Though Toyota may be a big fan, hydrogen cars have a problem. Energy must move from wire to gas to wire to power the car. There are always significant losses when the energy vector changes. For Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) the energy stays on wires all the way to the car. Tom Baxter at the University of Aberdeen looks at the losses at each stage to show that for hydrogen only 38% of the original electricity gets used. For BEVs it’s 80%. Hydrogen has other advantages. Its energy density means a full tank gives it a far greater range, and refuelling is quick. But refuelling innovations for BEVs are catching up. Specifically, the concept of not recharging but swapping your low battery with a fully charged one at a station – it can take minutes – solves the range problem. That implies the renting of your battery, which usefully spreads its cost (the battery can be 25% of the up-front cost of a new BEV). Baxter believes hydrogen will play an important role in industry and heating, but very much doubts it for cars.
Energy Post 11th June 2020 read more »