UH team reports new catalyst efficiently produces hydrogen from seawater; promising for large-scale hydrogen production, desalination
The majority of vehicle buyers are older than 54

Lifecycle CO2 balance of Mercedes-Benz EQC as low as 17.1t CO2 with hydropower

The lifecycle CO2 balance of the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4MATIC is as low as 17.1 tonnes of CO2 when the electricity is produced by hydropower; 16.4 tonnes of that is from the production of the vehicle itself.

19C0910_009

On the average EU electricity mix, the lifecycle CO2 balance almost doubles to 32.4 tonnes CO2, based on the 360˚ environmental check by Mercedes; the results were verified by TÜV Süd. The calculations for the EQC are based on a driving distance of 200,000 kilometers (124,000 miles).

EVs have a higher production phase CO2 burden than conventional vehicles. During subsequent operation, and depending on their power source, electric vehicles can compensate the initially higher CO2 emissions that occur during production, due to the production of the battery cells. If one is able to operate electric vehicles only with renewable energy sources, the CO2 emissions compared to those of vehicles with combustion engines shrink by up to 70% over the lifecycle.

The 360° environmental check is not just about CO2 emissions and energy requirements. In order to gauge a vehicle’s environmental compatibility, the experts consider all emissions and the use and consumption of resources over the entire lifecycle.

In production, the drive components specific to the EQC also require a greater use of material and energy resources compared to a conventionally powered vehicle. The proportion of steel and iron is reduced by the omission of a combustion engine and transmission plus their peripheral units. On the other hand, the proportion of polymers, light alloys and other metals is increased.

The curb weight of the EQC 400 4MATIC is 2420 kilograms (5,335 lbs). The largest proportion omitted is 39% for steel and iron, followed by light-alloys (23%) and polymers, i.e. plastics (18 percent).

For this reason, one developmental focus is on further reducing the use of resources and the environmental impacts of the materials used. Compared to current electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, Mercedes-Benz intends to reduce the use of primary resources in the powertrain and battery technology by 40% by 2030.

To this end, the use of resource-saving materials such as recycled plastics and renewable raw materials in the vehicles is constantly being extended. As just one example, the high-quality “Response” upholstery fabric that has been newly developed for the EQC is made completely from recycled PET plastic bottles.

Recycled plastic materials are likewise used in typical applications such as for the lining of the spare wheel recess or the covers for the underside of the engine compartment. Renewable raw materials such as hemp, kenaf, wool and paper are also used. Kenaf fibres are for example used for the lining of the load compartment, while a paper honeycomb is used within the load compartment floor.

In the new EQC a total of 100 components plus small parts such as push studs, plastic nuts and cable fasteners with a total weight of 55.7 kilograms can be produced partially from resource-friendly materials.

The EQC has a compact electric drivetrain at each axle, giving the vehicle the driving characteristics of an all-wheel drive. The asynchronous motors have a combined maximum output of 300 kW. The centerpiece of the Mercedes-Benz EQC is the lithium-ion battery arranged in the vehicle floor. With an energy content of 80 kWh (NEDC), it employs a sophisticated operating strategy to supply the vehicle with power, enabling an electric range of 445 - 471 km (NEDC).

Comments

Davemart

I find the notion that fuel cells and hydrogen are in some sort of opposition to the electrification of transport, 'fool cells' as they are termed by fools, absurd.

'The curb weight of the EQC 400 4MATIC is 2420 kilograms (5,335 lbs). The largest proportion omitted is 39% for steel and iron, followed by light-alloys (23%) and polymers, i.e. plastics (18 percent).'

So how is it possible to reduce that emission (omission is obviously a typo)?

Here we go:
https://fuelcellsworks.com/news/world-first-in-duisburg-as-nrw-economics-minister-pinkwart-launches-tests-at-thyssenkrupp-into-blast-furnace-use-of-hydrogen/

Use hydrogen instead of coke to produce the steel!

In fact batteries and fuel cells are twin technologies, intimately related.

Where the characteristics of batteries do the job, fine, use them.
Where fuel cells are needed, often in partnership with batteries, then use them.

They are way more effective together than separately and augment and enable each other.

Engineer-Poet

We've really got a division between the hypedrogen hordes on one side, and every other kind of fuel cell on the other side.  That other side includes solid-oxide and methanol FCs.

Remember that when we were right on the edge of getting our 80-MPG PNGV cars and achieving oil independence again by 2010, oil-financed GWB killed the program (which set us back more than 20 years) and gave us the hypedrogen Freedom Car program instead.  Notice what we STILL don't have in any kind of quantity?  And the few we do have are

  • fueled at central stations,
  • mostly from hydrogen made from natural gas.
It is right back in the pocket of the oilco's, controlling everything.

A PHEV with a methanol FC gives the consumer far more choices about what to run on and where to get it.  It's the mandatory reliance on hydrogen, controlled by a few companies, which is the trouble with the "clean" FC model.

Davemart

Both Toyota and Hyundai are putting in the capacity right now to ramp PEM fuel cells ten fold.

They have the data, and they are committing hundreds of millions, whilst a $1.2 group of companies are committing billions into infrastructure etc,

Hydrogen production and infrastructure reduces costs throughout the value chain, from hydrogen for steel, trains, ships and trams to cars, so progress in one helps all the others.

But what do Toyota and Hyundai know about drive trains for cars compared to internet bloggers?

Engineer-Poet
Both Toyota and Hyundai are putting in the capacity right now to ramp PEM fuel cells ten fold.

I went digging for Mirai sales figures.  Apparently only about 6000 had been made as of 2018, just 3000 in 2018.  You can't even use a Mirai in most of the USA because you can't get fuel; Tesla ALONE is selling 90,000+ vehicles per quarter and can use literally any electric outlet.

Hydrogen production and infrastructure reduces costs throughout the value chain

And the only realistically cheap sources are natural gas... and coal.  Making H2 from "renewables" multiplies the cost several-fold over direct use of the electricity.

But what do Toyota and Hyundai know about drive trains for cars compared to internet bloggers?

Internet bloggers read more than just marketing hype.  6000 Mirais stepping up to 30,000 per year, versus 400,000 Leafs as of March 2019.  It is obvious where the infrastructure advantage and momentum is.  If incentives and subsidies were equalized tomorrow, hydrogen vehicle fuel would disappear and the Mirai with it.  Hydrogen just plain costs too much, and on top of that it's dangerous.

Davemart

The first Mirai was never intended for volume production, but to aquire expertise to enable cheaper higher volume.

That is how responsible companies ramp production of new technology, and Uchiyamada, now Chairman of TMC, was the man in charge of the Prius program, where their hybrids now account for over 11 million cars sold.

He has instituted the same methods to methodically increase fuel cell production as he used for the Prius.
Back in 2016 here was the plan:

' Toyota will produce about a couple thousand fuel-cell cars this year, but plans to reach production and global sales of about 30,000 units by 2020. That’s four short years away. To achieve that goal, production and component costs will need to be reduced and production processes must be reconfigured for greater scale.

Currently, the Toyota Mirai is produced on the company’s famed Motomachi assembly line by a select group of about 13 workers, who do much of the work by hand. Each of those team members must memorize and install 200 or more different parts—in order to gain a deep understanding of the whole vehicle and the unique requirements for assembling a fuel-cell car. As Mirai production volume grows and the company starts building other hydrogen models, those same workers will train an expanded production team.'

http://www.fuelcellcars.com/toyota-plans-smaller-affordable-fuel-cell-car-by-2020-olympics/

That sounds to me like a program which is on track, and indeed fuel cell cars have consistently met or exceeded milestone targets, which is why the big boys are expanding production by an order of magnitude.

As a physicist and head of the Prius program, Uchiyamada is unlikely to have become arithmetically confused on energy efficiencies and so on, as blogger critics routinely assume.

None of this means that Toyota have turned their back on batteries.
Since the foundation of TMC they have invested billions in their development, with the aim being the 'Sakitchi' battery named in honour of their founder.

They are currently among the leaders in the introduction of solid state batteries, and hoping to show a prototype in time for the Olympics.

But a truly practical economic battery for long range BEVs is a tough ask, ex subsidy and mandate, so Toyota are working to the real performance envelope of batteirs, and using whatever technology will do the job.

Long range in all weathers at a good price and with longevity is the goal, and hydrogen and fuel cells can do that.

Engineer-Poet

It doesn't matter how good/cheap your FCs are if you can't afford the fuel for them.

The avowed goal is to operate on "renewable" energy, but the end-to-end losses of wind and PV to hydrogen back to electricity are enormous and multiply the cost.  The cost and losses of storage have to be added to this, because in an all-RE system you have no stockpiles of fossil fuels to serve as your buffer against lulls in supply and surges in demand.  These can be reduced somewhat, but thermodynamic limits mean that they cannot be reduced enough.  That cuts into the already-low EROEI of "renewables" and makes it impossible to run an industrial society on them.

The upshot is that the "hydrogen economy" will be permanently tied to steam-reformed methane and gasified coal.  It's a dead end, leading to a dead planet.

Davemart

That is not the DOE's take on the costs of hydrogen, nor that of energy authorities in Europe, where the inherent surpluses of a high proportion of renewables in the grid are to be used.

Proponents of BEV only approaches ignore that production of hydrogen for steel making, ships, trains and trams together with ammonia production will drive costs at the bulk level down, and there is no way at all that batteres can provide solutions to those industries,

That leaves transport to the fuel station as the remaining cost.

There are umpteen solutions to that too, in action and prospective.

Being able to rule out hydrogen would require perfect foreknowledge of what technologies will work , and a wild guess that betteries are going to hit all their far more speculative targets, with very low costs dependent on 'merely' the use of the present lab top only lithium air batteries and so on.

Not fancying a technology does not mean that it is sensible to rule out progress in it.

There are far too many possible routes to competitively priced hydrogen for me to go through many of them here, or for any sensible person to rule them out as impossible, and only some of them have to work.

But for instance here is Nikola, who use the existing NEL electrolysers and solar arrays, which of course are commodity items:

'Nikola expects the cost of the hydrogen fuel to be about 4 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity to produce, resulting in a retail cost of about $6 per kilogram. Lokke said that is about half of what it currently costs in California. Part of the cost remaining low is because the stations will produce much of their own hydrogen, so transportation costs have been eliminated, as have lifecycle emissions.'
https://www.freightwaves.com/news/fuel/hydrogen-station-installations-to-start-by-2021

Are they going to hit their cost targets?

I dunno.

But neither do you, and the notion that not only that but all other approaches can be definitively and absolutely ruled out ab initio is absurd, and a gross and somewhat megalomanic inflation.

At bus depots reformed hydrogen comes in at something like $5kg, mainly due to the higher volume buses use than the current small FCEV car fleets,

So another technology, carbon capture to deal with the remaining CO2 emissions, in any case far lower than the present diesel fleets, is simply being dismissed as impossible with a wave of the hand.

I don't know, Toyota don't know, and neither does anyone else how the various technologies will pan out

But sensible people and companies work within their limitations, and develop technologies to see which ones work out.

Picking 'inevitable' winners in a fit of grandiosity is neither adult nor sensible.

yoatmon

I'm doing just fine with my BEV and PV-system on the roof of my home. No problems whatsoever with range anxiety. Batteries are "dirt cheap" compared to FCs and overall - four times more efficient. A car with a FC is prone to expensive maintenance. Any corrective maintenance requires the complete removal of H2 from all piping of the vehicle and flushing same with CO2. I'm completely independent from "big oil" and that is a wonderful feeling. As far as I'm concerned, H2 and FCs for private mobility are nothing less than a hoax. I'd even reject both as a gift. Virtually everyone can do electric power for a fair price but how many can do H2?

yoatmon

Presently, everyone owning and operating a conventional vehicle is a "cash cow" on the pastures of big oil.

Davemart

@yoatman:

You are either entirely ignorant of the subject or are wilfully spreading misinformation.

You assume zero losses in generation and transmission to arrive at 4 times the efficiency.

Of course you have your magic solar array.

But are you connected to the grid, or is your claim to energy independence as fraudulent as the rest?

You are relying on off setting, and being a welfare charge on others to provide your fossil fuelled power in the night, the early morning with peak draw, and in the winter.

The difference is that hydrogen really can provide zero carbon power at all times of the year.

You are faking it,.

And where is the evidence for your claim that fuel cell cars are high maintenance?

Fleets like GreenTomato using tens of Mirai cars reckon that they are as reliable as any other Toyota, and maintenance is cheaper.

Contrast that with for instance Tesla, where a small fleet had to give up, as they could not even get the parts reliably from Tesla.

So back up your claims of high maintenance for FCEVs, or shut up

And stop claiming fossil free independence when you are a freeloader on the grid.

Engineer-Poet
That is not the DOE's take on the costs of hydrogen, nor that of energy authorities in Europe, where the inherent surpluses of a high proportion of renewables in the grid are to be used.

I was unable to find anything about the source the DOE expects to use for this hydrogen.  Of course, cheap NG + SMR yields cheap H2.  We've seen on this site processes which take methane from the pipeline, add water, and reform it to H2... with no obvious disposal for the CO2 other than dumping in the atmosphere.  This is not a solution.

Europe is smoking something very, very strong.  The round-trip losses for electrolysis and fuel cells are over 50% and probably closer to 60%.  That does not include the unavoidable losses in liquefaction for short-term storage and conversion to room-temperature liquids like NH3 for long-term storage, nor the costs in infrastructure, O&M and interest thereof.  Then there's the CO2 emissions involved in making the concrete and steel for all of that.  They'll go broke.

Proponents of BEV only approaches

Which I am not.  I suspect that the optimum spot for the next several decades will be PHEVs.  It is very expensive to make batteries a 100% solution; it is much cheaper to make batteries a 70% solution and do the remaining 30% with some kind of renewable liquid fuel.

production of hydrogen for steel making, ships, trains and trams together with ammonia production will drive costs at the bulk level down, and there is no way at all that batteres can provide solutions to those industries

Batteries aren't a solution for on-grid uses lasting more than minutes.  Heat storage in e.g. solar salt is very cheap and can store heat for hours or days.  Even dumping electricity straight to electric heaters in salt tanks to make steam later, you can get round-trip efficiencies close to hydrogen.  This requires no fancy catalysts and lasts for years with minimal degradation.

The "renewables" that that the scammers running Europe propose to rely on can go off-line for weeks at a time, with not enough time to re-fill storage before the next outage.  Basically, it involves putting the economy and millions of lives under a Sword of Damocles which is guaranteed to fall, soon.

That leaves transport to the fuel station as the remaining cost.
Which would require a whole new pipeline system to make practical.  Trying to repurpose the NG system would fail, as NG has about 3x the energy density and would be limited to about 1/3 the total energy carried.  That's an instant failure; it can't even serve current demand, let alone vehicles.

That leaves trucking the H2.  As luck would have it, I stopped by a gas station this evening.  A tanker truck was refilling its underground tanks.  I asked the driver how much it carried, and he said 13,000 gallons.

All up, the rig weighed about 120,000 lbs.  Figure 95,000 of that is the trailer itself.  At 7% H2 by weight, it would carry 3016 gallons-equivalent of H2.  Even if one gge of H2 does the work of 2 gallons of gasoline, you'd still need TWICE as many trucks on the road to carry the fuel.

The last option is to reform methane to H2 on the spot.  This can likely be done with the existing NG pipeline system, because 1 kg of methane at 50 MJ LHV, plus water, plus electricity, can make 0.5 kg of H2 at 120 MJ/kg = 60 MJ of useful energy.  It also makes 2.75 kg of CO2 per kg CH4, which you'd either have to truck to some disposal site or just vent.

Do you begin to understand why I call it hypedrogen?

WillyG

I too was in strong opposition to hydrogen as a fuel until recently when I considered that most gas stations could use the water they already have supplied, and solar power w/cheap night electric, to create and store the hydrogen for distribution. Using the existing refueling/distribution infrastructure along highways that pump gas/diesel is the only practical way I have seen to refill the vehicles without a very heavy infrastructure investment. I was skeptical of the requirements of high pressure storage for the station and in the cars too, but more sensible ways of creating and storing H2 are showing up. It isn't quite practical yet, but this site keeps showing advances that chip away at the problems to the point where It just might be practical in the not too distant future.
I would buy a PHEV if I were to buy something now, but that could easily change in less than a decade at the rate that advances are showing up. You have to allow for progress and keep the faith.

yoatmon

@ Dave(s)mart
If anyone commenting on this site is ignorant, it must most certainly be you. EP has clearly stated and underlined why. I'd suggest that you make your bachelor in electric - and electronics engineering, complete at least five years of R&D in the lab, engage another 10 years for system design of electric systems and spend the rest of your working life engaged in automation of gas and oil pipe lines. BTW did you graduate from high school.

Engineer-Poet
I considered that most gas stations could use the water they already have supplied, and solar power w/cheap night electric, to create and store the hydrogen for distribution.

Ah, the "let's NOT SHIP HYDROGEN AT ALL" troll shows up.

Okay, troll, let's see you square this with the need to store MONTHS of production to deal with seasonal energy deficits in a "renewable economy".  Hydrogen is pretty rarefied stuff.  Even when you spend the energy to liquefy it you only get to store 8.4 MJ per liter of liquid (120 MJ/kg times density of 0.07); gasoline holds about 32 MJ/liter.  Then you have to keep spending energy to keep it a liquid.  You think you're going to do this at every corner station?

Using the existing refueling/distribution infrastructure along highways that pump gas/diesel is the only practical way I have seen to refill the vehicles without a very heavy infrastructure investment.

That is exactly what the oil companies are counting on.  Hydrogen is their way of owning you forever.

SJC

Some insult here because they can not be banned.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)