Why Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Might Be Better Than Battery-Powered EVs

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Why Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Might Be Better Than Battery-Powered EVs
Why Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Might Be Better Than Battery-Powered EVs

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Might Be Better Than Battery-Powered EVs

It's an exciting time for the development of vehicles with alternative sources of energy. As companies such as Tesla have shown, all-electric vehicles have a tremendous amount of potential and capability. What's not as commonly known though by the general public is that electric vehicles don't necessarily have to be battery-powered. There's actually two main forms of electric vehicles, which are:

  • Battery-Powered EVs;
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell EVs.

Battery-powered electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, while hybrids use nickel metal-hydride batteries. Lithium-ion batteries have grown so much in popularity in recent years because they've experienced massive improvements in the range and performance that they can offer.

Another improvement has been that the price per kilowatt-hour of storage capacity has gone from $1000 in 2010 to $200 in 2017.

So What's the Appeal of Hydrogen Fuel Cell EVs?

On the surface, hydrogen fuel cell EVs and battery-powered EVs are similar in that there's zero-emission from their tailpipes, and they both use electric motors. However, the main appeal of hydrogen fuel cell powered electric vehicles is that just one tank can allow it to go at least 310 miles (500 km) before it has to be refueled.

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Some of the additional benefits of Hydrogen Fuel Cell EVs (FCEVs) are:

  • Fuel cells can more easily power vehicles of all sizes compared to battery-powered EVs;
  • Hydrogen fuel is currently being subsidized in the State of California (see: this source);
  • It's able to be refueled in under 10 minutes, while battery-powered EVs can take hours.

Automakers have taken notice. Currently, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota are the only automakers with hydrogen-fuel cars available on the market, with the following models available:

  • Honda Clarity;
  • Hyundai ix35;
  • Toyota Mirai.

Mercedes-Benz is also working on a plug-in hybrid SUV that uses a combination of a fuel-cell generator and a battery pack.

In addition, other automakers are developing various fuel cell vehicles for the future.

Infrastructure is the Main Holdup

In the debate between whether hydrogen fuel cell or battery-powered EVs are more viable, one of the major negatives that opponents of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles point out is that there is simply not enough infrastructure in place to support it.

Only California has put in place the infrastructure to support it, and right now, the success of hydrogen fuel cell EVs in the future will depend greatly on the amount of hydrogen fueling stations that are developed. No matter how good your vehicle is, if you can't fill it up, it's of no use.

In the United States, there are only 34 hydrogen fueling stations in place, with 33 of them being in California.

Momentum is Slowly Growing

The momentum for hydrogen fuel cell EVs is slowly growing. This past June, the U.S. Department of Energy announced $15.8 million in funding that's designed to accelerate the progress of hydrogen fuel cell EVs in terms of lowering their cost and making them available to be mass produced.

South Korea is also planning to expand their total number of hydrogen fueling stations from the 16 that they currently have in 2017 to at least 100 fueling stations by the start of 2020. In many parts of Asia, air pollution is a major issue, and the zero emissions of hydrogen fuel cell EVs can alleviate it.

No matter if hydrogen fuel cell or battery-powered EVs win out, the competition between both technologies will lead to both consumers and the environment benefitting.

You can visit the Environmental Protection Agency's website on Hydrogen Fuel Cell EVs for more information here.

Joe WebsterWritten By:Joe WebsterConnect with Joe Webster on facebookConnect with Joe Webster on linkedin

Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

Email me - info@a1autotransport.com

Satisfied Customers

“I am meticulous when it comes to everything. At first, I was thinking of just driving all the way to Illinois from New Jersey. A friend recommended me to go to A1 Auto Transport and told me a lot of good things about them. I refused initially because I had filed a 4 day leave just to drive and visit my mother. But things did not go well. My boss asked me to cancel my leave because a very important client asked for an urgent meeting, and the manager could not attend to it. I was hopeless and took the risk of asking help from A1. The notice was short and I forgot I needed to inform them in advance. After a couple of hours, I received a call and they told me they found a way to book me with no extra fees. I am so thankful I got to attend to my work matters. I did not get to see my mother, but the vehicle and items inside it were in perfect condition as if it was me who took care of it. I owe you guys big time! I got one huge deal from our client.”

“The plan was to ship my car from California to Utah. I went through nearly 20 quotes after using an auto shipping site which linked to a bunch of brokers. Finally, I found A1 Auto Transport, a company with its own trucks with great reviews. I was sold. Joe was very competent, gave off the impression he’d done this a million times, and it really showed throughout the transport. He listened to my request carefully, offered me several options, stayed in touch during the transport, and made sure I was happy with everything. Overall, a great company which I would definitely recommend to others!”

“I’m so glad I met you Joe!! A truly fortunate experience. Having to transport a car to Minnesota, I was stunned to see the company, who was supposed to take care of it, just vanish. I couldn’t reach them anymore, like they went bankrupt overnight. However, I was lucky enough to not pay anything, so I simply researched some more until I found A1 Auto Transport. Joe answered my call the first time and we soon agreed on a date and a quote. Unfortunately, I got caught up in work and forgot about it. The order was not confirmed, so Joe must’ve thought I changed my mind. I called him the next day and arranged for a new date. This time, I made a note on my phone and it went well. I replied to his email this time, and the driver arrived at a parking lot down the street on time, as promised. The driver was nice enough to not mention my previous mistake. He delivered my car in just 3 days. Upon careful inspection, there were no scratches or damage done to it during transport. Joe was there along with the driver and they both waited patiently until I was satisfied. Thanks!”

“A1 Auto is kind of like your favourite mom and pop pizza parlour, the one you can’t get enough of despite all the new, expensive avant-garde pizza shops that have mushroomed conspicuously across the entire neighbourhood and seem to have taken over the whole world...but not you. Because you value quality and genuine customer service, and know this business understands and works doubly hard to give you your money’s worth. I’ve been using A1 Auto Transport whenever I left California for business: they may not be the cheapest car transporters around, but the sheer professionalism, dedication, and heart they put into their work is just amazing and worth my every dime. I’m probably one of the most sceptical people you would ever meet. I’m rarely convinced when bombarded with dubious, self-congratulating ads of companies that look like they’ve spent tons of money on marketing materials just to lure your average guy in. A1 Auto Transport is the complete opposite of these companies. My car always arrived promptly on schedule, never with a hint of scratch or dirt or damage, and they keep me updated every step of the process. When you’ve found a company whose genuine care for their customers comes naturally, you stand by them no matter what. It’s the most logical thing to do.”

“A1 Auto Transport helped me move a vehicle to Iowa from Houston. I was a bit nervous, no knowing much about such services. Thanks to Joe, I was able to clear the fog a little. He answered all my questions and explained everything in a way that left no room for interpretation. The details were straightforward. I picked Sunday as the pickup date, since I wasn’t at work, and they accommodated me. The truck arrived an hour early, yet the driver patiently waited for me to arrive. He thoroughly checked my car for scratches or anything that might affect the transport then drove it onto the truck. I was given a 2 day time window during which the car was supposed to arrive in, and it got to Iowa in the evening of the first day. The trip didn’t damage it at all. Next time a friend wants to move, I’ll surely recommend A1 Auto Transport.”

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