If you have noticed, last few weeks Hydrogen powered cars were seriously pumped by some media outlets and auto-makers. Elon Musk was stealing media attention by making the headlines with his Tesla Motors Gigafactory and UK "occupation" by Tesla Model S, but now we have another very important reason for Hydrogen story revival.
"We have discussed with you my personal vision of the Market for Electric Cars and Lithium Industry developments yesterday. I might be very "responsibly conservative" for the prospects of our Lithium Battery Industry after all! Today you get the bold vision from our Electric rEvolution leader-in-chief Elon Musk. AutoBlogGreen reports: "Tesla CEO Elon Musk Expects "Hundreds" Of Battery Gigafactories. Read more."
I am sceptical about Hydrogen and picture below shows the Hydrogen economics - Battery Electric Cars are much more efficient. Add here the billions of dollars needed to be invested for the infrastructure to be in place and you will get the picture who is sponsoring the effort.
You just need to check who is behind Hydrogen infrastructure: it is the same faces - Big Oil. Who else will be able to create the necessary Hydrogen production, storage and distribution? Idea is to change one Needle with Oil to another Addiction.
I personally have nothing against Hydrogen, when economics will be right. For those who are afraid of the Lithium Battery fires I can only say that driving highly pressurised Hydrogen in the tank will be quite another experience.
Actually, in my discussions with Mercedes who is moving forward E-Cell concepts they have explained to me that their Hydrogen powered cars will have Lithium Battery on-board. Hydrogen Cell only produces Energy, it cannot store it and Regenerative Breaking is the very important source of Energy which could be only stored in the battery on-board. Another very important consideration is the so called specific power: the ability of Lithium Battery to provide very high rate of discharge which allows famous Electric Car instant torque. Hydrogen Fuel Cells are lacking such important energy dynamics. Hydrogen Fuel Cells basically will provide the Range Extension to the Battery Powered Cars.
"Mercedes-Benz reports on 3.3 M km of B-Class Fuel cell testing, looks ahead to next generation.
Based on an optimized, more compact fuel cell system presented by Mercedes-Benz in its F 600 HYGENIUS research vehicle in 2005, the 80 kW stack module in the B-Class F-CELL is around 40% smaller, but develops 30% more power output and cuts fuel consumption by 16% compared to the A-Class stack. Stack lifetime has increased to more than 2,000 hours. The electric motor has a continuous / peak performance of 70 kW / 100 kW (94 hp / 136 hp) and a maximum torque of 290 Nm (214 lb-ft). Range (NEDC) is 385 km (239 miles) and refueling time is about three minutes. The fuel-cell car uses a lithium-ion battery pack with an output of 35 kW and a capacity of 1.4 kWh to boost power and recover braking energy. Green Car Congress".
Now we can look at all these events in another light. Dr Nafeez Ahmed reports in The Guardian: "Write-down of two-thirds of US shale oil explodes fracking myth":
Next month, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) will publish a new estimate of US shale deposits set to deal a death-blow to industry hype about a new golden era of US energy independence by fracking unconventional oil and gas.
I think that we all can appreciate much better the report by David Hughes at Post Carbon Institute "Drill, Baby, Drill" Can we talk now that fracking potentially has just only postponed The Peak Oil? Chris Nelder gave a very good interview on this subject in depth last year: "Peak Oil Isn't Dead".
Have you checked you fuel Gas or Petrol receipts lately? If we have so much Oil from fracking why the prices are still so high? Even with the Global Economy still recovering at very tepid pace? What will happen when FED's QE will produce its miracle - "The Solid Growth"?
Add into the picture the air pollution from all types of ICE engines, when in China major megalopolises are literally suffocating with horrible air pollution and people are sold "The Mountain Air In The Bags".
"I find it particularly encouraging that this year all major automakers have announced J/V plans to produce Electric Cars in China. Chinese government has declared war on pollution and we are proud to be part of such a noble case: to keep the air clean to breath, but allow personal mobility in most densely populated urban centres in the world. We are talking here about mass market for Electric Cars. Now we have the Lithium battery technology to make it happen. International Lithium works on the security of Lithium supply for this Electric Revolution.
Talking about Lithium demand, I have to mention the rapid growth in Alternative Energy. Solar and Wind Power will provide further increase in demand for the Secondary Storage, Lithium Battery technology advancing in this field very fast these days. Autonomous Robotics systems will be another very important customer in the future for the Lithium Industry. Read more."
Now, maybe, we can have the better understanding why Elon Musk is so confident in his plans for Electric Cars and at International Lithium we are doing our part to change the world into a better place, where the exhaust pipe could be found only on the old pictures one day.