Why Haven’t Hydrogen Vehicles Taken Over the World Yet?

We were expecting hydrogen cars to take over
the world years ago, but so far, we’ve got more Prius’ and Teslas. What happened to the fanfare for the car that
runs on water, man? It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything
about hydrogen cars, seemingly because the market wasn’t ready to look past it’s
disadvantages yet. Back in 2014, we saw the very first commercial
hydrogen fuel cell vehicle debut with the Toyota Mirai. It was a promising alternative, and cost about
sixty thousand dollars to own. But the sticker price isn’t the only drawback
for the average driver. The infrastructure for hydrogen cars just
isn’t there yet. Fuel stations are still few and far between
and the cost to build more is a challenge when very few are buying the cars in the first
place Plus, competition is steep. Why pay for a hydrogen car when you can get
an all electric one for less. Saving money AND helping the environment. Ultimately, this is a classic chicken or the
egg situation. Without infrastructure, the auto industry
won’t push hydrogen-fuel cars. But without consumers asking for hydrogen
vehicles, there’s less demand to build the infrastructure. It doesn’t help that building a new hydrogen
distribution infrastructure, like the fueling stations and the hydrogen gas itself, is expensive
and complicated. The most common way we get hydrogen gas is
to separate it from natural gas, but that split still causes CO2 emissions. 8.And the alternative? Ideally we’d use electricity from solar
and winds farms to split hydrogen from water, a process called electrolysis, but we don’t
have the infrastructure for that either. Right now, we’d have to use the electricity
that currently comes from power plants, where they still emit CO2. Both of our current processes defeat the purpose
of this whole carbon-free endeavor and are, ultimately, another roadblock for the hydrogen
car. On top of the infrastructure challenges, hydrogen
fuel cells are costly and complex to make. One fuel cell stack alone can cost Toyota
up to eleven thousand dollars. The heart of a hydrogen fuel cell is composed
of an anode and cathode, usually mixed with small particles of platinum, a thin material
called the polymer electrolyte membrane, and a gas diffusion layer. Platinum is a special catalyst for chemical
reactions in the fuel cell. When hydrogen is pumped through the anode
side, the platinum separates the hydrogen into protons and electrons. Since the negatively charged electrons can’t
transfer through the special membrane like the hydrogen ions, they get shuffled out through
a circuit, and that flow of electrons creates an electrical current that powers the car
(cool). The electrons then come around the other side,
meet their hydrogen partners, throw a little oxygen into the mix and all that is expelled
as H20. (even cooler). For their hydrogen car, Toyota stacks cells
three hundred seventy layers thick in order to get the energy output they’re looking
for. All these materials, especially the platinum,
amount to a pretty penny, and that’s not even even including the materials used for
the storage of hydrogen itself, which can also be super pricey. But we’re getting better at this. Since 2014 fuels cells have become lighter,
and the platinum catalysts are engineered more efficiently, which means they cost less. Scientists are working on electrolysis systems
to make that carbon emission-free hydrogen we need AND there are initiatives globally
to get hydrogen vehicles like taxis, buses, and trucks, on the roads. See for the average person, hydrogen cars
might be impractical, but for long distance travel with large vehicles; they seem to be
a great fit. Electric vehicles need multiple hours of charge
time whereas hydrogen vehicles can be fueled within minutes and have a range of about 500
kilometers; more than fossil fuel and electric cars. That might be the reason why Japan has ordered
100 hydrogen buses for the 2020 games, South Korea has commissioned 1,000 buses, and companies
in the U.S. pre-ordered 11,000 commercial trucks. Infrastructure to build hydrogen fueling stations
still has a long way to go. The California Fuel Cell Partnership has made
it a goal to put 1,000 hydrogen gas stations in California by 2030. And Japan has similar ambitions. While they currently have 90 hydrogen fueling
stations, the country aims to have 900 stations to service some 800,000 FCVs, buses and forklifts
by 2030 So, hydrogen cars may not take over the world
yet. Realistically, in the future there will probably
be a split between electric, gas, and hydrogen cars. If the industry succeeds, maybe we can make
a bigger difference in our carbon footprint and could possibly maybe sort of help us live
here past 2100. Which is something I would like. Like more science in your day? Subscribe! And Hydrogen fuel isn’t the only way we
want to power our public transit, Julian explains how supercapacitors are being in used in buses
too, check it out here. Fun Fact: The first hydrogen fuel cell ever
invented was actually in 1839 by Sir William Robert Grove, but that one didn’t produce
enough energy to be useful. Thanks for watching everyone and see you next
time on Seeker.

Comments 100

  • It is simple. To use hydrogen as an energy CARRIER is not efficient, simple as that. Also hydrogen needs to be produced somewhere, transported and then used. Each and every step uses energy… For instance using electrolysis to split water into hydrogen is possible, and solar cells could produce the electricity needed, but the complete system efficiency of that production is very low. Then you have a hydrogen gas, you need to compress it, which takes energy and you get a lot of heat as a byproduct. Then transport it (or not if produced locally). Put it into the car and burn it in an ICE, but then you really should have gone for another form of fuel instead of hydrogen, yeah it burns clean but otherwise it is a poor choice. You have fuel cells producing electricity to run an electric motor, sounds nice doesn't it? Look at the efficiency of each step… The complete chain from source of energy to movement of the car is low, very very low. Hydrogen for cars is a poor choice indeed. The "hydrogen future" was ONLY A PR GIMMICK.
    Electric cars avoid several of the steps above giving it a better chance, if the batteries can be produced in quantity without enviromental catastrophic costs.

  • Nissan leaf

  • hydroelectrical dams, and thorium reactors for co2 free power

  • Tesla is one HUGE exception to that 7.5 to 35 HOURS of charging time. Their Tesla Semi can charge up to 400 MILES, or over 640 KM in ONLY 30 minutes. Because of Tesla electric will be the future for all motor vehicles.

  • I see those hydrogen powered Toyotas driving round my hometown in Scotland 🙂

  • Why does this guy have a nose ring? What is happening?

  • I cannot concentrate on the main topic while watching you, you're too cute.

  • Hydrogen cars are not energy efficient, until splitting of water molecules become possible without large amount of energy, then you should forget about hydrogen becoming ambulatory fuel.

  • The best way for car to develop is to race them against each other. Major development comes after to make cars fast and efficient to win races.

  • He's funny

  • Because they are lazy. That’s really why.

  • The CSIRO in Australia has developed an efficient way to convert hydrogen to and from ammonia. Ammonia is easy to store and transport (similar to water) so it may open up both the hydrogen car market and a new form of better battery for homes/electrical grids. Hydrogen can be produced from any water source so long as there is power available so this should be a great use for excess power in the grid(like sunny days where an excess of solar power is currently produced in many parts of the world).

  • By the time hydrogen infrastructure becomes convenient we would have Graphene batteries

  • Because it doesn't work. You're welcome. Regards, electrochemical engineer

  • Because of oil companies, they will put out any competitions

  • How about the fact that thermodynamics says it's a bad idea?

  • I'm waiting for my beautiful coal powered car from the orange-utan in the white house

  • "Range for a diesel semi truck is limited more by the allowable driving hours for the driver than by the truck itself. It’s not unusual for a truck to have dual 150 gallon tanks. 300 gallons at an average of 7 MPG gives a non-stop range of more than 2000 miles."

    500 kilometers longer than 2000 miles?

  • Combusting Hydrogen gives water and it's vapour. The most abundant greenhouse gas is water vapour.

  • Electric vehicles DON'T NEED hours of recharge time – they are DESIGNED……TO REQUIRE hours of charge time(& have limited range on purpose)… How about making that public? -.- https://www.instagram.com/p/BlFLLBMBiXb/

  • I think if you got you facts straight your video would answer it's own questions why hydrogen will not ever be used. Charging a electric car 7 to 35 hrs, really , try 35 mins . Basically if you make hydrogen from electric the conversion efficiency is about 20 % as opposed to about 80% for direct electric into a battery. Simple. Hydrogen is too inefficient.

  • It's been sold, and sold, and sold, for years. Just like fusion, just like solar. Unless the engineering improves, nothing will happen. Somebody, will get modest funds to dabble with a mock-up, or a prototype, and it'll never escape the test track. TV and writers loves this, because it gives them something to write about, so they can earn money. You can look up hydrogen articles and promotions, clear back to the 70's, where, even then it was being pimped.

  • i don't why they are not widespead yet. but hydrogen is flammable why dont just make a system with a machine that makes hydrogen through electrolysis and a battery to support it and connect it to an existing diesel or petroleum car engine then baam! you have a hydrogen powered car, its just simple but manufacturers make it very complicated

  • What energy source do you think powers all those electric power stations? If your answer is coal, you are correct.

    In the Netherlands, we're burning more coal than ever because we need to power all of our charging stations for our electric cars. Which is a pity, you try to be conscious of your carbon footprint by going green – only to be contributing to the problem ?

  • I don't get it why people are trying to decrease or prevent pollution instead of making it into an resource ? Pollution has basically become an element of nature by now and what best way to decrease pollution than using it . Hydrogen cars comes under the category of pollution prevention. I know this ideas is dumb and call me mad if you want but utilizing the very thing that destroys our nature is the best way to prevent/decrease it .

  • Why not combust hydrogen instead of using it in fuel cells?

  • This is acc quite interesting

  • 01:14 : "Causes CO2 emissions." CO on the screen.
    Adds legitimacy. 🙂

  • Your doing it wrong.

  • I like all the tech talk but can we take it easy on the carbon alarmism. There are no credible climate change predictions that include the human race going extinct by 2100.

  • Hydrogen takes 5x the energy from renewable generation to move a vehicle the same distance as a b.e.v. they are a ridiculous scam trying to trick people into another fuel dependency.

  • I long ago thought of my own model, which you would fuel with pure water, which it would then electrolyze itself and then burn.
    Only problem is the reason Hydrogen isn't already used in all engines, it's way too powerful of an explosion, but you could just inject a very small amount and, though it burns much faster than gasoline, a small amount shouldn't destroy a well engineered engine and would be significantly more cost-effective, efficient, powerful, and clean.

  • the electric to make a hydrogen car go 100 miles would make a pure electric go over 300 miles that may be why………..

  • Hydrogen from electrolysis may have a role in the future of heavy vehicles but not in light duty. Its energy density and ability to come from renewable sources works well for heavy vehicles but the amount of usable energy from well to wheels is low. Batteries are far more efficient users of renewable electricity but their poor energy density limits them to light duty vehicles and frequent stop heavy duty vehicles like buses.

  • Why? Because it's not yet efficient enough to crack hydrogen out of natural gas. Electrolysis of water is even less efficient.
    Make it cheaper than gasoline or diesel and you'll see it take off.

  • So basicly the hydrogen and electric vehicles have the same downfall. Clean Electricity.

  • How about the fact hydrogen synthesis requiring more energy then its combustion then produce? I figure it is a pretty solid physical impeachment one can't get passed anytime soon and therefore makes the whole endeavour futile.

  • "Hydrogen vehicles can be fueled within minutes, and have a range of about 500 km. More than fossil fuel and electric vehicles".
    Umm… well for starters 500 km = ~310 miles which is the range of the Tesla Long range M3. Also for long range we'll have the Tesla semi in force within 5 years, and they have ranges of 300-500 miles (and Musk has hinted at possibly more than that). I agree that the fueling takes time, but long range drivers have to take breaks anyhow, and Tesla has already demonstrated a quick sub min battery swap time in their model S.
    I'm rambling. We just need the other auto companies to step up and try to compete w/ Tesla with their own electric cars. True competition.

  • Isn’t a car that runs on water just a boat?

  • I imagine if a hydrogen-fuelled car got into an accident that it would explode like a nuclear bomb.

  • He´s talking bullshit but his hair is beautiful!

  • Actually you aren't saving money or helping the environment owning an electric car. That has been proven already.

  • Ever heard of the Hydrogen Bomb? That's exactly what they're putting in these cars! Checkmate atheists.

  • Hydrogen production and supply can now be efficient and at any location 24/7. The energy company behind this channel H2IL have developed the worlds most efficient and cleanest method for generation or production of this ultimate fuel. Could this be the 'holy Grail' of energy?

  • Sounds a little dangerous in the event of a car crash, considering hydrogen is explosive. Just saying.

  • If I ever hit one of those huge lotteries my goal is hydrogen as a fuel, i.e. a community powered by hydrogen with with the hydrogen coming from solar powered electrolysis systems creating hydrogen on demand with enough for both homes and cars.

  • Plants consume CO2 and create oxygen from it.

  • why would you want a hydrogen car when you can get a tesla ffs, hydrogen cars are dumb evs are way better.

  • For me it's all about being in control of the fuel. With our PHEV we charge at home from our roof solar. I couldn't do that with s hydrogen car.

  • Hydrogen fuel cells have 20% cycle efficiency…. which is really, really poor.

  • Why? Because Hydrogen is a one third as efficient a way to deliver electricity as delivering it directly via the power grid. Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles (HFCVs) have ONE advantage over Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). “Re-fueling” time. As soon as BEVs crack the fast charging issue, HFCVs will have absolutely ZERO advantages over BEVs and many disadvantages. Let it go. HFCVs are going nowhere.

  • Overlooking the big issue for renewable hydrogen:

    Energy loss.

    Electrolysis is very inefficient. You waste a LOT of electricity as heat – far more than grid loss and losses from battery charging.

    You can go 3 times as far in a Tesla than you can if you used the same amount of electricity to electrolise Hydrogen for a Mirai.

    That's not sustainable.

  • To be fair: We don't have the infrastructure to power battery driven cars on a bigger scale either (and there we have the additional problem that we can't rely to have the power when we need it; e.g. at night, during winter or in times with less wind).

  • It is great feet for trucks. Many countries like India doesn’t have eV raw materials but plenty of sun to make hydrogen. India import 83% oil.

  • Daniel Nocera ???

  • I think we should all be reducing our carbon food print throught diet and lifestyle practices. IF you look at the percentage in which animal agriculture attributes to global carbon missions. Its higher than 14% which is what carbon emissions from the transportation industry contribute. I do agree for all methods of lowering emissions. Your dinner plate holds lot of power in how we change the level of emissions. It also improves your health by adding in more fruit and vegetables and all the beneficial micronutrients you require for good health. I know financial disparity is very widespread and many will not be able to afford expensive cars. There are things we can do in the meantime that make up a big difference. I encourage everyone here to look at emmission percentages from scientific sites.

  • This isn't an infrastructure problem… it's a physics problem. And thermodynamics won't change.

  • Who is this guy?

  • Need to build our entire infrastructure around hydrogen for this to be successful. We studied in school of a hydrogen economy in the future where solar farms would create hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis. Hydrogen could then be supplied to fuel pumps and for industrial use.

  • Somebody needs to tell those People about Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engines!

  • Because gas & diesel is better

  • Government need that oil profit

  • Newsflash: we use power plants emitting CO2 already to charge electric cars, what kind of argument is that against H…Ignorance is bliss, half knowledge a curse??

  • Why this dude so beautiful?

  • We don't have the money to buy the infrastructure stations or making hydrogen. It will only happen when the government will help us.

  • Because, no infrastructure, and also, stupid? Unnecessary step.. You can pull power directly from the sun, store it in your own battery bank, then charge your car while you sleep at night. Psst, electric is already everywhere as well..

  • Skip the fuel cell altogether. Direct injection hydrogen ICE's. Ford already did it, so why the costly fuel cells? Big oil wants them costly, that's why. I know how to make vast amounts of clean hydrogen using ocean water pressure/solar energy but to date, not one person has backed me up.

  • Because of conversion losses, hydrogen fuel cells will always be less efficient and hence more costly to run than regular batteries. So, fuel cells will only be used in niche applications where efficiency will be traded for an advantage such as faster charging, higher energy density, etc. Such applications might include shipping, airplanes, or long haul trucks. However, since batteries are getting better every day, the fuel cell niche will always be shrinking.

  • It runs on water man! ?????
    I miss that show

  • I wanna refuel in under 5 mins. Whoever achieves that will win. Battery technology needs a leap

  • Every dollar spent on electric cars is a dollar wasted on research.

  • My friends who have leased hydrogen vehicles regret it because even though the stations are convenient enough for them, often they are not operational, so they can't fuel their cars when they arrive at the station. They really need to fix this problem because people who have hydrogen cars in my area at least are not happy.

  • Nice video but it doesn't touch most troubled issues with hydrogen. 1- Storing hydrogen is extremely difficult since it is highly flammable. 2- Energy that is used to produce one unit of hydrogen is more than you can get from that one unit.

  • Fuel companies stopped it from happening my woke dawgz

  • Hydrogen cars produce less local PM2.5 pollution though, and are more efficient in use compared to current Li-ion EVs. This is simply due to their lower mass, and is particularly relevant for large and/or long-range vehicles.

    The 'Rasa' by Riversimple is a good example. It has a 300-mile range at 580 kg / 1300 lbs, whereas the lightest EV with the same range currently weighs ~3x as much.

  • If we can source hydrogen in a cleaner and cheaper way, I'd take them over electric cars in a heart beat. Battery degradation sucks.

  • I can't believe you forgot to mention that H2 can also be produced via organic matter degradation.

  • People dont have money

  • I think the fuel cell and hydrogen will be more efficient for aviation industry both civil and military and they should try it

  • electric cars kill the planet over time so screw it, burn fossil fuels for life

  • Because it is not taxable or cost effective. All of these videos are the bloody same

  • Fuel cells aren’t the only types of hydrogen cars.

    I’m patiently waiting on hydrogen combustion engine. BMW tested one a decade ago (hydrogen 7 series)

  • Uhh… where does the electricity for EVs come from? Good attempt at being "sciency".

  • Bs

  • Electric cars DO NOT HELP THE ENVIRONMENT! You are just hiding the problem. Power plants cause the problem more than cars. You're just switching where the problem is! Hydrogen cars clean the air and release water. The production process to create hydrogen is significantly less than the cost to mine, process , dispose of waste from coal/uranium.

    We need to start sayin electric cars help the environment. They are probably worse.

  • It's hard to believe that the company that made the Supra and LFA also made the hideous Mirai.

  • So this is what became of Anthony Jr. You did good kid.

  • P R O P A G A N D A

  • There are lot of issues with the current technology which needs to be addressed
    1. Costly pt group catalyst
    2. Water management : water flooding
    3. Humidification of the reactants is required which makes the system complex and bulky increasing the cost of balance of plant
    4. Hydrogen generation is costly
    5. Not enough infrastructure and funding in this area

  • Because the fuel cell is very underrated and EV is very overrated.

  • Last week China announced a “Basic Plan for the Supply of Hydrogen Vehicles and the Construction of Hydrogen Fuel Station” in order to speed up the activation of the hydrogen economy and to set up the innovation growth engine. 
    The Plan which aims at supplying 1million hydrogen cars by 2030 and constructing of 20 million hydrogen filling stations is as a follow-up measure of the Basic Plan for Establishment of the Hydrogen Industry Foundation announced in January.Everybodybin the world are rushing towards hidrogen economy while America is thinking of going back to coal production ..shame on you

  • Because it doesn't runs on water.

  • Hindenburg ? That aside, battery technology is advancing rapidly and has a bigger market, so its the natural obvious choice. i..e. both in phones, computers, houses, other products, so is more commercially viable. New battery technology starting to appear, can charge to around 80% capacity in around 5 minutes. It's sort of game over for hydrogen.

  • because big oil wont let them duh

  • We don’t need infraction as Hydrogen can and is made onsite with an Electrolyser, Compressor and Renewable energy!. The Hydrogen economy is happening, Scandinavian countries and a Scottish Island is using excess renewable energy to split water and investing in HFC technology, Japan is another country that is using HFC Vehicles/technolgy. Another thing there’s a UK companiy mass producing Fuel Cells( that are tested on Hydrogen, but can be run on Methane etc), that don’t use ANY rare metals, only Steel and a Ceramic coating, that’s it!.

  • i know the solution

  • I love his eyes.

  • Electric cars do not help the environment as much as hydrogen cars would. Just ask people who live in the mining zones. Entire mountain ranges being destroyed for ever and polluted trying to cope with the increasing demand of Lithium. Hydrogen cars would remove the battery problem and be a clean solution to mobility. Problem is that a new polluting mining resource is taking over with electric cars. If not oil, the entire planet would be drilled for lithium. It's just creating another vice to suppress a worst one.

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