Are hydrogen cars better than electric ones?
Hydrogen Cars Vs Electric cars which is better? Hydrogen cars also known as hydrogen fuel cell cars are a type of passenger vehicle separate from electric cars hydrogen-powered cars are more similar to electric cars than the fact that they have no internal combustion engine although hydrogen cars can rarely be seen on the road it all comes down to.
Which one is better hydrogen or electric here is everything you need to know
Technical details and comparing hydrogen and electric car technologies
Hydrogen is the most abundant element on the planet and having powered engines as long ago as 1807, it’s also the cleanest kind of fuel out there a hydrogen cell fuel car has a hydrogen tank that feeds a fuel cell with high pressured hydrogen gas that’ll mix with oxygen this mixture starts as an electrochemical reaction produces electricity. Which is then used to power an electric motor to propel the vehicle without any toxic tailpipe emission, in fact, the only byproduct of the whole process is water and heat which is produced as a result of the connection of hydrogen in oxygen atoms that forms water molecules. This means hydrogen cars have characteristics of both electric cars due to the use of electric energy electric motor and lack of internal combustion engines while conventional petrol cars because of the tank fuel cells are the main component of hydrogen-powered cars. You can think of them as the maestro of all the processes happening inside the car so that it has the energy to move, on other hand, an electric car is powered by a lithium-ion battery which supplies power to an electric motor to power the various parts of the vehicle the batteries are recharged by plugging into the electricity grid much as with any other electric device such as a computer or telephone. Some types of electric cars can also provide themselves with a small recharge when braking by converting the heat that is produced into electricity now with the basics out of the way it all comes down to which one is better but before concluding let’s look into and compare the important characteristics of each type of vehicle.
Hydrogen versus electric energy efficiency
Hydrogen is inefficient because it doesn’t occur naturally it has to be extracted and then compressed into fuel tanks so in the process of converting the hydrogen fuel to electricity most of the energy is lost because the energy must move from wire to gas then to wire to power a car this process is called the energy vector transition. Taking 100 watts of electricity produced by a renewable source such as a wind turbine as an example to power a hydrogen fuel cell car that energy needs to be converted into hydrogen possibly through the process of electrolysis which means passing it through water this process is 75 percent energy-efficient. So one-quarter of the electricity is automatically lost after getting the hydrogen it further needs to be compressed chilled and transported to the hydrogen station and all this process is about 90 efficient and also once inside the vehicle the hydrogen is converted to electricity by the fuel cell which is 60% efficient. Finally, the electricity is used by the electric motors to propel the vehicle which is 95% efficient putting all these together only 38 or 38 watts of the original electricity 100 watts are used, on the other hand, the energy to propel electric vehicles comes straight from the battery pack, unlike hydrogen fuel cell cars the energy runs on wires from the source to the battery the same 100 watts of power from the same turbine loses about five percent of efficiency in this journey through the grid it further loses 10 from charging and discharging. The lithium-ion battery and another five percent from having the electricity to power the electric vehicle that propels the car so you’re left with about 80 watts as compared to 38 watts with hydrogen fuel it is clear that hydrogen vehicles are less efficient than electric vehicles are
Hydrogen cars refueling stations versus Electric car charging stations
There are over 10 million electric vehicles on the roads worldwide and sales have been rising strongly and it will continue to be on the rise and also the number of powering stations for electric vehicles is growing every day as the number of electric vehicles increases and there are more than 40,000 electric vehicle power stations in us alone compared to 45 hydrogen refueling stations. Governments around the world have been investing in infrastructures such as charging stations at existing petrol stations and motorway rest stops shopping center car parks and even on the side of some streets even the united kingdom also offers grants towards the purchase and installation of domestic charging points. Electric vehicles are also cheaper than hydrogen-powered cars while the cost of recharging is also less during off-peak grid times making electric vehicles a good long-term investment as compared to electric vehicles. Hydrogen cars still have very few refueling stations building them is hardly going to be a priority this shows that indeed the infrastructure supply and the technology of hydrogen cars are still years behind.
The electric vehicles hydrogen car’s powering time versus electric
cars refueling time
The advantage of hydrogen cars over and above electric cars is refueling time the amount of time it takes to pump hydrogen into the tank is way more interesting than electric cars you can fill hydrogen cars up with a fuel pump which takes about five to ten minutes like with petrol or diesel cars you just fill it up to pay and go on with your day rather than having to wait potentially hours for the same amount of range to be added to the battery pack. While tesla’s fast chargers with 120 kilowatts give batteries 80 percent of power in half an hour BMW i3 or the Nissan leaf can take around four to eight hours to get fully charged in the end, the time electric cars take to power depends obviously on the charging station and the type of charging connector but whatever the combination is and even with tesla’s most recently unveiled v3 supercharger this is a clear win for the hydrogen car.
The real problem getting hydrogen
Although hydrogen is the most common element in the universe it doesn’t exist in its pure form on the blue planet so it’s produced out of other components like water or natural gas. It can be produced through the electrolysis of water although the process is only 75 percent efficient which allows for 25 percent of electricity losses. Hydrogen can also get cleanly by reversing the electrolysis process of water the problem is that this process of separating water molecules to get the hydrogen spends a high amount of energy making it a very expensive process. However, if the energy can come from renewable energy sources like the sun or the wind the net energy cycle will release low-carbon and the process turns more environmentally friendly. These two methods of getting hydrogen are not energy efficient they are expensive so nowadays hydrogen fuel is obtained by the process of natural gas reforming which is less expensive compared to reverse electrolysis and more efficient than electrolysis. But the downside is that harmful byproduct such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide is produced in the process contributing to global warming furthermore although not common. Methane leaks while extracting natural gas is a major problem according to scientists methane molecules are 86 times worse than co2 being responsible for around 25 of the global GHG emissions and that’s not the only problem the process of extracting natural gas which is fracking also has a significant environmental impact and can harm ecosystems biodiversity contaminate waters and cause minor earthquakes. This process of using natural gas reforming to produce hydrogen tears apart all the potential of hydrogen-powered vehicles as a solution to fight climate change because of the carbon monoxide and dioxide and also methane gas that is generated in the process as for today, electric cars are more accessible vehicles regarding the different types of cars and charging points.
Electric cars have several advantages over hydrogen cars and also include more efficient processes compared to hydrogen-powered cars and if their lithium batteries are reused to meet different ends they’ll be far better than hydrogen cars.
What do you think about hydrogen cars and electric cars do you also agree that electric cars are better than hydrogen cars what do you think about the future of electric vehicles in the years to come let’s hear your views or opinions via the comments section we’ll be glad to hear from you.