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Scientists predict hydrogen car boom

July 18, 2008

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This Shell station in Washington, D.C., offers both regular gasoline and compressed hydrogen. A government-funded study suggested that hydrogen vehicles could be competitive with gas-powered vehicles by 2023, with about $55 billion in government support over 15 years.

This Shell station in Washington, D.C., offers both regular gasoline and compressed hydrogen. A government-funded study suggested that hydrogen vehicles could be competitive with gas-powered vehicles by 2023, with about $55 billion in government support over 15 years.

— As the cost of filling up skyrockets, a government-backed study released Thursday says America could nearly eliminate its need for gasoline for cars, pickup trucks and SUVs by 2050 if the government helps build a market for hydrogen fuel cells and other technologies.

The study by the National Research Council of the National Academies, the government's adviser on science, medicine and engineering, looked mainly at the future of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. It concluded that with about $55 billion in government support in the next 15 years, hydrogen vehicles could be competitive with gasoline-powered ones by 2023 and common on the roads by 2050.

Congress asked the advisory body to look at prospects for hydrogen and alternatives that could have the largest impact by 2020. The experts group's findings are a best-case look at low-carbon fuel options at a time when President Bush and some members of Congress are pushing for expanded searches for domestic oil.

Light-duty vehicles use

44 percent of the oil used in the United States and emit more than 20 percent of the carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas causing global warming. The report said hydrogen alone could eliminate more than 60 percent of this oil use and carbon by 2050.

If the nation used hydrogen and other low-carbon fuels as well, by the same year, carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks could be cut to less than 20 percent of current levels and they'd need almost no oil.

"There needs to be durable, substantial and sustainable government help for this to happen, just like there is for ethanol," said Michael P. Ramage, a retired executive vice president of ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co. who has a doctorate in chemical engineering from Purdue University. He also chaired the study panel.

The study noted that this $50 billion compares with $160 billion for ethanol over the same 15-year period if current subsidies are extended.

Comments

Brent Garner 6 years, 10 months ago

All very well and good, but in order for this to work, these future vehicles must operate at a cost acceptable to the public. If they don't, the mass public will not use them. It is as simple as that.

jonas 6 years, 10 months ago

autie: Haha. That's exactly what I thought too.

bearded_gnome 6 years, 10 months ago

Electric vehicles hold the promise of individual independence while hydrogen puts all of America at the mercy of Big Oil (or Big Hydrogen).I'm going electric. I hope others are smart enough to see the scam of hydrogen---quietcars.nfb.orgonce you get maxy1 away from posting irrelevant, out-of-date, nonsense links/quotes, you find that posting his own words, he is no more than a 30-watt bulb in a 100-watt bulb box! humor isn't the only thing he lacks.so if hydrogen was not involved in the explosion (LOL), then what the heck was that big explosion? static electricity on the surface of the big balloon interacted with something! yes, I thought spiderman/cool was leaving us! did somebody hack in to his account? hehehehehe

bearded_gnome 6 years, 10 months ago

autie,I also read the headline that way! *44 percent of the oil used in the United States and emit more than 20 percent of the carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas causing global warming.---more of the manmade global warming hysteria, a religeon supported less by facts (facts are turning against them) than by religeous zealotry. seeLawrence Solomon's "the Deniers." those who publicly question the anthropogenic global warming mythology have funding for themselves and their departments attacked! even their wiki pages are attacked. uncivil? you bet. and is this article serious? 2050, first we got to get there, drill more oil! second, if we decided to, we wouldn't need to wait for 2050!

cowgomoo 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm still waiting on my personal jet backpack scientists have been promising since the 50's.

jonas 6 years, 10 months ago

Christ, Max1, I would think that after a year on these boards you would have at least developed a sense of humor through osmosis.

Marty_McFly 6 years, 10 months ago

Doc once told me "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads."

camper 6 years, 10 months ago

Underwhelming. I take this as bad news. The year 2050? I'll be 82. I was really hoping that I would live to see "real" energy solutions that are measurable within my lifetime. Something that would be as important as say the computer revolution (or evolution). Instead we get small percentage estimates over a long period of time. Something like "by the year 3000 20% of our energy will come from solar technology." This article is nothing to get excited about. It basically says wer'e going to be operating the same way for many years to come.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 10 months ago

autie: "Scientist predict hydrogen car boom!! I read that and wonder how they knew it would blow up."I understand that a prototype has been christened "Hindenburg."

jonas 6 years, 10 months ago

R-I: I guess it might be. Been a long time since high school science class.

jonas 6 years, 10 months ago

Nope, that's all you get from me.Although, I wouldn't be surprised if, from your perspective, that last line qualified as a hissy fit, since it came from me. (which, really, seems to be the only requirement for that classification)

devobrun 6 years, 10 months ago

Money, politics, scientists, businessmen, bad guys, good guys. Its a soap opera.Unless Michael Ramage found a stash of H2 lying around somewhere, I think he's talking about using H2 as a storage medium for energy. That is, the H2 comes from electrolysis of water. The energy needed to split the water is greater than the energy available from burning the hydrogen. The operative concept is exergy. Exergy is available energy. It is energy that accounts for the irreversibility of a process. If an energy system exists that can produce more exergy than the amount needed to set up and operate the system, I haven't found it. That goes for bio-fuels, wind, solar, especially when H2 is the transport and storage medium. OK, hydro, geothermal, fossil fuel. Yep they all meet the exigencies of thermodynamics.But none of the so-called alternate technologies are there yet. Oh, autie, hydrogen must be made from another energy source, like hydrocarbon. Simply replacing an ICE with an electric motor and a fuel cell isn't the whole story. The energy for the fuel cell comes from some where. Where?At what cost in joules? Don't forget that hydrogen is corrosive to metals. Don't forget that hydrogen is the tiniest molecule there is. It sneaks out of virtually any connector, or vessel. I wonder why there are no H2 Coleman stoves? No H2 Jenn-Airs? As an engineer, I could tell ya, but that might not fit into your soap opera.

not_dolph 6 years, 10 months ago

I see Sven is back...Worth repeating:"15 July 2008 at 9:09 a.m.spiderman (Anonymous) says::i am withdrawing from the forum and have sent an email to LJW regarding the same kind of complaints about certan forum members often referred to as 'wingnuts' or the 'witches haven' or other names."

jonas 6 years, 10 months ago

Ah, the noble archivist, hard at work. The only problem with posting those two lines, Max, is that they happen to be highly accurate. Anyway, have fun, I'm done.

BigPrune 6 years, 10 months ago

Coincidence or has anyone noticed their fuel economy going down lately? I have three cars and they are averaging 30% less in fuel economy on average than they used to get, just in the past month.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 10 months ago

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm running my car on Helium... the nobler gas.bweep bweep

notajayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

jonas (Anonymous) says: "Christ, Max1, I would think that after a year on these boards you would have at least developed a sense of humor through osmosis."Now that was pretty humorous.How many posts (with how many links) did max1 make over a period of about 8 hours just to dispute the factual inaccuracies of a freakin' joke? But hey, give him a break - when was the last time he got to use his Hindenberg links?

classclown 6 years, 10 months ago

BigPrune (Anonymous) says:Coincidence or has anyone noticed their fuel economy going down lately? I have three cars and they are averaging 30% less in fuel economy on average than they used to get, just in the past month=====================It's the heat. When it gets hot gasoline expands like everything else. This means you actually get less energy because it has less mass. Which in turn means your vehicle needs to burn more to achieve the same energy output.There is supposed to be a lawsuit pending or in progress over this. Something about how the pumps should be adjusted to reflect expanding and shrinking of gas depending on temperature.

pinoyko 6 years, 10 months ago

The only answer to all of our problems is the invention of Daniel Dingle - the water-powered car/hydrogen-powered car . Sad to say, most of us, especially those who are envy, cannot accept that he had invented something like this. Even the Philippine government did not support his invention because of their greed! Just google about daniel dingle and surely you will be amazed with his invention. The oil industry will surely be out of their business.

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