|2017 Toyota Mirai "H2 Fuel Cell"|
The first zero emission vehicle to win the E-Rallye race in Monte Carlo, 3 Toyota Mirai vehicles were driven more than 1000km in the event.
A historical first for H2 fuel cell technology! A sign of progress & more good things yet to come. The fuel cell bus backup power generation was big news. The Toyota Prius Prime exists at the forefront of hybrid vehicle applied technologies! The Mirai platform shows the potential of H2 fuel cell technology as a bridge to the future when battery technology is significantly better.
Today electric vehicles are hindered by a few problems that I have written about before.
1. Slow recharging, almost 1 hours to full on Tesla Super Charger
2. Lack of charging where most people park (multi-family)
3. 600wh/kg is 20x less energy dense than gasoline!
Hydrogen or H2 vehicles are hindered by different problems.
1. Expensive H2 fuel
2. Lack of Filling Stations / Infrastructure Missing
3. Hydrogen made from Natural gas that is 20x cheaper
If you were to follow Green Car Congress for a few years, you would notice that battery technologies are being developed by hundreds of scientific research groups that are well funded all around the world.
Lithium Sulfur offers 2X better energy density than the awesome Pansonic Tesla NCA/ NCR tech used in the Model S! LiS is already being used in aerospace defense UAV drones to give 2x longer flight endurance than was possible using older lithium ion technologies! Thin film solar on the top of these drones further extends range!
The road to commercializing a new battery technology can take up to 20 years because of the complex infrastructure required to manufacture a given chemistry by the billions. Today the 18650 is used in electric vehicles, power tools, higher performance LED flashlights, portable USB power packs, jump starting packs that are super light, scientific equipment, portable gaming consoles and a broad range of other consumer electronics like laptop computers.
Fuel Cell vehicles Save Time!
You can refill a Toyota Mirai at a 10,000psi filling station in under 5min, which nets about 300mi of range. At $0.17 per mile the fuel costs are roughly 3x greater than the Prius Prime running on a mix of grid power and cheap gasoline that comes from the ~$30/barrel oil glut. Time is money, so the time saved helps to offset the higher fuel prices that H2 imposes on the fuel cell vehicle driver.
Oil Prices to Climb
Oil prices will not stay down forever! I predict that by 2020 the oil price will climb back into the $80/barrel range, resulting in gas prices around ~$4 per gallon.
Governments all around the world are going to start taxing carbon, a measure to this effect was just on my voting ballot and I voted for the carbon tax! I believe that Fossil Fuels are a dead end because tail pipe emissions make people sick with preventable diseases, especially young children, elderly people and people with impaired immune function.