Originally Posted by 4 Jaw Chuck
I have one word for you guys, HYDROGEN. We need to keep those filling stations going for the good of mankind, you can get that whole notion of energy Independence out of your minds forever. Energy flows out of a nozzle not a wire people!
I used to be a proponent of hydrogen. After having looked more into it recently, I've changed my position. I think electricity is preferable as the alternative source of power for vehicles *edit* I mean the MAIN source of power.
Hydrogen vehicles have a short range - less than 100 miles unless the vehicle has an unreasonably large tank. Currently, battery technology allows for a range beyond 300 miles.
Hydrogen is way more expensive than gasoline. These days the cheapest way to get hydrogen is to get it from methane (CH4), not from electrolysis. So hydrogen production today, on top of costing a lot, is not very green.
So why not use electrolysis, some may ask? Using electrolysis to produce hydrogen makes as much sense as melting snow to get water so you can make ice cubes. As much or more energy is needed to break apart H2O as is produced in hydrogen combustion. Might as well use that electricity to directly power the car.
The infrastructure for hydrogen filling stations would have to be built. The filling station for the electric car already exists: Your garage! AND we can adapt our wiring so as to get power from the sun and wind. Fill up for free!
It's been said that battery production or disposal would not be good for the environment. I agree the potential for that exists. But here is the difference I see when compared to fossil fuel production and combustion. In northern Alberta oil production is creating vast pools of toxic waste stored in pools that, if compromised, would create an environmental disaster that would dwarf that of the Exxon Valdez. It should be added that areas that used to be pristine boreal forest are now barren landscapes. As for fossil fuel combustion, gases (greenhouse gases) end up in the atmosphere; they can't be contained. Reminds me of Toronto when I was down there one summer during a Smog alert. The pollutants also end up in the ground when it rains. Now when a battery is toast, parts can be recycled, and the acid contained.
There is a drawback that a couple of Winnipeggers like 4Jaw and myself could surely (surly?) appreciate: climate. Electric cars and hydrogen cars would not perform well in cold weather. Heating would be the bigger problem with the Electric car.
By the way everybody, it's June and yes it's still winter in Winnipeg...or pretty dern close to it anyway.