Hydrogen versus battery electric modern, who will win?


The model of refueling of hydrogen is approaching the maximum of what we have been accustomed to the oil. Not be able to refuel at home, but in places authorized to do so, hidrogeneras

Two technologies are going to fight in the future by the hegemony of the road, the electrical and hydrogen, although there will also be hybrid and electric models with generators as a form of farewell to the oil in addition to gas engines and fuels, the synthetic/biological. The petrol and diesel conventional have every time the future most of the color of the oil. The reasons are primarily environmental, rather than a shortage of crude oil.

The autonomy of the electric cars are going up significantly in recent months. Optimized designs of batteries manage to get more energy density without altering the habitability, the trunk or the exterior dimensions of the vehicles. The autonomous communities approved exceed in many cases the 250, 300 and 400 kilometres. Does that mean that you are able to travel already? Do not let us run.

Increases the capacity of the batteries, the recharge rate is not

The approval is made in conditions that are extremely advantageous for electric cars. For example, the Renault ZOE z.e. 40, which approves 400 kilometres with 41 kWh battery, would take an average of almost 10 kWh/100 km Out of town is a half-impossible to get at normal speeds unless it is downhill. A radius of action more realistic are 200-300 kilometers, reaching the 120 km/h, using air conditioning and driving in a totally normal way.


The network of fast charging is key to enabling long-distance travel

The autonomy is very variable according to the conditions of use, the electric motors will “kill” to reach highway speeds, the maximum efficiency is reached at low revs and low speed. By normal, there is only a relationship of exchange, and lacks sense to put “gears” to an electric. Basically we were only going to change the acceleration, not the autonomy, and would add weight and friction mechanics. Not interested.

a Lot of electric range = high price

The Opel Ampera-e, which is the generalist more promising in terms of autonomy, it can reach up to 400 kilometers of real autonomy. To travel will be essential to use points quick recharge that will extend the travel, but will make possible. This approach calls for a public network which, today, is almost non-existent.

Remains the most promising for travel hydrogen refuelling in minutes, and the regions they are higher. The main problem of this technology is that still is expensive as all that sounds to hydrogen: cars, fuel cells, mount “hidrogeneras”, the own obtaining of hydrogen (not loose), etc, Now it only makes sense to use hydrogen in areas that are very concrete in the world.


Toyota hopes to “standardise” the Mirai the next decade, but will continue to be a very low volume (approximately 30,000 per year)

Several companies are driving their own “pocket”, the installation of hidrogeneras to create a network of respostaje public. When there is sufficient coverage, the pioneers are encouraging. If not, it’s a little stupid to spend an amount that equals the double or triple of a conventional car you can go to any site. In the majority of cases, now, the pioneers can refuel “for free”, but pay a monthly fee considerable.

Now the electrical lead advantage

is Going to be easier to build a network of rapid recharging for electric cars to a network of hidrogeneras. So that the latter is faster, the oil industry will have to get in the garlic and to anticipate the inevitable, if not, one day you will have to drink their oil refined. It is not as simple as placing a deposit and a couple of pumps, hydrogen storage is complicated and expensive, to be sure. And that’s about it, that it is safe.

In my opinion, not going to impose any technology on the other, as the advantages and disadvantages do not overlap, the electrical they have some advantages and the hydrogen are other. It is clear that for short-and medium-range an electric is in the end more interesting, especially if the batteries exceed the 30-40 kWh capacity and can be recharged to 80% in 15-30 minutes. For long distances the hydrogen, if they lower the costs, it will be better than any diesel of today.


The Tesla are high-end car, it should not be forgotten that small detail

Until recently, a lot of autonomy involved a lot of batteries (more weight, more volume) and platforms dedicated to car power, the case of Tesla. Little by little the models to generalist and more compact size are reaching autonomies more than decent, but I insist, there is to see in what conditions. Don’t expect jumps to disruptive battery technology.

To the middle of the next decade cars hydrogen fuel cell will begin to have prices equivalent to the pure electric, but its adoption depends on a lot of strong public and private investment: without a network there is nothing to do. To the bad, the electrical is may load slowly on existing infrastructure or with low investment, fast reload means higher costs.

For example, a charging point fast for a hall can cost more than 40,000 euros just to place it, and pay to the electric company about 5.000 euros per year ¬°assuming that no one use it! You would have to add the power consumed that is contracted, that is to say, the availability. Will start to put more load out points when you see a business model for that.


The network of refuelling of hydrogen starts to be interesting in places like California or Japan, where they are investing billions of dollars/euros

In other words, recharge is not going to be free, nor cheap

In no place like home, they say. The same can be said of the refills for electric cars, with a cost that can exceed the double or triple to do it in the comfort of the garage. Will still be cheaper than doing it with juice of dinosaur, or in the worst case, to a similar cost. The consumer is willing to that to travel if in the day-to-day and their routine life saves up to 80% in fuel.

For the hydrogen to be economical to refuel, must be mass-produced and eco-friendly way, without pulling out of fossil fuels or processes that are energetically inefficient. That has not yet been resolved on a massive scale. Achieve abundant energy and renewable to electric cars is much closer to be achieved. Is more, the surplus system is going to waste much less as we increase the park of electric cars.

The electricity came to stay, and is unstoppable

In the future we will not speak of petrol or diesel, we’ll talk about plug-in or fuel cell stack. No system is better than the other, are complementary. The cities will be becoming more silent and cleaner, as the old internal combustion engines go, muting its exhaust. The decade of 2030 will be very very different to the current one, as you’ll see.