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This kind of service in my view has a large role to play in reducing congestion and car ownership in crowded European cities. I would prefer door to door, as Taxibus tried, as if you are shopping etc that makes the service more practical so that you can carry the goods, but this is a good start.
Significant amounts of the needed hydrogen for transport are to come from renewables and previously wasted industrial sources everywhere. For instance here is an electrolytic 10MW production facility given the go-ahead in Germany: https://fuelcellsworks.com/news/shell-and-itm-power-planning-industrial-production-of-hydrogen-by-electrolysis/ In addition fossil fuels are only harmful due to their waste products particularly GHG. The stream from steam reforming can be captured, and is to be here: https://energy.gov/nepa/ea-1846-demonstration-carbon-dioxide-capture-and-sequestration-steam-methane-reforming-proces-1 'On the basis of the evaluations in the final EA, DOE determined that its proposed action to provide $284 million in cost-shared funding and Air Products' proposed project to demonstrate the capture and sequestration of CO2 from steam methane reforming process gas would have no significant impact on the human environment. All potential environmental impacts identified and analyzed in the EA would not be significant. Therefore, preparation of an environmental impact statement is not required, and DOE issued a Finding of No Significant Impact.' The real world of energy production and reduction of GHG emissions is complex and multi-faceted, and folks who fancy they can produce broad brush and prescriptive ukases on ' the only possible approach' ruling out all others are deluded, and frankly none too sensible.
I find this announcement a bit confusing, as I had understood that Toyota were moving the production of lithium batteries to their almost wholly owned subsidiary, Primearth, who already produce their NiMH packs. Anyone got more info on what is going on?
As Cheeseater says, there are one heck of a lot of hydrogen production techniques either using renewables or with inherent carbon capture coming down the turnpike. And the notion that biogas because it can't cover everything is a fake solution is not accurate. On the DOE website there are cost estimates of various production and distribution technologies from all sorts of sources, and about the earliest likely to be fully cost competitive against hydrogen from NG reforming is biogas. So Toyota are adopting a pragmatic policy of utilising the most currently competitive technology which is zero emission. I don't see how they can realistically be faulted for that. Demands for universal solutions right now with no staging posts are not realistic.
Some more details here: 'FuelCell Energy’s distributed hydrogen solution co-produces hydrogen and clean power from methane based fuels such as renewable biogas. The methane is reformed to hydrogen using water and heat produced by the fuel cell, resulting in clean hydrogen production without water consumption. In January 2016 the California Air Resources Board (CARB) certified a prospective pathway for hydrogen production with this technology fueled by biogas. CARB's team performed a complete Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) on the system and determined that it has a negative carbon intensity, as the power and hydrogen generation process is carbon-neutral due to the use of renewable biogas and the fuel cell waste heat is used to feed the internal reformation reactions.' As for the accusation that this is greenwashing due to the limited nature of the biomass resource, around 10% of California's light vehicle fleet can be run just on this currently wasted resource, so its not being a total solution is unduly harsh. Were biomass the only potential source of hydrogen then maybe the criticism would have some merit, but this forum is replete with other rapidly advancing hydrogen production technologies from renewables or with carbon capture.
In my view this information on relative lifetimes emissions ties in well with the latest news on highly efficient wireless charging: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2017/11/20171130-j2954.html this is massive news for PHEVs, particularly shorter range ones, as opportunity charging will greatly increase their average yearly AER. 11kW wireless charging will not make much difference to BEVs, but one heck of a lot if your AER is 25 miles.
dursan: What are you talking about? ' Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC) Molten carbonate fuel cells use an electrolyte composed of a molten carbonate salt mixture suspended in a porous, chemically inert matrix, and operate at high temperatures - approximatelly 1,200ºF. They require carbon dioxide and oxygen to be delivered to the cathode. To date, MCFCs have been operated on hydrogen, carbon monoxide, natural gas, propane, landfill gas, marine diesel, and simulated coal gasification products. 10 kW to 2 MW MCFCs have been tested on a variety of fuels and are primarily targeted to electric utility applications. Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Solid oxide fuel cells use a hard, non-porous ceramic compound as the electrolyte, and operate at very high temperatures - around 1800°F. One type of SOFC uses an array of meter-long tubes, and other variations include a compressed disc that resembles the top of a soup can. Tubular SOFC designs are closer to commercialization and are being produced by several companies around the world. SOFCs are suitable for stationary applications as well as for auxiliary power units (APUs) used in vehicles to power electronics.' https://www.azocleantech.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=79 And they state that the methane is from biological sources so there is no need to presume anything.
'This test report confirmed that operation with both matched and unmatched coil topologies, as well as charging between different power ranges (3.7kW to 7.7kW), power transfer can be achieved at full power and with high efficiency up to 93% (grid to battery).' That is the first time I have seen this so definitively stated. Great news, and if anything better than wired charging typically gets! This is far more important for PHEVs than BEVs, and in my view combined with the lower life time GHG emissions of PHEVs against BEVs as in the report the other day moves PHEV technology into a decisive advantage.
mahonj: Hydrogen does not go stale, and FCEVs are an obvious follow on to PHEVs and ICE hybrids. Maybe batteries will improve in production enough and costs drop enough to make BEVs competitive, but they are the ones with it all to prove.
The figures given are for the current average battery size for BEVs. When one considers the long range BEVS, with 60, 80 or 100kWh packs they will have far higher embodied GHG in production, and on a lifetime emission basis will be way behind a PHEV. The rationale given for long range BEVs does not make sense.
Many thanks for a great write up which highlights some of the features. I had mentioned the technology before on another thread, but this casts more light on this exciting technology. I will leave it to those better qualified than I to comment of the tech, but I did do a quick check on Coorstek, and they are no underfunded venture capital start up, but a very serious player in their field. It is still early days, and we await the move from the lab to the far more demanding prototype stage, but fingers crossed!
Paroway: All the Roadster needs is a magical new battery, with around 2.5 times the energy density of current ones. We have heard nothing about it, but Tesla is going to be good enough to take $250,000 a pop for utterly unsecured, zero interest rate venture capital into the business from anyone fancying that they will manage it. After all, they took money for cars which were supposed to be fully Level 5 Autonomous Driving capable, with actually making it work to follow. And if the battery does not work, tough on the potential buyers, as it is, as I said, entirely unsecured.
I came across this today too: 'New CoorsTek Membrane Sciences research shows how ceramic membrane technology enables compact hydrogen generators for anyone with access to natural gas to easily and inexpensively fuel a hydrogen vehicle at home GOLDEN, Colo.-- CoorsTek, the world's leading engineered ceramics manufacturer, today announced that a team of scientists from CoorsTek Membrane Sciences, the University of Oslo (Norway) and the Instituto de Tecnología Química (Spain) have successfully completed laboratory testing of a ceramic membrane that generates compressed hydrogen from natural gas and electricity in a one-step process with near zero energy loss. The ceramic membrane makes production of hydrogen from abundant, low-cost natural gas so efficient that it will make hydrogen the cleanest and least expensive option for future automotive fueling — surpassing both electricity and petroleum. Results of the team's breakthrough development were recently published in the prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Energy in the research report "Thermo-electrochemical production of compressed hydrogen from methane with near-zero energy loss." The research report builds on 20 years of experience in the development and manufacturing of ceramic membranes at CoorsTek. The present membrane is made from oxides of abundant materials (including barium, zirconia, and yttrium), forming a solid ceramic electrolyte that can transport hydrogen in the form of protons at temperatures from 400 to 900 °C. By applying an electric potential over the ceramic cell, hydrogen is not only separated from other gases but also electrochemically compressed. "Our breakthrough ceramic membrane technology makes it possible for hydrogen-fueled vehicles to have superior energy efficiency with lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to a battery electric vehicle charged with electricity from the grid," said Per Vestre, Managing Director at CoorsTek Membrane Sciences. "The potential for this technology also goes well beyond lowering the cost and environmental impact of fueling motor vehicles. With high-volume CoorsTek engineered ceramic manufacturing capabilities, we can make ceramic membranes cost-competitive with traditional energy conversion technology for both industrial-scale and smaller-scale hydrogen production." Hydrogen is an energy carrier for next-generation fuel cell electric vehicles, and is already an important molecule for a range of industrial processes from food processing to manufacturing of glass and semiconductors, with ammonia-based fertilizers as the single largest application for hydrogen today. While a fuel cell electric vehicle will only need about 0.4 kg of hydrogen per day for typical family use, a world-scale ammonia plant needs a million times more, from 200 to 600 tons of hydrogen per day. CoorsTek Membrane Sciences research indicates that ceramic membranes can be a competitive technology for hydrogen production with integrated carbon capture, even at a scale required for cost-effective ammonia production. "By combining an endothermic chemical reaction with an electrically operated gas separation membrane, we can create energy conversions with near zero energy loss", explains Dr. Jose Serra, Professor with Instituto de Tecnología Química (ITQ) in Valencia, Spain, a leading research lab for hydrocarbon chemistry and a co-author of the report in Nature Energy. "When you have the technology to convert energy from one form to another with almost no loss of energy, this opens up new ways to think about energy systems. For example, we can use the ceramic membrane technology to produce hydrogen from water. This will require more electric power than reforming of methane, but if electricity is available from renewable sources we can make hydrogen without CO2 emissions. You can also think one step further and design energy systems that are not only low carbon or zero carbon, but even have negative carbon emissions. This will be the case if you use renewable electricity to reform biogas to hydrogen, and store the produced carbon from the biogas underground. In this way, hydrogen can one day become a negative emission energy carrier."' https://fuelcellsworks.com/news/breakthrough-ceramic-membrane-technology-makes-hydrogen-infrastructure-for-fuel-cell-electric-vehicl/ Until I see much fuller details, and it moves out of the lab, colour me skeptical, but it is vastly important if it works out.
'Congrats on making a truck that will gets it undercarriage torn off in its 5,000th mile at any one of these exits / underpasses within one square mile of a light industrial area in Buffalo. Nice clearance specs.' https://twitter.com/Valuetrap13/status/931504650238521344
And as Singleton Engineer said on Seeking Alpha: 'A Roadster with acceleration from rest of 2 seconds to 50mph? That's 1.38g. Comparison: Braking performance (max): Range 0.5 to 10.g. The latter requires high standard road surfaces plus "sticky tyres". Along comes Elon Musk and Tesla claiming 1.32g. I cry bulls__t. At the very least, this car will need new high performance tyres after each couple of demonstration bursts - and this car is only for speed demonstration purposes, right? It's not for actual transport? There's nothing green about that kind of performance. Even if it was powered by pixie dust it would be too hard on the planet.'
How much of the gross vehicle weight of 80,000 lbs us taken up by the battery pack? Funnily enough, truck operators need to know that, and the load is critical. It blows my mind that people are dumb enough not to see that this is hype and hookum, not a product launch with actionable specifications. The only real thing here is Tesla hoping to hook in $50k deposits for a new Roadster, to be uses as utterly unsecured venture capital at zero interest rate instead of being put into a ring-fenced account. That people can be that dumb also blows my mind. Let the circus continue.
Cheeseater: It can make sense to install whatever chargers most cars can currently use, so long as the infrastructure is put in with upgrades in mind. So long as the local electric infrastructure can handle it, then more cabling can be put through the existing conduit and upgrades be relatively simple.
CheeseEater said: 'Having said that, I don't see the point in so many hydrogen small cars, 10-15million small cars seems way to high for me' With due respect, have you read the study? They are not talking about small cars, but larger ones. with cars the size of the Model S and X with big batteries of 100kWh showing clear advantages in running on hydrogen, and the tipping point being at about 55kWh.
yoatman: I am not sure why you consider that relevant on this thread. I and everyone else will of course welcome better batteries when and if they happen, but getting your hopes too high on the basis of a couple of patent applications from a company which has not had notable success to date is premature to say the least.
Cost projections: 'Hydrogen is advantageous for vehicles with long range, mileage, and heavy payloads (Exhibit 9). Using 2030 cost estimates, for example, a BEV powertrain with a 30-kWh battery (the size of the battery in a 2016 Nissan Leaf) would be about 35% less expensive than an FCEV with similar storage capacity. As capacity increases, however, the FCEV becomes cheaper, since adding hydrogen storage costs less than adding batteries. At about 55 kWh, both powertrains cost the same, which translates into a range of about 300 km. Beyond that, FCEVs are likely to be less expensive than BEVs. At a range of around 1,000 km, which is the range offered by conventional thermal engines for passenger cars, the FCEV has a cost advantage of about 55%. For trucking, even larger capacities are required to move heavy payloads across long distances, for which hydrogen is well suited.'
Even handed commentary on BEVS, their strengths and weaknesses: 'BEVs have the highest well-to-wheel energy efficiency (60% when powered by electricity from renewables, 30 to 35% when powered by gas- or coal-based electricity; compared to roughly 25 to 30% for ICEs11), while batteries have the lowest energy density per weight (0.6 MJ per kg), making them well suited for lighter vehicles and shorter ranges. ƒ Hydrogen, when stored aboard a vehicle, has a much higher energy density per weight than batteries (currently around 2.3 MJ per kg12), allowing FCEVs to travel longer distances and perform better for heavier vehicles for which batteries become impractical and inefficient. The energy efficiency of FCEVs is lower than that of BEVs, however (roughly 30% from well to wheel if produced through electricity). ƒ Synthetic fuels have the highest specific energy, which allows them to be used in aviation and shipping, but they suffer from low overall energy efficiency of about 10%.'
' Our vision sees hydrogen powering more than 400 million cars, 15 to 20 million trucks, and around 5 million buses in 2050, which constitute on average 20 to 25% of their respective transportation segments. Since hydrogen plays a stronger role in heavier and long-range segments, these 20% of the total fleet could contribute more than one-third of the total CO2 abatement required for the road transportation sector in the two-degree scenario. In our vision, hydrogen also powers a quarter of passenger ships and a fifth of locomotives on nonelectrified tracks, and hydrogen-based synthetic fuel powers a share of airplanes and freight ships. For buildings, hydrogen builds on the existing gas infrastructure and meets roughly 10% of global demand for heat. In industry, hydrogen is used for medium- and high-heat processes, for which electrification is not an efficient option. Current uses of hydrogen as a feedstock are decarbonized through clean or green production pathways. In addition, hydrogen is used as renewable feedstock in 30% of methanol and about 10% of steel production.' (linked study)
It will take a lot of time to move to supplying much of the power for data centres from renewables and fuel cells, but this is a massive opportunity, equivalent to of the order of half the carbon emissions of the US light duty fleet. Fuel cells in the closed air environment of data centres also enable a slight reduction in the oxygen content, still entirely breathable, but not capable of supporting a flame, so reducing or eliminating fire hazard. Getting to all renewable energy supply needs all the tools we have, not just some of them. Apple is also integrating fuel cells into the suite enabling renewables to power data centres: http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/06/24/apples-campus-2-to-use-updated-bloom-energy-fuel-cells-first-deployed-at-nc-data-center
I have been very doubtful about Nikola One, as long distance trucking pushes the performance envelope for hydrogen, which including the CF tanks and so on weighs a lot more and takes up a lot more space than diesel, although far less so than batteries. However, I am likely some of what I am hearing. Powercell and certainly Bosch add a lot of credibility to the engineering whatever the finances may be, and they have not got a ridiculous ramp up schedule ignoring proper testing. So I am tentatively becoming interested.
gryf said: ' The real issues with Fuel Cells are initial purchase price and the H2 infrastructure. Due to these reasons Fuel Cells are NOT good solutions for automobiles or buses.' There are extensive trials of fuel cell buses in China and Europe as well as the US, with hundreds of buses running or on order. Putting in a hydrogen pump at a bus depot is not really a big deal, and the hydrogen is more economic than at present for cars with their present low volume. Unfortunately my SARTA link now does not work, but here is Ballard with their costings and write up: http://www.fuelcellbuses.eu/sites/default/files/Ballard%20-%20fuel%20cell%20electric%20buses.pdf Ballard have many hundreds of fuel cell systems for buses in operation and on order, with large numbers in China. Advantages are a much wider performance envelope than BEV buses especially in cold weather, with quick refuel and they actually filter and clean city air, as opposed to BEVs which do not contribute much to pollution save through tire and break wear but do not clean the air. I am not going to rehash arguments for and against fuel cells in cars here, but simply note that the vast majority of cars have nowhere at all that they could be plugged in at home, nor is it reasonable or practical to provide them.