The electric car is finally getting popular. But what happened to the hydrogen-car? Is the electric car just an in-between-technology, to get to the holy grail of car engines? I don’t think so. The electric car is gaining momentum in every aspect: investors, production companies, consumers, innovation, etc, etc… Here’s my summary of facts why the hydrogen car cannot compete with the electric car.
- There is no hydrogen. Hydrogen is no energy source, like gasoline, coal, uranium, wind and sun are. It’s not mined, or drilled for. It has to be produced. Right now, hydrogen is available only in very small quantities. There are no factories or refineries that can produce hydrogen in the quantities we need to ride a substantial amount of cars with.
- Lot’s of water. To produce hydrogen we need a lot of water. Every industry uses water, but an hydrogen-producing industry requires 20 to 30 times more water than the gasoline-producing industry.
- Huge losses. There are huge losses during production, storage, transport and use: about 15% efficiency for hydrogen, vs 65% efficiency for an electric car.
- Complicated. A hydrogen-based car is technically much more complicated than a car that uses a combustion engine. An electric car is elegantly simple to produce.
- No infrastructure. For hydrogen, there is no delivery infrastructure, like we have for petrol gas and electricity. We cannot reuse the liquid gas infrastructure for hydrogen, because very different technology is required to store and transport hydrogen.
- Pollution. Hydrogen cars are supposed to be clean. Only water vapor is exiting the exhaust. When a lot of cars are evaporating water, that will probably be an unwanted byproduct. Imagine constantly wet highways, or exotic insects that migrate our way because of higher humidity levels.
- Danger. Hydrogen is much more dangerous than gasoline, LPG or electricity. It’s flammable when in contact with oxygen (the air we breathe). When stored for use in a hydrogen car, it’s pressurized much more than LPG, which makes a lot of things a lot more complicated.