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Chris at CaFCP
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Fuel cell vehicles have made remarkable progress over the last decade. They are full-function vehicles with the range of a gasoline vehicle and the performance of an electric vehicle. Fuel cell passenger vehicles, transit buses and heavy-duty trucks are on the road in the US and around the world. Many automakers have announced plans to enter the commercial market in 2015. Our focus now is on placing vehicles and stations in the same places at the same time. The California Fuel Cell Partnership's action plan lays out specific steps that industry and government are taking to bring fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen stations to the commercial market. No miracles needed, just steady work. www.cafcp.org/resources/print-materials Chris White California Fuel Cell Partnership www.cafcp.org
Toyota is likely referencing lab-run well-to-wheels analysis. CaFCP created a summary report of five w2w reports that you can read at http://www.cafcp.org/why-h2/comparisons/well-wheels. To try to answer a few questions: W2W for electricity uses a combination of sources. They look at national mixes for a county or for a state, usually in 2012 or 2017. Researchers account for renewables being a part of the mix as regulated by law. Most electricity will come from turbines powered by burning coal or natural gas. Any time you burn something, you release 40-50% of the energy in heat. H2 from natural gas is a molecular process of breaking apart molecules. Steam reforming is about 68-72% efficient. BEVs and FCVs are equally efficient vehicles. H2 efficiencies change because the well-to-tank includes compression and delivery to the vehicle. It requires more energy to compress the H2 to 700bar than 350bar. If the energy comes from solar panels, it's considered to be 100% efficient. If it comes from a gas-fired power plant, it's considered to be 50% efficient. Efficiency is just one piece of the pie, though. Car companies also have to meet ZEV standards, fuel producers and utilities have to meet CO2 regulations, and people have to buy cars, trucks and SUVs that they will use to replace the gas vehicles they drive today.