A fuel cell vehicle (FCV) or fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) is an electric vehicle that uses a fuel cell, sometimes in combination with a small battery or supercapacitor, to power its onboard electric motor. Fuel cells in vehicles generate electricity generally using oxygen from the air and compressed hydrogen. Most fuel cell vehicles are classified as zero-emissions vehicles that emit only water and heat. As compared with internal combustion vehicles, hydrogen vehicles centralize pollutants at the site of the hydrogen production, where hydrogen is typically derived from reformed natural gas. Transporting and storing hydrogen may also create pollutants.
Fuel cells have been used in various kinds of vehicles including forklifts, especially in indoor applications where their clean emissions are important to air quality, and in space applications. The first commercially produced hydrogen fuel cell automobile, the Hyundai Tucson FCEV, was introduced in 2013, Toyota Mirai followed in 2015 and then Honda entered the market. Fuel cells are being developed and tested in trucks, buses, boats, motorcycles and bicycles, among other kinds of vehicles.
As of 2020, there was limited hydrogen infrastructure, with fewer than fifty hydrogen fueling stations for automobiles publicly available in the U.S., but more hydrogen stations are planned, particularly in California, where, as of 2019, according to Hydrogen View, there had been over 7,500 FCEVs sold or leased. Critics doubt whether hydrogen will be efficient or cost-effective for automobiles, as compared with other zero emission technologies, and in 2019, USA Today stated "what is tough to dispute is that the hydrogen fuel cell dream is all but dead for the passenger vehicle market."
Description and purpose of fuel cells in vehicles
All fuel cells are made up of three parts: an electrolyte, an anode and a cathode. In principle, a hydrogen fuel cell functions like a battery, producing electricity, which can run an electric motor. Instead of requiring recharging, however, the fuel cell can be refilled with hydrogen. Different types of fuel cells include polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells, direct methanol fuel cells, phosphoric acid fuel cells, molten carbonate fuel cells, solid oxide fuel cells, reformed methanol fuel cell and Regenerative Fuel Cells.
The concept of the fuel cell was first demonstrated by Humphry Davy in 1801, but the invention of the first working fuel cell is credited to William Grove, a chemist, lawyer, and physicist. Grove's experiments with what he called a "gas voltaic battery" proved in 1842 that an electric current could be produced by an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen over a platinum catalyst. English engineer Francis Thomas Bacon expanded on Grove's work, creating and demonstrating various Alkaline fuel cells from 1939 to 1959..
The first modern fuel cell vehicle was a modified Allis-Chalmers farm tractor, fitted with a 15 kilowatt fuel cell, around 1959. The Cold War Space Race drove further development of fuel cell technology. Project Gemini tested fuel cells to provide electrical power during manned space missions. Fuel cell development continued with the Apollo Program. The electrical power systems in the Apollo capsules and lunar modules used alkali fuel cells. In 1966, General Motors developed the first fuel cell road vehicle, the Chevrolet Electrovan. It had a PEM fuel cell, a range of 120 miles and a top speed of 70 mph. There were only two seats, as the fuel cell stack and large tanks of hydrogen and oxygen took up the rear portion of the van. Only one was built, as the project was deemed cost-prohibitive.
General Electric and others continued working on PEM fuel cells in the 1970s. Fuel cell stacks were still limited principally to space applications in the 1980s, including the Space Shuttle. However, the closure of the Apollo Program sent many industry experts to private companies. By the 1990s, automobile manufacturers were interested in fuel cell applications, and demonstration vehicles were readied. In 2001, the first 700 Bar (10000 PSI) hydrogen tanks were demonstrated, reducing the size of the fuel tanks that could be used in vehicles and extending the range.
There are fuel cell vehicles for all modes of transport. The most prevalent fuel cell vehicles are cars, buses, forklifts and material handling vehicles.
The Honda FCX Clarity concept car was introduced in 2008 for leasing by customers in Japan and Southern California and discontinued by 2015. From 2008 to 2014, Honda leased a total of 45 FCX units in the US. Over 20 other FCEVs prototypes and demonstration cars were released in that time period, including the GM HydroGen4, and Mercedes-Benz F-Cell.
Sales of the Toyota Mirai to government and corporate customers began in Japan in December 2014. Pricing started at ¥6,700,000 (~US$57,400) before taxes and a government incentive of ¥2,000,000 (~US$19,600). Former European Parliament President Pat Cox estimated that Toyota initially would lose about $100,000 on each Mirai sold. As of December 2017[update], global sales totaled 5,300 Mirais. The top selling markets were the U.S. with 2,900 units, Japan with 2,100 and Europe with 200.
Retail deliveries of the 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell began in California in December 2016. The 2017 Clarity has the highest combined and city fuel economy ratings among all hydrogen fuel cell cars rated by the EPA, with a combined city/highway rating of 67 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPGe), and 68 MPGe in city driving. In 2019, Katsushi Inoue, the president of Honda Europe, stated, "Our focus is on hybrid and electric vehicles now. Maybe hydrogen fuel cell cars will come, but that’s a technology for the next era."
By 2017, Daimler phased out its FCEV development, citing declining battery costs and increasing range of EVs, and most of the automobile companies developing hydrogen cars had switched their focus to battery electric vehicles.
The following table compares EPA's fuel economy expressed in miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPGe) for the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles rated by the EPA as of December 2016[update], and available only in California.
|Comparison of fuel economy expressed in MPGe for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles |
available for leasing in California and rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as of October 2016[update]
|Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell||2017||49 mpg-e||48 mpg-e||50 mpg-e||265 mi (426 km)||US$1,700|
|Toyota Mirai||2016||66 mpg-e||66 mpg-e||66 mpg-e||312 mi (502 km)||US$1,250|
|Honda Clarity Fuel Cell||2017||67 mpg-e||68 mpg-e||66 mpg-e||366 mi (589 km)||-|
|Notes: One kg of hydrogen has roughly the same energy content as one U.S. gallon of gasoline.|
List of models produced
|List of modern fuel cell automobiles, pickups, vans and SUVs|
/Lease per month
|Models out of production|
to 190 mi (310 km)
|First fuel-cell vehicle to be approved for American roads by the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, with subsequent leasing in California. Also approved for Japanese roads by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Approximately 30 leased in the Los Angeles area and Tokyo. Leasing later expanded to 50 states.|
|Ford Focus FCV||2003-2006||
|Initially planned to be leased across 50 states, it was eventually only leased in California, Florida and Canada.|
|Nissan X-Trail FCV 04||2003-2013||
|Leased to businesses and government entities in Japan and California.|
|Mercedes-Benz F-Cell (A-Class based)||2005-2007||
to 110 mi (180 km)
|100 leased around the world.|
|Chevrolet Equinox FC||2007-2009||Leased in California and New York.|
|Honda FCX Clarity||2008-2015||
later 240 mi (390 km)
and 231 mi (372 km)
|Leased in the United States, Europe and Japan.|
|Mercedes-Benz F-Cell (B-Class based)||2010-2014||
|Leased in southern California.|
|Hyundai Tucson FCEV (ix35)||2014–2018||
|Leased in South Korea, California, Europe and Vancouver.|
|Models in production|
|Sold and leased in Japan, California, Europe, Québec and United Arab Emirates. As of 15 February 2017[update], global sales totaled 2,840 units since inception.|
|Leased in Japan, Southern California, Europe.|
|Sold in South Korea.|
Fuel cells powered by an ethanol reformer
In June 2016, Nissan announced plans to develop fuel cell vehicles powered by ethanol rather than hydrogen. Nissan claims this technical approach would be cheaper, and that it would be easier to deploy the fueling infrastructure than a hydrogen infrastructure. The vehicle would include a tank holding a blend of water and ethanol, which is fed into an onboard reformer that splits it into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The hydrogen is then fed into a solid oxide fuel cell. According to Nissan, the liquid fuel could be an ethanol-water blend at a 55:45 ratio. Nissan expects to commercialize its technology by 2020.
There are also demonstration models of buses, and in 2011 there were over 100 fuel cell buses deployed around the world. Most of these buses were produced by UTC Power, Toyota, Ballard, Hydrogenics, and Proton Motor. UTC buses had accumulated over 970,000 km (600,000 mi) of driving. Fuel cell buses have a 30-141% higher fuel economy than diesel buses and natural gas buses. Fuel cell buses have been deployed in Whistler Canada, San Francisco US, Hamburg Germany, Shanghai China, London England, São Paulo Brazil and several other cities. The Whistler project was discontinued in 2015. The Fuel Cell Bus Club is a global cooperative effort in trial fuel cell buses. Notable projects include:
- 12 Fuel cell buses were deployed in the Oakland and San Francisco Bay area of California.
- Daimler AG, with thirty-six experimental buses powered by Ballard Power Systems fuel cells, completed a successful three-year trial, in eleven cities, in 2007.
- A fleet of Thor buses with UTC Power fuel cells was deployed in California, operated by SunLine Transit Agency.
- The first hydrogen fuel cell bus prototype in Brazil was deployed in São Paulo. The bus was manufactured in Caxias do Sul, and the hydrogen fuel was to be produced in São Bernardo do Campo from water through electrolysis. The program, called "Ônibus Brasileiro a Hidrogênio" (Brazilian Hydrogen Autobus), included three buses.
A fuel cell forklift (also called a fuel cell lift truck or a fuel cell forklift) is a fuel cell-powered industrial forklift truck used to lift and transport materials. Most fuel cells used in forklifts are powered by PEM fuel cells.
In 2013, there were over 4,000 fuel cell forklifts used in material handling in the US from which only 500 received funding from DOE (2012). Fuel cell fleets are operated by a large number of companies, including Sysco Foods, FedEx Freight, GENCO (at Wegmans, Coca-Cola, Kimberly Clark, and Whole Foods), and H-E-B Grocers. Europe demonstrated 30 fuel cell forklifts with Hylift and extended it with HyLIFT-EUROPE to 200 units, with other projects in France and Austria. Pike Research stated in 2011 that fuel-cell-powered forklifts will be the largest driver of hydrogen fuel demand by 2020.
PEM fuel-cell-powered forklifts provide significant benefits over petroleum powered forklifts as they produce no local emissions. Fuel-cell forklifts can work for a full 8-hour shift on a single tank of hydrogen, can be refueled in 3 minutes and have a lifetime of 8–10 years. Fuel cell-powered forklifts are often used in refrigerated warehouses as their performance is not degraded by lower temperatures. In design the FC units are often made as drop-in replacements.
Motorcycles and bicycles
In 2005, the British firm Intelligent Energy produced the first ever working hydrogen run motorcycle called the ENV (Emission Neutral Vehicle). The motorcycle holds enough fuel to run for four hours, and to travel 160 km (100 mi) in an urban area, at a top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). In 2004, Honda developed a fuel-cell motorcycle which utilized the Honda FC Stack. There are other examples of bikes and bicycles with a hydrogen fuel cell engine. The Suzuki Burgman received "whole vehicle type" approval in the EU. The Taiwanese company APFCT conducts a live street test with 80 fuel cell scooters for Taiwans Bureau of Energy using the fueling system from Italy's Acta SpA.
Boeing researchers and industry partners throughout Europe conducted experimental flight tests in February 2008 of a manned airplane powered only by a fuel cell and lightweight batteries. The Fuel Cell Demonstrator Airplane, as it was called, used a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell/lithium-ion battery hybrid system to power an electric motor, which was coupled to a conventional propeller. In 2003, the world's first propeller driven airplane to be powered entirely by a fuel cell was flown. The fuel cell was a unique FlatStack stack design which allowed the fuel cell to be integrated with the aerodynamic surfaces of the plane.
There have been several fuel cell powered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). A Horizon fuel cell UAV set the record distance flown by a small UAV in 2007. The military is especially interested in this application because of the low noise, low thermal signature and ability to attain high altitude. In 2009, the Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL’s) Ion Tiger utilized a hydrogen-powered fuel cell and flew for 23 hours and 17 minutes. Boeing is completing tests on the Phantom Eye, a high-altitude, long endurance (HALE) to be used to conduct research and surveillance flying at 20,000 m (65,000 ft) for up to four days at a time. Fuel cells are also being used to provide auxiliary power for aircraft, replacing fossil fuel generators that were previously used to start the engines and power on board electrical needs. Fuel cells can help airplanes reduce CO2 and other pollutant emissions and noise.
The world's first Fuel Cell Boat HYDRA used an AFC system with 6.5 kW net output. For each liter of fuel consumed, the average outboard motor produces 140 times less the hydrocarbons produced by the average modern car. Fuel cell engines have higher energy efficiencies than combustion engines, and therefore offer better range and significantly reduced emissions. Iceland has committed to converting its vast fishing fleet to use fuel cells to provide auxiliary power by 2015 and, eventually, to provide primary power in its boats. Amsterdam recently introduced its first fuel cell powered boat that ferries people around the city's famous and beautiful canals.
The first submersible application of fuel cells is the German Type 212 submarine. Each Type 212 contains nine PEM fuel cells, spread throughout the ship, providing between 30 kW and 50 kW each of electrical power. This allows the Type 212 to remain submerged longer and makes them more difficult to detect. Fuel cell powered submarines are also easier to design, manufacture, and maintain than nuclear-powered submarines.
In March 2015, China South Rail Corporation (CSR) demonstrated the world's first hydrogen fuel cell-powered tramcar at an assembly facility in Qingdao. 83 miles of tracks for the new vehicle were built in seven Chinese cities. China had plans to spend 200 billion yuan ($32 billion) over the next five years to increase tram tracks to more than 1,200 miles.
In 2016, Alstom debuted the Coradia iLint, a regional train powered by hydrogen fuel cells. It was designed to reach 140 kilometres per hour (87 mph) and travel 600–800 kilometres (370–500 mi) on a full tank of hydrogen. The train entered service in Germany in 2018 and is expected to be tested in the Netherlands beginning in 2019.
In 2020, Hyundai started to manufacture hydrogen powered 34-ton cargo trucks under the model name XCIENT, making an initial shipment of 10 of the vehicles to Switzerland. They are able to travel 400 kilometres (250 mi) on a full tank and they take 8 to 20 minutes to fill up.
Eberle and Rittmar von Helmolt stated in 2010 that challenges remain before fuel cell cars can become competitive with other technologies and cite the lack of an extensive hydrogen infrastructure in the U.S.: As of July 2020[update], there were 43 publicly accessible hydrogen refueling stations in the US, 41 of which were located in California. In 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 8, a bill to fund $20 million a year for 10 years to build up to 100 stations. In 2014, the California Energy Commission funded $46.6 million to build 28 stations.
Japan got its first commercial hydrogen fueling station in 2014. By March 2016, Japan had 80 hydrogen fueling stations, and the Japanese government aims to double this number to 160 by 2020. In May 2017, there were 91 hydrogen fueling stations in Japan. Germany had 18 public hydrogen fueling stations in July 2015. The German government hoped to increase this number to 50 by end of 2016, but only 30 were open in June 2017.
Codes and standards
Fuel cell vehicle is a classification in fuel cell codes and standards.
In 2003, US President George Bush proposed the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative (HFI). The HFI aimed to further develop hydrogen fuel cells and infrastructure technologies to accelerate the commercial introduction of fuel cell vehicles. By 2008, the U.S. had contributed 1 billion dollars to this project. In 2009, Steven Chu, then the US Secretary of Energy, asserted that hydrogen vehicles "will not be practical over the next 10 to 20 years". In 2012, however, Chu stated that he saw fuel cell cars as more economically feasible as natural gas prices had fallen and hydrogen reforming technologies had improved. In June 2013, the California Energy Commission granted $18.7M for hydrogen fueling stations. In 2013, Governor Brown signed AB 8, a bill to fund $20 million a year for 10 years for up to 100 stations. In 2013, the US DOE announced up to $4 million planned for "continued development of advanced hydrogen storage systems". On May 13, 2013, the Energy Department launched H2USA, which is focused on advancing hydrogen infrastructure in the US.
By 2010, advancements in fuel cell technology had reduced the size, weight and cost of fuel cell electric vehicles. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimated that the cost of automobile fuel cells had fallen 80% since 2002 and that such fuel cells could potentially be manufactured for $51/kW, assuming high-volume manufacturing cost savings. Fuel cell electric vehicles have been produced with "a driving range of more than 250 miles between refueling". They can be refueled in less than 5 minutes. Deployed fuel cell buses have a 40% higher fuel economy than diesel buses. EERE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Program claims that, as of 2011, fuel cells achieved a 42 to 53% fuel cell electric vehicle efficiency at full power, and a durability of over 75,000 miles with less than 10% voltage degradation, double that achieved in 2006. In 2012, Lux Research, Inc. issued a report that concluded that "Capital cost ... will limit adoption to a mere 5.9 GW" by 2030, providing "a nearly insurmountable barrier to adoption, except in niche applications". Lux's analysis concluded that by 2030, PEM stationary fuel cell applications will reach $1 billion, while the vehicle market, including fuel cell forklifts, will reach a total of $2 billion.
The environmental impact of fuel cell vehicles depends on the primary energy with which the hydrogen was produced. Fuel cell vehicles are only environmentally benign when the hydrogen was produced with renewable energy. If this is the case fuel cell cars are cleaner and more efficient than fossil fuel cars. However, they are not as efficient as battery electric vehicles which consume much less energy. Usually a fuel cell car consumes 2.4 times more energy than a battery electric car, because electrolysis and storage of hydrogen is much less efficient than using electricity to directly load a battery.
As of 2009, motor vehicles used most of the petroleum consumed in the U.S. and produced over 60% of the carbon monoxide emissions and about 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, however production of hydrogen for hydro cracking used in gasoline production chief amongst its industrial uses was responsible for approximately 10% of fleet wide greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast, a vehicle fueled with pure hydrogen emits few pollutants, producing mainly water and heat, although the production of the hydrogen would create pollutants unless the hydrogen used in the fuel cell were produced using only renewable energy.
In a 2005 Well-to-Wheels analysis, the DOE estimated that fuel cell electric vehicles using hydrogen produced from natural gas would result in emissions of approximately 55% of the CO2 per mile of internal combustion engine vehicles and have approximately 25% less emissions than hybrid vehicles. In 2006, Ulf Bossel stated that the large amount of energy required to isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas, biomass), package the light gas by compression or liquefaction, transfer the energy carrier to the user, plus the energy lost when it is converted to useful electricity with fuel cells, leaves around 25% for practical use." Richard Gilbert, co-author of Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight without Oil (2010), comments similarly, that producing hydrogen gas ends up using some of the energy it creates. Then, energy is taken up by converting the hydrogen back into electricity within fuel cells. "'This means that only a quarter of the initially available energy reaches the electric motor' ... Such losses in conversion don't stack up well against, for instance, recharging an electric vehicle (EV) like the Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt from a wall socket". A 2010 Well-to-wheels analysis of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles report from Argonne National Laboratory states that renewable H2 pathways offer much larger green house gas benefits. This result has recently been confirmed. In 2010, a US DOE Well-to-Wheels publication assumed that the efficiency of the single step of compressing hydrogen to 6,250 psi (43.1 MPa) at the refueling station is 94%. A 2016 study in the November issue of the journal Energy by scientists at Stanford University and the Technical University of Munich concluded that, even assuming local hydrogen production,"investing in all-electric battery vehicles is a more economical choice for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, primarily due to their lower cost and significantly higher energy efficiency."
In 2008, professor Jeremy P. Meyers, in the Electrochemical Society journal Interface wrote, "While fuel cells are efficient relative to combustion engines, they are not as efficient as batteries, due primarily to the inefficiency of the oxygen reduction reaction. ... [T]hey make the most sense for operation disconnected from the grid, or when fuel can be provided continuously. For applications that require frequent and relatively rapid start-ups ... where zero emissions are a requirement, as in enclosed spaces such as warehouses, and where hydrogen is considered an acceptable reactant, a [PEM fuel cell] is becoming an increasingly attractive choice [if exchanging batteries is inconvenient]". The practical cost of fuel cells for cars will remain high, however, until production volumes incorporate economies of scale and a well-developed supply chain. Until then, costs are roughly one order of magnitude higher than DOE targets.
Also in 2008, Wired News reported that "experts say it will be 40 years or more before hydrogen has any meaningful impact on gasoline consumption or global warming, and we can't afford to wait that long. In the meantime, fuel cells are diverting resources from more immediate solutions." The Economist magazine, in 2008, quoted Robert Zubrin, the author of Energy Victory, as saying: "Hydrogen is 'just about the worst possible vehicle fuel'". The magazine noted that most hydrogen is produced through steam reformation, which creates at least as much emission of carbon per mile as some of today's gasoline cars. On the other hand, if the hydrogen could be produced using renewable energy, "it would surely be easier simply to use this energy to charge the batteries of all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles." The Los Angeles Times wrote in 2009, "Any way you look at it, hydrogen is a lousy way to move cars." The Washington Post asked in November 2009, "[W]hy would you want to store energy in the form of hydrogen and then use that hydrogen to produce electricity for a motor, when electrical energy is already waiting to be sucked out of sockets all over America and stored in auto batteries...?"
The Motley Fool stated in 2013 that "there are still cost-prohibitive obstacles [for hydrogen cars] relating to transportation, storage, and, most importantly, production." Volkswagen's Rudolf Krebs said in 2013 that "no matter how excellent you make the cars themselves, the laws of physics hinder their overall efficiency. The most efficient way to convert energy to mobility is electricity." He elaborated: "Hydrogen mobility only makes sense if you use green energy", but ... you need to convert it first into hydrogen "with low efficiencies" where "you lose about 40 percent of the initial energy". You then must compress the hydrogen and store it under high pressure in tanks, which uses more energy. "And then you have to convert the hydrogen back to electricity in a fuel cell with another efficiency loss". Krebs continued: "in the end, from your original 100 percent of electric energy, you end up with 30 to 40 percent."
In 2014, electric automotive and energy futurist Julian Cox published an analysis that used US government NREL and EPA data that disproves widely held policy assumptions concerning claimed emissions benefits from the use of Hydrogen in transportation. Cox calculated the emissions produced per EPA combined cycle driven mile, well to wheel, by real-word hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and figures aggregated from the test subjects enrolled in the US DOE's long term NREL FCV study. The report presented official data that firmly refutes marketer's claims of any inherent benefits of hydrogen fuel cells over the drive trains of equivalent conventional gasoline hybrids and even ordinary small-engined cars of equivalent drive train performance due to the emissions intensity of hydrogen production from Natural Gas. The report went on to demonstrate the economic inevitability of continued methane use in hydrogen production due to the cost tripping effect of hydrogen fuel cells on renewable mileage due to conversion losses of electricity to and from hydrogen when compared to the direct use of electricity in an ordinary electric vehicle. The analysis contradicts the marketing claims of vehicle manufacturers involved in promoting hydrogen fuel cells and whose claims are frequently reflected in public policy statements. The analysis proved that public policy in relation to hydrogen fuel cells has been misled by false equivalences to very large, very old or very high powered gasoline vehicles that do not accurately reflect the choices of emissions reduction technologies readily available amongst lower cost and pre-existing new vehicles choices available to consumers, and also to the taxpayer that funded superfluous hydrogen Infrastructure on a premise that on scientific grounds is factually false. Instead the marketing and consequently public policy claims for hydrogen can be proven by the official US DOE figures to be highly misleading. Cox wrote in 2014 that producing hydrogen from methane "is significantly more carbon intensive per unit of energy than coal. Mistaking fossil hydrogen from the hydraulic fracturing of shales for an environmentally sustainable energy pathway threatens to encourage energy policies that will dilute and potentially derail global efforts to head-off climate change due to the risk of diverting investment and focus from vehicle technologies that are economically compatible with renewable energy." The Business Insider commented in 2013:
Pure hydrogen can be industrially derived, but it takes energy. If that energy does not come from renewable sources, then fuel-cell cars are not as clean as they seem. ... Another challenge is the lack of infrastructure. Gas stations need to invest in the ability to refuel hydrogen tanks before FCEVs become practical, and it's unlikely many will do that while there are so few customers on the road today. ... Compounding the lack of infrastructure is the high cost of the technology. Fuel cells are "still very, very expensive".
In 2014, climate blogger and former Dept. of Energy official Joseph Romm devoted three articles to critiques of hydrogen vehicles. He stated that FCVs still have not overcome the following issues: high cost of the vehicles, high fueling cost, and a lack of fuel-delivery infrastructure. "It would take several miracles to overcome all of those problems simultaneously in the coming decades." Moreover, he said, "FCVs aren't green" because of escaping methane during natural gas extraction and when hydrogen is produced, as 95% of it is, using the steam reforming process. He concluded that renewable energy cannot economically be used to make hydrogen for an FCV fleet "either now or in the future." GreenTech Media's analyst reached similar conclusions in 2014. In 2015, Clean Technica listed some of the disadvantages of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as did Car Throttle. Another Clean Technica writer concluded, "while hydrogen may have a part to play in the world of energy storage (especially seasonal storage), it looks like a dead end when it comes to mainstream vehicles."
A 2017 analysis published in Green Car Reports found that the best hydrogen fuel cell vehicles consume "more than three times more electricity per mile than an electric vehicle ... generate more greenhouse-gas emissions than other powertrain technologies ... [and have] very high fuel costs. ... Considering all the obstacles and requirements for new infrastructure (estimated to cost as much as $400 billion), fuel-cell vehicles seem likely to be a niche technology at best, with little impact on U.S. oil consumption. In 2017, Michael Barnard, writing in Forbes, listed the continuing disadvantages of hydrogen fuel cell cars and concluded that "by about 2008, it was very clear that hydrogen was and would be inferior to battery technology as a storage of energy for vehicles. [B]y 2025 the last hold outs should likely be retiring their fuel cell dreams.” A 2020 assessment concluded that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are still only 38% efficient, while battery EVs are 80% efficient.
- Hydrogen vehicle
- Glossary of fuel cell terms
- Proton exchange membrane fuel cell
- Fuel cell auxiliary power unit
- Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association
- "How Do Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Work?", Union of Concerned Scientists, accessed July 24, 2016
- "The World’s First Mass-Production of FCEV", accessed November 18, 2018
- "Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell", accessed November 18, 2018
- Alternative Fueling Station Counts by State, Alternative Fuels Data Center, accessed July 2, 2020
- Sampson, Joanna (October 15, 2019). "More than 7,500 FCEVs in California". Hydrogen View. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- Hoium, Travis. "What's the future of the auto industry? Hydrogen cars appear to give way to electric", The Motley Fool, December 6, 2019
- "Basics", U.S. Department of Energy, Retrieved on: 2008-11-03.
- "What Is a Fuel Cell?" Archived 2008-11-06 at the Wayback Machine, The Online Fuel Cell Information Resource, Retrieved on: 2008-11-03.
- "Types of Fuel Cells" Archived 2010-06-09 at the Wayback Machine, U.S. Department of Energy, Retrieved on: 2008-11-03.
- John W. Fairbanks (August 30, 2004). "Engine Maturity, Efficiency, and Potential Improvements" (PDF). Diesel Engine Emission Reduction Conference Coronado, California. US Department of Energy. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 11, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
- "History of Hydrogen Cars and Technology, from 1802 to present!". Green Car Future. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
- Wand, George. “Fuel Cell History, Part 2” Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine. “Fuel Cell Today”, April 2006, accessed August 2, 2011
- “PEM Fuel Cells”. “Smithsonian Institution”, 2004, accessed August 2, 2011
- Dumoulin, Jim. “Gemini-V Information”. NASA - Kennedy Space Center, August 25, 2000, accessed August 2, 2011
- Eberle, Ulrich; Mueller, Bernd; von Helmolt, Rittmar (2012-07-15). "Fuel cell electric vehicles and hydrogen infrastructure: status 2012". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
- “1966 GM Electrovan”. “Hydrogen Fuel Cars Now”, accessed August 2, 2011
- “Hydrogen Storage Technology for the Hydrogen Economy”[permanent dead link]. “Iljin Composite”, KCR, Korea, accessed August 2, 2011
- "Hydrogen Fueling Stations Could Reach 5,200 by 2020" Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine. Environmental Leader: Environmental & Energy Management News, July 20, 2011, accessed August 2, 2011
- John Voelcker (2014-07-29). "Honda Ends Three Green Models For 2015: Insight, Fit EV, FCX Clarity". Green Car Reports. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
- "Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicles Worldwide". TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH, accessed on August 2, 2011
- Voelcker, John. "The New Hyundai ix35", Hyundai, accessed December 7, 2014
- "Plug-In Electric Car Sales Continue Rise In 2014: 100,000-Plus Last Year", Green Car Reports, January 5, 2015
- Yoko Kubota (2014-12-15). "Toyota's Fuel-Cell Car Mirai Goes on Sale". Japan Real Time (Wall Street Journal). Retrieved 2014-12-29.
- Ken Moritsugu (2014-11-18). "Toyota to start sales of fuel cell car next month". Associated Press. Fox News Chicago. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
- Ayre, James. "Toyota To Lose $100,000 On Every Hydrogen FCV Sold?", CleanTechnica.com, November 19, 2014; and Blanco, Sebastian. "Bibendum 2014: Former EU President says Toyota could lose 100,000 euros per hydrogen FCV sedan", GreenAutoblog.com, November 12, 2014
- "Toyota sells 1.52 million electrified vehicles in 2017, three years ahead of 2020 target" (Press release). Toyota City, Japan: Toyota. 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
- Millikin, Mike (2016-12-20). "Southern California customers take delivery of n>ew 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell sedan". Green Car Congress. Retrieved 2016-12-24.
- United States Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy (November 2016). "Compare Fuel Cell Vehicles". fueleconomy.gov. Retrieved 2015-11-24. One kg of hydrogen is roughly equivalent to one U.S. gallon of gasoline.
- Allen, James. "Honda: Now Is The Right Time to Embrace Electric Cars", The Sunday Times, November 4, 2019
- Quartier, Dieter (2017-04-04). "Hydrogen: BMW yes, Daimler not anymore". fleeteurope.com. Archived from the original on 2017-08-02. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
- Williams, Keith. "The Switch from Hydrogen to Electric Vehicles Continues, Now Hyundai Makes the Move", Seeking Alpha, September 1, 2017
- "Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Boasts EPA 366-Mile Range Rating, Best of Any Zero-Emission Vehicle" (Press release). Torrance, California: Honda News. 2016-10-24. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
- "Appendix E – The Starting Point: A Discussion Paper Describing a Proposed Method of Sale and Quality Specification for Hydrogen Vehicle Fuel" (PDF). U.S. National Work Group Meeting for the Development of Commercial Hydrogen Measurement Standards. National Institute of Standards and Technology. June 19, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 8, 2011.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-08. Retrieved 2016-03-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-07. Retrieved 2016-03-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-06. Retrieved 2016-03-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-24. Retrieved 2016-03-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Chang-Ran Kim (2017-02-15). "Toyota to recall all 2,800 Mirai fuel cell cars on the road" (Press release). Reuters. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
- Voelcker, John (2016-06-14). "Nissan takes a different approach to fuel cells: ethanol". Green Car Reports. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
- "Safety, Codes, and Standards". DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Program, February 2011, accessed on August 2, 2011
- "Transportation Fleet Vehicles: Overview" Archived October 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. UTC Power. Accessed August 2, 2011.
- "FY 2010 annual progress report: VIII.0 Technology Validation Sub-Program Overview". John Garbak. Department of Energy Hydrogen Program.
- "National Fuel Cell Bus Program Awards" Archived October 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Calstart. Accessed 12 August 2011
- Hanley, Steve. "Vancouver Ends Hydrogen Bus Program Amid High Costs", Gas2.org, March 10, 2015, accessed July 24, 2016
- "European Fuel Cell Bus Project Extended by One Year". DaimlerChrysler. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-31.
- "Fuel cell buses". Transport for London. Archived from the original on May 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-01.
- "UTC Power - Fuel Cell Fleet Vehicles". Archived from the original on October 2, 2011.
- "Ônibus brasileiro movido a hidrogênio começa a rodar em São Paulo" (in Portuguese). Inovação Tecnológica. 2009-04-08. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
- "Ônibus a Hidrogênio vira realidade no Brasil" (in Portuguese). Inovação Tecnológica. April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-03.[dead link]
- Forbes - 12 Hydrogen And Fuel Cell Stocks
- Fuel Cell Forklifts Gain Ground
- Fuel cell technologies program overview Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine
- Economic Impact of Fuel Cell Deployment in Forklifts and for Backup Power under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine
- "Fact Sheet: Materials Handling and Fuel Cells" Archived August 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- First hydrogen station for fuel cell forklift trucks in France, for IKEA
- HyGear delivers hydrogen system for fuel cell based forklift trucks
- "Hydrogen Fueling Stations Could Reach 5,200 by 2020" Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine. Environmental Leader: Environmental & Energy Management News,20 July 2011, accessed 2 August 2011
- Full Fuel-Cycle Comparison of Forklift Propulsion Systems Archived 2013-02-17 at the Wayback Machine
- "Fuel cell technology". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-11-24.
- "Fuel cell forklift". Archived from the original on 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2015-05-30.
- "The ENV Bike". Intelligent Energy. Archived from the original on 2008-03-06. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
- "Honda Develops Fuel Cell Scooter Equipped with Honda FC Stack". Honda Motor Co. 2004-08-24. Archived from the original on 2007-04-02. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
- Bryant, Eric (2005-07-21). "Honda to offer fuel-cell motorcycle". autoblog.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
- 15. Dezember 2007. "Hydrogen Fuel Cell electric bike". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
- "Horizon fuel cell vehicles: Transportation: Light Mobility" Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine. Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies. 2010. Accessed August 2, 2011.
- APFCT won Taiwan BOE project contract for 80 FC scooters fleet demonstration
- Taiwan’s ZES hydrogen scooter Archived 2012-07-05 at the Wayback Machine
- "Boeing Successfully Flies Fuel Cell-Powered Airplane". Archived from the original on 2013-05-09.. Boeing. April 3, 2008. Accessed August 2, 2011.
- "First Fuel Cell Microaircraft" Archived January 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "Horizon Fuel Cell Powers New World Record in UAV Flight" Archived 2011-10-14 at the Wayback Machine. Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies. November 1, 2007.
- "Fuel Cell Powered UAV Completes 23-hour Flight". Alternative Energy: News. October 22, 2009. Accessed August 2, 2011.
- "Hydrogen-powered unmanned aircraft completes set of tests".www.theengineer.co.uk. 20 June 2011. Accessed August 2, 2011.
- "Fuel Cell Basics: Applications" Archived May 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Fuel Cells 2000. Accessed August 2, 2011.
- "Lovers introduces zero-emission boat" (in Dutch). NemoH2. March 28, 2011. Accessed August 2, 2011.
- "Super-stealth sub powered by fuel cell". Frederik Pleitgen. CNN Tech: Nuclear Weapons. February 22, 2011. Accessed August 2, 2011.
- "U212 / U214 Attack Submarines, Germany". naval-Technology.com. Accessed August 2, 2011.
- Hammerschmidt, Albert E. “Fuel Cell Propulsion of Submarines”. “Sea Siemens” Accessed August 3, 2011.
- "China Presents the World's First Hydrogen-Fueled Tram".
- "China's Hydrogen-Powered Future Starts in Trams, Not Cars".
- "Alstom unveils its zero-emission train Coradia iLint at InnoTrans" (Press release). Alstom. 2016-09-20. Retrieved 2016-09-21.
- "Alstom to test its hydrogen fuel cell train in the Netherlands; first pilot project outside Germany", Green Car Congress, November 3, 2019
- Burgess, Molly (November 14, 2019). "First hydrogen train for the US". Hydrogen View. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
- Jung, Ryu (July 7, 2020). "Hyundai Starts Mass Production of Hydrogen Trucks". Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
- Eberle, Ulrich and Rittmar von Helmolt. "Sustainable transportation based on electric vehicle concepts: a brief overview". Energy & Environmental Science, Royal Society of Chemistry, May 14, 2010, accessed August 2, 2011 (subscription required)
- Xiong, Ben. "Governor Brown Signs AB 8" Archived 2013-12-02 at the Wayback Machine, California Fuel Cell Partnership, September 30, 2013
- "California investing nearly $50 million in hydrogen refueling stations" Archived 2018-06-24 at the Wayback Machine, California Energy Commission, May 1, 2014
- Japan gets its first commercial hydrogen station for vehicles
- Japan Times: Japan Eyes 40.000 Fuel Cell Cars and 160 Hydrogen Stations by 2020
- Voelcker, John. "Energy use for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles: higher than electrics, even hybrids (analysis)", Green Car Reports, May 4, 2017
- CleanEnergyPartnership.de: FAQ - How Many Hydrogen Filling Stations Are There?
- "H2-Stations", H2 Mobility Deutschland GmbH, June 2017
- "FC Vehicle standards". Fuelcellstandards.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- Nice, Karim, and Jonathan Strickland. "How Fuel Cells Work". How Stuff Works, accessed August 3, 2011
- Matthew L. Wald (2009-05-07), "U.S. Drops Research Into Fuel Cells for Cars", New York Times, retrieved 2009-05-09
- Bullis, Kevin. "Q & A: Steven Chu", Technology Review, May 14, 2009
- "Chu Changes Mind on Hydrogen", Autoline Daily at 2.10 of video
- Motavalli, Jim. "Cheap Natural Gas Prompts Energy Department to Soften Its Line on Fuel Cells", The New York Times, 29 May 2012
- Anderson, Mark. State grants $18.7M for hydrogen fueling stations, Sacramento Business Journal, June 13, 2013
- Energy Department Announces up to $4 Million for Advanced Hydrogen Storage, DOE, October 29, 2013
- Energy Department Launches Public-Private Partnership to Deploy Hydrogen Infrastructure
- Garbak, John. "VIII.0 Technology Validation Sub-Program Overview". DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Program, FY 2010 Annual Progress Report, accessed August 2, 2011
- "Accomplishments and Progress" Archived 2011-08-21 at the Wayback Machine. Fuel Cell Technology Program, U.S. Dept. of Energy, June 24, 2011
- Wipke, Keith, Sam Sprik, Jennifer Kurtz and Todd Ramsden. "National FCEV Learning Demonstration" Archived 2011-10-19 at the Wayback Machine. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, April 2011, accessed August 2, 2011
- Brian Warshay, Brian. "The Great Compression: the Future of the Hydrogen Economy", Lux Research, Inc. January 2012
- Notter, Dominic A.; Kouravelou, Katerina; Karachalios, Theodoros; Daletou, Maria K.; Haberland, Nara Tudela (2015-01-01). "Life cycle assessment of PEM FC applications: electric mobility and μ-CHP". Energy Environ. Sci. 8 (7): 1969–1985. doi:10.1039/c5ee01082a.
- MZ Jacobson and Co., 100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States. In: Energy and Environmental Science 8, 2015, 2093-2117, doi:10.1039/C5EE01283J.
- "Fuel Cells for Transportation", U.S. Department of Energy, updated September 18, 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2010
- "Fuel Cell Vehicles", Fuel Economy, Retrieved on: 2008-11-03.
- "Distributed Hydrogen Production via Steam Methane Reforming". However, this 25% reduction is attributable to comparisons with the average American vehicle fleet of that time at only 23 miles per gallon and did not take into consideration like for like emissions reduction alternatives that would be presented to vehicle consumers alongside a new FCV. For example modern gasoline hybrids of directly equivalent size and performance. At 16.58Kg CO2e per Kilo of H2, the use of natural gas produced hydrogen is extremely carbon intensive, whereas the hybrid car uses less CO2 intensive gasoline at 11.3Kg CO2e per Kg (Argonne National Labs). DOE figures for gasoline well to wheel are lower at 11.13 Kg CO2e per Kg. As a result when comparing like for like modern alternatives, a typical gasoline hybrid such as the Toyota Prius that achieves between 50 and 56 mpg depending on model variant produces between 24.7% and 32.2% less greenhouse gas emissions than a Toyota Mirai FCV and the Prius, its fuel and the feeling infrastructure to support it are considerably more appealing to consumers and taxpayers primarily on account of cost. A natural gas battery hybrid combustion engine car emits about the same amount of CO2 (uses just as much natural gas) as a battery hybrid hydrogen fuel cell car powered by natural gas derived hydrogen. Well-to-Wheels Case Studies for Hydrogen Pathways, DOE Hydrogen Program, accessed August 2, 2011
- Zyga, Lisa. "Why a hydrogen economy doesn't make sense". physorg.com, December 11, 2006, accessed August 2, 2011, citing Bossel, Ulf. "Does a Hydrogen Economy Make Sense?" Proceedings of the IEEE. Vol. 94, No. 10, October 2006
- Gilbert, Richard and Anthony Perl (2010). Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight without Oil, New Society Publishers ISBN 0865716609
- "EarthTalk: High costs, hurdles keep hydrogen cell cars from mass production", Arizona Daily Sun, May 2, 2011
- Well-to-wheels analysis of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
- "Well-to-wheels greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum use for mid-size light- duty vehicles". hydrogen.energy.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 30, 2009. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
- "Battery electric cars are a better choice for emissions reduction", PVBuzz.com, November 15, 2016
- Meyers, Jeremy P. "Getting Back Into Gear: Fuel Cell Development After the Hype". The Electrochemical Society Interface, Winter 2008, pp. 36–39, accessed August 7, 2011
- Squatriglia, Chuck. "Hydrogen Cars Won't Make a Difference for 40 Years", Wired, May 12, 2008
- Wrigglesworth, Phil. "The car of the perpetual future"' September 4, 2008, retrieved on September 15, 2008
- Neil, Dan (February 13, 2009). "Honda FCX Clarity: Beauty for beauty's sake". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
- Suplee, Curt. "Don't bet on a hydrogen car anytime soon". Washington Post, November 17, 2009
- Chatsko, Maxx. "1 Giant Obstacle Keeping Hydrogen Fuel Out of Your Gas Tank", The Motley Fool, November 23, 2013
- Blanco, Sebastian. "VW's Krebs talks hydrogen, says 'most efficient way to convert energy to mobility is electricity'", AutoblogGreen, November 20, 2013
- Cox, Julian. "Time To Come Clean About Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles", CleanTechnica.com, June 4, 2014
- Davies, Alex. "Honda Is Working On Hydrogen Technology That Will Generate Power Inside Your Car", The Business Insider, November 22, 2013
- Romm, Joseph. "Tesla Trumps Toyota Part II: The Big Problem With Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles", CleanProgress.com, August 13, 2014 and "Tesla Trumps Toyota 3: Why Electric Vehicles Are Beating Hydrogen Cars Today", CleanProgress.com, August 25, 2014
- Romm, Joseph. "Tesla Trumps Toyota: Why Hydrogen Cars Can’t Compete With Pure Electric Cars", CleanProgress.com, August 5, 2014
- Hunt, Tam. "Should California Reconsider Its Policy Support for Fuel-Cell Vehicles?", GreenTech Media, July 10, 2014
- Brown, Nicholas. "Hydrogen Cars Lost Much of Their Support, But Why?", Clean Technica, June 26, 2015
- "Engineering Explained: 5 Reasons Why Hydrogen Cars Are Stupid", Car Throttle, October 8, 2015
- Meyers, Glenn. "Hydrogen Economy: Boom or Bust?", Clean Technica, March 19, 2015
- Barnard, Michael. "Will People Choose Hydrogen Cars Over Gasoline-Powered Ones?", Forbes, May 30, 2017
- Baxter, Tom. "Hydrogen cars won't overtake electric vehicles because they're hampered by the laws of science", The Conversation, June 3, 2020
Carr. "The power and the glory: A special report on the future of energy", page 11. The Economist, 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fuel cell-powered vehicles.|
- 2005 - Fueva Europa
- Heetebrij, Jan. "A vision on a sustainable electric society supported by Electric Vehicles", Olino Renewable Energy, June 5, 2009
- Ulrich Hottelet: State funding for hybrid dreams, The Asia Pacific Times, October 2009
- Transport Action Plan: Urban Electric Mobility Initiative, United Nations, Climate Summit 2014, September 2014