Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hydrogen/Fuel Cell Update

Although I haven't ventured far into a discussion on the merits of hydrogen powered transport, (or lack thereof), I'll save that for another day. However, there is an interesting report coming out of Santa Clara Valley, California, where a test fleet of hydrogen--fuel cell driven buses are being tested as part of California's "zero-emissions" research. They report that the buses cost $51.66 dollars to drive per mile compared to $1.66 per mile for conventional diesel fuel. To be fair, hydrogen production technology and fuel-cell technology are still in their infancies and so I think it's great that there are tests underway to indicate whether hydrogen is a viable fuel and what improvements might need to be made. At the same time, I think this demonstration should show people that for all the beautiful talk of cars that run on hydrogen and pure, clean water gently wafting out of the tailpipe is not a reality by any means. The fuel itself cost 4 times that of diesel per mile and the parts cost nearly 160 times more per mile because of the large expense involved in fuel-cell technology.

The photo shows the zero-emissions bus pulling up to a hydrogen fueling station.

http://www.vta.org/projects/highres_buswpump.jpg

For the full article, follow the link below:

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/02/transit-agency.html#more

1 comment:

mus302 said...

I'm with you, it's going to take more development to reach it's ultimate potential.