The public has been caught by the sensation return of the hydrogen Fuel cell cars. Suddenly they are back in the mainstream market and rumor has it that they are going to give a real tough time to all the electric car consumers and producers. Always considered to be all expensive for commercial use, companies such as Toyota, Honda and Hyundai are all considering producing more emission-free cars in the future. By the year 2015, all these three major car manufacturing companies will offer hydrogen fuel cell cars in large numbers.
A fuel cell car is a type of electric car. Carrying a hydrogen tank, combine with oxygen from the air that produces electricity. Although the difference between two is, that there are no batteries present, instead of the batteries, the energy is preserved in the form of hydrogen that makes it refueling as easy as petrol of diesel car. It is also considered to be more beneficial on a long range, almost about 480 Km in some cases.
These types of vehicles can be fueled easily, but they have other problems. The inflammability problems pose serious threat. The hydrogen has to be bought to the gas stations and that is not easy to do. The source of hydrogen is another serious problem. It’s not environmental friendly.
Ignoring the drawbacks, they are many plus points to a hydrogen fuel cell car. The lack of emissions, they give off, is one of the biggest advantages of a hydrogen fuel cell cars. As we all know, the use of cars powered by gasoline emits greenhouse gases like sulfur and carbon. Hydrogen fuel cell cars can only emit water vapor. Hydrogen cars would greatly improve the quality of the air and decrease the greenhouse emissions liable for global warming. Another advantage of a hydrogen powered vehicle is that there are many sources of hydrogen. Oil, Natural gas, and coal are all common sources of producing hydrogen. Biomass such as waste from livestock, wastewater sludge, and landfill waste are all responsible for producing hydrogen easily. Furthermore, natural elements like water, wind and sunlight can be useful in producing hydrogen for fuel cells cars. Compared to gasoline, hydrogen is much more efficient as a source of fuel. It has higher energy density per unit mass than gasoline does, and also has a lower energy density per unit volume. Meaning hydrogen cars would consume less fuel but travel long distances than cars powered by gasoline. Furthermore if the hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels, some contaminants are produced, but much less than the amount generated by conventional car tailpipe emissions.
Recent research has also thrown open prospects for new substances instead of the expensive platinum. The big car produces have made further developments in technology that has cut down the cost and size of fuel cells. There will be more advances. Still electric cars are ahead as it is more complicated to build a hydrogen fueling network.
Hydrogen fuel cell cars may be the answer that is needed to solve our energy difficulties. But like everything it has its weak points too. It would be hard for producers to convert the consumer taste from electric cars to hydrogen powered cars. People (Consumers) are often reluctant to change their taste as they don’t want to investment such big of an amount, as hydrogen powered vehicles are costly, into things that they are not fully aware of. Change is always difficult. Not having a complete knowledge of what the consumer is investing into will make it difficult to complete to with the electric cars. Promotion and public education would key if these hydrogen powered cars want to complete with the electric cars. Switching to hydrogen fuel cell cars is that it would require a whole new infrastructure, can be another big disadvantage. Although existing gas stations could be converted into hydrogen fueling stations but that would take years to do so. Also, there is currently no supply station enough to get hydrogen all over the country. These new pipelines would be too costly dollars and would take years to build.
The hydrogen technology must be embraced by consumers before its benefits can be understood. As with any new vehicle technology, consumers may ask questions about the reliability and security of these vehicles when they first come into the market. Plus, they must be aware with a new kind of fuel. Public education and good promotion by the producers can help to compete with the electric cars and help to fasten this process.