Vehicle of the Future

EV enthusiast and activist

Fuel Cell Vehicles

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None of the Hydrogen compliance-vehicle cheer-leading articles mention the inherent inefficiencies with the proton exchange membrane. Basically, a FCV is an EV with an H2 tank and PEM. Everything else is the same. Even to store the regen power, like all EV/Hybrids it needs a battery (hmm really?). PEMs are between 50-60% efficient, compare that to a battery at 95-99%.

There’s two ways of making H2:

Methane reformation (greenhouse gasses) so the environmental camp is out. Enough said here.

Water electrolysis, basically that science class experiment. Clean, and be powered by ELECTRICITY, hopefully from renewable resources (again count out the eco crowd if not). If you take that electricity and electrolyze water you get approx 83% efficiency. Compare that to 95-99% for charging an EV with that same ELECTRICITY.

Overall an EV “tank” to wheels efficiency is 67-81%, a FCV tank to wheels efficiency is 30-45%. That is better than 20 to 30% that is gasoline and diesel, but not by much.

The only reason FCVs have any interest is the quasi-clean image with range greater than current EVs. If Tesla says a 200 mile $35k EV is in the works, then what’s the purpose of FCVs?

BTW we can all make the fuel for EVs at home. FCVs are dependent on H2-producing corporations.

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Written by devinserpa

August 8, 2014 at 5:10 am

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