Infographic: Clearing Up Hydrogen Fuel Misconceptions

 

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The battle for the future of alternative fuels is heating up, with the Toyota FCV priced and poised to take on the Tesla Model S. While I’m no fan of hydrogen myself, there’s a fair bit of misinformation still out there on the fuel, and at the very least companies like Toyota deserve a fair chance to make their alternative fuel vision viable.

That said, this chart is, at least in two areas, a less-than-fair to its primary competitor, the Tesla Model S. For one, the 300+ mile range of the Toyota FCV is compared to the 208 mile range of the base 60 kWh Model S. A fairer comparison would be the more-expensive 85 kWh Model S, which can go up to 265 miles per charge (though it costs $10,000 more).

The infographic also claims the Toyota FCV has an estimated cost of $50,000, compared to the $70,000 of the Tesla Model S. Toyota has said the FCV will cost about $70,000, though a just announced a $20,000 buyer credit for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Japan technically brings the price down to the $50,000 range. But there’s no guarantee that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will get a similarly-generous incentive in the America.

Other than that though, the infographic provides some insight into the many misconceptions surrounding hydrogen fuel. But can hydrogen overcome the many embedded advantages of EVs?

Source: Olathe Toyota Parts Center

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • keithdude

    I recall that Toyota indicated the price they stated was for Japan, and not for Europe and the United States.

  • WeaponZero

    Myth #2 is wrong, the DOE looked at the cost of fuel cells in terms of POWER rating aka KW, not kwh. You can’t compare a battery energy stroage costs to the costs of the power rating of a fuel cell, completely different thing. An FCV would actually cost MORE than a comparable Tesla. Just look at the Toyota FCV, it has performance of a prius but costs as much as a Model S. Tesla in 2017 will have an affordable 35k EV, According to Toyota, an affordable FCV with 30-50k price tag will come 2025+ or later.

    Myth #3 the difference is up to 35%, that is not small. On top of that, the cost is based on getting the hydrogen from fossil fuels. If you plan to get it from water it is going to be far more expensive.

    Myth #4 and #6 Natural gas is stored at 2,900-3,600 psi. Hydrogen cars store it at 10,000psi. Pretty big difference. On top of that, NG has sulfur mixed into it so you can tell if there is a leak, hydrogen is too light to mix anything in. Orderless, colorless gas.

    Myth #5 except a 2 million dollar gas station includes multiple pumps, here we are talking about 3-5 million for 1-2 pumps. Add to that, gas stations have been dropping in the US as the profit margins on gas stations are tiny, most of the profit these gas stations make are on the convenience store and other such services, not on gas. The oil companies have pretty much dropped ownership of gas stations due to the business not being very profitable. Due to the limited amount of Fuel Cell cars, nobody is going to spend 3-5 million to add 1-2 hydrogen pumps to their gas station.

    Myth #8 yeah it is, the cost of making hydrogen from water and renewable energy isn’t going to be economically viable for decades.

    Myth #9 This graphic must be outdated, Toyota already published prices of the FCEV to cost 70k, Tesla has already got charging times below 1 hour and the driving range of the Toyota FCV is NOT 300 miles, at least not on the EPA test. The hydrogen based Tuscan has a 5.64kg tank and does 265 miles epa range, the Toyota has around the same tank size of 11 lb. And will most likely have same range when it gets to EPA testing, maybe a bit less. Though to note the Toyota Fuel Cell car has top speed of 100mph and 0 to 60 of over 10 seconds cmpared to 120-130mph for Tesla and 4.2-5.4 0 to 60 on the Tesla, it is also a smaller car.

    Myth #10 Actually, Tesla has looked into fuel cells, they looked at super capacitors too and other options. For the forseeable future, batteries just showed to be the best way to go. So far, all the fuel cell cars that have been announced are compliance cars. With no afordable FCV till at least 2025, it is pretty much BS.

    • I understand that “haters gotta hate,” but you’re playing fast and loose with the facts here. 🙂

      In order:

      #2 – Comparing a 60kWh battery pack to a 60kW fuel cell stack + storage tank is logical. That’s exactly how they’ll be sold to the public…and the cost of the storage tank is negligible compared to the cost of the stack, so it makes sense to compare fuel cell stack costs to battery pack costs.

      #3 – Please re-read. The costs are for renewable hydrogen, and they are sourced.

      #4 and #6 – I appreciate safety concerns, but there’s quite a bit of evidence suggesting that fuel cells are far safer than gas-powered ICEs…just as natural gas powered vehicles.

      #5 and #8 – The technologies and costs are changing quickly.

      #9 – Toyota has said that the Japanese model costs about $70k. The price of the US model (about a year away) isn’t known, but it’s said to be closer to $50k.

      #10 – The “compliance car” jibe ignores the fact that Toyota has likely spent billions to develop this technology. If Toyota was merely trying to “comply” – and had no interest in making this product a center of profits in the decades to come – they could have just continued their EV licensing deal with Tesla.

      • WeaponZero

        #2 – The graphic says kwh for fuel cells which is WRONG as I pointed out. Because the accurate check was for power, this inaccuracy in itself points the flaws of the infographic author in understanding fuel cells. And please,60kw stack is not enough for a car! The Toyota FCV has a 100kw stack! And even with a 100kw stack it is limited to 100mph and has terrible acceleration and it still needs a battery on top of that fuel cell.

        #3 – Please quote me the line here where it says it is renewable being used. I read it 10 times and it is just not there. I suggest taking your own advice and rereading it.

        #4 and #6 – I was not pointing out safety concerns here, I am not worried about short term concerns (though it might be an issue in the long term), I was pointing out 10,000psi is not the same as 2900 – 3600psi, BIG DIFFERENCE!

        #5 and #8 – That is just wishful thinking. But reality does not support this. Even Toyota’s own claims says that in a few decades they hope to get it down to 1 – 3 million per pump. And for the hydrogen costs, all calculations place us half a century away. Using fossil fuels to make hydrogen is just too cheap.

        #9 – You are joking right? The 50k estimate is based on an old number, I remember seeing it used. It is based on the 70k price plus 20k subsidy from the japanese governement in Japan. In the US, it will more than likely cost same or more.

        #10 – You are kidding right? 1 Fuel Cell car is worth 5-6 EVs in terms of credits. They discontinued their licensing deal because fuel cell cars are worth that much more credits.

        • #2 – You’re right. The infographic says kw-hr behind fuel cell output, and that is incorrect. However, the larger point – which is that fuel cells aren’t as expensive as battery packs – stands. A 100kW stack will be $3000-$5000 assuming the projections are correct. A 60kWh battery pack (which is what we’ll probably see in Tesla’s next car) is going to be at least $6k, and some think it will be $9k+ (depends on what you figure the cost per kWh will be once the new factory opens).

          Also, the early reviews of the FCV from drivers are saying the car is powerful: http://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/first-drive-2015-toyota-fuel-cell-vehicle-prototype/2000009773/

          This review notes that the tires can be “chirped” at full throttle.

          #3: “a kilogram of hydrogen gas generated via wind powered electrolysis will cost $5-6”

          #4 and #6 – I don’t see the difference as being all that big, but whatever. If it helps, most direct injection gasoline engines (or diesels) pressurize fuel up to 30k PSI before squirting it into the cylinder…it’s not as if high pressure fluids represent some overwhelming engineering challenge.

          #5 and #8 – The cool part about fuel cell stack technology is that a lot of it is applicable to electrolysis. It’s important to understand that dramatic reductions in catalyst requirements have changed the costs of both.

          #9 – We’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we? 🙂

          #10 – Not kidding at all. A conservative estimate is that Toyota has spent $3 billion on this technology, and some think it’s been $10 billion. That buys a LOT of EV powertrains.

          • WeaponZero

            #2 – Based on what was noted previously, the Tesla Model 3 will most likely use a 48kwh battery. For reference, Tesla Model S has a power rating of 320kw.

            And again I note the Toyota FCV has 100mph and o to 60 of over 10 seconds. Not in the same league as the Tesla performance. And you also need not just a fuel cell buy a hybrid-battery too.

            #3 – Ok I missed that, I admit. But they also missed something and I quote NREL:

            “The total cost of hydrogen produced from the electricity at the wind farm and delivered to and dispensed at the Los Angeles area refueling stations is $9.4/kg.

            Production cost is $5.5/kg; storage and delivery cost is $3.9/kg”

            The Delivery costs!

            #4 and #6 – compression of gasses is not the same thing. Especially hydrogen which can slip through everything due to its size.

            #5 and #8 – The cost of fueling stations has not budged much at all. And the cost of fossil fuel use for hydrogen dropped with it. Why do you think the fuel cell lobby requested that 90% of funding go to using fossil fuels?

            #9 – sure. Though I can’t imagine making the car In Japan then importing it into the US will drop the price.

            #10 – Most of Toyota’s spending has been over time, they invested in a lot of different technologies just like the other manufacturers. If you remember, Toyota promised fuel cell cars last decade, when the mandates got removed, they seem to have forgotten about them. Now that mandates give fuel cells 5-6X as many credits they seem to have remembered about fuel cells again. What are the odds?

          • #2 – It’s hard to compare the specs of two cars that aren’t available yet, but suffice to say your comment about “terrible acceleration” seems like a bit of a reach.

            #3 – The beauty of hydrogen is that there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from producing it on site. Frankly, this is why I think FCVs have so much potential. Solar cells and wind turbines are getting cheaper every day. The trouble is, storing all that cheap energy is expensive.

            HOWEVER, if every fuel station (or maybe even every home?) had a solar array and/or wind turbine pumping out cheap electricity, any excess electricity could used to produce hydrogen on-site. Honda is developing a system that – allegedly – will cost $20k to install on an average home, and generate hydrogen from municipal water using only sunlight. While that’s not really cheap, it’s not a mature technology either.

            Like I said, the beauty of hydrogen is that it dovetails very nicely with the need for affordable energy storage created by cheap renewable power.

            #4 and #6 – Sorry, I think you’re making too much of this one.

            #5 and #8 – I can’t speak to lobbyist demands, but I would say that it’s awfully early to be dismissing the potential for renewable hydrogen production. Have you read much about the NREL test facilities?

            #9 – Japan is a different animal. Toyota priced the car knowing that they could get a subsidy from the Japanese govt. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the US-spec version comes in at $59k.

            #10 – It seems obvious to me that FCVs are anything but compliance cars. The easiest way to “comply” is to build unremarkable electric cars and lose money on each one.

            It simply doesn’t make economic sense to pursue this massively expensive technology just to make some California regulators happy…we’re talking about billions vs millions.

          • AaronD12

            Japan is giving a $20,000 subsidy on FCVs. That’s where the $50,000 price of Toyota’s model came from on this “infographic” — it includes the $20,000 subsidy.

          • WeaponZero

            #2 – We know the specs, it has a 0 to 60 of above 10 seconds, that is slower than a Nissan Leaf even, let alone a Tesla.

            #3 – Right, but the building on-site will be fossil fuel based. Because in terms of cost of using solar and wind, you would place it in ideal locations. A gas station surrounded by tall buildings is not ideal for solar or wind. That said, since fossil fuel is cheaper to make hydrogen, that is what they will go with. And you have storage costs either way.

            As for at home fueling of hydrogen, not going to happen and for a few reasons.

            A) It will take a long time, current laws limit residential compressors. This is why in-home CNG refilling takes hours despite being far less compressed.

            B) The in-home system they are developing is a 5000psi system. Most of the newer FCVs are 10000psi.

            C) The safety of such an in-home system is questionable.

            #4 and #6 – The point here is that while liquids just need a more sturdy tank, gasses need a tank where the gas molecules can’t pass through. Which is extremely difficult.

            #5 and #8 – Yes, but the costs have not changed much in over a decade. The only change has been due to renewable energy becoming cheaper, not the actual production costs or station filling costs.

            #9 – Unlikely, they might be able to do it but then they would be losing money on every car sold and making it up with ZEV credits.

            #10 – No way, if you make a compliance EV, you get like 2 – 3 credits per EV, A long range EV will get you 5 credits. A fuel cell car will get you 26 credits.

          • Ben Helton

            Current electrolysis systems use about 50-58KWh of electricity / kg of H2 produced and compressed.
            Toyota’s 5.5kg capacity car gets about 81 miles / kg (430 mile total range).

            At wholesale energy cost, (averaging around $40 / MWh) we need to price out about 319 KWh to ‘fill up this tank’. That, my friend, is about $12.76 in raw energy cost.

            In my area, cost of electricity is only around $22/MWh (and its the middle of hot summer)

            Hmmm…. I think these H2 folk are on to something here.

        • Ben Helton

          Current electrolysis systems use about 50-58KWh of electricity / kg of H2 produced and compressed.
          Toyota’s 5.5kg capacity car gets about 81 miles / kg (430 mile total range).
          At wholesale energy cost, (averaging around $40 / MWh) we need to price out about 319 KWh to ‘fill up this tank’. That, my friend, is about $12.76 in raw energy cost.

          • WeaponZero

            The 430 miles range is based on JC08 test. As I pointed to you above, in the JC08 the Nissan Leaf get 141 miles range. Wait for the EPA test which is MUCH harsher.

            And I would really love to know where you can buy 40$ per mwh, that is cheaper than it costs to produce even using the most cheapest powerplants. They would have to subsidize half the cost.

            http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

          • Ben Helton

            You’re pulling up documents that is nothing but ‘forecasts’…
            I’m talking real world, actual trading numbers.

            http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/images/2013.07.23/maplarge.png

          • WeaponZero

            Those costs do not factor in distribution costs.

          • Ben Helton

            That’s right. That’s because it can be purchased wholesale, right off of the transmission grid, from wholesalers…..

            Distribution is for electric companies (residential infrastructures). They have to send out technicians just to read your meter every month. Electricians have to inspect every install. They replace the transformers and distribution equipment when it fails. They employ call centers for people calling to get extensions and financial assistance on their bills. They have to send out bills to you, and then collect the payments. They have to account for people who don’t pay their bills. They have to always be on call to initiate new commercial or residential service. All of these things cost money, and the list is much larger than what I have provided.

            That’s why, on you’re electric bill you see what’s call a ‘fuel charge’. That’s the price of your raw electricity. More than half of what you pay is overhead for not having to deal with the other problems with buying that electricity at wholesale prices….

            When a fueling infrastructure is pulling power from transmission, why pay commercial electricity rates just for the electric companies to manage transformers? Wholesale prices can drop as low as $11 / MWh in the middle of the night.

            On my electric bill, my fuel charge is only 3.5 cents / kwh, but I ultimately average about 10cents / kwh on my bill.

            That’s just the way…it….is….

          • WeaponZero

            If you are not paying distribution costs of electricity and making hydrogen on site, then you are paying distribution costs of transporting hydrogen.

            The NREL already broke down the costs to ebing 9.4$ per kg.

          • Ben Helton

            You just twist your argument any way that favors what you want it you.

            There’s not ‘distribution costs’ in having on-site hydrogen electrolysis and storage tanks.

            Here’s the cost breakdown;
            -Fuel Charge (you’re electricity, as we talked about)
            -Equipment Ammortization (financing the needed equipment over 10’s of thousands of kilograms produced)
            -Maintenance and Safety Inspection costs
            -Small profit for fuel station owner
            -Small profit / reimbursement for initial investment

            The hydrogen is not moved, except from tank to vehicle….

            Maybe you meant to say ‘distributed costs’ ?

      • Chris

        That 60kWh pack has a peak output of >200kWp (285HP)… the 60kWp fuel cell stack has a peak output of…. 60kWp or ~85HP… weak.

  • Steve Hanley

    I agree with Chris. There are some distortions in the way the information is presented and those detract from the overall presentation, but in general this is useful information.

    As I keep saying, the battle is not between EV’s and FCV’s. The battle is between the electric recharger and the hydrogen refueling infrastructure. There’s gonna be a lot of money made in the years ahead. And a lot of money lost as well.

    Place your gets, gentlemen!

    • WeaponZero

      It won’t even be a battle, according to Toyota, the affordable fuel cell cars are coming 2025+ or later. In comparison, Tesla will have an affordable EV in 2017. We are talking about a decade head start.

      The infrastructure is just the killing blow since the official strategy of getting fuel cell infrastructure made is having the government do it. I am sure the government will get it done asap, just like they handled all those VA claims. aka they will be lucky if it happens this century.

      • Steve Hanley

        You could be right, sir. A 10 year head start could be hard to overcome. But remember that cassettes were overtaken by 8 tracks way back when and then staged a resurgence! ; )

        I don’t honestly have any idea how this is all going to play out. But it does seem to me that both EV’s and FCV’s are furshlunginer expensive compared to good ol’ gasoline standby’s like the Corolla and the Civic. You can buy an awful lot of gasoline for the $25,000 difference between them (as things stand at the moment).

        Never forget that buyers are notoriously cheap and there are far more WalMarts and McDonald’s than there are Saks 5th Avenue and Escoffier Rooms.

        I recommend keeping plenty of popcorn on hand. it’s gonna be a show!

        • WeaponZero

          The Tesla Model III will be a 35k EV. If you are the kind of person that drives 30k miles a year, that is like getting a completely free car.

        • Mark Renburke

          “$25,000 difference”? Nonsense, that not accurate at all. Steve, the thing is, you don’t need a big, expensive battery to get your daily drive all-electric, where’s in a fuel cell car you have to get the whole expensive package. A Nissan LEAF is under $22k with incentives, and several entry level electrics are even less. Need to go further? Get a Chevy Volt (40 miles EV) or Ford Energi Fusion or CMAX (20 miles EV) which are all three now priced in the mid-twenties with incentives. And then all these cars will save you thousands of dollars a year on fuel and maintenance, making their effective 3 to 5 year total costs multiple thousands less than many inferior gasoline only “economy” cars. Once you run the actual numbers, the “too expensive” argument no longer holds water. To compare another way, you can buy a used Chevy Volt coming off lease 3 year lease with only ~30k miles for around $19,000, less than a brand new Honda Civic. Guess which car costs thousands of dollars less PER YEAR to own and operate?

          • Steve Hanley

            Hmmm….I appreciate the input. Perhaps I don’t know everything. My wife certainly says so,,,,,,frequently!

            I suppose my POV is colored by my circumstances. I use my 2010 Civic as my business transportation (sadly, writing for Gas 2.0 doesn’t pay all the bills. At least not yet.) My typical day sees 100-150 miles go on the odometer from the time I leave home till the time I get back. Most of the EV’s you mention would not suit my driving needs. Although they very well may for others who drive fewer miles on a daily basis.

            But again, I appreciate your input. As the saying goes, “I never learned anything from someone who agrees with me.”

            : )

          • Mark Renburke

            Thanks for your opened minded response. My previous car was a 2010 Toyota Yaris and the Volt is much less expensive to own and more convenient to deal with.

            No, an electric or range extended car like the Volt would not seem to be the best/most economical choice for your driving habits (the Prius C would likely be but I can’t endorse that car for a number of reasons lol!)

            However there is a Volt in Ohio (sparkie) whose owner has a 202 mile “mega commute”. His wife (an accountant I believe?) ran all the numbers and the Volt made the most sense for this. (Granted he can do an L2 full charge at work every day for free, so that ~75/200 daily EVis a big factor in their cost equation)

          • Steve Hanley

            Hey, good discussion, Mark. At the risk of dragging us off topic, I am saddened that our country is now controlled 100% by leaders who are constrained by ideology. Its as if they are cloistered in intellectual monasteries that keep out any “impure” thoughts. How can anyone expect to find the best solutions for the future of the nation if they only listen to one point of view?

            Anyway, my daily drive does not permit any recharging during the day. I am a state constable, which is less than a sheriff but above a paper boy. My car is my office and if my wheels aren’t turning, I am not making any money.

            Another factor that concerns me is the cost of replacing the battery when it reaches the end of its useful life. I wrote a story recently about the LEAF battery costing $5995 to replace, plus installation. That’s a pretty good chunk of change. If Honda told every Civic buyer they would have to replace the engine at 150,000 miles +/-, I think that would put a lot of people off.

            Lastly, there is the obsolescence issue. EV manufacturers are constantly upgrading their batteries and software. I believe early adopters will suffer when they try to sell their EV’s because the marketplace will have changed.

            But lastly, I am just cheap! I have the most valuable accessory there is – no car payment! : )

          • Mark Renburke

            I can comment on the battery life and obsolescence issues, hopefully sounding objective and not too Volt-biased, to say that Nissan has made a great entry level electric car that you can lease, as long as it fits your range lifestyle and/or you are a two car family. But there are issues with purchasing one (without going in to detail) which would require you to be a careful and conscientious owner. So leasing also makes sense because clearly there is room for improvement on that front.

            As for the Volt, GM has done the due diligence engineering and design to ensure extremely long battery life and consistent performance expected of today’s automobiles, while still providing an all-electric range that satifies the needs of 75%+ of drivers. In additional they’ve provided the familiarity and ubiquity of existing infrastructure to elimanate any range or refueling time concerns. If the range already works for you (as it does for me with a 70 mile RT commute and workplace charging), then future improvements that matter are things like space and the same tech improvements that all cars will get. Consequently, they’ve made an electric car that people can confidently lease OR buy. More automakers need to acknowledge and follow GM’s leadership on blending electric performance with pragmatism.

            Now back on topic, I don’t see Toyota or Hyundai with their Gen I FCVs making cars that you even want to lease, because there is no savings, convenience, or performance improvement even over gasoline (LEAF and Volt offer at least 2 out of 3 to most drivers) and of course you can’t buy them (nor would you want to, at $70k+!)

        • Mark Renburke

          Stev Hanley 5 year total cost of ownership for a 2013 Honda Civic vs a 2013 Chevy Volt:

          Civic: $34,754

          Volt: $33,411

          (Source edmunds com. Zip code used: 02111; Note: the Volt is a better equipped, better performing, and safer car and saves the owner time by charging at home and needing less maintenance; Civic seats 5 vs 4 in the Volt)

      • Ben Helton

        Battery vehicles actually have about a 115 year head start. See, Ferdinand Porsche’s first car, code-named P1, was actually battery electric

        Read more: http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/transportation/blogs/porsches-long-buried-first-vehicle-was-an-electric-car-and-it-was#ixzz38YVsqqeg

        In fact, in 1898. it even had a 49 mile range! (pretty impressive if you ask me! comparable to the Leaf)

        Battery vehicles were actually ‘all the rage’ back then!

        • WeaponZero

          You mean a 68 year head start? First Fuel Cell vehicle was made in 1966 by GM.

          But being more realistic, the battery technology of today (and the fuel cell technology of today) has changed dramatically since then.

          The issue back then was that the transistor was not invented, limiting cars to 20mph speed. A 49 mile range is nothing that impressive considering that the weight of the car was far less, and the speed it traveled. If you are not picky about speed, the Nissan Leaf got 141 miles range in the JC08 (japanese version of EPA test)

          Side note, did you know you need batteries to run a fuel cell vehicle?

          • Ben Helton

            Porsche P1 BEV – 2,977 pounds

            2013 Nissan Leaf – 3,291 lb

            The weight is not all that different….

          • WeaponZero

            Ok, but the battery on that Porsche P1 BEV weighted 1,103 lb which is about the weight of a Tesla Model S battery. So in terms of weight to range of the battery, there has been a 10X improvement

          • Mark Renburke

            Yes, and how far could you drive in a Nissan LEAF at a speed of 22 mph?

    • Mark Renburke

      I agree with you about what the battle should be, but in the marketing both Toyota and Hyundai are clearly going after EVs with fear, uncertainty, and doubt as their propaganda tools – just have a look at the Hyundai Tuscon FC official web page. This goes way beyond refuting a few comments by Elon Musk; it is their strategy to steal customers that might have gone electric, and to damage the electric car market any way the legally can.

  • Chris

    How about a well to wheel calculation… Electrolysis is AT BEST ~80% efficient… Fuel Cells are AT BEST ~60% efficient… so 1kWh can either drive a BEV ~3 miles or a FCV ~2 miles. What’s the driver to build out the fueling stations? BEVs have an inherent advantage since every home can already charge a BEV. $5M for a H2 station? The entire west coast Tesla Fast Charge network cost less than that…

    • This is a common argument against FCVs, but frankly energy efficiency is irrelevant. Consumers don’t make decisions based on what’s most efficient – they make decisions based on cost and convenience…which is why we don’t all ride the bus and/or a bicycle (which is fare more energy efficient than all of the above).

      If consumers like the price point of FCVs, the range, the easy refills, etc., they’ll buy them. If they like the low operating costs of BEV (and can tolerate the higher up-front costs), that’s the route they’ll go. But thermodynamic efficiency won’t be on 99% of consumer’s shopping lists.

      • Chris

        Efficiency = cost; FCV won’t be cost-effective vs BEV if electrolysis is the source for 30 – 40 years. If we use Steam Reforming then we might as well just stick with ICE. You’re right, few people care about efficiency but that has a HUGE impact on what they DO care about… $$$/mile.

        • Ben Helton

          Here’s some food for thought;

          Current electrolysis systems use about 50-58KWh of electricity / kg of H2 produced and compressed.
          Toyota’s 5.5kg capacity car gets about 81 miles / kg (430 mile total range).
          At wholesale energy cost, (averaging around $40 / MWh) we need to price out about 319 KWh to ‘fill up this tank’. That, my friend, is about $12.76 in raw energy cost.

          One single 3MW wind turbine can refuel about 60 of these vehicles a day, or enough for about 480 drivers / week

          • Chris

            So… FCVs require >2x as much energy per mile as BEVs, the fueling stations are >20x as expensive as DCQC and they can’t be fueled at home. Not sure I’m willing to take on all that to save ~2 hours on charging when I travel every ~3 months… 90% of my charging takes place during breakfast / lunch / dinner anyway. FCVs may have a future… in 30-40 years when we’ve got nothing better to do with all the extra solar PV than split water….

          • Ben Helton

            Sure – as long as you don’t factor in the cost and energy required for those 1000+lb batteries.

            Over a 200,000 mile period, a Tesla Model S still dumps more CO2 in the environment than a Toyota Prius. (very well documented fact)

            How many replacement drive motors will one need in a Model S to even get to 200,000 miles? Based on trends, probably 6 or 7…

          • Chris

            I’ve got >50k miles on mine and still going strong… most drive train replacements were due to noise, not failure. I’ll likely get to ~200k miles. The batteries can be recycled. Who’s going to pay for Hydrogen filling stations? Unlike Superchargers and BEVs ALL FCVs will need to use them so we’ll need a lot more H2 stations than DCQC stations.

          • WeaponZero

            You do realize that a Fuel Cell Vehicle dumps as much CO2 as a conventional gasoline vehicle right?

            And as for CO2 comparison vs a prius depends where you live.

            In terms of replacement goes, that is nonsense. It is a small isolated issue with small amount of cars, the reason people end up with multiple replacements is because Tesla is using refurbished replacements.

            But if you want to play that game, did you hear how Toyota FCV is applying for an exemption in safety standards of shutting off the electricity in the event of a low speed crash? something about the fuel cell will be ruined if they did that so they have to keep the electricity running. I wonder how many people they will need to replace during the first 200,000 miles.

  • lad76

    Because a FCV is really a BEV with a FC range extender, a used Toyota FCV should make an excellent BEV conversion. Remove the FC stack, high pressure tank and exhaust system, install a J1772 plug and AC charger, increase the size of the traction battery and wa-lah!, no more fuel station stops and zero dependence on the oil companies.

  • AaronD12

    Notice they don’t touch the issue of hydrogen being clean. Steam reformation of natural gas to create hydrogen produces nearly as much CO2 as burning gasoline!

    The information about not having to store hydrogen in liquid form is both true and false. In the vehicle, it is stored in pressurized gaseous form. In the fueling station, it is stored in liquid form. Storing in liquid form requires a lot of electricity.

    Since when does Toyota’s car cost $50,000? After Japan’s $20,000 incentive? They didn’t show the Tesla’s $7500 incentive. Why? It would make their Corolla-sized FCV more expensive than the Tesla Model S. These cars are NOT comparable. The FCV will not be anywhere as fast as the Tesla either.

    Toyota needs to stop trying to white-wash this technology and call it what it is: Another alternative to GASOLINE. It is not a viable alternative to BEVs.

    • Ben Helton

      It’s not white-washed at all.

      Hydrogen is very efficiently and effectively produced via electrolysis.

      Current electrolysis systems use about 50-58KWh of electricity / kg of H2 produced and compressed.
      Toyota’s 5.5kg capacity car gets about 81 miles / kg (430 mile total range).
      At wholesale energy cost, (averaging around $40 / MWh) we need to price out about 319 KWh to ‘fill up this tank’. That, my friend, is about $12.76 in raw energy cost.

      Once we’re just talking electricity, the source is equally judged whether refueling an H2 car, or ‘charging’ up your BEV

      As far as being clean, I think everybody wants newly developed electricity sources to all be renewable. Wind Turbines now – a – days are rated at 3MW with average of 26.9% output.

      • Guest

        Porsche P1 BEV – 2,977 pounds

        2013 Nissan Leaf – 3,291 lb

        • Mark Renburke

          Porsche battery: 1,100 pounds (500 kg) and ~20 kWh (estimated and generous, based on 25 kg per kWh of current lead acid tech)
          (Top speed: 22 mph)

          Nissan LEAF battery: 660 pounds (300 kg) and 24 kWh
          (Top speed: 90 mph)

      • WeaponZero

        The difference is charging a battery and discharging a battery is much more efficient than a fuel cell. So you are better off charging a battery and using an EV than making hydrogen and using the inefficient fuel cell.

        • Ben Helton

          Let me ask you this;

          What’s the number one reason a vehicle fails to operate?

          • WeaponZero

            Probably the spark plug or result of it, why?

          • Ben Helton

            Spark plugs are designed to last 100,000 miles now a days.

            The battery is the number one failure. And they aren’t even used as a primary energy source.

          • WeaponZero

            While I would disagree, I’ll play along. Ok so #1 failure according to you is the 12v lead acid battery. Your point? What does that have to do with anything?

          • Mark Renburke

            Comparing life/failure rate of a (non-deep cycle) lead acid battery to a thermally managed lithium pack? Oh you’re good, Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda could use someone like you as their Minister of EV Information 😉

  • Mark Renburke

    Claiming to debunk myths by carefully selecting both the myths (some not actual common myths, just talking points for H2) and information while excluding lots of other relevant information (such as the Tesla 85 range, electricity price, correct supercharger charging speed, comparing on price to similar equipped and performing vehicles, including efficiency of H2 from natural gas but omitting it when from renewable electricity, and partially quoting Elon Musk out of context – what did he actually say?) to prop up your product is hardly myth busting, that’s just introducing more inaccurate propaganda into the mix. If there were a cherry tree nearby, it would have no fruit left on it.

  • Chris

    LOTA people confusing power with energy… a 100kW fuel cell stack outputs ~100kW or ~170HP. The amount of ENERGY is dependent on the size of the tank. An 85kWh Tesla battery pack can output ~320kW or ~416HP (With the correct inverter) kW & HP are units of POWER; kWh is a unit of ENERGY…

    • Ben Helton

      It’s better referred to that
      KW measures electrical CURRENT
      KWh measures total electrical ENERGY available

      • Chris

        NO… Power = Voltage x Current. Current alone is a meaningless #.

        • Ben Helton

          My mistake, you are correct.

          I meant to say it is essentially measuring it’s immediate electrical output. (the term CURRENT applying if you had a set voltage)

          • Chris

            Yes, Toyota did a HORRIBLE job of conflating the two; In ‘Myth 2’ they swap them back and forth like they are synonymous. Disingenuous to compare kW of a FCV to kWh of a BEV…

          • Ben Helton

            The info-graphic also claim the batteries are around $200 / kwh.
            Via David Noland of greencarreports.com, and his Model S battery upgrade situation, the price / kwh for Tesla battery packs are still well above $500 / kwh.

            In other words, the errors are generous in both directions. =)

          • WeaponZero

            David Noland’s situation is not a representation of costs and for multiple reasons.

            1) He was paying retail costs

            2) He was doing an upgrade switching a 10 month old with 11k miles 60kwh with a brand new 85kwh. You can’t compare the price difference of swapping a used item for a new one.

            So no, the prices are NOT above 500$ per kwh.

          • Ben Helton

            The price difference was $18k….for some 25 KWh…. so you are right, it’s not fair to say it’s over $700 / kwh.

            They let him know the prices, because he was only getting 80% trade in value on his old battery. In other words – Tesla gave him $29,681 for a used 60kwh battery. The writing is on the wall! ~$500 / kwh

            “Cost breakdown

            The cost breakdown looked like this: Price of the new battery was $44,564. The trade-in value of my old battery was $29,681–a number arrived at by discounting its new list price of $37,102 by a 20-percent “restocking” fee.

            I had hoped that the trade-in value of my old battery would be prorated for its actual use–10 months and 11,000 miles out of its guaranteed life of eight years and 125,000 miles. This would have amounted to about a 10-percent “restocking fee” rather than the actual 20 percent

            But Tesla needs to make a profit on this transaction; I understand that.

            The net cost to me of the new battery was $14,883. Adding five hours of labor ($600), minor parts ($125), the battery shipping cost ($1,520), and sales tax($1,257) brought the grand total to $18,386.”

          • WeaponZero

            Again, you are talking about RETAIL prices. The cost he is buying and trading in is at retail prices, the cost to Tesla is much cheaper. It is estimated to be about 250 – 300$ per kwh.

          • Ben Helton

            I’m sorry. I thought Tesla vowed to not make money on service? Is this just another ‘battery swap’ that they tell everybody about, get them all hot and bothered, but can’t deliver what they promise?

          • WeaponZero

            This isn’t them making money on service. The guy was getting an upgrade, not service. They mentioned how much the service costs for him if you read.

            If the battery was not sold to him at retail prices, everyone would be buying up 60kwh and upgrading to 85kwh at cost.

            Again, an upgrade is not a service it is a purchase equivalent to buying.

      • Mark Renburke

        Yes, so Toyota’s kWh comparison is meaningless at best, deceptive at worst. If the goal is compare cost of power output (and not energy storage, since a fuel cell is not an energy storage device like a battery) then you would need to multiple the $30-50 cost times 4 to match the Tesla’s power output, or a ~400 kW fuel cell, which would be (at least) the same price as today’s Tesla battery, and 4x bigger. But really based on performance, weight, and utility to a degree, If honest, Toyota would be comparing their car to something like a Nissan LEAF (90 kW, 3,300 lbs) or Chevy Volt (111 kW, 3,800 lbs) But they of course want no mention of existing technology that’s more affordable and provides similar functionality.

  • philip d

    Partial facts abound.

    Myth #3. The Hyundai Tucson FCV which is available now has a rating of 50 MPGe. So one liter of hydrogen gas which is equivalent to a gallon of gasoline will give it the same range per gallon as a Prius. But the hydrogen cost more per liter than a gallon of gas.

    Myth #7. “Cost differences for fueling stations not prohibitive”. Average cost of hydrogen stations being built right now in California: $2 million. Cost of Level 2 charging stations being built in California: 10K. Average cost of Tesla Supercharger stations being built right now: $150K. So not prohibitive if you consider that each station you build your competition can build 13-200 more of theirs.

    Myth #8. Hydrogen can indeed be produced with electrolysis using solar but at a cost penalty of at least 2-3 times less efficiency than if that same power produced by the solar panels went directly into a EV battery.

    I love Myth #9. First. Upfront cost of Toyota FCV has been stated to be $69,000 not $50,000. And they need to be comparing the Toyota to the Model S 85 which starts at $73,500 which is not much different than the price of the Toyota. That makes a huge difference because:

    Driving range between charges for the Toyota is 300 (est. because EPA hasn’t gotten a hold of it yet). EPA range of Model S 85 is 265 miles not the 208 miles for the S 60. So similar again.

    What they don’t compare though is performance. The Model S 85 has 362 hp to Toyota’s 135 hp. The Toyota FCV will actually be slower than a Prius because it has the same hp as a Prius but will be heavier. Give the Toyota FCV a more powerful motor to equal the Model S 85, requiring a heavier battery as a power buffer and watch the price go up again and the range drop a lot.