Another Truck Concept - Nikola Badger

Alan Burns

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Now you get to hunt down two non standard fuel sources. There is also the internal combustion hardware for the hydrogen fuel and fuel storage. Can we spell Hindenberg? The same. carriage packs the source of a large electrical fire and a destructive chemical explosion. I think I will purchase 100% EV.
 

electruck

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Now you get to hunt down two non standard fuel sources. There is also the internal combustion hardware for the hydrogen fuel and fuel storage. Can we spell Hindenberg? The same. carriage packs the source of a large electrical fire and a destructive chemical explosion. I think I will purchase 100% EV.
First, there is no ICE. The hydrogen powers a fuel cell which leverages a chemical reaction to generate electricity which powers the electric motors.

Carrying a tank of hydrogen is no riskier than a tank of gasoline for an ICE vehicle, the natural gas cylinder powering the grill on your patio, LP tank heating your house... or the fire risk associated with the lithium ion battery powering your BEV or portable devices.

20 years ago I would have bet money that a hydrogen infrastructure would have been the path forward. And if dieselgate had happened at that time, it probably would have been. Battery tech has come a long way but we're still another 5-10 yrs away from being able to complete a full charge in under 5 minutes.

That said, I'm no fan of "hybrid" power trains.
 

UP Finn

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That concept is cool. Making it happen is the challenge.
 

ajdelange

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Yes, it's definitely interesting. Batteries have their strengths and weaknesses and fuel cells theirs. Put them together and you get the advantages of both so that the disadvantages of each don't matter. But you also get the cost and complexity of both.

Beyond that I don't see hydrogen in a consumer application for some time. And, of course, hydrogen as produced now is dirty. When it is produced by electrolysis from wind, solar or hydro that will change.
 

Mjhirsch78

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Doesn’t hydrogen have the same infrastructure problem as gasoline? Consumers would have to go to an outside location to refill hydrogen. I would imagine hydrogen would be much more expensive to build and maintain for a fueling station than a row of charging stations. Perhaps I am wrong. But if those assumptions are true, hydrogen will not become a thing simply due to dollars and cents.
 

DucRider

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Yes, it's definitely interesting. Batteries have their strengths and weaknesses and fuel cells theirs. Put them together and you get the advantages of both so that the disadvantages of each don't matter. But you also get the cost and complexity of both.

Beyond that I don't see hydrogen in a consumer application for some time. And, of course, hydrogen as produced now is dirty. When it is produced by electrolysis from wind, solar or hydro that will change.
Using hydrogen as a battery is inefficient no matter the source of electricity to "refine" it. That same electricity could be used to charge a battery. In addition to the electricity needed to produce the hydrogen, it also needs to be compressed to 10,000 psi and cooled. If it is not produced on-site, it will need to be trucked to the station location (theoretically you could install a pipeline to every hydrogen station, but the same it true for gasoline). Hydrogen is generally stored/trucked at 5,000 psi, then further compressed and cooled when filling a vehicle.
 

Alan Burns

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First, there is no ICE. The hydrogen powers a fuel cell which leverages a chemical reaction to generate electricity which powers the electric motors.

Carrying a tank of hydrogen is no riskier than a tank of gasoline for an ICE vehicle, the natural gas cylinder powering the grill on your patio, LP tank heating your house... or the fire risk associated with the lithium ion battery powering your BEV or portable devices.

20 years ago I would have bet money that a hydrogen infrastructure would have been the path forward. And if dieselgate had happened at that time, it probably would have been. Battery tech has come a long way but we're still another 5-10 yrs away from being able to complete a full charge in under 5 minutes.

That said, I'm no fan of "hybrid" power trains.


I did not know the hydrogen power would be a chemical reaction rather than an ICE. I had high hopes for hydrogen powered some years ago but somehow things have stalled out. I am not sure adding EVs is going to revitalize hydrogen power to extend the range of batteries. The space and weight used by the hydrogen storage on the vehicle might be used for more batteries.

The advantage of propane or natural gas used around the home is it is immobile and not moving down a crowded highway at 80 mph. I not my 1967 Chevy pick up has a vertical fuel tank inside the cab. It is pretty well protected unless I get t-boned.

I think the EV infrastructure will become firmly established before the hydrogen infrastructure is.
 

ajdelange

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Doesn’t hydrogen have the same infrastructure problem as gasoline?
It does if it is, as is the case with gasoline, generated at a central plant in which case it has to be moved to the distribution plant and stored there. Transport by pipeline requires construction of a pipeline which is no small feat as the pressures required to fill the cars' reservoirs are pretty high and hydrogen embrittles metals. Efficient trucking requires the use of cryogenic techniques.

Consumers would have to go to an outside location to refill hydrogen.
This is one of the reasons pure FCEVs won't catch hold in the consumer market. Being able to refuel at home is one of the biggest plusses with BEVs. This car, however, would allow fueling at home at least to the extent one could get to a filling station (were there actually any) and top off range with hydrogen.

I would imagine hydrogen would be much more expensive to build and maintain for a fueling station than a row of charging stations. Perhaps I am wrong. But if those assumptions are true, hydrogen will not become a thing simply due to dollars and cents.
Hydrogen is, at this time, much more expensive than electricity and more expensive than gasoline. The manufacturers of FCEV cars are offering free fueling for some period of time in order to get people to buy the cars.[/QUOTE]
 
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ajdelange

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Using hydrogen as a battery is inefficient no matter the source of electricity to "refine" it.
But it's all about economics in reality though we will always trumpet desire to "save the planet" if that suits our purposes. Hydrogen's only real advantage is that, suitably stored, it is much more energy dense than battery stored electricity. It is, if generated from renewables, clean. Now renewable means something like solar or wind which is "free" in the sense that you don't consume anything (except water) to generate the hydrogen. In this case the energy stored in the hydrogen is free and the energy wasted in producing it and in compressing it is free too. thus it does not matter that the preparation of hydrogen for use in an FCEV is inefficient. We all know that the electricity from a solar array is not really free (the hardware has to be depreciated etc.) but as the technology advances it may come to the point where hydrogen from electrolysis may be both clean and economically feasible. That's not today.

For years the world drove around in vehicles that wasted 80% of the energy the fuel contained. But we didn't care because you could go 25 miles on $0.17 (and get a free Flintstones glass) and nobody cared about carbon. Hydrogen made by electrolysis from electricity from a windmill doesn't produce any carbon even if 80% of the electricity is wasted so it's only a matter of getting the cost of 25 miles worth down to 17 cents and a glass.
 

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A hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is far safer than a pure EV. The modern storage of hydrogen is safer than any other vehicle fuel storage we presently have available to us. Batteries on EVs are some of the most unsafe forms of energy storage in a vehicle.

A modern composite hydrogen tank will not rupture in any accident in which you survived the crash. And if it does rupture, all the gas escapes in seconds and rises at a very fast rate dispersing itself into the atmosphere. A gasoline, diesel, or propane tank rupture causes the fuel to pool directly under the vehicle. The electrolyte in EV batteries is extremely flammable and causes a chain reaction of burning battery cells.

Having said that, I don't see hydrogen as a very viable method of energy storage in the near future. If we develop a network of hydrogen refueling stations, then it would be great to have fuel cell electric vehicles capable of long distance travel with fast refueling times. But I think that is a long way off.

I personally think that synthetic fuels from water and co2 will be more viable as that technology advances. It can be a direct drop-in replacement for gasoline and diesel vehicles.
 

ajdelange

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I personally think that synthetic fuels from water and co2 will be more viable as that technology advances. It can be a direct drop-in replacement for gasoline and diesel vehicles.
Well it would be as that's the system we use now

6CO2 + 12H2O + hv <---> C6H12O6 + 6O2

It takes energy to separate oxygen from hydrogen and carbon and when we allow the oxygen to return that energy is released. The problem with this as we do it now is that the reaction proceeds in the reverse direction much faster than in the forward direction so that to obtain enough energy for society's needs we must burn hydrocarbons at a much faster rate than we can reconvert them by getting our supply from hydrocarbons formed millions of years ago so that the carbon dioxide emitted by the earth millions of years ago and, up until recently, safely sequestered there, is now returned to the atmosphere faster than it can be removed and the equilibrium is upset.

The reaction for the "hydrogen economy" is

2H2O + hv <-->2H2 + O2

Here the forward and reverse rate constants are comparable and carbon does not appear in the equation at all giving hydrogen a great advantage. But as we know hydrogen has its disadvantages too. With BEVs hv is converted directly to electrical energy and stored. BEVs and FCEVs are frequently compared and their relative advantages and disadvantages are well known. For a "synthetic fuel" system to prevail it would have to provide each kWh of energy at cost less than a fuel cell or battery with "cost" to include such factors as safety, weight and environmental effects. Right now it looks as if BEVs are way out front, FCEV's far behind and a methanol fuel cell with that methanol produced from atmospheric CO2 and water (which, note, would be done by reacting it with hydrogen obtained by electrolysis) way behind that. But someday?
 

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Why would we use hydrocarbon fuels to make synthetic fuels when we can use renewable energy sources?
 

ajdelange

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We wouldn't or at least I wouldn't so I think you missed the point. Hydrogen itself is a synthetic fuel prepared by the same physical chemistry as glucose. The real question is that given we are going to make synthetic fuel why would we want to make one containing carbon? The answer would be because we have technology that is less costly, equally safe and equally carbon neutral as direct conversion to electricity or conversion to a carbon free synthetic fuel (hydrogen, ammonia).
 

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Hydrogen is not a synthetic fuel, it is an element. And the reason we would make fuels containing carbon is because they are:
1. Liquid at room temperature.
2. Easy to store.
3. Easy to transport.
4. Can work with our current distribution system.
5. Can be used in the millions upon millions of vehicles already in existence.
6. Have a significantly higher gravimetric energy density.
7. Have a significantly higher volumetric energy density.

Even if we developed a sustainable and never ending supply of hydrogen tomorrow, we would convert it into synthetic gasoline and diesel until fuel cell vehicles become the norm. A hydrogen economy is a great concept, but we need a bridge until that technology becomes available to everyone. Synthetic fuels are that bridge.

Also, the storage capacity of hydrogen tanks make it impractical for long range aircraft and ships, so even with a hydrogen economy, we will still be needing the higher energy densities of synthetic fuels for a long time to come.
 
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