Our Air is Our Future! Hydrogen?
The latest craze these days is hybrid cars. People are looking for alternatives to their gas-guzzlers and are opting for more fuel-efficient vehicles. With the rise of gasoline prices and the ever-increasing dependence on foreign oil, something has to be done, and quick! At last, we may have finally found a solution, the hydrogen car! Will it surpass the electric and battery cars we have today?
In his first term President Bush proposed $1.2 billion in research funding for hydrogen-powered automobiles. He called on Americans for their support, saying "Join me in this important innovation to make our air significantly cleaner, and our country much less ...view middle of the document...
First, as of now, the vehicles are very expensive. The cost of developing hydrogen technology is high. GM, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Daimler all have hydrogen fuel research programs, none is close enough to announcing a price. With platinum as the most widely utilized catalyst in the fuel cells, the price of a single fuel cell vehicle is currently more than $100,000, some as much as $300,000!
Second, the costs of developing infrastructure (Hydrogen Stations) that will allow for a significant number of hydrogen cars may be as high as $500 billion -- and the time to produce the infrastructure as long as four decades. The only place where any significant number of such stations exists at the moment is in the state of California. (Howstuffworks.com) (U.S. Dept of Energy)(SunHydro)(Inhabitat.com)(wired.com)
The third would be difficulties and dangers of hydrogen storage. Hydrogen is a gas and it expands. This means that the fuel tanks must vent the hydrogen periodically from the car. Leave a hydrogen car sitting around for more than a few days and the fuel will be gone. Hydrogen is also highly flammable. (How Stuff Works) Hydrogen contains less energy than gasoline or diesel on a per-volume basis, making it difficult to store enough hydrogen on board an FCV to go as far as a comparable gasoline vehicle between fill-ups (Fueleconomy.gov)
Countries investing in FCV’s include the United States, Europe, Germany, China and Japan, just to name a few. There are several FCV’s presently in production, including but not limited to;
the Hyundai Tucson, Chevrolet Equinox ,
the Toyota FCV and the Honda FCX .
Some people think that in 20 to 30 years, we will all be driving these fuel-efficient, ‘green’ vehicles. With all of the advantages hydrogen cars have to offer, it seems to be more than worth it to continue investing in research and strive for mass-production. Yes, it will be expensive,...