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Ford Edge with HySeries Drive -- Images courtesy AutoblogGreen
Ford brings fuel cells and plug-in hybrid technologies together in a new concept vehicle

It's a great time to be a technology geek in the automotive world. Over the past year, we've seen some impressive gains in "clean diesel" technology, advanced fuel cell concepts, more powerful gasoline-electric hybrid automobiles and hybrids with plug-in capabilities. Ford is now upping the ante with a special version of its recently introduced Edge crossover utility vehicle (CUV).

The Ford Edge with HySeries Drive concept features a flexible vehicle architecture which allows it to accept a wide variety of powertrain options. HySeries Drive technology allows the Edge to accept gasoline engines, diesel engines or fuel cells which can be used in conjunction with an electric motor and battery pack. This allows Ford to produce, for example, a gasoline-electric hybrid version for North America and a diesel-electric hybrid version for Europe. "This vehicle offers Ford the ultimate in flexibility in researching advanced propulsion technology," said Ford Motor Company's Gerhard Schmidt.

In its current form, the Ford Edge with HySeries Drive uses a 350-bar hydrogen fuel cell (4.5 kg of useable hydrogen) in addition to electric motors which are fed by a 336-volt lithium-ion battery pack. The Ford Edge with HySeries Drive is always powered by its battery pack, but the pack itself can be recharged in one of two ways.

Since the Ford Edge with HySeries Drive is a plug-in hybrid, the batteries can be fully topped off by plugging the vehicle into a standard home outlet using the onboard 110/220 charger. Once the battery pack has been whittled down to 40% capacity, its second source of recharging comes online. The hydrogen fuel cell takes over and generates electricity to replenish the battery pack.

All of this technology working together gives the Ford Edge with HySeries Drive the equivalent combined city/highway economy rating of 41MPG. The vehicle is able to operate for the first 25 miles on battery power alone given a fully topped off battery. After that point, the fuel cell kicks in to replenish the batteries giving an additional 200 miles of range. According to Ford, the equivalent economy rating could jump to 80MPG for drivers who travel less than 50 miles per day.

Ford acknowledges that is has technological challenges ahead of it in its efforts to bring HySeries Drive technology to production. The company cites the need for a healthier hydrogen refueling infrastructure, more durable fuel cell components and more cost-effective lithium-ion batteries.

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By Spivonious on 1/23/2007 3:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
Something tells me that most SUV owners aren't concerned about the environment. If they were then no one would buy huge Hummer H2s that get 2mpg. Put this system in the Focus, Ford. I want my 100mpg car now.

By Grast on 1/23/07, Rating: -1
By Grast on 1/23/07, Rating: -1
By Ringold on 1/23/2007 8:14:53 PM , Rating: 2
I thought only Sith Lords dealt in absolutes?

But anyway. I agree. This guy is the type that, whether he knows it or not, is part of the environmental anti-capitalist camp. The economy be damned, save the polar bears we must.

Grast, if you have the cash to buy a H2, park it in your drive way, and let it run all day through the summer so you never get in and find it hot or all winter so you can get in and never find it cold then go right ahead! That goes for anybody. What you do with your money, your property, or your self as an adult is up for nobody else to judge, know, or interfere with.

George Washington would slap some of these commies rallying under the false banner of environmentalism.

Speaking of Sith Lords, the sooner Earth looks like Coruscant the better.

By AlmostExAMD on 1/24/2007 4:34:55 AM , Rating: 1
Hell yeah, Can't wait for the 1 billion Chinese and 1 billion Indian's to catch on to this idea, Now that their economies are getting richer they too can leave their cars on all day, Yippie... Look at all that polar ice melt, Might be wise to invest in a boat while they are at it, They are gonna need it with the attitude some morons are implying. A little common sense along with your FREEDOM/CHOICE would be good. WE ALL play a part on this planet of ours, Until we colonise another I suggest we tread a little more carefully and look after this one as THIS IS THE ONLY HABITABLE planet we know of as yet.

By masher2 (blog) on 1/24/2007 9:48:50 AM , Rating: 4
> "Look at all that polar ice melt, Might be wise to invest in a boat while they are at it..."

One thing rarely mentioed in the debate is that polar ice has been melting steadily for the last 7,000 years and that, even within the last 100, no acceleration of the trend has yet been seen.

The most recent UN IPCC assessment halved the amount of sea level rise expected over the next 100 years. It now stands at 43 centimeters. Not going to need many boats at all from a rise that small.

By Grast on 1/24/2007 11:47:22 AM , Rating: 1

I do not have the cash to buy an H2 nor do I want to. I was making a comment illustrating that Americans do have the right to spend their based on personal choices. I believe that choices will be the determining factor in changing U.S. consumer purchases.

As soon as the technology can provide the same or near equal capabilites as current gas vehicles, we will see a mass movement of consumers to more eco friendly vehicles.

I just have a problem with someone saying I am a bad person for not prescribing to their view of the world.

By masher2 (blog) on 1/23/2007 8:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
> "How do you know if these SUV drivers have solar on their house and as such are using their quota of energy usage in the car rather than house..."

A very good point. In any case, I'd bet anything that my H2 Hummer (when I owned it) used less gas than the OP's own vehicle. Consumption is governed more by the miles you drive, than the MPG you get while doing it.

By Spivonious on 1/24/2007 10:43:21 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I get 28/37 and drive roughly 20 miles/day unless I'm on a trip somewhere. That's ~1.5 gallons per day. H2 gets what, 5mpg city? For the same driving, that's ~4 gallons per day. Average cost of gas these days: $2.25/gal, so I spend $3.38 and you spend $9.

And my point was not about saving the ice caps or some other environmentalist propaganda. I think global warming is a load of B.S.. My point was that people concerned about saving money by buying a hybrid (which really is the only reason) are not SUV owners. If Ford put this technology which lets an SUV get 40mpg into a small compact car like the Focus (which btw, is the car I own), it would get at least 100mpg. Isn't that a better use of technology? I'd rather have a super fuel-efficient car than an SUV that manages to match a regular car.

By masher2 (blog) on 1/24/2007 11:00:16 AM , Rating: 2
> "H2 gets what, 5mpg city? "

Mine averaged about 11mpg city.

> "If Ford put this technology which lets an SUV get 40mpg into a small compact car like the Focus..Isn't that a better use of technology? "

Ford is also bulding subcompact hybrids. However, for system such as this (hydrogen + hybrid electric) it naturally lends itself to a larger platform. It's a bit hard to cram all that into a tiny least, until the technology matures a bit.

People are going to buy SUVs regardless. If you don't give them a hybrid option, they won't buy one. I'd never buy a subcompact anything....but I'd certainly be interested in a hybrid SUV.

By AlmostExAMD on 1/24/07, Rating: -1
By milomnderbnder21 on 1/23/2007 9:03:17 PM , Rating: 1
Yes yes, we fought the Revolution so you could drive your giant gas guzzling SUV. That was a stupid argument.

Sure, you have the right to buy what is on the market, but that doesn't make it responsible to do so. I don't care how many solar panels you have rigged to your house, something like an H2 is an exceptionally unnecessary waste of resources. I imagine that most people driving SUV's have no realistic need for them.

And yes, a greater effort in general is important to achieve something even remotely close to a sustainable living situation. Cars are far from the only problem. But they are not a bad place to start. They've been around long enough, and alternative energy sources have been known long enough, that it's ridiculous that we are still so dependent on gasoline. The american way of life in general is absurdly wasteful and in need of refining. It really is dumb to operate with zero concern for our planet.

I dont remember the poster saying anything about persecution from the government, that was another stupid straw man.

By masher2 (blog) on 1/23/2007 9:38:12 PM , Rating: 3
> "something like an H2 is an exceptionally unnecessary waste of resources..."

To repeat myself, I'm confident my H2 used less gas than your own vehicle. Its not what you drive as much as how far you drive it. SUVs are just a symbol...useful for simplying a situation for people unable to grasp the true picture.

> "I imagine that most people driving SUV's have no realistic need for them."

Beyond a cave to squat in and a few grubs to eat, we don't "need" anything. Your clothes, your car, your house, and even the computer you used to post this all unnecessary luxury. Why not give it all up, if you honestly believe its harming the earth? Or is it more fun to just sit on your butt and tell other people what they need to sacrifice?

By Ringold on 1/23/2007 11:33:41 PM , Rating: 2
Or is it more fun to just sit on your butt and tell other people what they need to sacrifice?

More or less.

By S3anister on 1/24/2007 1:21:37 AM , Rating: 2
SUVs are just a symbol

EXACTALLY. Seriously, when i want to use my SUV for when it snows like crazy here, then freezes all of the roads (like always, nothing we can do about it) I LOVE to have my SUV.

But, when i'm just driving around; I'm out and about driving my BMW or Ford Focus. much better fuel economy.

and by the by, all the people that I know whom own SUV's all use them as like you said masher, a symbol. They usually roll in their porsches or bentleys, cadillac etc...

By AlmostExAMD on 1/24/07, Rating: 0
By masher2 (blog) on 1/24/2007 9:51:50 AM , Rating: 3
> "Now I'm not saying you don't use yours, But all the people I know from my work DEFINITELY don't use theirs!"

An SUV that isn't used-- consumes no gasoline. The people driving their Prius 100 miles each way to work are producing more CO2 than the guys who only drive their Hummer Friday nights to impress the ladies.

By Spivonious on 1/24/2007 10:55:11 AM , Rating: 2
Everytime I see an H2 I say "what a waste of steel." My fiancee says "I guess his dick is small."

Let's forget about H2s for a while. Ford Explorer. 80% of the people I see driving Explorers are women in business suits. Do these people ever take their SUV off-road? No. Do they drive them only on the weekends? No. They drive them on the highway for their daily commute, for picking up the kids from school, for doing errands. It is not possible for these people to have any concern for gas usage, otherwise they would not be driving an SUV as their main vehicle. Masher, usually I respect and learn from your posts on DT, but it seems I've struck a nerve with my H2 comment and brought out the stubborn SUV owner in you.

By masher2 (blog) on 1/24/2007 11:12:52 AM , Rating: 3
> "Do these people ever take their SUV off-road? "

You're espousing the false belief that SUVs are "useless" for anything but off-road usage. They're popular primarily because they're versatile. I can haul 6 or 7 kids in mine if I need to...which I've done a few times. I can also take home a large purchase from Home Depot...and still have room to pick up the week's groceries. When the weather gets icy, I have the extra traction to stay ON the road. Driving, my vantage is higher, which helps visibility. The extra mass gives me an advantage in case of an accident...and yes, I know thats a disadvantage for the other guy. But I could care less...if I have a collision, its going to be HIS fault, not mine.

And finally, I just like the look. If you're telling me you don't purchase automobiles with an eye to esthetics, I simply won't believe you. People buy autos for looks. That's the way it goes.

You're also ignoring the fact that many of the SUVs sold aren't even 4WD. The 2WD models certainly aren't made for offroad usage, and their mileage is far more comparable to a van or similar-sized automobile.

> "My fiancee says "I guess his dick is small..."

I said the same thing the first time I ever saw someone driving a Countach. Then I realized I was just trying to make myself feel better for not being able to afford one. It's a natural reaction to ostentatious display.

By stromgald on 1/24/2007 12:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, I got my SUV mostly for bad weather conditions and safety. I think those are the biggest things when you see soccer moms driving tahoes and suburbans.

However, I am regretting opting for the 2 wheel drive rather than the 4 wheel drive of my Honda Pilot right now. I get an extra 2mpg but when accelerating on a wet surface, I sometimes get slippage.

By Spivonious on 1/25/2007 10:02:55 AM , Rating: 2
Oh no! Your tires slip when accelerating on a wet surface??? Damn the laws of physics!

By Spivonious on 1/25/2007 9:31:05 AM , Rating: 2
I guess we'll agree to disagree then.

One thing though, the higher vantage point actually limits what you can see directly next to you. And your big vehicle limits my visibility by blocking it with a hunk of steel.

And I'm not jealous that I can't afford one. I can afford one but I choose not to because I can't stand them and because I have no cargo-hauling needs. When I have kids, I'll get a minivan, which btw can hold a lot more than a normal-sized SUV.

You do make a good point that a lot of SUVs are not 4WD. However, the owners of said SUVs still drive like they are. It's always entertaining to see all of the SUVs that skidded off the road when it snows.

Your comment about extra mass is sickening. Hidden behind that comment is the smugness that SUV drivers have. What happens if you do cause a collision and you end up killing someone in what would have been just a normal fender-bender between two equally-sized cars? Momentum is a powerful thing.

By masher2 (blog) on 1/25/2007 9:41:16 AM , Rating: 2
> "the higher vantage point actually limits what you can see directly next to you..."

By the time another car is that close, its too late to avoid a collision.

> "your big vehicle limits my visibility by blocking it..."

Sorry. I block about the same as a van, though...a car you yourself say you intend to purchase. Aren't you espousing a double standard here?

> "It's always entertaining to see all of the SUVs that skidded off the road when it snows."

These sorts of remarks make it appear you have an emotional grudge against SUV drivers; they certainly don't build your case.

> "What happens if you do cause a collision and you end up killing someone..."

I've driven over 25 years and about 1.5 million miles so far without a single at-fault accident. As I said...if there's a collision, its going to be the other guy's fault, not mine. And that little guy in the other car should be far more concerned about a tree, concrete retaining wall, or tractor-trailor rig than me.

BTW, by far the highest fatality rate is among two-door "sporty" vehicles. Should we ban those little sports cars?

By Spivonious on 1/25/2007 10:04:45 AM , Rating: 2

It's been fun, but let's just let this one die.

We disagree, we both have valid points.

The intention of my original post was to say that more people are interested in hybrid cars than hybrid trucks.

See you in another article. :)

By Grast on 1/24/2007 2:27:17 PM , Rating: 1

I believe that you probably do not have children of small age. I know the number one reason most new moms and moms with small children choose a SUV is simply due to the height and storage needed to transport children. My wife has a new born and a 3 year old. She needs to carry 1 stroller for the baby and one stroller which carries both kids. Additionally, it is much more difficult to physically lift the baby when in a baby carrier into a car. In a car, you have to stoop and over extend your back in order to get the baby carrier in the carrier base. The height of the SUV removes the stooping portion and gives better leverage. Additionally, remember that babies grow. As an infant the weight is not the significant, at 1 year my first child was almost 15 pounds. Combine that weight with 12 pounds of baby carrier and you will see that SUV's are much easier for my wife and surmise women to load and unload the children.

Additionally, most booster steats and baby carriers will not fit in a standard 4 door car. If they do fit, the seat in front is all the way forward and useless. They are too long. I know we tried it in our Audi A6 before selling it.

In the end, there are pratical reasons Mom's and Dad's choose a SUV over a car.

By Spivonious on 1/25/2007 10:10:44 AM , Rating: 2
#1 I highly doubt that the extra 6" of height makes any difference in lifting things.

#2 Both of my sisters are able to comfortably fit car seats into their four-door cars. The car seats even fit fine in my car which is a two-door hatchback. This is without moving the seats up at all.

#3 If lifting 15 pounds is difficult, perhaps your wife needs to get more exercise.

#4 SUVs have no more storage than a station wagon or minivan, and sometimes less storage.

You are correct that I do not have any children of small age, but I am an uncle and have a 4 year-old nephew and 2 year-old niece, and have "car-seat experience."

Anyway, as I told Masher I'm done with this article. My opinion based on my experiences is that 95% of SUV drivers are bad drivers and show no concern for others on the road as they speed off down neighborhood streets yakking on the cell phone while their kids watch TV in the backseat. They are also very overconfident in bad weather because they think 4WD and ABS make them safer.

By Grast on 1/25/2007 12:10:58 PM , Rating: 2

Why did you go personal and attack my wife.

#1 I highly doubt that the extra 6" of height makes any difference in lifting things.

It is not 6", try 3 feet from the base of a seat in a standard 4 door car and the seat level of a 1991 Ford Explorer. Please get your facts correct or not respond at all. Second, Would you like me to show the geometry of lifting 30 pounds 2ft away from your center of gravity versus 6 inches.

#2 Both of my sisters are able to comfortably fit car seats into their four-door cars. The car seats even fit fine in my car which is a two-door hatchback. This is without moving the seats up at all.

How old are the children? What type of car seat? Is the seat facing backwards or forwards? What type of restraing systems do the seats use?

These are all factors in determine whether the car seat will fit in a non-compact car. Additionally, U.S law states that a car seat must be facing backwards untill the child the child is 1 year old and at least 20 pounds. Since you do not have children and probably have never lifted a baby carrier into the carrier base, You have no credibility to make assumtions.

#3 If lifting 15 pounds is difficult, perhaps your wife needs to get more exercise.

It is not 15 pounds and next time read my post completely. I stated that an infant which is typically 6-10 pounds at birth is not that difficult including the 12 pound baby carrier. It is not untill they are 20-25 pounds that lifting 35-40 pounds is difficult. That is unless you like putting your child on the ground while opening door, carriering groceries, a 25 pound bag full of baby stuff, and a normal purse. When we had my first child, we weighed all of the stuff she had carry. It weighed over 35 pounds. But since you do not have children, you have NO IDEA WHAT IT TAKES IN ORDER TO GET A CHILD OUT OF THE HOUSE AND INTO THE CAR.

#4 SUVs have no more storage than a station wagon or minivan, and sometimes less storage.

I am glad you brought up a mini van. They get less MPG than my explorer. Why you say? They are a heavier and designed to carry more people and as such not that any better than an SUV. A mini van is pretty much a truck which is lower to the ground.

I can see that you do not have children and are basing your opinion on second hand experiences. I suggest that you go over to your sisters and try taking the children on a simple trip to the store. You will find it is much more difficult than you expect. Please magnify that by a 1000 when you have a new born and 2 year old which does not follow your commands.

Plus I find your comments about my wife EXTREMELY CHILDISH AND UNPROFESSIONAL.

By Spivonious on 1/24/2007 10:55:59 AM , Rating: 2
Totally agree with you. And an H2 is 4 tons (~8000 pounds).

By Ringold on 1/23/2007 11:31:09 PM , Rating: 2
The american way of life in general is absurdly wasteful and in need of refining. It really is dumb to operate with zero concern for our planet.

You had the word "liberty" (freedom, and the pursuit of happiness) invoked not out of concern of the law but because of judgmental statements such as that. The government and societies role is not to judge and call each other wasteful for differences in opinion, taste, and (earned) income. The role is be watchful of any failures of the market. In this case, in an economic sense, there is absolutely no failure. However, in the big picture, some believe there is an environmental problem. Some say SUV's are a cause. Fair enough opinion. Does that justify labeling the people who choose these things with negative connotative words such as "wasteful"? Absolutely not; that's arrogance, and contrary to liberty.

The role is encourage, through gentle prodding, the market to come up with products that expend less energy and/or simply pollute less, and to do so in a way that is price competitive and not needlessly subsidized. In that way, people can make a natural free market choice that serves both goals; satisfy, in this case, their preference of large vehicles, and also pollute less. In this case, the government has done some, but private industry has done all the heavy lifting and companies across the nation stand ready to deliver products that are profitable alternatives to current technologies at today's oil price levels.

I laid out that last paragraph without, I think, a single value statement. Your own was dripping with them. I have no problem getting derogative as well (darn neo-communists) but at least I won't deny it as you did. I also try to lay out solutions, positive rather than normative statements.

Of course, looking more closely at the part I've qouted again, perhaps you'd enjoy life in Europe. Less freedoms, the government consumes as much as 60% of the economy and controls to varying degree all economic activity and influences heavily all consumer purchases. Try making these kind of broad statements in America, however, and yes, odds are, you'll get someone that amazingly enough doesn't care being told what he or she should do with money they earned in the workplace.

By AlmostExAMD on 1/24/2007 5:03:36 AM , Rating: 1
"The role is encourage, through gentle prodding, the market to come up with products that expend less energy and/or simply pollute less, and to do so in a way that is price competitive and not needlessly subsidized."

Is that why your government did this?
The recently enacted Energy Policy Act (.pdf) of 2005 changes the tax credit for purchasing a hybrid vehicle from a standard deduction to a specific amount per model. But the law, which takes effect in 2006, uses a formula that considers both relative fuel economy and the total amount of fuel saved -- a system that favors large vehicles.

In other words SUV's get bigger tax breaks thus encouraging people to buy bigger cars, Smart move. NOT!!!

By masher2 (blog) on 1/24/2007 9:57:47 AM , Rating: 2
> "In other words SUV's get bigger tax breaks thus encouraging people to buy bigger cars, Smart move. NOT!!!"

Sigh, why can people not do simple math? No one is going to buy a hybrid SUV in place of a Hybrid subcompact, simply because of a small tax credit...the extra fuel will cost them ten times what they'd save on the credit itself.

The purpose of the credit is to encourage those who are already definitely buying an SUV (or other large vehicle) to consider a hybrid version instead.

A fuel-saving tax credit...based on the amount of fuel you actually saved by buying a hybrid. Sounds pretty logical to me...and anyone else with common sense.

By Spivonious on 1/24/2007 11:06:15 AM , Rating: 2
You imply that the general public cannot do simple math anymore. I agree.

So, people will see the bigger tax credit and say "I'm saving money." They won't look at total fuel costs for the vehicle.

By masher2 (blog) on 1/24/2007 11:18:04 AM , Rating: 4
> "So, people will see the bigger tax credit and say "I'm saving money." They won't look at total fuel costs for the vehicle..."

Sorry, but no one buys an H2 or Escalade without considering fuel costs....certainly no one smart enough to even know a tax credit exists. And no one is going to say, "hey, I get an extra $900 tax credit if I buy this $65K H2 instead of the $14K Ford Focus....I'll save money!"

Is this really the argument you're trying to make?

By nurbsenvi on 1/24/07, Rating: 0
By Samus on 1/24/2007 10:50:12 AM , Rating: 2
I'd buy a small SUV if the mileage was decent, but it isn't, so I'm stuck with my hatchback, and sometimes, it just isn't big enough for what I do. I carry around a lot of equipment, and often my back seat and even passenger seat up front have my stuff in it. I just refuse to buy a vehicle that gets less than 30MPG considering I drive 25,000 miles/year, often over 100 miles/day.

By Spivonious on 1/24/2007 11:04:39 AM , Rating: 2
A small SUV is no bigger than a decent-sized hatchback.

Let's say Ford Escape (~$30k) vs Ford Focus ZX3 (~$15k).

Escape: 27 cubic ft with all seats full of people, 65 cubic ft with seats folded down, avg. 59.5

Focus: 37.5 cubic ft with all seats full of people, 55.8 cubic ft with seats folded down, avg. 65.4

avg cost/cubic ft: Escape - $504, Focus - $229

Do everyone a favor and don't buy an SUV.

By masher2 (blog) on 1/24/2007 11:34:14 AM , Rating: 2
> "A small SUV is no bigger than a decent-sized hatchback..."

There's a little more to it than that. If you were filling vehicles with marbles, the one with the larger cubic capacity would always win. But people usually need to haul larger objects...sometimes much, much larger. Objects that often just don't fit in anything smaller than an SUV or a van.

By nurbsenvi on 1/24/2007 12:31:54 PM , Rating: 2
Ford Escape sucks.

By SoCalBoomer on 1/25/2007 12:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
you wouldn't get 100mpg with this in a Focus - likely wouldn't get more than about 50mpg absolutely max.

And please stop mal-characterizing SUV (or truck) owners. meh

How eco-friendly is it, really?
By haris on 1/23/2007 1:05:47 PM , Rating: 1
Do they have to factor the amount of pollution created by the actual electric company that is needed to recharge the car into their emmisions number? If not, anyone have an educated guess as to how much pollution might be created during a full charge compared to a regular gas driven motor of a similarly sized car? I'd hate to think of all the eco-friendly people buying cars like this and not thinking about the potentially hidden pollution or the costs/environmental effects of replacing the batteries.

RE: How eco-friendly is it, really?
By masher2 (blog) on 1/23/2007 1:21:19 PM , Rating: 4
Per unit energy, the pollution from a commercial power plant is less than that from a car. Significantly less, if you're in an area which gets most of its power from nuclear or hydro.

RE: How eco-friendly is it, really?
By on 1/23/2007 2:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
This entire hydrogen fuel farce is a total waste of time. As clearly stated in the book "The Hype About Hydrogen," there are five major technological breakthroughs that need to happen before it's even remotely practical. And talk about a negative energy balance, with the hydrogen currently coming from natural gas or even if it's extracted from seawater via electrolysis, with the evaporation during transit and storage, etc., etc. it requires far more energy and produces more CO2 to extract and distribute than would be produced by other alternative energy options.

By far the best practical route to immediate energy savings, even with the current storage battery technology, would be to MASS PRODUCE a PLUG-IN diesel or gasoline powered hybrid with a range on its batteries alone of at least the 29 miles/day of the average American and capable of being brought back to a full charge overnight on 220VAC. Only for long trips would the hybrid owner have to visit a gas station. However, that gasoline engine is still there for peace of mind against being stranded when the batteries die. This would satisfy the consumer's need for a multipurpose (urban & long range) vehicle while keeping the oil industries somewhat happy by not destroying their distribution model/cash cow (making this route politically feasible).

For electrical generation, the latest-generation, inherently (via the laws of physics) meltdown-SAFE nuclear power plants should be built. Spent nuclear fuel should be co-located within the perimeter of the heavily-guarded nuclear plants in bomb/jumbo-jet-proof vaults capable of safe storage for 500 years (easily doable with current technology) giving us 500 years to figure out how to deal with the waste problem. I think we should have a solution by then.

For coal-fired plants, a CO2 scrubbing technology like this should be used:

RE: How eco-friendly is it, really?
By masher2 (blog) on 1/23/2007 2:17:27 PM , Rating: 5
> "And talk about a negative energy balance, [hydrogen] requires far more energy...than would be produced by other alternative energy options.

Err, hydrogen isn't an energy source, and has never been billed as one. Its an energy carrier only. It's not supposed to produce energy. It acts only as a clean, efficient means of transmitting energy from one source (say a nuclear power plant) to another (the wheels of a moving car). In that respect, it functions quite well.

> "For electrical generation, the latest-generation, inherently (via the laws of physics) meltdown-SAFE nuclear power plants should be built..."

Great idea. We can use all the extra electricity to produce hydrogen directly. That is, in fact, the basic plan behind the hydrogen economy.

> "giving us 500 years to figure out how to deal with the waste problem..."

There is no "waste problem" with nuclear power. Its a political football, used by environmentalists to prevent deployment of new plants.

RE: How eco-friendly is it, really?
By on 1/23/07, Rating: -1
By ADDAvenger on 1/23/2007 3:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you address political issues first, technical solutions are irrelevant.

Sad but true.

By masher2 (blog) on 1/23/2007 4:00:30 PM , Rating: 3
> "Semantics."

Improperly labelling hydrogen an "energy source" is more than just semantics. Its a fundamental misconception about its role in the process.

> " I'd suggest you read the book ..."

Why don't you tell us what the argument is, and let us judge for ourselves?

> "I'm talking about a solution that could be implemented NOW with existing infrastructure..."

You're espousing a false dilemma. Plug-in Hybrids today, hydrogen tomorrow. There is no need to choose between them.

RE: How eco-friendly is it, really?
By on 1/23/2007 2:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
I forgot to mention an additional benefit of the plug-in hybrid: the leveling effect of off-peak (night-time) hybrid vehicle battery charging will enable power generation plants to be operated at better capacity factors, increasing efficiency and reducing the average cost of electricity per kilowatt-hour.

RE: How eco-friendly is it, really?
By Oregonian2 on 1/23/2007 2:26:32 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever the solution, if it continues to use fossil fuels (gas, diesel fuel, etc), it's only a short term solution in terms of power sources, and not even that in terms of politics (if world stops using oil I suspect the middle east would be in the news a lot less).

Hydrogen may have its problems, but unless its being produced by natural gas (sigh...) it at least isn't oil.

Any short term solution, IMO, must be one that has an upgrade path to one that eliminates the need for oil/gas taken from the ground, and where the development money (by mfgrs and users) leads toward that longer term solution. Otherwise a great deal of money/resources will be spent that'll be completely wasted. So a Hydrogen (or whatever) solution that isn't so efficient is a good thing so long as it eventually being fixed is something feasible -- the solution needs to be fundamentally non-oil, not just less-oil. This concept car seems to be an ideal development vehicle where solutions can be swapped out yielding an efficient mechanism for change.

RE: How eco-friendly is it, really?
By on 1/23/2007 2:48:16 PM , Rating: 2
Hydrogen may have its problems, but unless its being produced by natural gas (sigh...) it at least isn't oil.

And where will most of that natural gas be had in the near future? Areas just as potentially unstable as the Middle East.

I'm presenting a short-to-medium-term solution that could be implemented with our current infrastructure RIGHT NOW. Small but significant steps now, bigger steps later. Evolution involves a gradual enhancement of _existing_ infrastructure. You can't wait for the "ideal solution" to be implemented in one grand sweep. I will _guarantee_ you that it will never happen. It would make gigantic business interests obsolete overnight and that simply will not be allowed to happen.

By AlmostExAMD on 1/24/2007 4:15:14 AM , Rating: 1
Well actually ME(Australia)one of your closest allies has plenty of natural gas/uranium/steel, hell let's just say everything resource wise to export to you Americans(Assuming your American) and rest of world, We are pretty stable considering you have military bases here also! :)))
Gigantic business will not go bust overnight as virtually all have invested in the renewable future to cover their ass's later on(for example BP has solar panels etc etc)! Only thing that would happen is the Middle East would be a lot quieter.
Anything that isn't oil is good in my book, It's a start.
As Battery technology improves and solar panels(smart investment BP) come down in price, We can all have our plug in hybrids and kiss goodbye to oil once and for all.
It won't happen overnight but it will be the future.

By Oregonian2 on 1/24/2007 2:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
An evolutionary path can be good, but it has not to lead toward a neaderthal dead end where all that 'work' needs to be tossed out. Better to have a path where the incremental changes go toward the ultimate goal.

By VaguelyAmused on 1/25/2007 3:48:02 PM , Rating: 2
WinstonSmith, I have similar ideals to you it sounds, and would love to see a solution implemented with our current infrastructure now, however I can't see it happening for the simple reason of why would any consumer really bother adopting it?

I'm concerned about the environment, and feel that Humans as a species are having a serious impact on it, but I'm still going to hop into my car and drive to the local shop, use it for short journeys and generally use it as my main mode of transport.

Its only a little 1.3 Petrol car (UK), but even if it was an SUV, whatever, I don't think I'd think twice about using it.

Likewise, I'm not going to go looking around for a Hybrid car when I next go car shopping, they are more expensive and provide a shorter range compared to petrol or diesel cars.

Really, all my ramblings aside, IMHO, until a Hybrid, or alternative source of power is found that is a) readily available and as easy to top up as Petrol or Diesel, b) offers similar range to Petrol or Diesel and c) Is either incredibly more efficient or as a car is much cheaper than a Petrol or Diesel car, then I can't see anyone being especially tempted by Hybrid cars atm.

There just aren't enough definate positives going for the Hybrid cars at the moment that make them anything more than an intesting read, and why change from something thats easy to use, convenient and cheap to something thats inconvenient and really quite expensive.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Petrol or Diesel advocate, in fact I really couldn't care how I get from A to B, as long as its trouble free, cheap and reliable. When a Hybrid car or alternative fuel source comes along that really can replace Petrol or Diesel then I'll be there, until then, I'm sticking with my Petrol.

By Oregonian2 on 1/24/2007 2:48:00 PM , Rating: 2
P.S. - In that quote I meant that Hydrogen is good if it's NOT made from natural gas.

P.P.S. - We use natural gas now for home heating ("FAG" heating) and ours FWIW comes mostly from Canada I think.

By AnnihilatorX on 1/23/2007 4:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
Not entirely true. It is shown that algae can produce hydrogen directly from sunlight

Also, electricity production emits less CO2 per kJ of energy than burning fuel in vehicle due to optimisation in power generation technology and hydro and nuclear power plants

RE: How eco-friendly is it, really?
By Grast on 1/23/2007 6:33:36 PM , Rating: 2

While I do have more optimizum in regards to future hydrogen economy. I recogise the limitations of current technology and support further development. However that does not mean a hydrogen economy is not worth developing. I am also glad to see you understand the benefit of nuclear fission power plants. Now we just need to start building them again.

In the mean time, I think we need to recalculate how many miles poeple commute to work. 29 miles is not enough. I think a more realistic number is close to 60.

Short term goals - generate more power with fission; get battery technology to allow greater densities and most important 90% recylcle capability (It makes no since to polute the ground instead of the air);

Long term goal - use hydrogen as a energy carier or some other method - do not care; develop fusion for power generation;

My rant

By nurbsenvi on 1/24/2007 6:58:09 AM , Rating: 2
This entire hydrogen fuel farce is a total waste of time.

I agree on this!!
Hydrogen is one lousy energy carrier it would be better to use compressed air than hydrogen... seriously!

Come on Bush stop damaging the world.

By daftrok on 1/23/2007 1:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
Hydrogen isn't exactly easy to produce. It takes a lot of power and a 200-250 mile range in one fill up is hardly adequate. I wish they could "simply" make a car out of carbon fiber, give it a hybrid synergy drive, and a solar panel on the roof. Not only would this be cheaper than this hydrogen hybrid concept (Honda made a much smaller hydrogen car that was manufactured for nearly $1,000,000, however mass production should bring this down to the near $100,000) but most likely more efficient. I'm angry about ethanol because 1) its far less efficient than the fuel we have now, 2) its being taken from corn. Wheat has twice the yield as corn, is perennial, doesn't require irrigation nor pesticides, and it is much cheaper to extract the ingredients for ethanol from corn. I see these hydrogen cars as impractical at this point. Its like buying a chainsaw to chop down a blade of grass when a pair of scissors can do the job.

RE: Hmmmm....
By daftrok on 1/23/2007 1:37:22 PM , Rating: 2
...easier to extract the ingredients for ethanol from wheat RATHER THAN corn.

RE: Hmmmm....
By masher2 (blog) on 1/23/2007 2:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
> "I wish they could "simply" make a car out of carbon fiber, give it a hybrid synergy drive, and a solar panel on the roof..."

You don't get anywhere near enough energy from a roof-mounted solar panel to run a car. Not unless the vehicle weighs 50kg, runs at speeds below 15 mph, and is driven only during daylight hours, in periods without cloud cover.

Solar flux averages about 1kw/m^2. But by the time you factor in atmospheric losses, the day/night cycle, angle of incidence, and other factors, you're down to maybe 1/10 that. Work in the efficiency of a solar cell, losses from DC-DC conversion and battery storage, and you've lost another 75-80%. That doesn't leave much to work with.

RE: Hmmmm....
By daftrok on 1/23/2007 5:52:00 PM , Rating: 3
It's not for running the car, more along the lines of running power for the headlights, dashboard, taillights, and perhaps some for the air conditioning, not to actually move the damn thing, that would required the entire car to be covered.

RE: Hmmmm....
By redleg on 1/23/2007 2:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'll give you the fact that producing corn from ethanol isn't the most energy efficient way of producing ethanol, but I think you've got your corn/wheat comparison all wrong. I've grown both corn and wheat on my parents farm and corn outyields wheat by a factor of 2-3x in bushels per acre. Wheat is also not perennial (at least not the stuff I've grown) and pesticides are commonly used on wheat (as well as corn). We also (in Iowa and most places east of here) don't irrigate our corn either. As to conversion of wheat starch and corn starch to ethanol, I'm not sure which one's better, but with corn you've got 2-3x the yield per area and it (used to) cost significantly less on a per bushel basis.

RE: Hmmmm....
By daftrok on 1/23/2007 5:58:43 PM , Rating: 2
Huh, I guess the information I received was false then. I heard this on a documentary on Discovery called Addicted to Oil. I may have misinterpreted what they said about 2x the yield. Perhaps they meant you get 2x the ethanol from wheat. But I distinctly heard that there weren't any irrigation nor pesticides used and that it was perennial. However, now that I look into it, pesticides are mentioned on wikipedia, but nothing about perennial nor yields when compared to corn. Hmmmm....You said used to cost less, so you're implying that it costs more now? How did that happen if its yield was so much? Mass production should bring down costs, not increase it. Or did the demand for ethanol bring up the demand for corn and decreased the supply of it?

RE: Hmmmm....
By bkleven on 1/23/2007 8:28:00 PM , Rating: 2
Early this fall the price of corn jumped significantly, and commodity futures are at some of the highest prices in years.

If you dig up the stats on how many ethanol plants are slated to open in the next 12 months, and then the next 24, this will start to make sense.

The U.S. corn belt cannot currently produce enough corn to generate the ethanol necessary to replace more than 20%-30% of the gasoline consumed by the U.S. I will admit that it's possible those numbers are wrong, but there's just no way ethanol consumption will exceed gasoline consumption in this country unless other options are displacing gasoline.

RE: Hmmmm....
By NegativeEntropy on 1/23/2007 8:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
It's been a year since I ran the numbers, but according to the government's own figures, if we turned every single bushel of corn into ethanol, it would replace 17% of our gasoline consumption (all the above is US only).

This says nothing about the increase in the cost of a bushel of corn (already happening) and the resulting increase in food prices almost across the board. Corn or one of the products made from corn is in a large percentage of processed food, from meat (animal feed) to corn syrup and beyond.

Once the public realizes this (when their grocery bill is 25% higher), you will see a change in the attitude towards ethanol. I hope this does not ruin its long term chances in the US (see below).

The mass production of corn fed ethanol plants is one of the most short sighted things I've seen on such a scale in some time, and I come from a corn state (Minnesota).

None of this even addresses that growing corn is a very expensive process in terms of the energy inputs and the damage done to the land relative to other crops.

Now cellulosic ethanol has real potential, but that's "5 years away..."

RE: Hmmmm....
By Grast on 1/23/2007 6:38:12 PM , Rating: 2
I would not want to be in an accident with a carbon fiber car. Additionally, that would only apply to commute vehicles. How about the million or so of heavy movers such as 18 wheelers.

Everyone is always talking about the commute vehicles. Currently none one of the current solutions is applicable to heavy movers.

RE: Hmmmm....
By hubajube on 1/23/2007 7:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone is always talking about the commute vehicles. Currently none one of the current solutions is applicable to heavy movers.
There's a lot of politics involved in getting the trucking industry to invest money in these "projects". Basically, the trucking industry won't do it unless they are directly benefited (read make more money) by the newer tech.

RE: Hmmmm....
By Ringold on 1/23/2007 8:06:22 PM , Rating: 2
Just a note, but nobody, not truckers, freight trains, or private mass transit or anybody else, will spend a dime if they don't expect favorable returns after a little cost-benefit analysis. That's a fact of capitalism. The challenge is for companies to make solutions not just to save the earth but to do it while saving, or making, money.

Truckers have little to gain at the moment. Biodiesel is more expensive, and there is no better engine technology than what they already use for their purpose.

It would be particularly dangerous to place mandates on the transport industry as well. Absolutely every part of the economy would feel the impact because every industry, directly or indirectly, has to move product or deal with shipping or buy products that got shipped from someplace.

Best to let these industries find fuel-sipping tech of their own accord. Experiment with mandates on public mass transit if we must.

RE: Hmmmm....
By Grast on 1/24/2007 12:18:28 PM , Rating: 2

Trust me, I have not plans nor will every endource the use of government regulation to force the transportation industry to change. While I believe it is neccessary for the growth of the U.S. If we use our capitolist way first and simply develop a cost effective solution, the transportation industry will follow.

One of the U.S.'s large issues is our reliance on commercial trucking for over 60% of the goods transported. We are not like the europians. We have a much larger country to transport goods around.

GM & their "FOOL CELLS" strategy
By Vicente on 1/23/2007 5:13:44 PM , Rating: 1
American automakers have this strategy to spend some advertising money on these concept cars.

The point of FOOL CELL vehicles is not to ever have a working vehicle. It's to pretend they are doing something. The gov't even supports them with tax breaks and grants for this dumb idea.

You the public are the suckers. They don't want to build electric cars, or plug-in hybrids. That would cut into Big Oil Profits.

"Who Killed the Electric Car?" had it dead-on. And furthermore American automakers don't care one whit more today about the environment or efficient answers today any more than it did in the 90's. Whoopty fricking doo they spent another few million adding a plug-in option on their FOOL CELL vehicles which have also been 20-years away since the 1970's.

Do not be fooled. This is not new&improved, this is the same old song and dance with no delivery.

RE: GM & their "FOOL CELLS" strategy
By Grast on 1/23/2007 7:00:36 PM , Rating: 2

Who cares if GM is blowing smoke up everyone’s butt about this car.....

Whether like or not, I and everyone in the U.S. has the RIGHT to drive the biggest, gas guzzling, and least efficient vehicle possible if they choose to do so.....

What is your solution? Do you drive a car? Are one of those hybrid drivers acting so superior? What is your average commute distance?

Unless you’re are riding a bicycle to work and not using electricity, you are also part of the problem.

RE: GM & their "FOOL CELLS" strategy
By Grast on 1/23/2007 7:06:07 PM , Rating: 3
I have no illusions to the amount of energy I use on a daily basis and it is scary. Power to my home, fuel for vehicle, energy to grow food, energy to package food, energy to produce every manufactured good in the market, energy to dispose of trash, pollute the earth, pollute the air, pollute the water, and listen to people say we are killing the world.

I do not have any of those awnsers. I different from you though in one respect, I will applaud and support anyone or company that is trying to make a realistic advancement to any of these issues.

RE: GM & their "FOOL CELLS" strategy
By hubajube on 1/23/2007 7:12:24 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you’re are riding a bicycle to work and not using electricity, you are also part of the problem.
Yep. Not to mention, if you buy groceries, clothes, visit your parents home, or even go to school you are also part of the problem. All of your money is going to support fossil fuel usage whether you like it or not. AND by supporting people that support fossil fuel usage you are STILL part of the problem.

RE: GM & their "FOOL CELLS" strategy
By masher2 (blog) on 1/23/2007 8:24:21 PM , Rating: 1
> "Not to mention, if you buy groceries, clothes, visit your parents home, or even go to school you are also part of the problem..."

According to the UN, if you eat meat and ride a bicycle, you contribute more to global warming than an SUV owner who's also a vegetarian. So yes, dealing in absolutes is risky business.

RE: GM & their "FOOL CELLS" strategy
By milomnderbnder21 on 1/23/2007 9:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, we here in the USA also eat more red meat than we need. Does that mean that we shouldn't try to cut back on carbon emissions on the vehicles we drive? No, that's stupid.

It means we should at least get started on one of those issues, then work on the other. Both would be great, but gotta take what we can get at the moment.

By masher2 (blog) on 1/23/2007 9:45:50 PM , Rating: 3
> "Yes, we here in the USA also eat more red meat than we need..."

You're mighty quick to tell other people what they should and shouldn't be doing. Are you sure you're in the right country?

In truth, neither red meat nor automobiles are going to mean the end of the planet...despite what some overly-emotional environmentalists may think.

By Ringold on 1/23/2007 11:39:49 PM , Rating: 2
You really need to check the authoritarianism as the door.

I need as much red meat as I want and as I can afford. Need happens to equal want in free societies.

You know, I actually ate lunch with a pair of Indian's (not the Red Sox kind, the call center kind) on a regular basis last year; good conversations. They were traditional. Meaning, vegetarian. I, of course, had some type of ham/beef/turkey sandwich every day. They never judged me, and I never questioned what I think is one of their religious tenants. Tolerance, home boy, tolerance.

Working on perceived problems can be done with tolerance and without these wild value statements. And without compromising free choice.

By zsouthboy on 1/23/2007 11:57:13 AM , Rating: 2
I just watched "Who Killed The Electric Car?" (yeah, so i'm late); this announcement is surprising.

RE: wow
By masher2 (blog) on 1/23/2007 12:10:53 PM , Rating: 2
There's a wide, wide river flowing between that film and reality.

RE: wow
By ninjit on 1/23/2007 12:20:45 PM , Rating: 2
Care to the back that up?

I've heard a lot of people say similar things about the movie, and yeh it was sensationalized, but I've yet to hear any real argument refuting their statements.

RE: wow
By masher2 (blog) on 1/23/2007 12:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
I've written pages and pages regarding it on other threads here, and its been thoroughly debunked on many other sites. Here's a little warmup from the editor of the car site

Rumor : There were 5,000 people who wanted an EV1, but GM wouldn't let them buy it.

Fact : There were 5,000 people who expressed interest in an EV1, but when GM called them back and explained that the car cost $299-plus a month to lease, went between 60 and 80 miles on a full charge, and took between 45 minutes and 15 hours to re-charge, very few would commit to leasing one...

RE: wow
By ninjit on 1/23/2007 4:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
Have you actually seen the movie?
Because they have someone from GM on camera stating that exact argument.

Anyways, what's funny is that GM's ceo admitted that they completely screwed up with the EV-1:

According to GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, the worst decision of his tenure at GM was "axing the EV1 electric-car program and not putting the right resources into hybrids".

I've been pretty impressed with GM recently. Having a big company admit they made a mistake and actually turn around and start doing something about it is rare. They are now planning on plugin hybdrid versions for many of their models.

RE: wow
By masher2 (blog) on 1/23/2007 9:48:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, GM certainly could have executed better here, a fact they themselves are quick to admit. But then, hindsight is always 20-20. The notion that there was any sort of conspiracy involved, though, is sophomoric nonsense. Fact is, there isn't an automaker in the world that wouldn't love to sell us a practical electric car. They'd sell like hotcakes, and do wonders for the bottom line.

Solar power
By Doormat on 1/23/2007 1:55:01 PM , Rating: 2
Living in the southwest, I'd like to put solar cells on the roof of the vehicle to charge the car while I'm at work. Quick math tells me that 4 square meters of roof area should give me about 800W/h. Sitting for 8-10 hours in the sun every day (300 days/yr of sun) would provide for 6-8kWh per day, or enough to drive about 15-20 miles depending on how many Wh it takes to drive a mile (usually between 300 and 400). Its a little over 25 miles for the round trip between home and work, but using only one gallon of gas per week would be amazing.

The real question is how many miles per kWh does it get, and would using electricity really be cheaper than gas in the long run.

RE: Solar power
By jak3676 on 1/23/2007 3:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
Darn it - meant to hit reply, not downgrade you (someone please correct that please). Until then feel free to downgrade me in return - totally my fault.

I was going to say that your solar recharge time & milage is a bit optomistic. I've worked on my former schools solar car program a bit (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology). Even using superlightweight materials and covering the entire surface of the car we would barely get that much enegy in an entire day. I tend to agree that putting a solar panel on evey hybrid will help a lot, but you aren't going to get better than a few miles a day worth of energy on a heavy passanger car.

RE: Solar power
By masher2 (blog) on 1/23/2007 4:01:46 PM , Rating: 2
> "someone please correct that please..."

You corrected it yourself by posting. That erases all your previous votes.

RE: Solar power
By bobsmith1492 on 1/23/2007 4:12:13 PM , Rating: 2
Hm, I don't think so; this is a test. I downgraded you to 1 and am now posting....

RE: Solar power
By bobsmith1492 on 1/23/2007 4:12:45 PM , Rating: 2
Nevermind! Your're right. That just ruined my posting strategy. :(

By Ringold on 1/23/2007 5:17:49 PM , Rating: 2
For all the talk of exhausting oil supplies (or, if the environmentalists wanted to ring the more appropriate alarm bell, increasing demand and slow increases in supply) I hear a lot of exotic materials being used in this new technology.

Lithium or nickle in batteries, platinum in fuel cells, solar panels use a variety of more expensive materials if I'm not mistaken.. I'm probably just scratch the most obvious surface.

How long could something like Lion-powered plug-in fuel-cell hybrids be supplied in disposable vehicles to a global population of 6 to 9 billion people before these raw materials own scarcity comes in to play? I'm sure there's a ton of nickle, for example, out there. There's also oceans of oil. That doesn't mean its economically recoverable.

Anyone able to say I'm spinning my wheels worrying 'cause there's just mountains of platinum ready to be used as catalyst material, etc?

Not that I think it'd be a reason to avoid progress. It's just something that, if my fears are well placed, environmentalists should keep in mind.

RE: Resources
By Grast on 1/23/2007 6:48:04 PM , Rating: 2

You are absolutely correct in regards to exotic meterial. That is the reason lion batteries need to be at least 90% recyclable. Otherwise, we are not gaining any thing. I see no reason to use up one resource and deposit in the ground just to simply get rid of air polution.

That is one reason why I believe the use of batteries in cars is the wrong direction. We need to develop a renewable, ebudant, and cheap energy carrier. Ohhh wait, we have one it is called hydrogen.

We just need to develop the power generation (fusion) and the most effeciant method of using the hydrogen (fuel cell or other tech).


RE: Resources
By NegativeEntropy on 1/23/2007 9:08:43 PM , Rating: 2
Using the abundant but variable "free" resource known as wind to generate hydrogen makes sense to me. If we such enough wind energy (which is really solar energy) out of the atmosphere we'll even combat global warming ;P

Anyone know of calculations showing how this might work?

RE: Resources
By masher2 (blog) on 1/23/2007 9:40:33 PM , Rating: 2
> "Anyone know of calculations showing how this might work?"

The total amount of energy used by mankind is an insignificant fraction of the total solar flux. So we're not going to "cool" the earth by using wind or solar power...even disregarding the fact that, when we eventually consume that generated power, the heat is released anyway. That's a basic law of thermodynamics...everything winds up as heat eventually.

RE: Resources
By Grast on 1/24/2007 12:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
In my research, I have found that neither wind or solar can provide the required amount of energy needed to power the world. However, your comment is a bit off topic. You see there are many ways to generate energy. We have many technologies none of them are perfect but have choices.

The biggest issue is how to carry the generated energy. The use of batteries in vehicles is in my opinion the wrong direction. We need a energy carrier which can be used to general the kinetic force to move the vehicle, power the radio and other electical components, power a heater for the winter, and power a cooler for the summer.

I do not believe that main stream Americans will accept a vehicle which removes these staples of current vehicles. One of the many talking points not spoken about in regards to electric vehicles is the lack of heat and air conditioning in those types of vehicles. The reason is simply the lack of power.

I have driven one of the original EV-1 vehicle while working for the postal agency in my home town. The vehicle only had a fan for air circulation. It had no air conditioning, no heater, and no radio. It just took you from point A to B.

I digress. My main point to this issue of replacing the internal combustion engine is the need for an energy carrier which is close to the energy density of gasoline or a vehicle with a much higher level of effeciency to allow all of the normal capabilites of a modern vehicle.

Any other solutions are just a interum gap replacement and in reality a waste of time.

225 miles per tank?
By Some1ne on 1/23/2007 4:09:53 PM , Rating: 2
No thank you. What's the point of having an efficiency rating of 41 MPG if the car can only support the equivalent of 5 gallons of fuel at any given time?

The fuel capacity needs to be increased at least twofold to be competitive with existing gasoline-based models, and really should be increased four-fold to give the equivalent of the ~20 gallon tank that comes with most SUV's and a range of > 800 miles. Then you've got something worth talking about.

RE: 225 miles per tank?
By AnnihilatorX on 1/23/2007 4:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
True. But nevertheless great effort
hydrogen storage stills needs a bit of research

RE: 225 miles per tank?
By Ringold on 1/23/2007 4:48:16 PM , Rating: 2
I won't judge their entire system over at, but to an economist that doesn't know what he's looking at, their storage gizmo looks..reasonable? Using a hydride to soak up the hydrogen, then releasing it by applying heat.

By Visual on 1/24/2007 5:45:23 AM , Rating: 1
having both a hydrogen fuel cell and a traditional battery is just weird, while using the first to recharge the second is idiotic.
hopefully, i misunderstood and this isn't what they are actually doing in this car.

RE: huh?
By goku on 1/25/2007 3:15:56 AM , Rating: 2
No, using hybrid technology makes hydrogen more efficient because like gasoline, a lot of the energy is lost to heat. Also you recover a lot of energy from regenerative braking etc. I believe it would be more efficient to take gasoline and create electricity, store that electricity and use only the amount of electricity you need then to use gasoline directly despite the efficiency losses with energy conversions. Electric motors are much more efficient than gasoline motors, ANY DAY. If you could directly convert gasoline into stored electricity and instead use the electricity, you'd have huge gains in MPG. Gasoline has lots of energy but a petrol engine is only 35% efficient which is pretty sad..

How much?
By hubajube on 1/23/2007 12:07:05 PM , Rating: 2
Are going to be available to the public?

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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