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If cities adopt these, the hydrogen infrastructure build-out will get a huge shot in the arm.
Gor: All government cars are paid for by taxpayers. So, why not clean ones?
Not every auto manufacturer wants to get into the fuel production/distribution business.
@HarveyD: It will not happen overnight, but faster than you think. Once EV's and HEV's take hold, gas stations will start converting to Starbucks with plugs. Gas will be harder to find, just as hydrogen is now. In addition, a lot of those gassers are owned by low income individuals who may quickly shift when they find they can save $1000/yr on insurance, $1000 on gas, and ~$2000 in repairs for the old vehicle they drive. However, truck owners, many of whom are outdoor enthusiasts or craftsmen, will have to have hybrids for a long time.
Alain, my prediction is that the price of gas will go up because the oil companies can't afford to explore for oil or refine it. Also, gas stations on every corner will turn into Starbucks so people will have the same difficulty getting gas that so many on this site say it say is the problem with fuel cells. Just my prognostication.
@ mahonj: Valet Car swap would be just one more Uber or Lyft service. I like it. I would not be surprised to see a VRBO or AirBNB type online service pop up in the near future. When it does it will be overnight.
@HarveyD: Of course you are right, and that is what will happen eventually, even without a 5 or 20 year plan. But there are a lot of people and institutions that will resist those changes. Just as they resist renewable energy in spite of the fact that it has many advantages, including cost.
What, and diminish GDP? Cleaning the air would be bad for jobs. Just listen to every "conservative" politician.
@ECI, you are right on. The charging locations of the future will not be high priced corner lots where people line up to take on fuel, but will be (probably still high priced) parking spaces on the street or in downtown or office garages and parking lots. They are already appearing at new office buildings I see around here.
Reduce the size and increase frequency, and we have a winning strategy for public transportaion.
It is hard to take impaired drivers away from the driving wheel when there are no viable transportation options. Without viable public transportation (most of the US), how does an individual get to work, home, or the grocery store that is 3 miles away? Europe has an advantage in that respect.
Posters insist on arguing the grid mix issue diverting attention from the benefit of BEV or PHEV. The landscape is changing, and rapidly in the right direction. I find it pointless to argue against BEV's based on a current snapshot of coal use, when that is dropping at ~12% per year. We need to move forward on all fronts.
mahonj is correct. Tesla and others will learn from the inevitable mishaps. It is unfortunate to have a fatality, but I see fatalities on the news every night due to driver error. In my area, Denver, it is not unusual to have accidents around sunset when the sun is directly in your field of vision. That said, Davemart has a point that trying to roll out technology too quickly can interfere with consumer (and regulatory) acceptance.
@eci, I don't understand why you insist on picking winners and losers. I know of people who heat their homes with natural gas, some with electricity, and some with fuel oil, others with wood pellets. It is not either or. If all forms are available, people will make choices based on their needs/knowledge or the availability of resources. Bring them all on.
More likely, erratic oil prices will push the market to demand HPEVs and BEVs. Besides, if self-driving cars take over, the proportion of gassers sold will be less relevant.
Gas and Diesel will, not doubt be around for some time. However, change is coming fast. 70 times as much renewable came online in 1st quarter as natural gas. No coal, no nuclear.
They may want to own the whole distribution network rather than sharing with Toyota, etc. After all, they will need some revenue stream when auto sales drop by two-thirds.
@ mahonj: I read where Germany had negative electric rates for a short period last week due to high wind and sun. So charging at night seems logical, but smart grids may help consumers manage charging.
Let me try a constructive comment. Fuel Cells for buses and heavy trucks allow for development of the H2 distribution at centralized locations (Interstate fuel stops?). That could form the base for a more robust distribution system for privately owned vehicles.
Not to worry Henrik. As BEVs and HBEVs hit the road in numbers, fueling stations will start to disappear. Ten, maybe 15 years from now, Diesel pumps will be harder to find than Hydrogen.
EP: If you start building a nuclear power plant today, solar, wind and storage will have obviated it by the time it is ready to produce electricity.
Interesting no one noted Japan has some unique needs that most of North America does not. They have sources of petrol production, have mountainous areas with earthquakes that can isolate villages, and operate on two different electric grids with different cycles. Has anyone considered that the FC car offers emergency source of distributed power? You may not need it often, but it has some merit.
@Harvey, Congestion is a challenge, but 100 passenger vehicles or trains are not an answer. They need more stops, less frequency. Autonomous taxis in small radius to mass transit stops may help. I think PRT is more likely success with ADV's to get to periodic stops and serve the last mile needs.