By New Renter
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follow New Renter 2014 Jun 1, 2:13am
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Uncertain... That's putting it politely. Not a surprise considering the shortcomings of hydrogen:
Efficiency: Most hydrogen comes from steam reformation of methane which of course can be used directly in the same manner as hydrogen. This also of course generates CO2. One must keep in mind there are NO natural deposits of molecular hydrogen (the form used as fuel). ALL hydrogen fuel must be generated artificially.
Distribution: Currently there are only 9 publicly accessible hydrogen refilling stations within the ENTIRE state of California(8 of which are clustered in LA) and ONE in the SFBA (emeryville). Outside of CA? ONE in Phoenix, and ONE in South Carolina. Yes CA AB8 was passed to fund a dramatic increase in the number of H2 refilling stations but these stations don't exist yet. If you buy a hydrogen car now you are limited to a hundred mile radius for the foreseeable future.
The benefits of hydrogen are its ability to be generated from water using electricity. This method can be carbon free depending on how the electricity is generated.
Compare this with methane:
Efficiency. The world has a LOT of naturally existing methane! Methane can be used in a variety of combustion engines and fuel cells in a manner similar to hydrogen but with a much greater overall efficiency.
Distribution. Methane is already widely distributed including directly into many homes. With a home compressor a consumer can refill their methane powered vehicle at home (albeit overnight) or within a few minutes at a refilling station at your local utility company.