What I'll Learn
- What Are Hydrogen Cars?
- How Does A Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Work?
- Hydrogen Vehicles VS Electric Vehicles: Which one is better?
- Are Hydrogen Cars Available in the Market?
- Are Hydro Vehicles Safe?
- Hydrogen Cars Are Not 100% ECO FRIENDLY
- Cruciality Of A Proper Infrastructure
- Should You Buy A Hydrogen Car?
- Read Next
Hydrogen cars, also known as hydro cars or fuel cell cars, are in simple terms cars that use hydrogen as fuel and convert it into motive power.
The very first hydrogen car was introduced in 1966 with a promise to be the future but somehow is still not where it can be even after having groundbreaking technology and many years of technological advancements.
Here’s everything you need to know about Fuel cell cars
What Are Hydrogen Cars?
Hydrogen cars or fuel cell cars are the ones that use hydrogen to generate motion. Hydrogen vehicles produce no harmful emissions of gases that affect the environment. These vehicles use hydrogen from the tanks and oxygen from the atmosphere and fuse it together to produce electricity and a by-product completely harmless to the environment colloquially known as water.
In previous times, there has been a kind of hydrogen cars that used hydrogen merely as a substitute for gasoline and burnt hydrogen to power a traditional combustion engine. Companies like BMW and Ford developed such cars but they were just not that much different and as innovative to be adopted on a larger scale.
Modern Hydrogen cars do not run on combustion of anything. Since combustion is the sole cause of all the harmful byproducts emitted out by our current gasoline engine cars.
It may seem that hydrogen cars are the same as the electric cars available in the market. But there is a very definitional difference between electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell cars.
Electric vehicles are involved in the consumption of stored electricity whereas hydrogen vehicles produce electricity in one the most efficient and harmless manner. More on that later in this article.
How Does A Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Work?
A Hydrogen car has a hydrogen fuel tank that contains pressurized hydrogen gas. The hydrogen gas from the tanks then passes through fuel cells. Fuel cells are capable of producing electricity using chemical energy by some Redox reactions.
The fuel cell in a Hydrogen car combines hydrogen from the fuel tanks and oxygen from the air to produce electricity. This electricity is then transferred to electric motors and the cars start to move.
As Hydrogen and oxygen react with each other, they combine to form water which drains out through the exhaust. A battery may also be present to save some energy for headlamps, AC, and other energy-consuming parts.
But for the engine energy is produced only when it is needed.
Hydrogen Vehicles VS Electric Vehicles: Which one is better?
Unlike electric vehicles, hydrogen cars are not about spending or utilizing electrical energy. It’s actually about producing electricity inside the cars. And the production of this energy is totally eco friendly, Electricity used in electric cars are produced by fossil fuels on large scales. Which is probably not the way to save the environment.
Hydrogen cars can be refilled within minutes. Whereas electric cars can take up to an hour to be fully charged. Without a premium fast charger, you have to wait hours for your vehicle to be fully charged.
Hydrogen cars also provide better fuel efficiency as compared to the current electric cars of leading brands in the market. Even after being fully charged, EVs provide very little fuel efficiency.
But there are no hydrogen refueling stations in most countries. In America, there are only 44 with the majority of them in only a single state. This makes EV a much better option considering that there are thousands of EV charging stations all across the globe.
Lack of infrastructure is a vital reason for hydrogen cars being in the dark for decades and even today hydrogen cars are only usable in a few countries.
People also prefer electric vehicles because they can charge their cars at home using solar energy chargers which is very convenient and makes electric cars a better choice.
Another factor in which electric vehicles are better is speed. Currently, available hydrogen cars are not able to reach high speeds like electric vehicles.
Hydrogen cars are exceptionally expensive, compared to the electric cars available today.
These cars are not widely accepted because of many reasons. Hydrogen car sales are very small and thus the companies are producing them in a very small quantity which raises the production price for each car. That is why hydrogen cars are highly expensive.
Are Hydrogen Cars Available in the Market?
Numerous Chinese companies are making hydrogen vehicles but they are very hard to get. Currently, the following hydrogen vehicles are available in the market
1. Toyota Marai
The Toyota Mirai 2021 model is a fuel cell automatic transmission car that can cost you something around $50,000 to $70000. It is a really decent and gorgeous car if you are looking for a hydrogen fuel cell car.
2. Hyundai Nexo
The Hyundai Nexo 2021 is a hydrogen fuel cell car that will cost you around $60,000. Nexo goes from 0 to 60 in less than 4 and a half seconds.
3. Honda Clarity
Honda clarity Hydrogen-powered fuel-cell car is another very majestic car that you can get your hands on in just $60,000 to $70,000. It has a top speed of 167 km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100 in about 9 seconds.
Are Hydro Vehicles Safe?
The hydrogen vehicles currently available are just as safe as any other gasoline car
In Fact, many technologies are being developed to make hydrogen cars the safest vehicles ever made. People have issues with fuel being hydrogen but hydrogen is not dangerous.
Hypothetically, even though hydrogen gas is highly flammable, it’s the lightest gas and disperses in the air so quickly before anything drastic could happen to incase of a leak.
Hydrogen Cars Are Not 100% ECO FRIENDLY
Because, even though hydrogen cars themselves do not produce any emissions, the production of hydrogen gas on a large scale will produce an excessive amount of byproducts including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other harmful gases.
So another method has to be developed so that hydrogen cars can actually be helpful and qualify their claim of being 100% non-emission vehicles. It might take some time to develop, test, and flourish a procedure to produce hydrogen without providing harm to the environment.
But hydrogen cars are not going to get out of the “Being the future” race that easily.
Well, Companies like Toyota are well aware of this problem and are sincerely working to find a much better way. In fact, some people have actually found a way to produce it. A company named Graforce which originates from Germany has developed a mechanism to produce hydrogen by Animal waste without emitting any harmful greenhouse gas.
If such a type of benign technology is used for hydrogen car fuel then these vehicles can certainly be accepted as a viable option for environmentally friendly traveling.
But that’s not the only thing that has kept Hydrogen cars unacceptable for over a decade now.
Cruciality Of A Proper Infrastructure
Hydrogen cars can not flourish completely until a very sustainable infrastructure is developed by companies, either by third-party middlemen or by automobile companies themselves.
In America, there are only two places where hydrogen filling is available, California and Hawaii.
The production, transportation, and supply of Hydrogen gas is a very big issue that needs to be sorted out. Hydrogen filling stations need to be built everywhere.
Although the traditional gas stations can be transformed into hydrogen filling stations, convincing owners that hydrogen gas sales will give them enough profits is a hard stone to crush. Similarly, a lot of investment is also required for building new stations.
Leading Hydro car manufacturers are actually carrying out campaigns and trying other tactics to provide fuel for their Hydrogen vehicles as efficiently and cheaply as possible
Should You Buy A Hydrogen Car?
Honestly, not yet!
Hydrogen cars may be a very appealing technology and are very beneficial for our environment, but it is not a great option yet. Many things need to develop in this technology and the infrastructure has to flourish to make hydrogen cars a better deal.
And not just that hydrogen cars have to provide much more than what they are currently offering to stand out and out master its EV competitors. Since EVs have generated a very large customer base. It will be hard for fuel cell vehicles to penetrate into the market where customers are already very happy.