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Ipsos poll finds 64% of Canadians would consider buying or leasing fuel cell vehicle if available

Eight in ten (80%) Canadians “agree” (33% strongly/48% somewhat) that “electric cars are the way of the future”, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Hyundai. Just two in ten (20%) “disagree” (3% strongly/17% somewhat). Three quarters (75%) of Canadians “agree” (32% strongly/44% somewhat) that they would “like to have a car that is not powered by traditional gasoline”, while only one in four (25%) “disagree” (7% strongly/18% somewhat) that they would like to drive such a car.

However, the poll also found that a majority (71%) “agrees” (25% strongly/46% somewhat) that “constantly having to charge electric cars is a pain” (29% disagree – 7% strongly/22% somewhat). While most (90%) can “agree” (45% strongly/45% somewhat) that “cars that operate on an alternate source of fuel rather than traditional gasoline are great for the environment” and that they’re “innovative” (89% agree – 38% strongly/51% somewhat), two in three (67%) also “agree” (20% strongly/47% somewhat) that they would “like to own an eco-friendly car but electric-powered cars are too much hassle”. One in three (33%) “disagrees” (8% strongly/25% somewhat) that electric-powered cars are too much hassle. Only one in four (24%) say they’re “familiar” (3% very/22% somewhat) with hydrogen fuel cell technology, while most (76%) are not (43% not very/32% not at all familiar – never heard of it).

Providing a basic description of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles—hydrogen and air react in the fuel cell to generate electricity and water; electricity powers the car battery and motor; the only in-use emission or byproduct created is pure water—the poll found:

  • Nine in ten (89%) “agree” (38% strongly/52% somewhat) that “it has a positive impact on the environment”, while one in ten (11%) “disagrees” (2% strongly/9% somewhat).

  • Most (86%) “agree” (38% strongly/47% somewhat) that “zero emissions vehicles are key to Canada reducing its carbon emissions”, while 14% “disagree” (3% strongly/11% somewhat).

  • Eight in ten (80%) “agree” (30% strongly/50% somewhat) that they “would like the government to provide more support for hydrogen fuel cell technology”, while just two in ten (20%) “disagree” (4% strongly/16% somewhat).

  • Eight in ten (77%) “agree” (23% strongly/54% somewhat) that “hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles are the way of the future”, while 23% “disagree” (3% strongly/19% somewhat).

  • Six in ten (58%) “agree” (10% strongly/47% somewhat) that “it can’t stand up to Canada’s cold weather”, while four in ten (42%) “disagree” (6% strongly/36% somewhat).

  • Three in ten (27%) “agree” (4% strongly/23% somewhat) that the “technology is dangerous”, while seven in ten (73%) “disagree” (19% strongly/55% somewhat) that it is.

Overall, two in three (64%) Canadians “agree” (17% strongly/47% somewhat) that they would “consider buying or leasing a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle if it was available in their area”, while one in three (36%) “disagree” (9% strongly/27% somewhat) and would not consider driving such a vehicle.

The Ipsos poll was conducted between 27 May and 1 June 2015 on behalf of Hyundai. For this survey, a sample of 1,501 Canadians from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The poll is accurate to within ±2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

In January 2015, Hyundai became the first automotive company to offer hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles to the Canadian public. The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) (earlier post) is available to Canadians on a 3-year lease in the Vancouver area. The Tucson FCEV takes less than 5 minutes to refuel and has an estimated range of more than 420 km (261 miles).

In an effort to demonstrate the benefits of fuel cell technology in a Canadian environment, Hyundai commissioned a broad environmental impact study conducted by Offsetters, a Canada-based provider of sustainability and carbon-management solutions.

Taking into consideration the emissions created during the production of hydrogen fuel, the study found that the Hyundai Tucson FCEV creates 167.3 gCO2e per km driven on a well-to-wheel basis, whereas a comparable ICE vehicle produces 279.6 gCO2e per km driven. Driving the Tucson FCEV, as opposed to a comparable ICE, would result in 40% fewer GHG emissions.

Both FCEV and ICE fuels were compared using the GHGenius model, which is supported by Natural Resources Canada. For the production of hydrogen, Offsetters assumed 90% natural gas production and 10% electrolysis production.

…the life cycle emissions of a FCEV are inherently tied to how the hydrogen is produced. There are many ways to produce hydrogen, and some are less carbon intensive than others. Currently the majority of hydrogen produced in North America is from natural gas via steam methane reforming, a highly carbon intensive process. Should energy sources move to cleaner technologies, such as low carbon gasification and electrolysis from renewable power sources like wind, solar, and hydroelectric, it would have profound implications on the life cycle emissions of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles such as the Hyundai Tucson FCEV. As cleaner technologies are developed over time, they will help to further reduce the GHG emissions of the Tucson FCEV. In fact, hydrogen production from renewable sources could approach zero total life cycle emissions.

—“Studying the Environmental Benefits of the Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle”

In terms of Criteria Air Contaminants (CACs), driving the Tucson FCEV results in full lifecycle g/km reductions of:

  • SOx: 69.09%
  • NOx: 37.44%
  • VOCs: 96.37%
  • PM: 63.41%
  • CO: 99.55%

All CACs for the FCEV are produced upstream—i.e., in the production of the hydrogen. Tailpipe emissions are zero.

In every category assessed, the results indicated that Hyundai’s Tucson FCEV performs better with regards to CACs than a comparable ICE. Additionally, due to the difference in where the CACs are generated, i.e. outside of densely populated areas for FCEVs and within these areas for ICEs, the negative impacts from FCEVs on human health are lower when compared to ICE vehicles.

—“Studying the Environmental Benefits of the Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle”

Comments

HarveyD

This is very different from what many posters have been saying about FECVs very low acceptance?

Many Canadians and Americans would accept to initially pay more for FCEVs running on clean H2 from REs.

The new clean H2 infrastructures required could be one more excellent business endeavour. Our (public) very large Hydro producer/distributor could easily build and operate all the local clean H2 stations required while making a decent profit. It would put an end to endless pipeline debates, oil search, oil trains, dirty refineries, smelly gas stations etc.

Bob Wallace

I wonder about this survey. Where can we see the actual questions?

Did they actually pitch their EV items in negative ways?

“constantly having to charge electric cars is a pain”

“like to own an eco-friendly car but electric-powered cars are too much hassle”

Did they ask people if they would purchase a H2 FCEV if they cost significantly more per mile than a very efficient ICEV like a Prius? How about multiple times more than an EV?

Who paid for this survey?

Hyundai. The manufacturer of the Tucson hydrogen fuel cell car.

Paroway

“constantly having to charge electric cars is a pain”

“like to own an eco-friendly car but electric-powered cars are too much hassle”

Try finding a hydrogen filling station. Besides, an FCEV IS an EV with the added complexity of an FC.

HarveyD

Its all a question of driving range, specially on cold winter days.

The only EV to barely qualify is the TESLA S85D @ $100,000+ (in Canada).

Current and future FCEVs will easily quality for 500+ Km winter time range for less. Clean H2 stations availability IS NOT a real problem and will soon be solved in many countries, starting in Germany, California, Japan, So-Korea and many more to come. Building clean H2 stations is a much better investment than fighting expensive Oil and deadly Jihad wars.

It is time to pull out from those places and invest the huge savings home?

Mike999

I call bullsh*t.
The Chevy Volt is out now, it's less expensive, with an electric battery that can be charged cheaply from your home, and no Range Anxiety.

Because there are virtually NO Hydrogen Stations in Canada.

Also, Hydrogen is a rolling terrorist target.

Hydrogen Summary of Failure

Hydrogen stations make excellent explosive terrorist targets.
Hydrogen stations are very expensive, cost per station: $1 Million, who is going to be forced to pay for this?
Hydrogen stations not pumping at the 10,000 psi required, you’re only getting Half Charges!

Difficult to make hydrogen and store it.  
Hydrogen isn’t a source of energy, you can’t mine it, you can convert something else to hydrogen, like methane, but then you lose energy in the process.  
Hydrogen from water( in a global drought? ), is extremely inefficient.  
Hydrogen from methane gives you No Help with global warming, it actually makes things worse.  As methane wells typically leak like sieves
Hydrogen must be supercooled and compressed to 10,000 psi to store sufficient energy, which requires lots of energy.
Burning it as a fuel is less than 50% efficient.
The energy to do all this could be used to directly run an EV from a battery, and get you Twice as far.
Hydrogen likes to leak.
Hydrogen has a general problem of metal embrittlement, so you need special tanks.
Hydrogen leaks as an invisible gas.
Hydrogen is extremely flammable with an invisible flame.
Right now hydrogen is a loser vs. current batteries, not to speak of the battery chemistry in the coming solid state batteries.
Chevy Volt gets better MPG, at a Lower Price, and allows you to use cheap solar energy for your fuel, and hydrogen does not. We will not run out of gas during the EV conversion process.
Platinum in the fuel cell = expensive.

Hydrogen time refueling vs. solar.
Solar: You plug in at your home, Time 60 seconds.
Hydrogen: You drive 20 minutes, or to California, to the station 10 minute refuel, 20 minutes back home: 50 minutes lost.

Hydrogen Cars were built on the premise that we’d need a "Bridge Fuel" to EV’s, however battery tech has advanced so rapidly that there is no need for a bridge, especially one as wasteful and expensive as this.

EV's running on Solar helps pay off your Solar investment 20%-40% faster = More PROFITS to YOU.

yoatmon

@ Mike999
I can underline every single point you made in your comment. I've posted all these points and more on many different blogs over and over again. My experience is that repeating those facts doesn't make them more appealing to Fool Cell proponents. Its similar to explaining a sight to someone who has been born blind and cannot differentiate between myriads of colours and can't perceive the overall impression received from such a view. Anyone convinced of the lies he has been fed with thousands of times is wary of the truth he encounters only a few times.

HarveyD

Mike 999....many of your assumptions are far from being 100% correct.

Facts:

1) For the same 500+ Km range in cold weather, the average FCEV does not cost more (to buy) than an equivalent extended range BEV with the 120+ kWh battery pack required.

2) Refills every 500 Km are a lot faster (5X to 7X) for FCEVs than with extended range BEVs.

3) In areas with surplus REs (Hydro-Wind-Solar) clean H2 will be produced and stored 24/7 at competitive price.

4) Many (50% to 60%) potential electrified vehicle owners do not have access to home charging facilities and will have to spend hours at public charging facilities to fill up with electricity from CPPs, NGPPs etc.

5) Utilities can be licensed to progressively build and operate clean H2 stations at a fair profit as soon as demand is there.

JMartin

Build them and they will come -- or not. Why argue reality when the market will decide?

Bob Wallace

Have you noticed all the market excitement over the Toyota Mirai?

It's taking the world by storm, er, actually not....

dursun

In another poll, 4 out of 5 dentists prefer sugarless gum.

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