“Is hydrogen power going to kill electric cars?”
A question we get asked very often is, “Is hydrogen power going to kill electric cars?”. Meaning; are hydrogen vehicles going to replace all electric vehicles in future. In our opinion: no, at least not for a very long time. That’s not to say hydrogen power isn’t good for some uses. At the moment; the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to powering a vehicle.
Hydrogen pros and cons:
One of the pros to hydrogen is the refuel/charging speed. The average refuelling speed of a hydrogen vehicle is 2-5 mins which is the same as petrol and diesel cars. Whilst, with electric cars, it can take anywhere between 30-60 mins to fully charge. This will get you on average of 300 miles in a hydrogen car and an average of 200 miles in an electric car.
Another good thing about hydrogen is that when driving the vehicle it is a 0 emissions vehicle, which is amazing for the environment. The only down side to that, is by the time the hydrogen gets to the refuelling station it only has 22% efficiency which is less that 1/4 of the overall energy is lost. This is down to multiple factors such as transport, how hydrogen is made and stored.
There are few other reasons why hydrogen isn’t quite ready to over take the market some of them being:
• Hydrogen cars are complex, and expensive to build. Rumour has it that hydrogen cars cost more to make than they are sold for.
• Hydrogen is flammable and therefore dangerous if not properly stored or handled.
• Hydrogen has to be highly compressed for road use. This adds yet more complexity, and any distribution network for hydrogen has to handle this high-pressure gas.
• Bare this in mind if you will want to live close to a hydrogen filling station (there are only 15 in the UK)
• It takes up a lot of room to store hydrogen at filing stations
• Last of all, currently over 90% of all hydrogen is made using natural gases.
Electric pros and cons:
After talking about hydrogen pros and cons it’s only fair to talk about electric vehicles good and bad points too. As I mentioned earlier the charging speed of an electric car is considered a long time to recharge, especially if you are a on strict time scale. But it’s not all bad news because with time and research recharge times are slowly decreasing over the years and with over 20,000 current charging points, (with that number steadily increasing) you will never be short of a charging station. The ability to charge from home is becoming increasingly popular every day. Like the hydrogen car; the electric car is also 0 emissions while driving. With 73% of the electrical energy making it to your car from the power station, this is over 3 times more efficient than hydrogen. One of the positives of electric vehicles, from our point of view as a company, is the installation and how they work with with all the current safety measures. As I said earlier; the storage and installation of hydrogen fuel cells is incredibly dangerous because of the chemistry behind how hydrogen works and how condensed it needs to be while in the car. Battery’s on the other hand, even though they take up more room and weight more they are a lot safer to work with, still dangerous but not on the same scale of hydrogen fuel cells.