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Hydrogen vehicles aren't too eco-friendly in terms of carbon emissions, according to an in-depth new study.  (Source: Web Wombat)
Study indicates plug-ins feature a lower emissions life than gas vehicles, but hydrogen vehicles feature greater emissions

The hydrogen vehicle movement appears stalled.  The push to use the diatomic gas as auto fuel never exactly made it off the ground due to a lack of infrastructure -- production, distribution, and storage facilities.  However, for a time automakers like Toyota and Honda were pushing ahead with testing of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. 

Even this year, news leaked that GM was considering launching a commercial fuel cell vehicle in 2015, despite lack of support for the hydrogen movement from U.S. President Barack Obama.  However, of late, the big automakers like Toyota and Honda have backed off the effort to push hydrogen vehicles onto the market.

A new study might put another road block in front of the prospect of a near term commercial hydrogen vehicle release, while giving the plug-in vehicle movement a nice boost.  The study was authored by Ryan McCarthy at the University of California, Davis and published in the Journal of Power Sources. The ground-breaking study, entitled "Determining marginal electricity for near-term plug-in and fuel cell vehicle demands in California: Impacts on vehicle greenhouse gas emissions", examines the emissions impact of hydrogen and plug-in vehicles versus their gas counterparts.

Lowering carbon emissions to fight warming, along with high fuel prices and global-political instability, has been a key driving factor for the adoption of hybrids and alternative fuels.  The new study, though, judged hydrogen vehicles to be an utter failure at that objective, in their current state.  The study concluded, "All of the pathways except for [fuel cell vehicles] using hydrogen from electrolysis reduce [greenhouse gas] emissions compared to ICEs and [hybrid electric vehicles]."

It doesn't dissuade further research into hydrogen vehicles; it simply indicates they are unlikely to be ready for showtime anytime soon.  It points out that steam methane reforming is a promising emerging method of hydrogen production that may one day allow hydrogen driven vehicles to actually live up to their emissions promises.

In the near term, the study finds that plug-in electric vehicles are the best option in terms of lowering carbon emissions.  Despite using electricity mostly generated by "relatively inefficient steam- and combustion-turbine plants" the well-to-wheel carbon impact of EVs is still significantly lower than hybrids.

While by no means the definitive study on the topic, the new work does much to fill in the gap in knowledge about what exactly the true impact of green vehicles are.  While the topic of on-the-road emissions has been well researched, there's been much less progress in examining the full lifetime impact of vehicles.  Now, that lifecycle has been examined in depth and EV advocates can put another feather in their caps, while hydrogen advocates are once again handed another setback.

The study may play a crucial role in forming the policy of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, an effort to reduce the carbon impact of transportation.  And given that President Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency has embraced California's emissions policy, the new study could have a profound impact on the course of regulations and the auto market nationally, as well.



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RE: I might care
By ZachDontScare on 12/31/2009 4:31:00 PM , Rating: 0
quote:
Give it a few more years at least before you can be definitive.


I've given it over 20 years. Its a scam.


RE: I might care
By roostitup on 12/31/09, Rating: -1
RE: I might care
By Oregonian2 on 12/31/2009 8:47:23 PM , Rating: 5
One question is: how reliable is that data from which the correlation is drawn? How much of that data was hand-massaged to look that way?


RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: I might care
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 1/1/2010 3:09:41 PM , Rating: 5
If data is collected poorly, then it is not good data.

This isn't the site I was trying to find, but it does have some pictures of why the data taken from ground based weather stations may not be collected properly:

http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/weather_stations/


RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/1/2010 3:27:46 PM , Rating: 2
I would also recommend not citing blogs, anyone can write them and there is absolutely NO scientific backing of their opinions. Jason Mick proves this is 75% of his blogs that he would love to think are actual journalism which are biased.


RE: I might care
By heffeque on 1/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/3/2010 7:59:47 PM , Rating: 4
I bet you think Capitalism is Evil.

The Irony is that Capitalism is probably the only reason you and me and majority of the world is alive right now. Capitalism funded advancement of Technology and made it possible to have our current population.

Don't forget Capitalism brought the internet.

What this Global warming scam will do is decrease our growth of advances. Increase costs up and down the social classes. Impoverished people will get hit the most.
Why I say this is based the fact the only way to make a dent in CO2 is to tax dirty technology.

When the CRU is manipulating data and lots of pseudo science is going on its hard to say Global warming is happening because of our influence.

Whenever something questionable is going on I always look at the flow of money. From what I can tell there is more money to earn if people support taxing and using Credit Carbon Credits. The energy industries present have diversified in case the market goes either way. (Gas companies own lots of battery tech, Solar, Bio,) The only ones who stand to gain a lot of money are those advocating Global warming caused by Humans.


RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/4/2010 1:23:39 AM , Rating: 4
The green movement didn't really start the research of alternatives. Its based around money. When fossil fuels got more expensive it started to become economical to research alternatives. Since everyone is looking for alternatives to the unstable Commodity that is Fossil Fuel.

There is a notion of buying green things since its better for the environment if people have the income go ahead and buy it if it makes you feel better. Most Hybrid Owners don't give a crap about Conservation its about the Image of driving the car. The image about being green and the Snobbish attitude.

I personally get Hybrid mileage by changing the way I drive (Always get 30 Mpg to 36 mpg in my Rav4 2005 Depending on the Temperature). I do it for cost reasons and longevity of my vehicle its saved me 600 dollars over a year of time.

I Have no issue at all with alternatives as long as they are viable and the Technology is sound. I really want an Electric car, and solar panels. I want the tech, but I have no notion of saving the planet. I am worried about instability of the supply and cost. And the ability to make my own energy for me and my family is a good investment.

Oh BTW my whole previous post started with "Rich people" comment. I played on an assumption he made about Rich people. Rich people don't care as long as they are making money on their investment be it a Business or Equities.
Just don't tax them to death or they'll raise prices to maintain their margin to remain competitive.

I care more about the Middle to Lower class than you probably think. And please don't assume everyone has this Saintly Attitude towards the planet. When it comes down to cost people will choose the most economical route for them.


RE: I might care
By ipay on 1/4/10, Rating: -1
RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/4/2010 6:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
1. If you remember the 73 oil crisis then yes the price scare did happen a long time ago. And Jimmy carter put Solar panels on the White house in 79. Since then governments around the world did sponsor research into alternative energy. Though there since has been a growth in investments into these technologies, which sponsors into Alternative energy.

2. I didn't say anything was wrong about buying hybrid cars if you can afford it. I was stating an overwhelming truth about people who buy hybrids do so for the image of being green. There is no need to scare the public, the Car companies will sell you the image of being green to sell the car.

3. Alternative vehicles IE electric cars were played around with for Decades http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/223/electric-car-time... . If you watch who killed the electric car you'll get a good idea who killed it. Still demand was still there, but why advocate a green car when the rest of your line consists of huge SUV's and gas guzzlers. Car manufacturers have thin margins they have to make sure they make the best bet for their investors.

Without the advent of Fertilizers (Without this advance there is no way we could feed 6 billion people), Industrial Revolution, Machines, all of which flourished only because they had the freedom to. That is what Capitalism is, you have the chance to earn your keep and keep it and do what you want with it. At the same time you can help your fellow man gain his dream.

This is where you are economic illiterate. What you think those really rich people do with their money? I'll tell you what they do. THEY INVEST, THEY SPEND, THEY WILL NEVER LET THAT MONEY SIT STILL. Even if they keep it in a nice CD its still influencing the economy through loans. This my friend is how the economy keeps on its feet. Yes they do get richer and get poorer (When they make a bad bet), but investors keep the economy the way it is.

Without those untold trillions of dollars in investments you probably would not have your job today. You wouldn't have all these Spectacular advances in Technology. You wouldn't have amazing health care (Amazing that you'll live from many otherwise fatal diseases).

You need to either take Economics (Both Micro and Macro) or if you are "PAY ATTENTION IN THEM".

(Sorry for the caps I just can't believe what this guy said)


RE: I might care
By Leomania on 1/5/2010 4:59:23 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for your well-written posts. Not everyone manages to keep their cool through that many exchanges.

One thing I'd like to comment on is:
quote:
2. I didn't say anything was wrong about buying hybrid cars if you can afford it. I was stating an overwhelming truth about people who buy hybrids do so for the image of being green. There is no need to scare the public, the Car companies will sell you the image of being green to sell the car.

The "overwhelming" part isn't valid, at least not among the people I know who own hybrids (myself included). I cared not one iota about image, and no one I know does either. In my case, I sold a car that got less than half the mileage of a hybrid that traveled 50 miles round trip each day, simply to reduce the amount of fossil fuel I used. My financial calculus indicated that I would be unlikely to recoup my investment even at $5/gallon (which it was not long after I bought the car), but I did it because I thought it was the right thing to do. My Prius is 2nd generation, so although I'm not truly an early adopter, that also fed into my decision. Same as it did when I put solar on my roof in 2002.

Yeah, it's nice to be in a position to have enough spare buckazoids to make a call like that; not everyone can. But prices on the solar have come down markedly since I bought, and I expect the same will occur for hybrid technology. In the end, I have met my fossil fuel reduction goals without any significant inconvenience and I have a car that has proven to be amazingly reliable. I fully expect to drive it to 200K miles.

But image had nothing to do with it.


RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/6/2010 11:43:29 PM , Rating: 2
I wish I could edit the Overwhelming part to 'Significant'. I know quite a few people on Cleanmpg.com /Priuschat.com who don't drive a Hybrid for the image.

Still from Prius' I see on the road they tend to be jerks since most get a Hybrid for the HOV lane in Wash DC.
So I guess the HOV gave the Regular Joe an Excuse to jump on the Hybrid Bandwagon. Though at least they are paving the way for the Technology.

The Prius is not a Bad car in fact I would jump on it if it had a stick shift. Though if a nice sized Hybrid (Not the Insight Gen 1) would come out in a manual transmission I'll jump on it in a second. I think with the New CR-Z I might have to, I just wish it were a plug-in.

Sorry about bashing hybrids and their owners in general.
Not sure where I was going with that one.

But thank you for the Praise.


RE: I might care
By bigbubba on 1/5/2010 10:59:46 PM , Rating: 2
Kurz, you're brainwashed and full of your own shit along with everyone rating you up and the logical right thinking people down. This website, particularly readers of Mick's blogs are ignorant and will believe anything they hear. Journalism doesn't occur on DailyTech, biased opinions in the form of journalism do and you have to learn how to weed out the correct information, which you have not. Continue to sit in front of your computer and believe everything you hear, I'll get out and figure out what is really happening. DailyTech staff, quit censoring legitimate user comments by allowing these delusional people to rate others or even do away with the whole rating system, period! Kurz & Mick, you're both douche bags.


RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/6/2010 11:50:08 PM , Rating: 2
If you can argue and give me reasons and Evidence I could believe you. I've come forward with facts/History and Economic theory.

Just remember one persons logic is not the same for someone else. Since two different people can logically based on their beliefs and Knowledge can come up with two opposing sides.

I believe now I know whats going on in the world.
It just took few years out of the Public school system to get my head straight.

I am still waiting for a response that is not Condescending and is actually trying to argue their point. To this point I have shot down many of you guy's posts by posting facts and truth. All you guys come at me with is Opinions.
Thats why I am getting Uprated, and thats why you guys are getting down rated.


RE: I might care
By Sandok on 1/4/2010 3:44:07 AM , Rating: 2
What if data is well collected? America might only be 300 years old or so, so the data doesn't go back a long way and since most people don't "believe" in ice cores (as if there is anything to believe), people become skeptical.

In my "old" country, temperatures have been recorded for over half a century and CO2 was recorded for about a quarter of that. All to say, there is a correlation (according to my country's scientists) in between CO2 and temperatures.

Warmest 10 days since the last 500 years? All in 2000+
Coldest 10 days since the last 500 years? All in 2000+
Wettest 10 days since the last 500 years? All in 2000+

Either Switzerland is messed up or something is going on...


RE: I might care
By nafhan on 1/4/2010 10:23:57 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
In my "old" country, temperatures have been recorded for over half a century and CO2 was recorded for about a quarter of that. All to say, there is a correlation (according to my country's scientists) in between CO2 and temperatures.

Warmest 10 days since the last 500 years? All in 2000+
Coldest 10 days since the last 500 years? All in 2000+
Wettest 10 days since the last 500 years? All in 2000+
You mention that temperatures have been recorded for 50 years, and then make assertions about the last 500 years. That actually seems fairly typical.


RE: I might care
By callmeroy on 1/4/2010 8:33:05 AM , Rating: 4
I believe in the following:

1) The Earth survived for BILLIONS of years before humans were here, it'll survive for billions more after we are all long since dust.

2) Does and has the climate change from cold to hot; and hot to cold...of course it is a living planet after all.

3) I think its funny when people want to kill or physically hurt others over the argument of climate change (hey damn it save mother earth --- or I'll KILL *you*!!).....

4) I think its also funny when people take small slices of history to cite data and they use that as fact (for or against global warming -- take your pick).....ie. "dude in the last 100 years temps have been rising or dropping THE FRIGGIN DATA IS RIGHT THERE !!" (um ok...um...the planet is billions of years old but your 100 years of data is the shining proof.....um...ok ....cool?)

but lastly.....

5) Believe in global warming or not --- it just makes good sense to want to conserve energy and be cleaner and more efficient with our energy useage. So if the guise of global warming is how the world gets that done I'm fine with it. I'd much rather see CLEAR days not haze filled ones and breath clean air anyway.


RE: I might care
By gamerk2 on 1/4/2010 3:21:37 PM , Rating: 2
Please people, yes, the planet goes through cycles. But data has shown that over the past century, every hot/cold cycle is hotter then the rest.

Also, yes, life will go on, regardless. (Is anyone really arrogant enough to think we could kill all life on the planet?)

The point with GW is simple: Less predictable, and more extreme weather, and conditions that will make life harder for all.

If algae and simple plant life can create an O2 rich atmosphere over time, I see no reason why dumping trillions of Tons of CO2 can't achieve the same effect.

I should also note: Ice core data has shown a direct coorolation to CO2 levels and temperature, and the entire planet of Venus is an example of Global Warming run amok (Its hotter then Murcury, which is far closer to the Sun).

The irony of the situation: Over the past 40 years, the planet SHOULD have cooled; recent studies has shown the Sun has had dimminished solor output since the mid-late 70's, which makes the warming trend even more alarming...


RE: I might care
By jhb116 on 1/1/2010 8:48:42 AM , Rating: 5
But your previous comment also disproves your "theory" about correlation over the last 20 years. In fact - you state that the Earth has been warming since the little Ice Age - DUHHH - Earth has been warming and cooling for millions of years now. But then you go on to say that 20 years of warming is correlated with CO2. This is were the rest of us find huge holes in your arguments. When the Earth has scientifically proven hot-cold cycles for millions of years - people like you come in with evidence from the last 100 or so years and say that humanity is the cause, it just doesn't add up for the rest of us. Even some of your core "evidence" has come under fire of late for data manipulation. If you want the rest of us to believe - get the real data, all of the data, out for scientific review and cite real science and journals instead of the standard argument you use "thousands agree." Thousands say they've been abducted by aliens - doesn't make it true.


RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/1/2010 1:44:34 PM , Rating: 4
I also stated that earth NATURALY WARMS AND COOLS and that there is a possibility that that's all that is going on! I never said humanity was the cause, I stated that we MIGHT be helping it and one year of non correlated data doesn't disprove it. Show me where this "core" data has come under fire for manipulation, I have yet to see this so cite it before you make statements like that. Lets see you get real data to disprove me, cite scientific journals to disprove the correlation...this goes both ways buddy. I'm completely open to believing you and others, but you have to get the data to back up your claims. Also, what do you mean get real data? The data's out there already in scientific journals ready to read. I never stated that I believe because "thousands agree", I believe because of all the data I've seen is from scientific journals and shows a correlation. I went to school to learn about this and attended many lectures by George Taylor, I know the data they use is good data. It's how they present it that is under question, not the actual data...and it's only for ONE YEAR! Either way we should be paying attention to the amount of CO2 we put in the atmosphere even if it doesn't change the climate.


RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/1/2010 11:49:53 PM , Rating: 5
Remember We have Huge ass Oceans in our world.
As the Global temps rise they tend to release the CO2 that is dissolved within them.

Its causation, but backwards.
Temps rise first then CO2.
There are plenty of journals that show this happening.
That Temperature rises then CO2 and they infer its the oceans releasing the CO2.

The problem I have with this Global warming fear is the fact there are trillions to be made from it.
However, those trillions will be pooled collectively from the populace hence a new tax scheme for the Elite.


RE: I might care
By DominionSeraph on 1/2/2010 10:52:11 AM , Rating: 1
So all this combustion of carbon doesn't release CO2? Well then I guess combustion of hydrogen doesn't result in H2O, either. Right?

Come on, people; this isn't rocket science.

Oh wait... that was.


RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/2/2010 1:37:22 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget it can be offset by Natural growth like Algae trees.

I guess everyone needs a degree in biology.


RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/1/2010 2:02:01 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to just be attacking me because you think that I believe without a shadow of a doubt that our CO2 output is increasing the temp. Well you need to read what I'm saying before you spit out your opinions. I know the earth is in a natural warming phase, but the RATE of warming is MUCH faster than it has ever warmed before which makes you wonder why? Sure it could still be natural warming, but it's something we cannot ignore and CO2 output is the biggest change that has occurred in the same time that this warming RATE has increased. The problem I see with your argument is that you have NO DATA to back it up, at least the science is out there on the increased rate of climate change and CO2. Find the data to back yourself up and I may believe you, until then I'm going with what the current data shows.


RE: I might care
By shin0bi272 on 1/3/2010 8:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
co2 and temp correlated from 1982 (when the IPCC started their modeling based on their theory that co2 was the cause of global warming... before that it was cfc's) till 1998. The data that they used to extrapolate (i.e. guess) the temps was from a whopping 3... count em 3... hand picked for their large rings... trees in siberia. Tree ring extrapolation isnt even a really accurate way of stating the temperature either. Sure you can say it was warmer or colder near that tree x number of years ago but to pick 3 specific trees for their wider than normal rings is totally not scientific and lets be honest immoral. Its pushing a political agenda to get more money for more research because thats how the "scientists" in environmentalism get paid. Its not about the green on the trees its about the green in your wallet! Its about hindering developed countries and making them give billions of dollars to petty 3rd world dictators (most of whom are in africa) to make reparations for our success while they were more worried about killing their own people or the next tribe over. We in the US and some other developed countries worked to become more developed (profit motive is a wonderful thing) and the blame America first crowd (like you roostitup) are trying to say that we somehow owe people who didnt do as well as we did money. Its not about the climate at all its about demonizing capitalism and "the rich". Go look at the copenhagen treaty that no one signed... apendix one (page like 128 or so) states that there will be a global government set up in order to police the world's use of co2. You ever wonder where the communists went after the fall of the ussr and eastern bloc countries? They moved behind the scenes into pushing for climate legislation... hence the term "global government". Its not your fault Roostitup, you're a rank and file lib who still believes in the message and has yet to see the truth behind it all. its about political power over as many people as possible and was almost an entire world government.


RE: I might care
By getho on 1/1/2010 5:08:58 PM , Rating: 3
I Imagine 20 years before the easter island people started eating each other there were people like you saying "tree shortage? what tree shortage?"


RE: I might care
By quiksilvr on 1/1/2010 5:42:25 PM , Rating: 5
Damn the whole Global Warming nonsense and just look at the logical reasoning:

1) Pollution is bad for your health.
2) Cutting down pollution is good for us.

If people just focused more on the fact that spewing out pollution is bad for us instead of the whole "The ice caps this" and "The polar bears that", we would waste less time arguing about it and more time just making cleaner vehicles.

In my opinion, we should use hemp oil as bio-diesel (hemp does not contain THC like marijuana and will not make you high if burned). It grows easily, the oil has been proven to work and will really help push clean diesel in this country.


RE: I might care
By BansheeX on 1/2/2010 7:45:41 AM , Rating: 4
It's not as simple as saying "pollution is bad, therefore let's not pollute". People have always weighed the costs of a technology against its benefits before embracing it. Horses crap all over the place, but people used them for centuries as their chief method of transport. A lot of earlier cars and coal plants were quite dirty in their emissions: does that mean people shouldn't have used them? We needed those dirty, immature technologies or we would have never advanced to the point of improving or discovering cleaner ones.

The sad thing is that we've completely underappreciated the significance of discovering fission. Electric cars have a big carbon footprint BECAUSE WE DO NOT UTILIZE OUR KNOWLEDGE. It's not because of any legitimate cost or safety concern that we are only 25% nuclear power, it's because of mass ignorance and fear.


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