Elon Musk: Hydrogen fuel "incredibly dumb" idea

"Cars that use hydrogen as fuel have been in the news a lot recently.

Last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk explained at length why hydrogen fuel cell cars “are extremely silly” and why “hydrogen is an incredibly dumb” alternative fuel.

Musk also said, “there’s no need for us to have this debate. I’ve said my peace on this, it will be super obvious as time goes by.” Indeed, it is super obvious already, as I’ve written many times — see my 2014 series, “Tesla Trumps Toyota,” which explains why hydrogen cars can’t compete with pure electric cars. A key reason Musk calls hydrogen “incredibly dumb” — its untenably inefficient use of carbon-free power compared to electric vehicles (EVs) — is detailed below......

....Returning to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, EV-maker Musk has, unsurprisingly, long been critical of the only other plausible zero emission vehicle. He called them “bullshit” in 2013, briefly noting their relative high cost and infrastructure issues. In 2014 Musk said, “They’re mind-bogglingly stupid” and “Success is simply not possible.”


“Consider the whole fuel cell system against a Model S. It’s far worse in volume and mass terms, and far, far, worse in cost. And I haven’t even talked about hydrogen being so hard to handle.”

Then, last month, at a press conference in Detroit, Musk offered his most detailed explanation for why hydrogen fuel cell vehicles make no sense. He was asked “You’ve been very vocal about the need for companies to reduce their emissions. Why are you so critical of hydrogen fuel cells, which are another pathway to zero emission vehicles. Do you stand by those comments?”

His key argument is one I have been making for more than a decade, since my 2004 book, “The Hype About Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate”

As Musk explains:

“Hydrogen is an energy storage mechanism. It is not a source of energy. So you have to get that hydrogen from somewhere. if you get that hydrogen from water, so you’re splitting H20, electrolysis is extremely inefficient as an energy process…. if you say took a solar panel and use the energy from that to just charge a battery pack directly, compared to try to split water, take the hydrogen, dump the oxygen, compress the hydrogen to an extremely high pressure (or liquefy it) and then put it in a car and run a fuel-cell, it is about half the efficiency, it’s terrible. Why would you do that? It makes no sense.”

In fact, Musk was being generous. In a 2006 Scientific American article I wrote with advanced-hybrid guru Andy Frank, we explain that “The entire process of electrolysis, transportation, pumping and fuel-cell conversion would leave only about 20 to 25 percent of the original zero-carbon electricity to drive the motor.” But in an EV or plug-in hybrid, “the process of electricity transmission, charging an onboard battery and discharging the battery would leave 75 to 80 percent of the original electricity to drive the motor.” So the hydrogen car is more like one third as efficient as the EV.

Put in more basic terms, the plug-in or EV “should be able to travel three to four times farther on a kilowatt-hour of renewable electricity than a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle could”!..."======http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02...ogen-dumb/
So that's that.
I've been trying to conceive a design that incorporates a system that uses small tanks filled with water that are equipped with positive and negative electrodes which can produce enough hydrogen while the car is driving to fuel the vehicle as it drives along. If enough tanks can be built they could supply the hydrogen needed and have a return line to gather the water that the engine will produce after burning the hydrogen. The oxygen that is also produced would be vented into the atmosphere so that's another plus for this kind of system.  

To say that hydrogen should be eliminated is, to me, a very wrong thing to do for when hydrogen can be made by the vehicles that they are put into we wouldn't need fossil fuels any longer. That is why I think Mr. Musk wants to try to eliminate hydrogen from the market place so that he can invest more into fossil fuels and earn big bucks.

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