Could hydrogen vehicles take over as the 'green' car of choice?

November 19, 2014, American Chemical Society

Now that car makers have demonstrated through hybrid vehicle success that consumers want less-polluting tailpipes, they are shifting even greener. In 2015, Toyota will roll out the first hydrogen fuel-cell car for personal use that emits only water. An article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, explains how hydrogen could supplant hybrid and electric car technology—and someday, even spur the demise of the gasoline engine.

Melody M. Bomgardner, a senior editor at C&EN, notes that the first fuel-cell vehicles will be sold in Japan, then California to start. Although Toyota is the only one poised to sell fuel-cell vehicles very soon, other companies are also investing billions of dollars in the technology. Hyundai, General Motors, Honda and Daimler have all announced plans to offer their own hydrogen models in the near future. The first cars will set customers back about $70,000, but this marks a 95 percent cut in system costs in less than 10 years. As they improve the technology further, car manufacturers expect that prices will come down to more affordable levels.

But does that translate into a practical edge for ? With a hydrogen vehicle, filling up only takes about three minutes, compared to an overnight charge for an all-electric car. Fuel-cell vehicles can go 400 miles on one fill-up, which is fewer than a hybrid but with no polluting emissions. Although electrics also boast zero tailpipe emissions, they will have a tough time competing with that kind of range. Given these advantages, some experts suggest hydrogen fuel cells could someday overtake hybrid, electric and even internal combustion technologies.

Explore further: Toyota to start sales of fuel cell car next month

More information: "Fuel-Cell Cars Start to Arrive" - cen.acs.org/articles/92/i46/Ma … Vehicles-Almost.html

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

February 16, 2019

Peruvian archaeologists discovered an Incan tomb in the north of the country where an elite member of the pre-Columbian empire was buried, one of the investigators announced Friday.

Where is the universe hiding its missing mass?

February 15, 2019

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them ...

What rising seas mean for local economies

February 15, 2019

Impacts from climate change are not always easy to see. But for many local businesses in coastal communities across the United States, the evidence is right outside their doors—or in their parking lots.

The friendly extortioner takes it all

February 15, 2019

Cooperating with other people makes many things easier. However, competition is also a characteristic aspect of our society. In their struggle for contracts and positions, people have to be more successful than their competitors ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

hangman04
not rated yet Nov 19, 2014
if the price for "green fuel" and for the car are competitive with their premium diesel counterparts it can be a start.
Lord_jag
not rated yet Nov 20, 2014
In a word, no.

Hydrogen will have all the problems of Gas AND electric cars combined.

Its dangerous to store and uses huge amounts of petroleum products or electricity to produce. Far more then just burning the petroleum or charging a battery.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.