In this era of EVs, the most important question that arises is between Electric Cars and Hydrogen Cars. According to some, EVs are better, while other says hydrogen cars are better. According to us, things will be completely dependent on your automobile.
From the perspective of environmental friendliness, electric cars will travels a long way, while hydrogen cars are still generating some emissions as they are much lower than those of the traditional petrol or diesel cars. We will briefly discuss both types of cars, and their pros, and cons.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars
Hydrogen cars might become a wise choice for those who are looking for an absolute eco-friendly vehicle. The hydrogen cars have been charged with hydrogen gas to boost their motor instead of petrol or diesel.
As clean-burning fuel Hydrogen can generate no such harmful emissions and can make a much more environmentally-friendly option than the traditional petrol or diesel cars. The production completely depends on the gas based on the production process. The fuel cell hydrogen cars or DCEV can work by transforming the chemical energy or hydrogen gas into electrical energy to move the vehicle. There are only two auto-makers working on this Toyota with the first DCEV Mirai and Hyundai Nexo. These fuel cell cars can range hardly 300 miles with a single tank of hydrogen.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell: Pros & Cons
The vars are still in their infancy, they offer a promising alternative to traditional gasoline cars. Those Hydrogen cars can able to emit no pollutants and have the energy to be more fuel efficient than gasoline cars.
Despite the disadvantages, hydrogen cars can face many challenges. Hydrogen is very difficult to store ad transport as it needs high infrastructure, which makes the cars more expensive than gasoline cars.
- Zero Emission: this is one of the biggest benefits that can generate zero missions making them much better for the environment than gasoline-powered vehicles.
- Efficiency: hydrogen cars tend to have a longer range than electric vehicles and can be refueled early. Hydrogen cars are becoming more affordable as new technologies have developed and generated hydrogen.
- Cleans Air: Toyota has confirmed that the DCEV Mirai can clean the air and claims it to be a negative emission vehicle able to capture even the fine PM2.5 particles. Those Hydrogen and fuel cell cars require oxygen to harness electricity from the chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen, as a result flushing out cleaner air into the atmosphere.
- Less Refueling Stations: This is one of the largest drawbacks that there are very less refueling stations currently available for hydrogen cars. This indicates that drivers of those vehicles have to travel a long way to get to the stations.
- Cost-Effective: Hydrogen cars are very expensive than gasoline cars. The other downside to getting a hydrogen car is that it can able to emit pollutants like nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide.
- Safety: There are some experts showing concern about the safety of using hydrogen as a highly combustible fuel. Many have taken this as a safe possible.
Electric cars have powered by batteries that can store electricity that can be used to move the car. This car indicates that these cars can be a substitution for gasoline cars that produce harmful emissions while burning. As environmentally friendly cars EVs are far better than ICE cars. Electric cars are cheaper than ICE cars.
- Cheaper to Run: This is one of the biggest advantages of electric cars that are cheaper than those traditional petrol or diesel cars. Electricity is much cheaper than petrol or diesel, one can save money on fuel costs.
- Low Maintenance Costs: Electric cars hold lower maintenance costs than traditional petrol or diesel cars. There are no oil changes or tune-ups needed, and the brakes last longer since electric cars use a regenerative braking system.
- Zeo Emissions: This is one of the big adamantanes of electric cars that they can generate zero emissions. This indicates they are much produced for the environment than the traditional petrol or diesel cars.
- Robust Charging Network: Electric cars have backed a large network of charging stations globally along with a good number of the latest stations consistently. Tesla alone can operate more than 35k supercharges globally.
- Range: This is become a matter now with many fearing their electric cars losing range when they are out and about. The concept follows there are not many charging stations as the gas stations add to the troubles.
- Charging Time: This is one of the biggest setbacks that still scares most people to shift to electricity is the range and charging time. These things might develop in the future as the infrastructure is ramping up internationally for serving more and more electric automobiles.
- Supercharging Cost: This supercharging cost network of using them as another drawback set to bit the potential electric owner’s interests further. There are many countries offering such incentives for shifting to greener automobiles but the long charging time is one issue that’s going to take time to solve.
Battery Electric vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars
Now that you know how both technologies perform and what are their pros and cons, what is the status when we compare them side by side on five primary pointers?
The range is a debatable aspect of both cars as electric cars have a wide range currently but is somewhat controversial. You can get around 150 to 300 miles on average with electric cars and around 312 to 380 miles on hydrogen. However, the Tesla Model S Long Range edition or Lucid Air Dream could do 400-500 miles easily.
Hydrogen infrastructure so far is extremely limited because of only a few models in production. There are only around 500 hydrogen refueling stations globally. Whereas, the number of electric charging stations has already crossed over a million mark and is rapidly increasing.
Hydrogen is highly flammable and storing it inside an automobile requires significant considerations. Similarly, electric cars are also not particularly safe if the battery cells overheat or catch fire.
Toyota Mirai claims to have solved the issue to store hydrogen inside the tanks in an automobile safely. However, that does not eliminate safety concerns. Hydrogen could escape in case of an unfortunate situation like a collision but electric cars have no such techniques.
Hydrogen cars are touted as the greenest alternative in the automobile industry but the way hydrogen is produced, stored, and transferred makes it not so green process. Whereas, electric cars also produce emissions in producing lithium-ion battery packs. There could be a significant change when renewable energy is used in the production process.
Buying electric cars could be a costly affair. Mostly a higher range on the stats means a higher sticker price on the electric vehicle. Hydrogen cars are still going to cost more than electric, ones merely because of the infrastructure issues.
Advantages of Electric Cars Over Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars
If you look closely at the problems with hydrogen you can clearly conclude why hydrogen fuel cell technology is not okay. Heavy investment and infrastructure are required to get hydrogen-based technology to be actually worth it. However, the current expansion in the electric automobile industry gives them a clear edge over FCEV.
Electric cars have their challenges but with time and technological improvement, there would be significant upgrades to make them better in the future. Therefore, time would how things pan out for both. Right now, electric automobiles are clearly in a better position to beat hydrogen cars.
Why Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars Are Still a Dream?
There are very few hydrogen refueling stations in operation today, which makes it difficult for drivers to fill up their tanks. Moreover, hydrogen is a highly flammable gas, which poses some safety concerns. Hydrogen cars also tend to be more expensive than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.
Despite these challenges, some automakers are still investing in hydrogen car technology. Toyota is aggressively investing in hydrogen cars to offer a cleaner and more efficient alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles. Hyundai Nexo is another potential hydrogen car that makes it a strong contender standing tall with 500 miles range. However, Honda stopped producing Clarity in 2021 but continues to lease it in the UK and continues to work on hydrogen tech.
Hydrogen cars emit no pollutants and have the potential to greatly reduce our dependence on oil. Toyota has been working on hydrogen cars for over two decades and is now the leader in this field. The company has done impressive work in designing a very compact fuel cell stack that converts hydrogen into electricity, which powers the car’s electric motor. However, the challenges are far too big to turn it into a viable transport option.
What to Expect in Near Future?
In the end, there is a strong possibility for both technologies to coexist in the future automobile industry. In fact, every technology has some merits and demerits attached to its fame. One person could choose to use an electric car for their daily commute while another might feel a gas-powered car is more of their cup of tea. So, maybe we all would coexist along with all these fascinating technologies for a few more decades at least. It is like comparing apples to apples and this certainly cannot work for automobiles.
There are a few key reasons why hydrogen cars do not make sense, at least just not yet. The infrastructure to support hydrogen cars is still very limited. There are only a handful of hydrogen refuelling stations in the country, and they are mostly located in California. This means that if you own a hydrogen car, you’re pretty much stuck driving in one state. Moreover, hydrogen cars are relatively expensive and require even more expensive infrastructure in place. Overall, hydrogen cars do not make sense as a practical transportation option at this time.
Electric cars are a great option for those who are looking for a more environmentally friendly and economical mode of transportation.