DLR wrapping up ECLIF in-flight study of emissions from alternative aviation fuels; potential for improved fuel design
California ARB holding informational meeting on feasibility of measuring LEV III PM mass standards

DOE awards more than $20M to advance fuel cell technologies; new report highlights strong market growth

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded more than $20 million to 10 projects to advance fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, and to enable early adoption of fuel cell applications such as light-duty fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) (DE-FOA-0001224, earlier post).

The announcement of the latest investment come along with release of a new DOE report—“Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report 2014”—showing the fuel cell industry is continuing to grow at an unprecedented rate, totaling more than $2.2 billion in sales in 2014. The report describes data compiled in 2015 on trends in the fuel cell industry for 2014 with some comparison to previous years.

These projects … will continue to make advances in our rapidly-expanding portfolio of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Energy Department-supported projects have helped reduce the modeled cost of transportation fuel cells by 50% since 2006, and more than double durability and reduce the amount of platinum necessary by a factor of five.

—Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson

Seven of the projects address the hydrogen and fuel cells research and development area including hydrogen production via microbial biomass conversion; low platinum group metal catalyst development for fuel cell applications; development of integrated intelligent hydrogen dispensers; and hydrogen delivery pipeline manufacturing.

Three projects were selected to address early market and demonstration. These include the demonstration of mobile hydrogen refueling technology to address the lack of widespread hydrogen fueling stations; and fuel cell-powered range extenders for light-duty hybrid electric vehicles.

In addition, the city of Ithaca, New York has proposed to become home to one of the first commercial hydrogen-electrolyzer fueling stations in the northeastern United States and to ramp up outreach through the use of FCEVs.

Market report. The hydrogen and fuel cell market continues to grow rapidly. According to the new report, the industry grew by almost $1 billion in 2014, reaching $2.2 billion in sales—up from $1.3 billion in 2013. In addition, more than 50,000 fuel cells were shipped worldwide in 2014, totalling 180 MW.

Fcto

Other items of note:

  • Almost 10% of Fortune 500 companies now use fuel cells for stationary or motive power generation.

  • Of the top 100 companies on the Fortune list, 25% use fuel cells. These fuel cells are often deployed in multiple locations, powering forklifts, data centers, cell phone towers, and corporate or retail facilities.

  • More than 2,500 fuel cells for material handling vehicles were ordered or installed in 2014, bringing the number of fuel cell-powered forklifts in North America to more than 7,500 units, located at more than 60 warehouses and distribution facilities in 20 states and Canada.

  • Commercial introduction of FCEVs started in late 2014, when Hyundai started leasing vehicles in southern California and in a number of countries around the world. Toyota is beginning FCEV sales in the US, and Honda claims its FCEV sales will start in 2016.

  • More than 90 new, planned, or upgraded hydrogen fueling stations were announced worldwide.

  • California’s Energy Commission awarded $46.6 million for 28 new public hydrogen stations and one mobile hydrogen refueler. The state will provide at least $20 million annually until an initial network of 100 hydrogen stations exists in California.

Comments

HarveyD

FCs (and H2 lower cost production, improved storage and effective distribution networks) deserve as much attention and subsidies as other clean energy solutions and certainly more than OLD coal, NG, Oil and bio-fuel polluting industries.

DaveD

Harvey,
No they don't deserve as much attention and subsidies. They are a distraction that takes us away from real solutions and they don't solve any problems but rather keep us beholden to oil and gas companies.

Lad

Harvey:
Elon Musk on H2( about 10 minutes ten seconds in):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_e7rA4fBAo

CheeseEater88

I'm just looking forward to the day I could buy a EV and not drive it 500K+ miles just to be on cost parity with an ICE.(That was supposed to be some time ago) I don't know if I could commit to a small 1st-ish gen BEV for that length of time.

I drive about 150 miles a day currently... I may even have to make the odd cross country trip for work too... a $40K is just not cost beneficial right now versus an ICE.

We need about $9.00/gallon gas to make current EVs look attractive. EVs need to be competitive on $3-4.00/gallon gas before I jump ship.(without having to drive the car into the ground.)

Fuel cells will get into the full size SUV market before EVs would be my guess. They'd also probably do well in large mileage/towing applications too.

CheeseEater88

EVs would be very well suited for an autonomous taxi service... where they could run 16-20hours a day... running 200K+ miles a year, the benefits could be easily attained in 3-10 years with current gas prices.

That, and likely OEMs would pay the fleet to study the cars.

Things prohibiting this would be government... there are lots of silly requirements about vehicles/drivers that would need to change for this to become a reality.

HarveyD

I have to agree with you that $100K for a practical extended range BEV is too much. It reminds me of the prices I (and we all paid) for early (very low performance PCs, Monitors, Printers, flat LCD/LED TVs, digital cameras and associated batteries etc)

Fortunately, performances have gone up 10+ times and prices have come down 10 times in the last 10+ years or so.

The same thing will and is happening with EV batteries and extended range BEVs. EV batteries price will come down from over $1000/kWh to under $100/kWh by 2020 or so.

Early in the next decade, mid-size extended range BEVs will be available at $30K or less.

More vicious endless fighting in the Middle East and growing problems between Russia and EU will bring diesel and gasoline price to over $2.65/L or $10/gal in many countries. Running polluting ICEVs will soon cost more than running clean extended range equivalent BEVs.

HarveyD

Meanwhile, FCEVs could be a competitive technology where intermittent Solar and Wind energies are used, for long range heavy vehicles, machines and locomotives, and where cold winters require a lot of energy to keep the passenger cabin warm.

Much lower cost H2 will soon become as reality from excess intermittent energy sources, excess Hydro and excess Nuke energy.

There is enough sunshine and water to supply all the H2 required.

CheeseEater88

You'll have to remember that liquid fuels will be around for a long while. They won't go away by anything other than legislation. They are too good of an energy source. Liquid fuels aren't even stopped by a war on carbon dioxide. Predictions are $3-5/gallon (some less) from waste/renewables.... EVs have to compete with a fuel that is abundant/available/cheap and effective. Not some $9/gal dream world.
Brazil basically runs on a first Gen biofuel. There are better solutions than sugarcane.
The only thing that could come close to our liquid fuel addiction is H2 as far as range and fueling times and not be totally price prohibited for larger cars/trucks.

The Bolt will likely be the first decent "Affordable" long range BEV. Coming in around $39k I was excited... But its still possible to buy a cheap gasser in the same size class and drive for years before a payback could be seen with the Bolt. 20-25k it would have been almost justifiable... But subcompacts are generally efficient and good mileage and a cheap cost of ownership isn't hard to find.

Its going to take a $25k subcompact with 180mile range to really compete. 30for a midsized, 40k for a large... 1500 trucks and Suvs would have very impressive to move the market... 60k with maybe 160kwh of battery maybe more... But the real crux of the BEV and nearly everyone for them doesn't see it is the gross vehicle weight... Sure you can load it to the gills with batteries and have it perform like a gasser or even better... But there are lots of safety and legal things that need to be observed... The model S and X weigh more than a full size SUV like the Expedition, push the weight high enough we could be talking 6000-7000lbs curb weight if ev trucks get going... What would that do to payload? Or just abilities to have passengers... Its just a weird thing to think about... Ev trucks being more than light duty out of necessity.

Hydrogen and hybrids will fuel our large vehicles. A thirty mile hybrid in a truck would be fantastic and would save tremendous amounts of liquid fuel and have an unlimited range and duty.

Account Deleted

CE88

I think you are fairly accurate about what kind of price level that would make BEVs price competitive with non-luxury gassers if they are sold to individuals. Also you are spot on realizing that if BEVs where autonomous taxis they could serve many and they could log a lot of miles quickly making them profitable even at very high cost for the BEV taxi relative to a gasser taxi.

Tesla is the only one who has some experience with what kind of range it take to kill range anxiety. They could not sell the 160 miles range Model S40. Nor could they sell the 208 miles range Model S60 but they are selling the 230 miles range Model S70. I therefore think that 230 miles is the minimum that say 95% of all potential car owners will accept for a BEV.

However, you are wrong about hydrogen. It sells for 14 USD per kg needed to go 60 miles in a small underpowered car. Way more expensive than gas. Also it does not have better volumetric energy density than batteries when used to power a car. Moreover, batteries keep getter better whereas hydrogen has already reached its maximum potential for volumetric energy density and that is worse than the volumetric energy density of the battery system in Tesla's Model S. In other words, it is impossible to build a Model S FCV that would not have to sacrifice some or all of its trunk space to obtain the same range.

The only argument that remains for FCVs is that they refill fast. Apartment dwellers without a fixed parking spot cannot buy a BEV today because they can't easily get it charged. With fully autonomous cars that problem will also go away as the BEV owner in an apartment can simply order to car to drive away and use the nearest available charger in order to charge itself and then return automatically or when summoned by its owner. We will certainly get fully autonomous cars before 2025 and FCV will at that time still not sell in volume and they will have less range than BEVs from Tesla and others so it will be game over before 2025 for FCV and everybody will be able to see it clearly by then. By 2025 also expect Tesla and others to shift to high voltage BEV drive trains with 800 to 1200 Volts. That would enable supercharging at 240k to 360k watt. At 360k watt a BEV Model S could charge another 250 miles in just 15 minutes.

CheeseEater88

Drivetrains don't have to be 800+ volts... but yes it does make sense to avoid additional DC to DC conversion.

The issue I was stressing was the shear weight of batteries... that needs to come down before they can get into trucks and SUVs and anything that makes a living transporting items. If half of your gross comes from the tractor its going to hurt profits on over the road trucking.


There are LOTS of laws that need to change to enable autonomous driving in the US and abroad... and then comes who is ultimately accountable in a crash?

but... I think 2030 is more likely when well see BEVs as ICE competetors in the smaller vehicles, and around the same time most mass marketed vehicles will come with an optioned auto pilot or something to that nature..

SJC

"Demonstration and Deployment of Plug-In Fuel Cell Hybrid Electric Light-Duty Vehicle."

FCEVs which are PHEVs with fuel extenders make LOTS of sense when you reform bio methanol on board. Getting closer to sustainable transportation with realistic solutions that work and get used by millions of people makes more sense than saying everyone else should buy an EV.

HarveyD

Who drives around with ICEVs with a 4 gallon gas tank and running out of gas at every major traffic jam or snow storm? It would be a real mess!

Why should people drive around with short range 100 miles/160 Km BEVs and run out of electrons at every traffic jam or snow storm. It would be a worse mess?

Current FCEVs, HEVs, PHEVs can all do 500+ Km and Future BEVs must have 500+ Km extended range to be practical as a family vehicle.

Batteries will have to catch up!!!!

CheeseEater88

Harvey, they assume electric highways, super fast charging, and lighter than air batteries or some miracle breakthroughs... I really wonder why people assume that every thing will be okay over the span of 5 years raise gas prices to $10/gal. People know their food and other general living necessities almost always travel by some form of liquid fueled transportation at least once in its life span?

It would cost me $15000 a year more to fuel my car if it hit 10/gal, food and other purchases would no doubt be effected. My cost of living would be substantially higher. A top of the line Tesla would be cheap!!! Though I couldn't afford it.. So likely I would have to be on sort of welfare,
So yeah the plan would be what exactly??? Subsidize middle class and lower with luxury exotics like the model S and cars that don't exist yet? Or what about trucking and people that need trucks for work? New trucks for them that tow 12,000lbs-80,000lbs and have 300+mile range while doing so?
Or give gas credits and undo the tax through rebates?
It would be suicide of anything like this passed in Washington.

The only way to satiate the public and the select few greenies, is to transition from crude to renewables the same way it has been happening slowly with a fair amount of incentives, you can't rush these things. Infrastructure and businesses need to form, the EV for the general public doesn't exist yet, trucking doesn't have anything on the radar yet. They need to be tangible before you can require society to use them.

HarveyD

Good points CE88.

A dual technology (BEVs + FCEVs) approach is still a strong possibility. Long range heavy vehicles and all weather passenger vehicles need too many (costly and heavy) batteries to operate.

The comments to this entry are closed.