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Obama Hydrogen Fuel Failure Conceded by Chu Paring Budget: Cars

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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-17-11 05:57 PM
Original message
Obama Hydrogen Fuel Failure Conceded by Chu Paring Budget: Cars
The Obama administrations fading support for hydrogen is a challenge for carmakers who say advanced gasoline engines, batteries, biofuels and fuel cells are all needed to curb U.S. oil consumption and carbon emissions. Chus proposed budget, which cuts funds for hydrogen stations, creates roadblocks for retail sales of fuel-cell cars, the companies say.

Chu, 63, has advocated battery cars and biofuels as options more likely to meet U.S. energy and environmental goals in the near term. Discounting hydrogen means the U.S. risks falling behind Japan, Germany and South Korea in the technology because those nations are moving ahead with plans for extensive fuel- station networks to serve buyers of the cars.

The secretary believes that we should fund fuel-cell research and development as part of a diverse energy portfolio, including both stationary and mobile applications -- and we are, said Stephanie Mueller, an Energy Department spokeswoman.

Chu, who said in 2009 that the Obama administration was going to be moving away from hydrogen-fuel cells for vehicles, declined a request for an interview.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-14/obama-hydrogen...
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-17-11 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. I wouldn't interpret it as "hydrogen fuel failure"
Edited on Fri Jun-17-11 06:28 PM by kristopher
It just isn't the priority right now. The step we are at right now is best served by battery electric for the personal transportation fleet. The round trip efficiency advantage held by battery electric is just too significant to ignore.


However this isn't a one size fits all trip we're on, and there are plenty of applications for fuel cells; such as improving the efficiency of heavy hauling, agriculture and shipping. Aside from that there are some important technical obstacles remaining for fuel cells themselves, but I don't think that is the main thing that is putting fuel cells on the back burner.

The options for fuel cells are
hydrogen
fossil hydrocarbons
biologically derived hydrocarbons.

The path that is charted placing advanced biofuel development ahead of hydrogen should be seen in light of the fact that carbon neutral liquid hydrocarbons combined with fuel cells is a better solution than pushing fuel cell development now and creating even more dependency of fossil hydrocarbons as the input, or trying to create an new distribution infrastructure for hydrogen.

Right now the focus needs to be on batteries and deploying renewables.

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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Well said. Plus, it takes 3x the energy to produce, store, use H2 than a battery electric vehicle
Using Hydrogen as "fuel" wastes too much energy at each and every stage of its production, distribution, storage and use. It's better to stick with biofuels or a battery electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi iMiev, Coda, Ford Focus EV, etc.

I wouldn't mind a biofuels-powered fuel cell if they did not need (super) expensive metals. 5 years ago, a fuel cell was over $150,000. Now it's around $50,000, just for the fuel cell.

So your question is: Do you buy a fully loaded Tesla Model S with the triple range battery pack, or for the same money, do you buy a ho-hum fuel cell vehicle? I think I know what the right answer for me is.

If they can make a $10,000 fuel cell powerful enough to power a vehicle on the freeway and up hills on the interstate then I'll rethink my position. BTW, that hasn't happened yet!

Google hydrogen hoax to see how H2 wastes energy and is just a ploy by Big Oil to stay dominant (to keep their greedy hands in your wallet that is).
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I agree, the headline was poor. (imagine that)
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