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Hyundai to offer Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle to LA-area retail customers in spring 2014; Honda, Toyota show latest FCV concepts targeting 2015 launch (corrected)

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell. Click to enlarge.

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Hyundai announced plans to offer its next-generation Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle for the US market for $499 per month, including unlimited free hydrogen refueling and At Your Service Valet Maintenance at no extra cost. Availability begins in Spring 2014 at several Southern California Hyundai dealers.

Also at the LA Auto Show, the new Honda FCEV Concept made its world debut. The concept expresses a potential styling direction for Honda’s next-generation fuel-cell vehicle anticipated to launch in the US and Japan in 2015, followed by Europe. At the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota highlighted its own new FCV Concept with a world premiere.


Hyundai will initially offer the Tucson Fuel Cell to customers in the Los Angeles/Orange County region for $499 per month for a 36-month term, with $2,999 down. This includes unlimited free hydrogen refueling.

When we spoke to customers interesting in driving a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, many wondered what the cost of hydrogen would be. To ease those concerns as we build-out the hydrogen refueling network, we thought covering this cost for these early adopters in the monthly payment was the best approach, and consistent with other aspects of our Hyundai Assurance program. It’s our way of saying: ‘This is another thing you don’t have to worry about, we’ve got your back.

—John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America

In addition, Tucson Fuel Cell owners will enjoy all the same services of the Hyundai Equus “At Your Service” valet program. As Equus owners have enjoyed since its introduction in 2010, should a Tucson Fuel Cell require any service, a Hyundai dealer will pick up the vehicle and provide a loaner, then return their car after service to their home or business, at no charge.

Customers interested in the Tucson Fuel Cell can indicate their interest (the first step in the ordering process) beginning by visiting Hyundai.com.

The first four Hyundai dealers to offer the Tucson Fuel Cell to Southern California customers are Hardin Hyundai in Anaheim; Win Hyundai in Carson; Keyes Hyundai in Van Nuys; and Tustin Hyundai, with additional Hyundai dealers to follow. Availability of the Tucson Fuel Cell will expand to other regions of the country consistent with the accelerating deployment of hydrogen refueling stations.

To achieve societal goals of significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, more and more consumers will need to drive zero-emissions vehicles. Currently, there’s an ongoing debate about the future of the electric vehicle, which Hyundai condensed into two approaches:

  1. Store more electricity on-board using more/larger batteries

  2. Create electricity on-board with hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology

Hyundai is taking the second approach. While the battery electric vehicle has made progress in recent years, with improved affordability and energy storage capability, for most consumers, range anxiety and lengthy recharging time remain formidable obstacles, Hyundai said. In addition, affordable electric vehicle technology is best suited to smaller urban vehicles, not larger family and utility vehicles that many families require to meet all of their needs. Because of the inherent weight and cost of batteries, and the chemistry and physics that drive slow recharge times, today’s electric vehicles have practical limits for many consumers, Hyundai suggested.

Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles represent the next generation of zero-emission vehicle technology, so we’re thrilled to be a leader in offering the mass-produced, federally certified Tucson Fuel Cell to retail customers. The superior range and fast-fill refueling speed of our Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle contrast with the lower range and slow-charge characteristics of competing battery electric vehicles. We think fuel cell technology will increase the adoption rate of zero-emission vehicles, and we’ll all share the environmental benefits.

—John Krafcik

The Tucson Fuel Cell offers:

  • Driving range up to an estimated 300 miles;
  • Capable of full refueling in less than 10 minutes, similar to gasoline;
  • Minimal reduction in daily utility compared with its gasoline counterpart;
  • Instantaneous electric motor torque (221 lb-ft);
  • Minimal cold-weather effects compared with battery electric vehicles;
  • Reliability and long-term durability;
  • No moving parts within the power-generating fuel cell stack;
  • More than two million durability test miles on Hyundai’s fuel cell fleet since 2000; and
  • Extensive crash, fire and leak testing successfully completed.

Hyundai began production of the ix35 Fuel Cell (the Tucson’s counterpart in Europe) at the company’s Ulsan manufacturing plant in Korea in January 2013; the first complete car rolled off the assembly line on 26 February 2013.

The ix35 Fuel Cell—Hyundai’s third-generation fuel cell vehicle—delivers large improvements over its predecessor, including a driving range that has been extended by more than 50% and fuel efficiency gains of more than 15%.

The ix35 Fuel Cell is equipped with a 100 kW electric motor, allowing it to reach a maximum speed of 160 km/h (99 mph). Two hydrogen storage tanks, with a total capacity of 5.64 kg, enable the vehicle to travel a total of 594 km (369 miles) on a single charge, and it can reliably start in temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius. The energy is stored in a 24 kWh kW lithium-ion polymer battery, jointly developed with LG Chemical.

The Tucson Fuel Cell begins mass production for the US market in February 2014 at Ulsan—the plant that also manufactures the Tucson gasoline-powered CUV. Manufacturing the Tucson Fuel Cell at the same plant allows Hyundai to leverage both the high quality and cost-efficiency of its popular gasoline-powered Tucson platform.

Click to enlarge.

According to 2013 studies on well-to-wheel greenhouse-gas emissions (GHG) by the Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California, Irvine, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles have the lowest overall emission levels of all alternative fuel entries. Well-to-wheel emissions for hydrogen vehicles sourced from natural gas are lower than battery electric vehicles (based on the average carbon footprint of the entire US grid), and less than half of equivalent gasoline vehicle emissions. Hydrogen emissions sourced from biogas are a tiny fraction of equivalent gasoline vehicle emissions.

(Hyundai’s Fuel Cell prototypes have relied on hydrogen generated at the Orange County Sanitation District near its Fountain Valley headquarters, where methane from sewage is turned into hydrogen.)

Hyundai is also partnering with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to make the Tucson Fuel Cell available to consumers at select locations in the Los Angeles/Orange County region. This partnership will enable interested consumers to evaluate the Tucson Fuel Cell for their lifestyles on a multi-day basis, with rental availability also planned for Spring 2014.


The Honda FCEV Concept. Click to enlarge.

Significant technological advancements to the fuel-cell stack have yielded more than 100 kW of power output. The power density is now 3 kW/L, an increase of 60%, with the stack size reduced 33% compared to the FCX Clarity. The next-generation Honda FCEV is anticipated to deliver a driving range of more than 300 miles (483 km) with a quick refueling time of about three minutes at a pressure of 70 MPa.

The Honda FCEV Concept features sweeping character lines underscored by an ultra-aerodynamic body. The Honda FCEV Concept also delivers ample passenger space and seating for 5-passengers thanks to new powertrain packaging efficiencies.

The next generation fuel cell-electric vehicle launching in 2015 will feature the first application of a fuel-cell powertrain packaged completely in the engine room of the vehicle, allowing for efficiencies in cabin space as well as flexibility in the potential application of FC technology to multiple vehicle types in the future.

You probably know the conventional wisdom on fuel cells—that they are the technology of the future and always will be. We’re working to change that mindset. Too often talk about future timelines in 2015 and 2020 is met with skepticism, either about the technology or the commitment. So let me give you a word of advice today—don’t confuse our candor with a lack of progress. The advancement we are making is substantial, meaningful and very real.

We also acknowledge that the hydrogen refueling infrastructure needs to expand dramatically both here in California and across this nation. That’s why we were pleased when Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a provision to kick-start an expanded network for refueling. This also is why Honda is an enthusiastic participant in a federal program, H2USA.

In the meantime, the mass production fuel cell electric vehicle under development in our engineering labs will be our next significant step forward in this process. So, what you see here on stage is more than a concept car—this Honda FCEV Concept is a commitment to the future of mobility.

—Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co.

Honda has invested nearly two decades in the development and deployment of fuel-cell technology through extensive real world testing, including the first government fleet deployment and retail customer leasing program. Honda has made significant technological advancements in fuel-cell operation in both hot and sub-freezing weather, meeting stringent emissions requirements and safety regulations since the introduction of its first generation fuel-cell vehicle, the FCX in 2002.

Honda began leasing its first-generation FCEV, the Honda FCX, in 2002 and has deployed vehicles in the US and Japan, including its successor, the FCX Clarity, which was named the 2009 World Green Car. Honda has delivered these vehicles to individual retail consumers in the US and collected valuable data concerning real-world use of fuel cell-electric vehicles and hydrogen stations.

Honda’s current fuel cell-electric vehicle, the FCX Clarity, launched in July 2008. (Earlier post.) With the V-flow fuel cell stack positioned down the center of the vehicle and the electric motor located in the front of the vehicle, Honda was able to maintain the Clarity’s futuristic styling while delivering 240 miles (386 km) of driving range.

In the effort to speed the advance of a refueling infrastructure, in May 2013, American Honda joined the public-private partnership H2USA, which brings together automakers, government agencies, hydrogen suppliers, and the hydrogen and fuel-cell industries to coordinate research and identify cost-effective solutions to deploy infrastructure that can deliver affordable, clean hydrogen fuel in the United States.

In July 2013, Honda entered into a long-term collaborative agreement with General Motors to co-develop the next-generation of fuel-cell systems and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 timeframe. The collaboration expects to succeed by sharing technological expertise, economies of scale and common sourcing strategies. (Earlier post.)


Toyota FCV Concept Click to enlarge.

The Toyota FCV Concept is a practical concept of the fuel cell vehicle Toyota plans to launch around 2015 as a pioneer in the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles. The vehicle has a driving range of at least 500 km (311 miles) and refueling times as low as three minutes.

With Toyota’s proprietary small, light-weight FC Stack and two 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen tanks placed beneath the specially designed body, the Toyota FCV Concept can accommodate up to four occupants.

The Toyota FC Stack has a power output density of 3 kW/L, more than twice that of the current “Toyota FCHV-adv” FC Stack, and an output of at least 100 kW. In addition, the FC system is equipped with Toyota’s high-efficiency boost converter. Increasing the voltage has made it possible to reduce the size of the motor and the number of fuel cells, leading to a smaller system offering enhanced performance at reduced cost.

Fully fueled, the vehicle can provide enough electricity to meet the daily needs of an average Japanese home (10 kWh) for more than one week.



Looks like you have a car to look forward to!


A welcomed hand to Hyundai to be the first major manufacturer to break a taboo with 369 miles FCEVs at $499/month including free fuel. That may cost less than equivalent ICEVs, specially for people with above average driving needs.

Anti FCEVs posters will have a fit?

To install selected (free) hydrogen stations is an extremely smart (à la Tesla) commercial move to promote early usage of FCEVs. Let's hope that Toyota and Honda will offer the same level of service for their FCEVs a few months latter.

Will the other 17 majors follow? If so, when will they have equivalent FCEVs and services?


Of the 3 vehicles, it's the toyota that i like the best, it should do more mpg then the tucson but with free fuel i might be interrested in the tucson in 2025 approx.


The (well-to-wheel) GHG emissions graft is very interesting.

However, the high GHG emissions for BEVs is only true where the power grid mix includes a large quantity of coal fired and NG power plants. Where Hydro + Wind + Solar + Nuclear are used, BEVs GHG emissions would be as low as FCEVs using biogas from waste water.

Current and near future gasoline/diesel and NG ICE vehicles emit way too much GHGs and should be phased out as soon as possible.

Concurrently, all coal fired power stations should be phased out in favor of Wind, Solar and Hydrogen making/storage facilities.

Bob Wallace

Yep, the graph is dishonest.

For an accurate comparison there would need to be a bar for the FCEV running grid electricity produced H2 like the EV on grid power graph.

And a bar for the EV running solar/wind electricity, comparable to their FCEV running on waste water methane.

Roger Pham

It's not so much that the graph is dishonest, it's rather error of omission. They forgot to include the CO2 of BEV charged from zero-CO2-electricity, perhaps because the result would be an obvious zero to everyone, hence no need to include it in.

For BEV's, perhaps the CO2 number reflects the USA's grid average. To compare that with current H2 for FCV's, they did include the CO2 number for H2 produced from NG, which is the how the bulk of H2 produced at this point in time. So, it is fair to compare BEV's CO2 using USA's grid average with FCV's CO2 using H2 produced from NG.

Bob Wallace

Doesn't the Catholic church make distinctions between sins of commission and sins of omissions?

I don't.

When one presents a dishonest argument by either making untrue statements or leaving out inconvenient facts I treat them the same.

I'm all for a fair analysis of the costs and benefits of EVs and FCEVs and want the best to win. But we can't determine the best if we don't put all the facts on the table.


'The energy is stored in a 24 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery, jointly developed with LG Chemical.'

??? I don't think so.
That would be a full on plug in hybrid, which this isn't.
Presumably it uses around a 1.5kwh battery like all the other FCEVs/


BW...A very good and fair question.

To be honest, FCEVs and BEVs will have to be compared under similar or identical conditions.

The quick (3 minutes) free refills and the 369 miles range of first generation FCEVs will be hard to beat.

Bob Wallace

Let's see if we can identify the categories:

Fast Refill - goes to FCEVs.

Range - unclear. Might be easier to build long range into FCEVs. Would be if technology freezes where it is today. Envia battery technology, if it proves out, would even things out somewhat.

Purchase Price - unclear.

Price per Mile - EVs a clear winner. It takes 3x as much electricity to run a FCEV and infrastructure would add a lot more to the per mile cost.

Maintenance - unclear. We don't know the lifespan/cost of either batteries or fuel cells.

Convenience - EVs a clear winner. Just park over a wireless charger. No need to visit hydrogen stations.

What did I miss?


I would differ from some of your points.
Range: The most comprehensive testing figures we have carried out under real world conditions are for the Toyota FCEV, which is doubly convenient as there are identical petrol models:

Note from the details given that the test regime which yielded 431 miles of range was far more onerous than the EPA figure of 265 miles even for the mighty 85kwh, far more aerodynamic Tesla.

For actual production models they seem to be settling on 300 mile plus ranges, but they can easily do more.

The fundamentals behind this better range are clear, as the energy density of fuel cell sytems including all ancillaries and the CF tank are still 1,500wh/kg or so, much, much better than any battery system we can currently do.

So for range in my view fuel cells very clearly win.

Price per mile:
Agreed BEVs win, if you are considering only fuel costs, although arguably battery/fuel cell costs should be amortised against fuel.
Currently BEVs also get a free ride on taxation, much more important in Europe than in the US.

The cost advantage for BEVs in Europe will drop massively when taxation is equalised.
Organisations such as the DOE, which is really the reference information source, do not agree that infrastructure for BEVs is cheaper to roll out than for hydrogen, and put the costs at similar levels, fundamentally because one pump services a lot of cars, whereas one plug doesn't.

Likely a BEV win, as they are fundamentally simpler.
FCEVs should still be a lot cheaper than ICE though/

Since 56% of Americans, and way more Europeans, do not have garaged parking then for the foreseeable future it is going to be simpler and more convenient to visit a filling station than plug in for the majority of motorists.
Building enough hydrogen filling stations is simpler than wiring up every roadside.


BEVs probably win as shorter range city vehicles, specially if you have domestic charging facilities.

For the near future FCEVs would win as Extended range, quick charge vehicles with performances close to ICEVs.

In other words, affordable BEVs are restricted to short range trips as long as btteries have not been improved to over 400 Wh/Kg and preferably over 600 Wh/Kg.

PHEVs are a worthwhile compromise for the next 10 years or so.

Bob Wallace

Range -

I continue to hold that anything around 200 mile range for EVs will make them acceptable to most drivers. Very, very few driving days exceed 200 miles and with rapid charging people could drive a 200 mile range EV all day long with only slightly longer breaks than driving a 400 mile range FCEV.

You can eat a meal and pee/get some coffee/walk the dog while charging an EV. Those are additional stops with a FCEV.

The longer range of FCEVs is mainly useful for reducing the number of times you have to visit a service station and refill your tanks.

Price per mile -

We don't know the lifespan/replacement costs of either fuel cells or batteries. This part is unanswerable at this time. All speculation.

Both EVs and FCEVs are likely to pay similar road usage taxes once either or both become commonly used.

I have never seen anyone claim that it would cost as much to install outlets and rapid chargers for EVs as it would cost to build hydrogen infrastructure equal to all our current oil refineries and distribution systems. Do you have a link for that claim?

Don't forget, while we would have to install additional renewable electricity generation for EVs we would have to install about 3x as much for H2 FCEVs, electricity - H2 - electricity is very lossy.

Wiring for curb side EV charging should be less complicated than installing a parking meter.

Bob Wallace

"For the near future FCEVs would win as Extended range, quick charge vehicles with performances close to ICEVs."

Let's assume we're less than ten years from higher capacity batteries. An assumption most people in the business seem to be making.

The cost savings in driving a Volt PHEV with gas and with a H2 fuel cell would be about the same. (That's with making the H2 with electricity and charging the same road taxes.)

It's highly unlikely that a fuel cell could be installed as cheaply as the current ICE in the Volt.

That doesn't suggest enough H2 usage to justify a hydrogen generation/distribution system. No one is going to invest many billions of dollars in something with only a possible useful life of ten years.

If the Envia battery, or another cheap to manufacture high capacity battery, comes out in the next few years I suspect FCEVs will quickly disappear. The cost of operation of EVs is simply too low. Range is the only thing holding back EVs.


Here are some links comparing hydrogen and battery electric infrastructure costs:

Some of those seem unduly harsh on battery electric infrastructure to me, and overestimate the number of away from home points needed.

A mass roll-out for hydrogen as Toyota says though is likely to be in the same ball park for cost as NG, not surprisingly as both require similar handling and compression.

Much of Europe already has a very extensive NG network.
It is really only that States which makes such a big deal of it.

I don't see the conflict between fuel cells and batteries that many do, and the cost of both roll-outs can be greatly reduced if they are done in tandem, as a lot less hydrogen infrastructure would be needed in cities if many cars usually used a charge point at home, whilst it is much, much tougher and more expensive to wire up every road side car, and you don't need to if they can use hydrogen instead.

Costs follow the 80:20 rule.
Where installation is difficult, that is where most of the cost goes.


My last post was getting a bit long, so here is another link with which I more completely concur, and which is more authoritative:

Note page 46.
Costs of infrastructure for hydrogen are likely to be around 5% of the cost of the vehicles themselves, ie not very significant, and similar to Battery electric:

'The cost per vehicle for rolling out a hydrogen infrastructure compares to rolling out a charging
infrastructure for BEVs or PHEVs (excluding potential upgrades in power distribution networks) –
see Exhibit 38 below
. The costs for hydrogen retail and distribution are estimated at €1,000-2,000 per vehicle (over the lifetime), including distribution from the production site to the retail station, as well as operational and capital costs for the retail station itself. The average annual investment of €2.5 billion compares to that for other industries, such as oil and gas, telecommunications
and road infrastructure, which each amount to €50-€60 billion 2. It is also significantly less than
additional investments required to decarbonise power (€1.3 trillion3over 40 years).
Costs for an electric charging infrastructure range from €1,500 to €2,500 per vehicle.'

The same report also puts both FCEV and battery electric vehicles as competitive with ICE, and similar with variations according to the weight and usage of the vehicle:

'The TCOs of all four power-trains is expected to converge after 2025 – or earlier, with tax
exemptions and/or incentives during the ramp-up phase' (pg5)

The sources either in Europe or in the States simply do not agree with your notion that:
'It's highly unlikely that a fuel cell could be installed as cheaply as the current ICE in the Volt.'

Here is the DOE in 2013, if you would like to browse through it, as I am not going to highlight the many references there to the points we are discussing:

You can see that the cost of fuel cells is projected at, from memory, a 500,000 volume to be less than $50kw.

So a 25kw RE seems eminently do-able, and can throw out most of the complication and expense of the Volt as it remains a pure electric car.


I am not going to go into a fully referenced reply to why your comparison of the efficiency of batteries vs hydrogen obtained by low temperature electrolysis is a false one, as researching and supplying the references, not to mention typing them out, takes time.
I suggest you look up what they are actually doing in places like Germany,where Audi is using the otherwise wasted process heat from electrolysis to heat water for district heating, so that overall efficiency is up in the 80's.
A lot of the power supplied for the electrolysis is also things like stranded wind, which is otherwise thrown away, so it is not comparable since the efficiency without would be zero.
There are also umpteen other paths to hydrogen production, including the use of landfill to produce hydrogen..

As the report above noted, CO2 emissions from fuel cells are less than for BEVs at the average efficiency of the US grid.

Now that does not apply to solar powered cars, but there are pretty well none at all really doing that in the US at the moment, what they actually do is offset then tell porkies, and the batteries to store it would cost more money.

More tellingly though, solar is only less than 1% of the US electricity production.

Increasing that to a majority will not be trivial, and the biggest obstacle is storage, which hydrogen neatly solves.

Very large progress is also being made in the direct production of hydrogen from sunlight, so the notion that hydrogen is always going to be at an energy penalty over batteries is not true at the moment, and may never be true.

Its just someone's wild arsed guess, masquerading as fact.


I wanted to put my own medium sized diesel car (Ford Focus Econetic station wagon) on the “map” so I digitized the UC diagram and used the WTW data on feedstock and fuel production (WTT) to represent these parts of the WTW chain also for my car. The base is CO2 emissions of 88 g/km (in the NEDC test cycle) for this car. The fuel consumption of 3.4 l/100 km corresponds to 69.2 mpg US. The CO2 level of 88 g/km corresponds to 0.142 kg/mile and when I add the WTT data, I get 0.215 kg/mile. This is higher than the FCV but significantly better than the BEV. If we assume that the car mentioned would have a HEV drivetrain instead, with corresponding downsizing of the engine and reduction of fuel consumption, CO2 emissions would be reduced to ~0.16 kg/km.

I am the first to admit that my calculation is very simple (I could make a much better comparison, when I have more time available…) but nevertheless, it provokes some thoughts. For example, why do we need BEVs if a conventional ICE can give better results and why do we need FCVs if a diesel HEV could give similar results? Let me also point out that an FCV (normally) is also an electric hybrid, so one could consider the latter comparison quite technology-neutral, regarding this criterion, in any case. Finally, my car does not cost a fortune and it is available – now.


Peter XX:
You have neatly shown the perils of using only one metric.
Diesel has the disadvantage of killing rather a lot of people:
'A study led by researchers at UC Berkeley has found that diesel exhaust forms about seven times more secondary organic aerosols (SOA) than gasoline exhaust for the same mass of unburned fuel emissions and, given emission factors, can be expected to form 15 times more SOA than gasoline per liter of fuel burned. The study determined that, depending on a region’s fuel use, diesel exhaust is responsible for 65% to 90% of vehicular-derived SOA, with substantial contributions from aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons.'


Presumably supplies of diesel are not infinite also, abiotic oil aside, whereas hydrogen and electricity can both be produced in a variety of ways.

Bob Wallace

Dave, I started with your first link and quickly bogged down. Let me explain why -

Let me start with your first link -

"Fuel Infrastructure Costs: electricity vs. hydrogen
Electricity outlet fuel infrastructure.

“Type I” 120 V conventional home outlets would not be sufficient to charge most BEVs or PHEVs. As summarized in Table 1, it will take between 10 to 28 hours to charge car batteries using only a standard 120 V outlet. Most car owners will need access to at least a Type II 240-Volt outlet"

The average daily drive is 33 miles. About 6.5 hours on a 120 vac outlet. During the other hours out of the 10-12 most EVs will be pulled in they can accumulate extra hours for the days when they drive more.

At charging rates of "5 miles per hour" on a 120 vac outlet most EVs could soak up 50-60 miles a night. A large percentage of drivers would be fine with that.

For those who really do need more -

"They estimated that a Type II residential outlet
would cost between $1,250 and $2,146 each, based on average residential costs for installing a 240-V outlet."

At Home Depot a 240 vac 50 amp circuit breaker is $8.50. A surface mount 240 vac 50 amp outlet it $6.25. Add in some money for wire and plastic conduit and we're well under $50 for materials.

Hire an electrician for a half day (to do a <1 hour job) at $55 per hour and the entire job is done for about $300. ($55 is the going rate in SF, a high wage area.)

Sorry, I'm not willing to read further when something starts that wrong.

Now some of the other H2 wishful thinking:

1 - H2 generators will run on cheap off-peak electricity.

OK, and EVs can charge using cheap off-peak electricity. No advantage to H2 there.

Additionally let's just assume it would take $500 billion to build enough water crackers to replace all the country's oil refineries. Run them only during the 25% of the time when off-peak prices are low and you need 4x the number of crackers. $2 trillion worth. (Don't worry about the actual number, pay attention the the 4x part.)

2 - H2 generation could run off wind peaks when transmission lines can't carry the extra.

Well, now we're down to maybe 2% of the time at best. Likely far lower. We're going to install crackers in wind farms and run them <2% of the time? Build 50x the base number of crackers? And then we'd have to haul that hydrogen to market.

3 - We can make H2 from waste heat/whatever.

Exactly how much waste heat do we have? How efficient would it be to scatter H2 crackers around all the factories that have some waste heat? I'm betting we'd get only a small amount of the total H2 we'd need.

"You can see that the cost of fuel cells is projected at, from memory, a 500,000 volume to be less than $50kw."

500k is also the number that EV makers claim would make EVs as cheap as ICEVs. The question is how FCEVs could get to that number without massive expenditure on infrastructure.

The Hyundai Tucson has a 100-kilowatt stack. At $50 per kW that's $5,000. And they have to reach 500,000 unit sales to bring the price down that low.

A 60 kWh battery pack at $150/kWh would be $9,000. I suspect we'll reach $150/kWh batteries before $50/kW fuel cells. And $100/kWh batteries sooner which would make purchase prices about the same.

Battery cost will not likely be a factor of manufacturing a large number of EVs but by the intense competition to gain market share among all the different battery manufacturers. They will push very hard to get their manufacturing costs down and sell at low margins just to gain a good market share.

Then add in the 4x to 5x higher cost of fuel for the H2 FCEV.


You have to recognize the benefits of new technology. With catalyst, you do not get any SOA. With particle filters (DPF) you do not get any particles. All new diesel cars have catalysts and DPF. In USA, your stupid EPA does not bother to regulate small particles. New gasoline cars have 10x more particle number (PN) emissions than diesel cars. When this technology replaces old gasoline cars in the USA, PN emissions will increase and your air will become more and more harmful to human health. So, this is what you promote?

Case dismissed!


Assuming that the price of mass produced 100 kWh battery pack and 100 KW FC could eventually be about the same (as low as $5K), which technology would become the preferred one for extended range electrified vehicles?

1. Both would require a few thousand quick charge facilities (in USA)

2. BEVs quick charge are inherently slower and may require 3X as many stations-chargers as quick charge hydrogen facilities.

3. Considering 1) and 2) above, the total cost of each network may be almost the same.

4. At equivalent power/energy and range, FCs look smaller but require large hydrogen tanks. Total space needed may be in the same order as future extended range EVs.

5. The cost per miles-Km for hydrogen will most probably be higher than the cost for electricity for equivalent EVs miles-Km, unless the cost of making and distributing hydrogen comes down. However, it may be higher than electricity for a long time.

6. One major point in favor of extended range FCEVs could be that they will be available 5 to 10 years before equivalent extended range BEVs. Would that be enough to take a major share of the market?

7. Would the market decide to make BEVs short range vehicles and FCEVs for extended range?


Could the majority use BEVs for daily use and short trips and rent FCEVs for long trips or vacations?

That way, EVs charging facilities would be installed at home and in cities/town and FCEVs refill stations on highways etc.

Roger Pham

H2 from SMR (from NG) is very cheap, and can be had for about $3/gge retail, in the USA. The concern that H2 will be more expensive than grid electricity for FCV vs BEV is unfounded. Even from RE, H2 can be cheaply produced due to access to lower-cost RE than RE to grid electricity. Energy cost is not an issue for H2-FCEV.

Bob Wallace

Harvey, we would need hydrogen stations for 100% of all H2 FCEV miles. We would need rapid chargers for less than 5% of BEV miles.

Roger, H2 from NG is shooting ourselves in the head. We must cut our use of fossil fuels. H2 in FCEV isn't cheaper than driving with oil. If we're not going to reduce our GHG levels we might as well stick with oil.

"Even from RE, H2 can be cheaply produced due to access to lower-cost RE than RE to grid electricity"

If you want to make H2 with RE you have to start with 3x as much RE to drive the same distance in an EV using RE.

Even before infrastructure costs are added in H2 from RE is 3x more expensive per mile than using the electricity directly in an EV.

This is a major problem for H2 FCEVs. Fueling a FCEV will be 4x to 5+x more expensive than charging an EV.

The long term winner will depend largely on whether we can develop higher capacity EV batteries or find a way to make hydrogen several times cheaper than we now can.

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