Under the Hood: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars Are Almost Here

Hyundai, Toyota (NYSE: TM  ) , and Honda (NYSE: HMC  ) all showed hydrogen fuel cell vehicles last week, and all said they will have production models for sale soon. Hyundai's will arrive next spring, and the lease includes free hydrogen fuel. Is this the next big thing in green cars? The Motor Money team of Rex Moore and John Rosevear take a closer look at the new models and when we can expect to see them on the road.

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  • Report this Comment On November 28, 2013, at 7:47 PM, Pixma25 wrote:

    One word: Hindenburg.

  • Report this Comment On November 28, 2013, at 8:15 PM, NoiTall wrote:

    Clever, pixma25, but you can't fool me with your jedi ignorance.

    Hindenburg: it caught fire because aluminum powder, also used as rocket fuel, coated the outside on top of very flammable cellulose acetate fabric covering the blimp.

    Hydrogen: less dangerous than gasoline. hydrogen evaporates very quickly straight up. gasoline pools on the ground under your wrecked car and other cars in your accident, just waiting for a spark, or some nimwit to pull out a cigarette (probably the same one I saw at a gas station smoking while refueling).

    hydrogen can be produced on demand from magnesium wire and water. one gram of mg produces 3L hydrogen to feed a fuel cell.

    THe whole assembly is about equivalent in weight to the same amount of fuel.

    mg and Al are the 6th and 7th most abundant elements in the earth's crust, and can be recycled by reducing to a metai again, which is the energy intensive part allowing the metal to store huge amounts of potential energy.

    Fuel cells are now compact size and can scale up infinitely unlike batteries.

    this particular one eliminates most of the platinum used, replacing with a liquid catalyst

    they store about the same energy density in these cars as any other chemical source. the mg solution equals gas at $2 per gallon. batteries store energy at 1/35 to 1/70th the density of chemical fuel (source MIT tech revu site)

    fuel cell cars, like other electric drivetrain cars, are more efficient. the fuel cell converts chemical energy to motion at twice the efficiency of an internal combustion engine.

    the only tailpipe emission is water, which can be captured and recycled if needed.

  • Report this Comment On November 28, 2013, at 9:26 PM, normgarry wrote:


    #1 Hydrogen IS NOT safer than gasoline. Gasoline itself isn't flammable...its fumes are. Gasoline is far easier to store than Hydrogen without worries of leaks or explosions because the molecules of gasoline are larger and heavier (Hydrogen being the lightest element of all).

    #2 Fossil fuels are the BASE for all energy on Earth. All useable energy on Earth comes from the sun and is converted into chemical energy by plants which undergoes numerous changes into numerous forms of fossil fuels. While Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, it is by no means easy to seperate and store from other molecules it's bonded to. Water requires electricity to seperate H2 from O. WHERE IS THE ENERGY COMING FROM???

    Just like EVs, electricity must come from somewhere. In most countries, that somewhere will be...FOSSIL FUELS.

    Uranium and nuclear fuels are non-renewable and in less abundance than fossil fuels. So don't bother mentioning "nuclear power".

    THE SUN is the only FUSION REACTOR we're gonna see for a long time.

    And don't bother talking about efficiency either. Regardless how much energy a car can get from a tank of gas, oil or natural gas, the simple fact is, it's EASIER and more CONVENIENT to build a vehicle that runs on fossil fuels - which is why even third world countries can build and maintain basic trucks and cars...while you don't see them rolling around in Model S or these HORRID, UGLY Japanese econoboxes which are about to EXPLODE in a fire brighter than the sun.

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2013, at 10:40 AM, tblakeslee wrote:

    The current best way to make hydrogen is by reforming natural gas so hydrogen cars still essentially run on fossil fuels.

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2013, at 10:43 AM, DWEWTK wrote:

    Hydrogen burns at such a high temp that it creates various oxides of Nitrogen that combine with water to form strong nitrogen basic acids.

    Thermodynamics 101. Every time energy is changed from one form to another energy is lost. Since Hydrogen does not occur naturally anywhere it must be manufactured.

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2013, at 11:15 AM, lm1b2 wrote:

    Its about time,if it wasn't for the Oil Industry,and there Lobbyist we would have been using Hydrogen a long time ago,and ending the stranglehold the Oil industry has had on us! This is the fuel of the future,not batteries,or Natural Gas,this is the only fuel that makes sense !

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2013, at 11:07 PM, stewie wrote:

    No thanks.., Pops and I are still working' on our fartmobile.

    See ya next spring!

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