ebate over hydrogen fuel cells and battery technology goes on and on. Each of the OEM’s have taken their respective corners to see which technology will prevail. I remember the days of beta max players vs VHS the battle went on for years in fact I brought a beta max player recorder at the time because they were a better technology and it was, however as we know from history it was not to be, VHS became the standard and that was thatContinued then came DVD’s, now blue ray which is now being overtaken by direct download from Apple TV, NETFLIX, Quickflix etc.
It has alway been that technologies compete against each other for dominance in the market place. The horse and cart gave way to motor car. The debate over diesel vs petrol is still a hot topic, so I’m not surprised that electrification of vehicles and the power source is being debated. Hydrogen Fuel Cells or direct battery power. Which knew will come out on top is truly anyone’s guess.
Both have their merits and their drawbacks, hydrogen is plentiful but for the most part is made using other hydrocarbons like oil and gas, which in itself is a creator of C02, I’m not sure if that helps or hinders our progress forward. Yes hydrogen can be produced through electrolysis but it’s a bit backwards to use electricity to break H2o into hydrogen and oxygen, to put in a vehicle to make electricity, why not just put the electricity directly into the vehicle.
Now eventually everything will be electric it’s simply inevitable, and again every new technology has those who say “it’s never going to work”, especially those with vested interests in the technology not working. IBM famously said there would only ever be a market for about five computers world wide, why? They were a typewriter company, it was not in their interest at the time. But they quickly innovated and became the dominant computer company in the 20th century. But they didn’t continue to innovate, where are they now?
But like most things in this world innovation costs money. This is the advantage of hydrogen over its rival direct battery power as it is potentially capable of generating a self sustaining economy using most of our existing infrastructure to disseminate the hydrogen to customers at the gas/petrol station, it’s a no brainer the gas stations still need to be able to sell something that we are willing to buy. The gas station owners are not going to line up cars at a charging port for 30mins to 4hrs to charge a vehicle, it’s just not practical. However filling up your hydrogen powered car might take 10mins, walk into the gas station pay the attendant and drive away, now that is probably feasible.
This year 2015 Toyota will reveal its Fuel cell vehicle the Mirai only time will tell if this will be a winner for Toyota. I personally think it will take a range of technologies to ween the world off our petrolium dependance. it will also probably not happen in my life time, but it will happen, it must.
How does the Toyota fuel cell work? Watch the following YouTube link.