GM Introduces E-Flex Electric Vehicle System; Chevrolet Volt the First Application
Toyota Touts the Maximum Tundra; Pledges E85 Version in 2009

Ford Announces Hydrogen-Electric Plug-in Hybrid Drive and Airstream Concept

Airstream
The Ford Airstream Concept.

Ford has developed an electric-drive crossover concept car in conjunction with Airstream—the Ford Airstream Concept—that is powered by a hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain—the HySeries Drive.

The HySeries drive in the AirStream Concept combines a lithium-ion battery pack with a compact fuel cell system as a range extender—the fuel cell’s sole function is to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack as needed.

Hyserieschassis
Overview of the HySeries Chassis.

(This series-hybrid electric drive design approach is similar to that taken by GM with its E-Flex family and the Chevrolet Volt. Earlier post.)

The new fuel cell, supplied by Ford partner Ballard, operates in a steady state, allowing a reduction in the size, weight, cost and complexity of a conventional fuel cell system by more than 50%. This approach also promises to more than double the lifetime of the fuel cell stack, according to Ford.

The Ford Airstream Concept can travel 25 miles in battery mode—depleting the battery’s state of charge to about 40%—before the fuel cell begins operating to recharge the vehicle’s 336-volt lithium-ion battery pack.

With the hydrogen-powered fuel cell, the range increases another 280 miles for a total of 305 miles.

The Ford Airstream Concept can travel at speeds of up to 85 mph. An on-board charger (110/220 VAC) can refresh the battery pack when a standard home outlet is available

The concept uses 4.5 kg of hydrogen stored in a 350-bar hydrogen tank. The HySeries Drive delivers the combined city/highway equivalent fuel economy of 41 miles per gallon.

This powertrain is already on the road and driving in a Ford Edge prototype. Ford scientists and engineers created this vehicle with partial funding from the United States Department of Energy. The vehicle will be shown for the first time at the Washington, DC, Auto Show on Jan. 23.

Comments

SJC

There are reversible PEM fuel cells and they get cooler when generatiing H2. This is possible, but the generation of H2 is not that efficient. Batteries have a round trip efficiency (charge/discharge) of about 70%. A reversible PEM might be 60% efficient in creating H2 and 40% in using H2 to generate electricity, which gives you a round trip efficiency of .6 x .4 = 24%. Obviously 24% is less than 70%, so it would be better to use batteries.

François

Hi Paolo,

"WTW (well to wheel efficiency) of CNG car on Mix European Driving cycle is around 15 % (the result of 88 % upstrem eff. multiplied 17% car eff. ) while the WTW of a CH2FCV (compressed H2 fuel cell vehicle) is 34% overall (the result of 63 % steam reforming and compression multiplied 55 % car eff, )!!!That means that starting with the same amount of Natural Gas (at the well) , the FC car will run for a double range!"

This is definitely wrong. Not the 17% figure, it can be right, but the 55% one. This is an effciency a PEM fuel cell ALONE can barely reach in ideal conditions, so if you consider now motor efficiency, real driving conditions and transmission losses there is absolutely no way you can get a 55% car efficiency. And, to be fair you should compare efficencies between hybrid vehicles, since all sensible FC vehicles are and will be hybrid ones.

"Unfortunately such a battery not exists, otherwise already now will have EV.
And how long is the recharging time? Keep in mind that the faster, the lower the eff.
And what happ if you want to drive from Milan to Rome in a day?"

Charging time is not an issue any more for batteries, if you can get a powerful enough charger and the newest technologies (see Altairnano or Toshiba achievements for instance). Of course it is not commercially available now, but we're talking about future vehicles, right ? The only real issue remains energy density, which is still too low for very long trips without recharging.

Fred

Please gentlemen, do not pay any attention to any of the stories that comes out from Detroit! If any of these ridicoluos car company had any serious intent to come out with alternative non-ICE power-trains we already would have had a multitude of them in the market for years. GM had it...the EV1 and they simply trashed it! When we went [Nasa says] to the moon we were the first because we wanted show the world we were the superpower and the space race was a big thning for our country, but we are not willing to be the first in new ZEV technology because we are such a bunch of sissies and because the Saudis have us under their tight fist/control. We are a like sick puppies...or junkies for that matter...in this case addicted to [like the moron of a so-called president we have] oil!

The Japanese automakers are not better than ours...they are simply smarter and more forward thinking then their US counterparts. Europe is somewaht the same, however due to the nature of the European topography many small engine cars are sold by the million every year. Here we got the HUMMER! Can anybody see the difference?

We can build 2 maybe 3 perfectly nice little car using the material coming our of a disgusting looking Hummer and all other SUVs. Why is the US governement not interested in showing any sign that the US wants to be a t the forefront of alternative [transportation] technology? Ooops..but that is BRAZIL???? A "third world country" making major advancement in ethanol based powertrains? OH MY GOD...the US lost again this time against samba and bossanova hehehehe...

The whole TRUE point is that unless in this country ther's a major public revolt in terms of pushing Detroit and W-D.C for an immediate change in gasoline consumption and massive V8/12 crappy engines we are doomed!!! Unless, small new [EV] car companies such as Tesla, Phoenix, Pearmotors etc... are properly supported by the US people in emerging as the ONLY way to the future and freedome from oil!
Why are we [not me] buying crappy Detroit made cars that everyone knows they are sooooo badly manufactured and do not last that long...it's all in the marketing...how many truck owners actually roll in the mud or drive to mountain ranges etc...how many Hummers have you seen getting actually dirty of dirt road??? Me..NONE!!! But I see them every day going to the gym, the supermarket, the school, the air salon, the restaurant, the movie theater etc... do we really need that car to go to those places or the need of it is because someone [GM] told us so...so why can they do the same for EV, or HEV etc...

Whenever you buy a Detroit product you only help those guys, the R party and OPEC making so much money on you!
Also remember that the US alone burns 1/4 of the entire world gasoline/oil usage and that's not a thing I want to be proud of...

Point of this writing?

DON'T EVER BELIEVE IN WHAT DETROIT TELLS YOU...NEVER EVER!!!

Unfortunately or very fortunately, it will come a time when Detroit will not exist anymore as we know it and most likely GM will be a "silly" subsidiary of Toyota and Ford a subsidiary of TESLA ;o)

FS, Ph.D

SJC

If the W2W efficiency of ICE is 15% then the W2W for PEM fuel cells might be about 24%. This kind of efficiency can be done using diesel hybrids. Look at the PNGV program, where they got 70 mph in a 5 passenger sedan. There are many things we can do without fuel cells. In the future we can replace the series hybrid ICE with a fuel cell and do even better.

gr

If part of the grid build out to clean energy includes algal oil production utilizing flu gases - there is the potential to convert these bioreactor systems to H2 production. Combined with high temp electrolysis there appears to be a path to renewable H2 production for applications that would run efficiently (Roger mentions trucking and aero).

H2 may emerge as a vertical segment fuel for heavy lifting until the cost of PEMs and infrastructure come down. In any case since it is so clean H2 remains an alt fuel in play.

Fred

...and please read this:

http://jumpstartford.com/media_center/news_article/?uid=2230

FS

Mark A

Fred, honestly what kind of vehicle do you drive? Would be interesting to know. You are talking the talk, but are you walking the walk?

The US automakers have been producing vehicles that us, the US consumers have been wanting. With the relatively sudden rise in gas prices, us fickle consumers, have somewhat shifted our wants to smaller hybrid, different, green cars. The automakers are changing, but are unable to turn as quickly as us fickle consumers. Most new car ideas have a 2-3 year gestation period. Looks like they are doing nothing, when in fact their ideas are maturing and evolving. Witness Mitsubishi's MIEV program. Its probably in its third developing year. Very promising

The EV-1 was cancelled due to the low demand for it, plus the fact that it cost twice as much to make, as it was offered for. Thats good business sense to eliminate the losers in your businesses. Batteries just werent up to the task in 1996, or in 2007 for that matter. But progress is happening. That whole WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR debate is a Hollywood invention which is full of half thruths and made up facts. But if it has a positive impact on our future transportation needs, good. Otherwise its just fluff that should be easily overlooked.

wintermane

Very likely even 10 yearsafter h2 cars are mass produced people will be here saying its impossible and blah blah blah.

Sometimes the future does come.

Roger Pham

Well-to-wheel efficiency of PEM-FC cars only 24%? The latest Honda FCX is quoted by Honda at a whopping 60% tank-to-wheel efficiency. If one multiply that by the 70% efficiency at steam reformation of natural gas, the W2W efficiency should be 42%. If the heat of steam reformation of natural gas is recycled by steam turbine for electricity production, then the W2W efficiency would be higher.

But, yeah, Ford PHEV and FCV combination makes little sense at first, since if u already have the superclean and super efficient H2-capable vehicle, why need PHEV feature?

Oh, yeah, to prolong the life span of the Fuel cell, which tends to degrade quickly with each on-off cycle. Continous-use PEM FC can last 40,000 hrs, but intermittent use in a car application will bring this down to under 4,000 hrs. For short trips, just use it as a BEV, don't even bother to turn on the FC and wear it out.
Also, the PHEV feature allows significant reduction in the size of the FC stack, which would be a major reduction in vehicle cost.

Fred

Mark,

I actually drive a Toyota Rav 4 EV! How about you my friend? A Hummer perhaps?

And just to clear the facts, Mistibishi/Miev project is NOT an American based company/developemt...I thibk it is Japanese...what do you think?

So the Who Killed the EV was just a big farse to you...unfortunately that is exactly what's happening in this country, there are way too many people thining the way you do! The facts are that if Detroit was SERIOUSLY committed and promoting non-polluting vehicle we would probably not be talking abou this...what do you think?
Also it seems that you are a victim like many other millions of Americans of Detroit marketing and advertising giant that tells you what to drive and to shut-up about any other potential "good" propulsion.
Is GM plan to expand its alternative fuel/EV fleet? NOT!
But GM is VERY prepared to expand its line of disgusting HUMMERS...wanna buy one?

Get real Mark or get a job at GM or Ford if you do not work for them already!

FS PhD
PS: BTW, there's no point in even trying to explain the real happening facts to people like you...have you seen the WKTEC documentary at least or are you just talking out of your gas-pipe???

SJC

I saw this vehicle on the Auto Show video tonight. It is truly a very ugly creation. I have no idea what Ford was thinking when they did this, but they need to sober up..and quick!

Engineer-Poet

Face it, if Ford and GM had wanted to get away from oil they could easily have lobbied the California Air Resources Board to have a PHEV mandate instead of a ZEV mandate... starting back in 1995.

I was working for Ford when those CARB regulations were written in 1990-91.  Ford had "sustainer" engines for PHEV's running in test cells at the time; I saw Wankels and gas turbines.  It would have been relatively easy to make a PHEV-20 at the time; the sustainer engine could have been much cleaner than average (given that it would not have had to deal with throttle transients and such), and quite a few miles could have been driven in ZEV mode.  The technology was there in the Scientific Research Lab off of Oakwood in Dearborn, but nobody would let it get to showrooms.

What depresses me is that Ford is still stonewalling by sticking with the dead-end of hydrogen!

Andrey

SJC:

70% battery charge/discharge efficiency you refer to is for Ni-Mh batteries. Li batteries have in excess of 90% charge/discharge efficiency. This is one of the reasons why mainstream BEV and even PHEV vehicles require Li batteries. Another reasons for Ni-Mh being unsuitable for BEV and PHEV applications are: very high rate of high-temperature self-discharge, and pretty shallow cycle (no more then 50%) necessary to allow long battery life. For hybrids these limitations are not of such importance.

Engineer-Poet:

New automotive technology is universally key-components limited. In case of PHEV critical elements are battery, power electronics, and inexpensive traction motors. All of three key elements are only recently coming into age. EV1 disaster has its roots in strange decision of GM to rush into production vehicle with underdeveloped key elements. Same is happening with fuel cells, as I see it.

Roger Pham

Wait a minute, Eng-Poet, what is running in a test cell in a lab is quite remote from the practicality of the market place. Face it, as recently as 6 months ago, even Toyota declined any future plan for a PHEV, and even now, they only vaguely announce that it's an on-going research. Clinton Adm's PNGV program had PHEV in the plan, but it went to naught! Why? Bcuz gas was so cheap, who would want to pay twice the price of the same car in order to double the gas mileage but then has to pay two or three times higher cost per mile due to the high cost of the battery?

Battery has been, and still is, too expensive for its limited number of charging cycles. The cost-per-mile from cheap gas in the 90's was 2-3 times less the cost-per-mile from battery electricity. Lead-acid was out of the question due to its bulk and weight, leaving no room for payload. NiMH was barely available, still was very expensive back then, and then Cobasys decreed that thou shall not make any battery cell larger than 10Ah, thus keeping BEV and PHEV out of the market place, and started suing every NiMH makers...

Why don't you look at the facts instead of blaming Ford for makings appropriate business decisions? And NO, Hydrogen is not the dead-end!
Hydrogen is the future!!! Ford is making a smart decision with this FCV-PHEV hybrid! It will solve the high-cost of the fuel-cell stack, making squeaky clean and ultra-efficient personal transportation a reality in the very near future! (a 12 kw PEM FC stack to sustain the range for this vehicle will cost 1/10 the cost of a 120kw FC stack required for a typical FCV!)

This will fulfill CARB's ZEV mandate in a big way that will be practical for the public, in comparison to the BEV that suffers from short range and long charging time.

Engineer-Poet

Okay, Roger, if hydrogen is the future you should be able to tell me how it can be supplied (and from what original energy source) and how the $1 trillion cost of a new hydrogen infrastructure can be paid for.

Electricity has the advantage that it's already got a production and distribution system, and enough off-peak capacity to handle all our transport demand.  Batteries are more efficient than PEM fuel cells, and a fraction of the price.  You've got to show that hydrogen has some advantage which outweighs this.

Fred

...and GM's Lutz is the usual moron thinking that no one will ever take Detroit down!

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070109/AUTO02/701090364

FS

Roger Pham

Eng-Poet, you've asked the right questions, and Ford Airstream concept has the answer for you. With 25-mi electricity range, you can charge twice daily and drive for 50 miles/day without need for a fill up.

However, if you need to make a long trip, then fill up the 4.5 kg H2 tank, and you can go over 300 miles. By the way, the 41 mpg number listed in this article is not correct. 4.5kg for 280 miles will give 62 mpg equivalence of gasoline! Where to get the H2? If this vehicle will go on sale, along with the Honda FCX and the GM Equinox, etc... then you should be able to find H2 at many local gas stations. The gas station simply provide a parking space for a H2 tanker truck with built-in H2 filling spigot. When the H2 tanker truck is empty, another one will replace it! H2 from wind is estimated at $3.00 /kg (gallon of gasoline equivalent) from wind, and $0.79 if from coal gasification, per a recent Popular Mechanic article. You can go twice as far from H2 as from gasoline for the same amount of energy, or at least equal in comparison to the Prius, or any BEV.

What trillion-dollar infrastructure cost with H2? You simply pay as you go. The infrastructure will be upgraded slowly over a decade as more and more H2 vehicle will come on board. Let's say if it'll cost $1000 USD of infrastructure expense per H2 vehicle, then one million vehicles will cost 1 billion dollars, and 100 million vehicles will cost 100 billion dollars! A lot less than the money spent on Iraq war so far! And this will buy us energy security, whereas what did the Iraq war bought us?

cidi

However, if you need to make a long trip, then fill up the 4.5 kg H2 tank, and you can go over 300 miles.

At what pressure? How big is the tank, and what would it be made out of?

Where to get the H2? If this vehicle will go on sale, along with the Honda FCX and the GM Equinox, etc... then you should be able to find H2 at many local gas stations. The gas station simply provide a parking space for a H2 tanker truck with built-in H2 filling spigot.

Again, at what pressure? How much energy is required to fill the truck? What are the energetics of the whole H2 production and transport process?

H2 from wind is estimated at $3.00 /kg (gallon of gasoline equivalent) from wind, and $0.79 if from coal gasification, per a recent Popular Mechanic article.

Even stipulating these numbers, you still haven't dealt with the transport issue.

You can go twice as far from H2 as from gasoline for the same amount of energy, or at least equal in comparison to the Prius, or any BEV.

Lost me there, unless you're talking about a blimp: energy is energy.

SJC

I don't see trucking or piping H2 to a station. Perhaps reforming NG to H2 at the station, but then you have all those high pressure tanks driving around. True, fuel cells can be more efficient than ICEs, but they can reform liquid fuels onboard. Or run cars with ICEs and FCs with NG and make it SNG from biomass and sequestered coal.

Engineer-Poet

Well, let's see, Roger:

The heat of combustion of hydrogen is 70600 cal/mol; this is a yield of 147.7 MJ/kg.  If produced from electricity at 70% efficiency, it would require 58.6 kWh of electricity to make 1 kg of hydrogen.  At even 5¢/kWh for wind electricity, you're talking $2.93/kg in electricity alone to make your H2.  Then you have the energy cost of compression.  I don't see this coming out at less than $5/kg from renewable resources.

PEM fuel cells top out at about 60% efficiency, for a throughput of 42% if you ignore compression losses (probably 35% with them included).  To get one kWh of energy to your motor, you're going to need 2.8 kWh into your electrolysis plant.  This really disadvantages renewable energy.

But as you note, it is not disadvantageous for coal.  I'm almost certain that this was the intention behind hydrogen cars all along.

Lithium-ion batteries are about 95% efficient end to end; even lead-acid is about 70%.  Replace your hydrogen FC with batteries and you cut your energy requirements by 50-60%.

Hydrogen loses the efficiency comparison, but how about infrastructure?

Roger says that it'll come from a hydrogen tanker.  Above ground?  Sounds like a nice flammable target for some terrorist with a rifle; this is not going to be acceptable.  And the horribly low density of hydrogen means two more penalties:

  1. you'll need many, many more tankers than for liquid fuels, and
  2. the tankers will spend a huge amount of energy hauling their own dead weight around compared to the small mass of fuel they can carry.
Efficiency and cost take another two big hits right there.

I'm convinced that hydrogen cars are just a way for the oil companies to channel research money and people's energy into avenues which will cannot threaten their business; it's going to come way late if ever, and if it does come they're going to own that business too.

Something I noticed is that all the discussions of the Chevy Volt are being trolled heavily by people with nicks I've never seen before.  XOM astroturfers trying to nip another threat in the bud?  That would make sense, because electricity is something that the oil companies do not control and never will.

Roger Pham

Eng-Poet,
Please kindly research the net or whatever sources to find out what is the highest efficiency of H2 generation vs. the highest efficiency of electricity generation, and then compute it from source-to-wheel efficiency for both H2 and electricity, as I've posted here many times before, and you'll see for yourself that overall efficiency for H2V and BEV will be comparable, within the same ballpark.

Ha Ha ha... H2 tanker target for terrorist with a rifle? Ha ha ha!
Please be informed that a H2 tanker with Kevlar fibers re-enforcement to withstand 8000-psi pressure would be just as thick as any vehicular armor and can easily withstand even a rifle round. Now, can you say the same for a much thinner steel-walled gasoline tanker? The rifle round would go right thru it! Ha ha ha! I got you there! Gasoline tankers have been terrorists' target in Iraq, with devastating consequences! Now, must we stop driving our [gasoline] cars because gasoline tanker is highly vulnerable?

Do this thought experiment: pay for $20 worth of gasoline at the pump, and set the nozzle open so that the fuel will be spilled all over the gas station. Now, move away and throw in a Molotov cocktail bottle, and what have we got? An inferno of fire and explosion, that may even engulf a whole neighborhood block due to more ruptured fuel lines spilling out the fuel, and all the fuels from all the parked cars...

Now, try this with a H2 fueling station, and what have we got? The H2 would immediately rise skyward like a homesick angel, and nothing will be left behind to engulf you. H2 gas is so light that it would float up very fast before it can even accumulate in dangerous concentration. There have been studies done comparing a ruptured gasoline tank and a H2 tank. Concrete results, not speculations, have shown that H2 tank rupture would be much safer. The flame would shoot skyward well above the leak area, but would not engulf the whole car nor would it burn the occupants like a gasoline fire would.

Many more tankers of H2 would be needed than would liquid fuel? H2 tanker is only the initial step when there are few H2 vehicles around. With more H2 vehicles, direct pipelines connecting local H2 producing plants to gas stations will be set up to transport H2 more economically. Intra-city H2 transportation by tankers within 15-mile radius would consume but 1-2% of energy within the H2. Electrical transmission suffers from 8% loss.

The whole world is preparing for the H2 economy. Almost every auto mfg's are planning H2-capable vehicles. When will you see the advantages of H2 as transportation fuel?

Roger Pham

Eng-Poet,
Please kindly research the net or whatever sources to find out what is the highest efficiency of H2 generation vs. the highest efficiency of electricity generation, and then compute it from source-to-wheel efficiency for both H2 and electricity, as I've posted here many times before, and you'll see for yourself that overall efficiency for H2V and BEV will be comparable, within the same ballpark.

Ha Ha ha... H2 tanker target for terrorist with a rifle? Ha ha ha!
Please be informed that a H2 tanker with Kevlar fibers re-enforcement to withstand 8000-psi pressure would be just as thick as any vehicular armor and can easily withstand even a rifle round. Now, can you say the same for a much thinner steel-walled gasoline tanker? The rifle round would go right thru it! Ha ha ha! I got you there! Gasoline tankers have been terrorists' target in Iraq, with devastating consequences! Now, must we stop driving our [gasoline] cars because gasoline tanker is highly vulnerable?

Do this thought experiment: pay for $20 worth of gasoline at the pump, and set the nozzle open so that the fuel will be spilled all over the gas station. Now, move away and throw in a Molotov cocktail bottle, and what have we got? An inferno of fire and explosion, that may even engulf a whole neighborhood block due to more ruptured fuel lines spilling out the fuel, and all the fuels from all the parked cars...

Now, try this with a H2 fueling station, and what have we got? The H2 would immediately rise skyward like a homesick angel, and nothing will be left behind to engulf you. H2 gas is so light that it would float up very fast before it can even accumulate in dangerous concentration. There have been studies done comparing a ruptured gasoline tank and a H2 tank. Concrete results, not speculations, have shown that H2 tank rupture would be much safer. The flame would shoot skyward well above the leak area, but would not engulf the whole car nor would it burn the occupants like a gasoline fire would.

Many more tankers of H2 would be needed than would liquid fuel? H2 tanker is only the initial step when there are few H2 vehicles around. With more H2 vehicles, direct pipelines connecting local H2 producing plants to gas stations will be set up to transport H2 more economically. Intra-city H2 transportation by tankers within 15-mile radius would consume but 1-2% of energy within the H2. Electrical transmission suffers from 8% loss.

The whole world is preparing for the H2 economy. Almost every auto mfg's are planning H2-capable vehicles. When will you see the advantages of H2 as transportation fuel?

Engineer-Poet

The density of liquid hydrogen is about 0.07; a gallon-equivalent takes about 14 liters of volume, 3.7 times as much as gasoline.  You are going to need about 4 times as many gallons of tankage to serve the same needs.

Gas is probably worse.  I don't have figures for the density of H2 at 8000 psi, but the DoE's benchmark for practicality of a hydrogen storage system is 6.5% by weight.  If you can hit that, a 60,000 lb trailer would carry a whole 3900 lbs (about 1750 kg) of hydrogen.  By comparison, 7000 gallons of gasoline only weighs about 43000 pounds and doesn't require as much material to hold it; you would again need about 4x as many tanker-loads of hydrogen as gasoline to serve the same demand.  That's if you can hit 6.5 wt%.... falling short requires a lot more.

Shipping hydrogen by tanker is a non-starter.  We'd be better off with ethanol.  And some auto company projects are outright jokes; what else would you call a BMW V-12 which produces a mere 260 horsepower on hydrogen?

I notice that you have stopped talking about hydrogen production, probably because you cannot defend your position if you do.  Well, I'll tell you what would change my mind about it:  if we got a cheap artificial photosynthesis system which produced hydrogen, I'd look for the best way to use it.  But cramming other energy sources into the Procrustean bed of the "hydrogen economy" is narrow-minded to the point of intellectual blindness.

We already have the basis of an electron economy, and electricity is already delivered to far more places than would ever allow gasoline.  It has none of the drawbacks of hydrogen.  It's time to go with it.

Roger Pham

cidi,

Your questions should be addressed to the designer of the Ford Airstream concept. But I'll try:

4.5kg of H2 at 350-bar tank (5000psi). Now you figure out the volume of the fuel tank as a homework assignment. The tanker can be filled with 8000 psi of pressure. The energetic of H2 compression is simple: isothermal compression in 4-stage compressor with 4-stage intercooling. Energy recuperation of compressed H2 in the vehicle using waste heat from the engine or FC to approximate or exceed the efficiency of isothermal expansion at ambient temperature.

You can go twice as far for the same amount of energy when using the Ford Airstream Concept in the FC mode as compared to an equivalent non-HEV gasoline vehicle. So, for H2 priced at $3.00/kg (equivalent to 1 gal of gasoline), you would pay a lot less for fuel using the Ford Airstream than you would now. Now, isn't that exciting already?

Roger Pham

Eng-Poet,

Yes, Hydrogen production is the key to the viability of the H2 economy. H2 can be produced very simply, cheaply and efficiently from waste biomass (corn stover or corn stalk) via gasification, unlike the difficulty of cellulosic ethanol production. This means that H2 can be produced very near the point of consumption, due to its simplicity of production. Thus, you don't transport the H2 over long distance. You transport the energy-dense biomass via trains or trucks or ships as ready feedstock for gasification into H2 at near the point of consumption. Ditto for coal energy. If you would calculate the souce-to-wheel efficiency of H2V vs BEV from waste biomass or coal, H2V would fare quite well.

Now, ethanol can't be transported via pipeline due to its corrosive potential, and cellulosic ethanol is too complex and too expensive to produce anywhere, thus making the argument stronger for H2 from waste biomass vs cellulosic ethanol.

Now, you can't go wrong with BEV or PHEV...if and when nanolithium battery will be sold at reasonable cost and in large quantity. But, with H2-ICE-HEV in compressed tank as storage, you have the technology for all this TODAY!
Energy security, much cleaner city air quality, no more oil spills, AND the most potent chance to fight global warming...Go with H2V today, or with BEV in the near future!

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