Hydrogen Cars

Hydrogen Cars

Four Questions to Ask Yourself About Hybrid Cars

Hybrid cars are not yet common. While hydrogen is commonly referred to as ‘hopium’, it is still a revolutionary material that will be revolutionizing the world within ten years. One company in Britain has developed a hydrogen fuel cell car, called the Welsh. Only 20 examples are on the road. Hydrogen cars are the next step in the evolution of fuel cell vehicles. Here are four questions to ask yourself about hydrogen cars.

Cost

A new generation of hydrogen cars is bringing an affordable alternative to conventional gasoline. The hydrogen car’s cruising range is more than 350 miles, but the cost of fuel is still a big factor. In contrast, battery-powered electric cars cost less than a third of the price. Hydrogen gas is sold by the kilogram, so the cost of a tank is around PS10 to PS15. However, if you are looking for a hydrogen car, the price might seem out of reach.

Range

Although there are a number of advantages to fuel cell electric vehicles, one important drawback is their expensive and comparatively inefficient range. In the past, hydrogen usage could only be achieved in niche markets, such as buses and trucks. But technological advances have made this possible. In the United States, hydrogen vehicles have doubled in sales since February 1, 2015.

Safety

As with all fuels, hydrogen can be dangerous. Its rapid dispersion and tendency to rise means it can be a breathing hazard in enclosed spaces. The same safety concerns apply to gasoline. A hydrogen leak, however, will not kill anyone trapped in the vehicle. Unlike conventional gasoline, hydrogen is safer to handle. If hydrogen is leaking, it can quickly rise to dangerous levels, and the gas will not be able to extinguish itself.

Infrastructure

GM has announced plans to develop hydrogen car infrastructure in Hawaii. The Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative aims to provide hydrogen for all residents of the island by 2015. This project mirrors efforts across the country to develop infrastructure for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Ten companies are working on the project. Some are even working on hydrogen stations. The gas company in Hawaii is leading the way. A previous version of this article misstated the abundance of hydrogen in the universe.

Environmental impact

Hybrid cars can have a significant impact on the environment. The combustion of hydrogen releases harmful gases called NOx. This gas is linked to increased respiratory infections. It is a precursor to ozone and particulate matter. There are various ways to reduce the emissions from a hydrogen car, but the most effective means haven’t been proven yet. Until now, there’s no reliable way to control this greenhouse gas without a complete overhaul of our energy system.


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