6 votes

You Will Never Drive A Hydrogen Car (Or a Thorium Car btw).

The Hydrogen Economy - Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Are No Panacea
By Chris Nelder
Energy and Capital
Friday, July 27th, 2007

"I'm going to make a prediction today: you will never drive a hydrogen fueled car. Although hydrogen does indeed have some benefits in certain applications, it's my task today to separate the reality of useful fuel cells from the hydrogen hype. That may seem like a bold statement to you now, but by the end of this article, you'll understand why...

"It's important to realize that hydrogen is not a fuel source; it's an energy carrier. Hydrogen does not exist freely in the universe; it's always bound to something else. So it takes an investment of energy to free hydrogen from its existing arrangement and make it available as a stored fuel...

Carbon Emissions Persist
"There's another dirty little secret about hydrogen that is rarely mentioned by hydrogen hypers: the vast majority of hydrogen manufactured today is not made from the hydrolysis of water, because of the energy inputs needed. Instead, it's made from natural gas, because it's a ready and easily exploited feedstock for hydrogen production that can be transported more easily in liquid form. And that means that the hydrogen production does, in fact, produce carbon dioxide emissions, effectively nullifying the environmental benefits of fuel cells..."

read full article http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/hydrogen-economy-fu...

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Shhhhhhh! I already do, and I am Elvis's personal chauffeur and we are going to pick up Bruce Lee for a night on the town. Rock and Roll !!!


Asclepius's picture

Not sure what the point is by making such a declaration...

Perhaps to encourage someone to prove him wrong..

After all, there are many innovations we take for granted today that people like this once said were impossible.

Here is a recent example:


Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds. - Bob Marley

I posted this at roughly the same time as the thorium car post.

New tech could beam power from roadside stations to passing electric cars


This got ZERO votes; yet a variation of this technology is already being used in metropolitan bus systems in several countries.

I envision a system using not only coils, but ultra-capacitors for burst microwave reception. This minimizes microwave peak power duration. Such a system could be retrofitted to all the electric vehicles, including hybrids, already in use.

As I commented in response to the thorium vehicle post, thorium may be sexy, but this solution is far more practical could be fielded pretty quickly.

I am surprised as you are that this has +4 so far...

Pie in the sky seems to fly more so than the down to earth dirt...

Don't feed the pandas. Ever.

Thank you Cudnoski for saying things that need to be said

I get a little tiffed by random mental masturbation around hydrogen as an energy source. I admit that it is fun to imagine what a hydrogen infrastructure might look like but the science simply says that it is not economical to utilize hydrogen that is not attached to carbon. As a species it would behoove us to learn how to utilized the carbon cycle more efficiently if we want to displace some of our energy needs. Sigh..... if people only understood how strong a hydrogen bond is....

Saw a Video about Bob Lazar's Hydrogen

powered Corvette. Yes, THAT Bob Lazar. Pretty impressive.

Turns out his Metal Hydride storage system is not attainable.

You'd need a fuel tanker sized storage system to run a moped.

Either a tanker, or a small tank with inch-thick steel,

pressurized intensely, which would explode in an accident and kill everyone nearby with horrendous shrapnel...

However there are actually doable clean energy solutions:



Don't feed the pandas. Ever.

I'm sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news...

but it is really frustrating when I see posts like the 'thorium car' get so many upvotes when the science is clear, the logistics are clear, the rare earth minerals supplies are clear, the pipedreams are impossible.

I first went online in 2001 for the purpose of learning as much about biodiesel as possible, and along the way I had to learn an awful lot about ethanol, hydrogen, solar panels, geothermal, passive solar, etc etc. I abandoned the entire field for the most part due to hoaxes and unscientific wishful thinking, as well as the fact that most renewable industries were being propped up with temporary federal funds.

It's distressing and a bit disappointing to see these hoaxes repeated here, amongst a crowd that's supposed to be a little more skeptical than average, just because some word with a 'ium' suffix is used.

In short, hydrogen fuel cells are an old, old technology that does have certain realistic applications. But stored hydrogen as a fuel source for cars is not one of them. Sorry.

Don't feed the pandas. Ever.

Still better than the free

Still better than the free energy, 'tesla' energy crowd...

At least with these technologies a prototype can be made. Hyping is still better than pure, unadulterated pseudoscience...

Libertarians are ONLY skeptical of gov't. Of other lies they partake more readily than the average citizen...

Hydrogen is a battery. It is

Hydrogen is a battery.
It is a way of storing energy not useful for internal combustion in a form that is useful for internal combustion.

There will be no hydrogen economy because of this fact combined with hydrogen being taken from something else. The article is correct. I didn't read beyond what is above because I've been arguing the same for years.

We may have hydrogen powered cars someday if and only if there is a breakthrough in technology that exploits something like zero point energy and it requires a storage medium and a way to store hydrogen safely and effectively without large volume and weight drawbacks is developed. In other words, it is highly unlikely.

Yes people can backyard engineer it, but those things won't be effective mass produced products due to liability and reliability concerns.

"Hydrogen is a battery."

"It is a way of storing energy not useful for internal combustion in a form that is useful for internal combustion."

What is the capital cost?

What is the capital cost?

That little tank farm of his alone is probably into the six figures. The solar array is quite large, probably well over 30K. I would imagine he has at least 250K in capital equipment. Probably 300K. Which is why he required other people's money plus donated equipment to accomplish it.

Geothermal is viable and old technology. Just with too long a payback for most people.

What do you think a mile of

What do you think a mile of thick wall copper tubing costs?

^^^ THIS

Nice.. Someday..


Like Troy said, every fuel source takes fuel\energy to process and store said fuel source...

hydrogen can be created with 2 amps from a 12v battery which can be charged via the sun, steam, heat, waves, wind, etc...

youtube HHO generator

I use Blue Wave, but don't expect one of THEIR silly taglines.

I wouldnt say never. However

I wouldnt say never. However it may not be in the next 5 years unless a breakthrough of some sort occurs.
Fuel cells will be good if they can put the infrastructure in place for them and more efficiently create hydrogen fuel. Until then we wont be seeing them. Fuel cells are a nice idea, but we just dont have the right technology yet.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

Yes - never. Sorry. Same goes for thorium btw...

Read the story and you will see why. I could only copy 3 paragraphs but the gist of it is that the tanks for storing hydrogen are inches thick steel, it leaks out eventually anyway, and oh, if the car were in an accident the tanks would explode from 15,000 psi of pressure. So no one would be able to afford the insurance.

Don't feed the pandas. Ever.

are you sure about that?

hydrogen powered go cart

also apparently last year they dubled the amount of hydrogen used in a fuel cell some how.


I remember PJ O'Rourke wrote about this years ago, about the hype of certain 'hydrogen powered" cars that claimed they only ran on water or produced zero emissions.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

fuel source vs energy carrier is a a red herring

everything on this planet gets its' energy from the sun. there is no inherent advantage of using what the author would describe as a fuel source over using what the energy would describe as an energy carrier. it's all coming from the sun. the energy that is in oil came from the sun a few millenniums ago. wind, oceans, rivers, everything is all from the sun. remember that next time somebody tries to discredit one source of energy over another.

hydrogen is not an energy source...

eating dirt is not the same as being a vegetarian.

Don't feed the pandas. Ever.


Spoken like a man has has yet to try the fake hot dog :D

"You only live free if your willing to die free."