When people talk to me about electric cars and I ask them about what`s so special about them, many tell me how wonderful it is to park the car in your parking space at work or in your house and connect it to the electric network and let it charge only while you do your errands, how wonderful is the silence and instant torque of an electric motor compared to the "stinky and slow" conventional combustion engine.
I cannot deny that it is incredibly comfortable to recharge the batteries anywhere and when charging at home getting a heart attack after looking at your electricity bill, how clean you feel knowing your exhaust pipe is 20 kilometers away from your current position vomiting black smoke to the atmosphere while you still feel clean because it is not right behind you and of course brag about saving the planet at the cost of your wallet.
but there is another alternative? well as we know there are many options to move cleanly on the city as walking, cycling... but since many of us drive and we need that 4 wheeled machine to move almost anywhere I have reached a breaktrough on my short but intense investigation.
which one it is? well it is hydrogen but why? well let me explain!"
1-Avaibility,Production & Practicality of Hydrogen.
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our planet is 71% water, and the rest of it is 29% land, only 0.7% of that 71% is drinking water also if you forgot it... the chemical symbol of water is H20, just for you to have an idea of what I will talk to you about next.
Water is 1 part of hydrogen and 2 parts of Oxygen, it is not a fuel but rather a energy carrier that has to be extracted from something else just as raw oil has to be refined into gasoline, rubber... the methods of producing hydrogen can be dirty like using steam methane from natural gas but it can also be produced trough electrolysis,the process of passing an electric current though water to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, if you provide the electric current from a renewable source like solar, wind or thermic energy practically you are making actual energy that is 98% clean (Minus transport and of course, other countries using dirty methods to obtain hydrogen or the electricity needed to transform it)
I`m also pretty well aware of the rise of the sea level every year thanks to global warming, if we used the sea as a source of hydrogen for our hydrogen powered cars in theory we could "drink" our constantly rising sea level that threathens to drown us sooner or later, in my opinion it could be a win-win situation as long every step is planned carefully.
Another thing that you have to keep in mind regarding hydrogen is that it is not very different from internal combustion cars as far as refueling method is concerned, you go to a fuel dispenser, ask the gas man to put you 20€ of fuel on the tank you refill go to the cashier buy a pack of doritos or cigarettes as the gas man refills your car and then pay and drive away and go on with your life.
Recharging a electric car however isn`t that simple as just plugging it and drive away as quickly, you park your Nissan Leaf, you plug it in and check the battery level and see it is at 15% you wait and wait... and 15 minutes later you see only 25% of the battery changed, even if you risked your battery life fora fast charging of 30 minutes you are still stuck at the charge station wondering how to pass time and make excuses to your now angry boss.
It is pretty obvious the advantage of Lyquid based fuels as Gasoline or Diesel when it comes to refueling, but hydrogen is a gas and the transfer of the gaseous fuel is completed in a matter of a few minutes as a conventional car, definitively a advantage if it comes to situations in which every minute counts.
2-Practically 0 emissions & freedom of movement.
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As we all know our combustion cars emit C02, NOX and other toxic components in the air (although contrary to popular belief only Monoxides and NOX are the real toxic components)
altough completely electric cars do not emit any gases trough the exhaust pipe because among other reasons they do not need any since they do not have an internal combustion unit (ICE) but... they still emit indirect emissions to the atmosphere due to many electricity sources being dirty energy sources as coal or nuclear. (This last one could be a semi-clean energy if handled properly)
well and what about hydrogen cars? we already know that their energy sources can be choosen from natural gas to sea water, but altough it may sound crazy hydrogen cars have safe emissions... water to be exact and it can actually be drinked safely straight from the exhaust pipe.
It also has an advantage if we look at the price with hydrogen gas being more affordable than the gas/diesel counterparts acording to the calculations made by Toyota a deposit of 5Kg that the Toyota Mirai requires has an average outlay of 45€ to fillt it up, how long its been since we didn`t fully refill the tank of our car for that amount?
There`s also one more advantage, in spain using the sticker law to identify how much emissions every car makes hydrogen cars have the right to wear the zero emisions sticker which means a lot of advantages when anti-pollution protocols are activated and not even, while your diesel can`t go to the city center you can go there calmly, park in blue zones without having to pay a single dime...etc
3-They can make fine sports cars.
It is obvious that at the moment there are no hydrogen cars for sale to the public, and if there`s any hydrogen sports cars are only avaible under special order.
but there are examples to highlight when it comes to hydrogen cars such as the famous Bmw H2R back in 2004 that obtained the speed record for a hydrogen car of that time reaching 301 kilometers per hour (187.6mph) using a V12 engine with the technology of both Valvetronic and Double VANOS based on the engine of the Bmw 760I with only 232 horses under the hood, a titanic feat considering its low power.
We can also mention conceptual cars like the H2 designed by Pinifarina oriented to be a beast of the racetracks of which only 12 units are known (it later got a racetrack only version), capable of accelerating from 0-100 in only 3.4 seconds and refueling in 3 minutes, 2 minutes faster than a conventional gasoline car, impressive right?
And although certainly forgotten in time we have examples like the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE using its RENESIS Wankel engine that can run on gasoline or hydrogen being the 5th Mazda car configured to work with both gasoline and hydrogen using it`s famous rotary powerplant.
In short... 100% electric cars are brilliant but I`ll stick with Hydrogen since it has many more options of use compared to a electric car, and it has another advantage, any conventional car can be easily converted to work with hydrogen without the need to completely change the engine, only a few adaptations can do it.
Do you embrace the future? or prefer to stick around with battery powered cars? let me know in the coments below and remember to hit that bump button if you enjoyed this post.
(post to go under changes and revision shortly)