HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Environment & Energy (Group) » MIT Explains Why Toyota a...

Sat Jul 20, 2013, 02:28 PM

MIT Explains Why Toyota and GM are Pushing Hydrogen


In recent months, GM, Toyota, and Honda have all made big public commitments to put hydrogen fuel cell equipped cars on the road by 2016. Some of their moves can be explained by President Obama’s expected hydrogen push and pressure from oil companies and gas-station owners to keep their infrastructure relevant in a non-petroleum economy.

Hydrogen fueled cars’ primary emissions are, of course, water vapor – so they’re vastly cleaner than petroleum fueled cars at first glance. They also have the potential to be convenient, since they can be refueled in about the same time it takes to fill a liquid fuel tank. Still, despite gas station owners’ vested interest in a liquid-fuel model, they’ve been surprisingly resistant to investing in the technology. Last year, for example, only 27 hydrogen filling stations were added to America’s infrastructure. That’s surprising for a technology that was once “the darling of the Bush administration” (Bush called for $1.2 billion in gov’t funding to develop fuel-cell technology in his 2003 State of the Union address).

Since then, of course, we’ve all learned that there are a lot of questions about just how environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles actually are when the hydrogen that fuels them comes from natural gas, a fossil fuel that’s produced through highly controversial “fracking” processes that releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide (at best).

So, what’s really going on here? Why the sudden spark of interest? Kevin Bullis, of MIT’s Technology Review magazine, explains that, sometimes, “miracles do happen”.


2 replies, 988 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 2 replies Author Time Post
Reply MIT Explains Why Toyota and GM are Pushing Hydrogen (Original post)
jpak Jul 2013 OP
Gregorian Jul 2013 #1
Vinnie From Indy Jul 2013 #2

Response to jpak (Original post)

Sat Jul 20, 2013, 02:39 PM

1. They've got to do something to keep their jobs. One good battery will ecclipse this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to jpak (Original post)

Sat Jul 20, 2013, 02:40 PM

2. Giant utilities have also had their deep thinkers dealing with concept and implementation

of site produced power and storage. it is the storage part that has protected them thus far. SolarCity and Elon Musk just recently announced a program to develop storage capabilities using Tesla's work on battery technology. It appears that very soon, solar power generation for one dwelling can be made much more viable and cost effective using the same type of batteries in Tesla's cars. That means people with these systems will be able to disconnect from the grid entirely because they will have their own capability for dealing with intermittent power.

There are others working on gravity energy storage etc.

The biggest threat to these gargantuan interests is cheap, ubiquitous solar.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread