gas (you've gotten that far, keep coming) produce three energy streams - electricity, heat, and hydrogen. That is the "pure stream" of hydrogen that Chu is referring to: "Dr. Chu then explained his second point, which focuses on a trigeneration concept. Trigeneration is a unique benefit to fuel cells that produces pure hydrogen, pure carbon dioxide; and increases fuel efficiency by harnessing the electricity and heat produced. Other current energy technologies primarily cannot utilize the heat energy. He explained that the technology allows for natural gas to burn in “a little starved” partial oxygen atmosphere which results in a pure stream of hydrogen, a pure stream of carbon dioxide and subsequently produces energy. “That will change things. The pure stream most,” Dr. Chu stated." http://www.alternativeenergynewswire.com/energy-secretary-stephen-chu-chooses-fuel-cells
          goodoldgorr
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          If you reverse these sayings, then you can get the best deal you can economically and physically get. Chris m try to avoid the word catalyst and still try to calculate in energy inputs only and he compare 85% efficiency with bev battery only vehicles with a dubious 20% to 25% energy convertion efficiency with electricity to hydrogen to electricity in a fuelcell. Then what are the catalyst assisting water electrolysis doing in all of that ? The answer is that catalysts boost the efficiencies of both the electrolysis and the convertion of hydrogen back to electricity. No need to harass peoples with numbers except to say that only hydrogen is a treat to petrol and batteries will never be a treat to anything except to recyclers that don't know a single instant what to do with theses batteries that pollute the landfills all over the world and are still slowly chimically reacting and are not recyclables so they have to occupy large landfills with costly supervision from landfill workers.
      JakeY
      • 3 Years Ago
      The DOE has always maintained funding (~$100 million annually in total) for non-automotive use of fuel cells (this includes SOFCs and non-hydrogen fuel cells) even as it cut funding for the automotive side. This is not a huge change given the automotive/hydrogen side still takes a marginal role. It looks increasingly like in 2015 that if automakers launch FCVs they will have to depend on existing CA infrastructure (maybe lobby for more state funded stations, although with the state of the current CA budget that seems very unlikely). The cars would have to be the starting party of the "chicken and egg" and convince the DOE to fund more infrastructure (or they bypass the DOE and try to lobby for legislators to directly pass a bill to do so, which probably is the easier route given how legislators have restored a lot of hydrogen funding against the original DOE decision). Anyways, it'll have to ride on actually selling cars and hydrogen at (reasonable) retail prices and convincing people of the merits that way.
        JakeY
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JakeY
        @Letstakeawalk "The early market for FCVs will be Germany, Japan, and S. Korea. Those are the home markets for the FCV makers, and they also have governments that are actively involved in creating infrastructure." I guess that explains why only GM was at this meeting. Ford has largely abandoned their hydrogen program (I heard they have closed the hydrogen station that fueled their Focus demonstrator and they haven't updated their Focus demonstrator in a while). Chrysler/Fiat has virtually no effort in alt-fuel vehicles.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          You may not like what they are doing but Fiat at least has a major alt fuel effort. In fact they are the world's biggest producer of natural gas vehicles. Google would have helped you avoid making entirely inaccurate statements: 'he claims that a hybrid costs about $9,000 more than a conventional gas powered car, a battery-electric about $ 21,000 more, while a CNG car will only cost about $ 4,000 more. With current gas prices, it only takes about two years to pay that off. These cars are not like the CNG conversions that we used to see a lot of in Canada; in those, the whole trunk was filled up with the tank and they got lousy range. The Natural Power line of FIATs have smaller, lightweight tanks under the floor, and a small gasoline tank that takes the range up to about six hundred miles on a complete dual fillup. They have been very careful in the design of the filling mechanism to make it as painless as filling with gasoline. The gas is already piped all over cities, so it isn't a huge infrastructure investment to add it to gas stations. Re Fiorentin calls CNG "a strategic asset that supports progressive migration from fossil fuels to biomethane and hydrogen from renewable resources" and already has tested cars that run on 30% hydrogen with no technological changes.' http://www.treehugger.com/cars/fiat-bets-big-natural-gas-future-fuel-cars.html Note the place of hydrogen even without fuel cells. Batteries on their own just cannot provide for all needs.
          JakeY
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          @DaveMart By Chrysler/Fiat, I'm obviously referring to the US division (which is why I only pointed out the "big three" and no other manufacturers), since this meeting was apparently only for US manufacturers. Fiat has no plans at all for NGVs in the US. Chrysler had a dog and pony show ENVI division (now dead), and the Fiat has the electric 500, but I don't consider either to be serious efforts.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JakeY
        Well if they can deliver inexpensive and good quality fuel cell cars then I'm sure the infrastructure will be built. We know how to build pipelines and service stations . . . it remains to be seen whether we really know how to build inexpensive and good quality fuel cell cars.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JakeY
        The early market for FCVs will be Germany, Japan, and S. Korea. Those are the home markets for the FCV makers, and they also have governments that are actively involved in creating infrastructure.
        EVdriver
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JakeY
        2015 will be another massive failure for automotive H2 applications, just like several times before. Unfortunately, Corporate America will never learn its lessons. I can see, the next magic date will be 2020. :) "Hydrogen is the fuel of the future, and always will be"
          EVdriver
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVdriver
          DaveMart: In case you haven't noticed the TOTAL number of sold hydrogen fuel cell passenger cars up to now - that's more than 50 years(!) now - is ZERO, despite of the countless of billions wasted on them. GM, Daimler and others have already badly missed FC deadlines several times before, so their credibility is nonexistent regarding FC vehicles. There is no need crystal balls to predict their next gigantic failure in 2015. You know, overthrowing laws of physics is a pretty tough task. :) On the other hand, there is a small, but viable BEV market, with tens of thousands of already sold BEVs on the road, and this is the results of the last couple of years only. So, encouraging the totally failed, dead end hydrogen BS because BEVs are not raging enough is a brain dead idea.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVdriver
          Crystal balls? ;-) EVdiver has spoken, and all the companies like Toyota, Daimler etc obviously know nothing about building cars! You may not have noticed, but sales of battery vehicles are not exactly raging, so it seems good that we have other ideas for getting off oil.
        JakeY
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JakeY
        @Letstakeawalk For those countries, they are building the infrastructure first (by 2015, 100 stations for Japan, 50 for Germany, ~50 for South Korea) and cars later. In terms of the cars, Daimler is doing the most preparation for an actual 2015 launch (building their own fuel cell factory in the face of Ballard's exit from the automotive fuel cell market). Hyundai promises thousands of demonstrators in 2012-2014 (we'll see soon, my question is where's the fuel cell factory to support that production number). The others mainly are still parading concept and experimental vehicles and have no solid plans for 2015 commercialization (other than promising it will happen). Japan: Honda keeps trotting out their Clarity (which they promised "commercial production" in 2008, but turned out to be another low volume demonstrator that's outnumbered by GM's less publicized Equinox demonstrator). Toyota's FCV-R looks to be a repeat of the Honda Clarity. Nissan and the rest are relatively silent on the hydrogen front. Germany: BMW doesn't have their own fuel cell vehicle (their hydrogen ICE project has pretty much ended). VW has build a couple fuel cell car prototypes (a Chinese market Passat based PR project for the Beijing Olympics, the HY.Power Jetta and Q5 Hybrid as side projects), but they stubbornly believe in the long term viability of diesel.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          'Toyota's FCV-R looks to be a repeat of the Honda Clarity.' It's funny that you don't mention the Highlander FCEV, which is the one earmarked for initial production. It is far from a repeat of the Clarity, save for having a wheel at each corner, since it does 68mpge as against the Honda's 60mpge in a far bigger body, and one presumably without great aerodynamics. This increased fuel economy indicates improvements throughout the drive train, including in the fuel stack.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          Nissan is looking pretty good with their FC tech: "With over 20,000 Leafs running around the planet, Nissan is looking to introduce yet another alt-powered vehicle to the world, and judging by its recent work with fuel cells, a hydrogen-powered vehicle could be here in four year's time." http://green.autoblog.com/2011/11/29/nissan-fuel-cell-vehicle-on-track-for-2015/ BMW has agreed to a big tech-sharing arrangement with Toyota that will allow them to share FC drivetrains. http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-57460678-48/bmw-and-toyota-co-developing-fuel-cells/ My first comment was meant to be a little pessimistic regarding the US FCV introduction. I don't doubt that there will be small fleets of them in CA and the Northeast, but most of the USA won't really see much during the initial introductory phase, just as they were delayed in getting Leaf and Volt deliveries. "The others mainly are still parading concept and experimental vehicles and have no solid plans for 2015 commercialization (other than promising it will happen)." Well, that's your opinion. I'm not sure how privy you are to the internal workings of the automakers, but if you think you can read their minds, so be it.
          JakeY
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          "The others mainly are still parading concept and experimental vehicles and have no solid plans for 2015 commercialization (other than promising it will happen)." "Well, that's your opinion. I'm not sure how privy you are to the internal workings of the automakers, but if you think you can read their minds, so be it." I meant solid plans announced publicly; I'm not just going to take their word for it, because their word obviously sucks given the history. If they had solid plans for significant production they would be announcing at least the fuel cell factories or suppliers around now. We only have 3 years to go before 2015. I'm judging this by the fact Daimler has already announced their fuel cell plant and the history of the Leaf and the Volt. Nissan announced their plans for a battery supplier and factories to support 2010 production in 2007-2008, 2-3 years before the start of production: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/04/nissan_and_nec_.html http://www.wired.com/autopia/2008/05/nissan-nec-inve/ GM had two official candidate battery suppliers in 2007 (3 years before production) and officially announced its supplier and its battery plant ~2-1.5 years before production. http://green.autoblog.com/2007/06/05/breaking-gm-awards-two-battery-development-contracts-for-chevy/ http://gm-volt.com/2009/01/12/its-official-gm-chooses-lg-chemcompact-power-inc-to-supply-chevy-volt-lithium-ion-battery-packs/ http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/gm-to-build-43-million-battery-plant-in-michigan/ @DaveMart The FCHV-adv is only slated for to be a 100 vehicle demonstrator by 2013 (like the GM Equinox Fuel Cell which has already reached 100 back in 2008). "Toyota's current FCHV-adv nationwide demonstration program is placing more than 100 vehicles with demonstration partners by 2013, providing one of the largest fleets of active fuel cell vehicles in the country" http://green.autoblog.com/2011/05/11/toyota-announces-opening-of-u-s-only-pipeline-fed-hydrogen-fue/ The FCV-R will be the one what will be released in 2015. From the press release: "FCV-R...This concept model is a highly practical fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) that is planned for launch in about 2015." http://www.autoblog.com/2011/11/30/toyota-fcv-r-concept-tokyo-2011/ You should know this stuff more than me given you back FCVs ;P.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      For apartment dwellers fuel cell scooters are looking pretty good: 'The highest speed for the scooter is 70 kilometers per hour, according to Hsieh. He expected that when loaded with two canisters — 90 grams of hydrogen gas — the scooter can go as far as 50 kilometers. Customers can purchase 90 grams of hydrogen gas for NT$30. For every NT$100 spent, a regular scooter can run for 100 kilometers, while a Lithium battery electric vehicle can run for 150 to 170 kilometers, and a hydrogen fuel cell scooter can run for 260 kilometers, said the division director. As for concerns that the fuel cell scooter is still expensive, Tu said higher prices are natural when new products are first launched. According to Hsieh, the manufacturer promises that by 2015 if the number of people purchasing these scooters can reach 100,000, the company will be able to sell the scooter for NT$70,000 each.' http://fuelcellsworks.com/news/2012/07/30/hydrogen-scooters-ready-for-mass-production-moea/ $30NT is around a dollar US, so you can travel about 30 miles on a dollar's worth of fuel. I don't really car whether they use batteries or hydrogen, but getting rid of the smelly, noisy and ultra-polluting two wheeled traffic in the world's cities would be an immense boon to public heath and the peace of the environment. Canister swapping is pretty convenient.
        PeterScott
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Math doesn't compute. First part says NT$30 to H2 scooter to go 50 KMs. So for NT$100 would equal 167KMs, not 260KMs later claimed. Also the electric scooter would certainly be the one traveling the greater distance for the money. 90g H2 is about 3KWh of energy, at a generous 70% FC efficiency you get 2.1KWh or electricity to power your scooter. That costs NT$30. Power in Taiwan is under NT$3, so you could easily get 10KWh, call it 8.4WHh after charging losses. So for the same money you would probably go about 4 times the distance on an electric scooter. More specious H2 astroturfing.
      EVdriver
      • 3 Years Ago
      Who pull the strings?
    • Load More Comments