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Electrically v hydrogen powered vehicles

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John-B
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Electrically v hydrogen powered vehicles

Post by John-B » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:50 am

We've had discussions before about electrically powered vehicles, but they are in the news again as the target date for ending sales of petrol or diesel cars is likely to be reduced from 2040 to 2032.

I'm still bewildered why hydrogen powered cars are not considered more energetically as the charging is as quick as for a petrol car and the range much greater than for an electric car. I can see endless problems with electricity charging points, already a problem. Recently someone arrived at a service station to find that the charging point was out of order. The only solution is to phone the AA for a lift home or to another charging point.
If charging points are already in use you have to wait for several hours until one becomes available.

Automatic and continuous charging from networks under the road surface sounds promising, but would only be available on major roads. Similarly instant changing of batteries by driving into a booth where the battery is exchanged quickly while you sit in your car, like a car wash, is also a good idea, but neither option is being built into a nationwide facility at present.

I can see problems when hooligans leave a pub and disconnect all the cars which are charging at lampposts, just for a laugh. How do people pay for electricity when charging at a lamppost? Is there a card reader there?

In London and most towns it's quite usual to have to park away from your house, further down the street or around the corner, so charging from home with a cable across the pavement is impossible (and a trip hazard for pedestrians, anyway.)

I think it's possible to convert petrol cars to hydrogen, so that would be useful if poorer people don't want to buy a new car.

I generally only make short trips so I may buy an electric car as my next car, but I will also consider a hydrogen car very closely, but of course I can't charge that at home.

Why are hydrogen cars virtually ignored?

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Re: Electrically v hydrogen powered vehicles

Post by Big Col » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:48 am

Because it’s very expensive to get the hydrogen to the dispenser.
The promise of electric is battery development.
Like all promises of this type we should be skeptic.
Saying that from first mobile phones to present day, batteries have come a long way. Can they go further though ?
Colin,
I may be slow but I’m rough as well !

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Re: Electrically v hydrogen powered vehicles

Post by John-B » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:14 am

Big Col wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:48 am
Because it’s very expensive to get the hydrogen to the dispenser.
The promise of electric is battery development.
Hydrogen production could also get cheaper as demand rises. Distribution should be no more difficult than for gas tankers that deliver propane to homes all over the country.

Electricity has large losses over cable distribution from power stations to point of use which wouldn't happen if hydrogen was produced close to a power station.

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Re: Electrically v hydrogen powered vehicles

Post by Vortex O'Plinth » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:24 pm

I have to admit I have already gone over to a full hybrid estate car for my day to day drive. The emissions are low enough to qualify it for zero road tax and average fuel consumption (petrol) is 53 mpg.

Hydrogen as a fuel is very attractive given its range capabilities but so far the only economic way of producing sustainable quantities is by electrolysis - which requires a lot of electricity - currently produced primarily by either burning fossil fuel or by atomic fission. For those of us old enough to recall the Hindenburg disaster, the idea of a tank of hydrogen in a motorway pile-up is disconcerting. :shock:
Nick

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Re: Electrically v hydrogen powered vehicles

Post by Sydsmith » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:40 pm

I love this subject, it hits the nail right on the head when it comes to alternative fuels.

In the 50's I was almost blinded when a battery exploded in my face. My fault it was gassing away with the caps off and I disconnected the charger without switching it off.

The explosion sent acid over 50 yards. During my spell in an eye hospital with my eyes bandaged, I had plenty of time in the dark to contemplate the power of hydrogen and the applications it could be use for.

Ever since I have had a thing about powering things by hydrogen.

Hydrogen turns to harmless water when used in an internal combustion engine, it has more calorific power than other fuels and it is much cleaner than fossil fuels.

I recon if scientists spent half as much time effort and money developing a hydrogen power system as they spend on battery cars, we would have a clean successful alternative fuel source. Syd

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Re: Electrically v hydrogen powered vehicles

Post by John-B » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:36 pm

Vortex O'Plinth wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:24 pm
For those of us old enough to recall the Hindenburg disaster, the idea of a tank of hydrogen in a motorway pile-up is disconcerting. :shock:
Petrol is an explosive fuel but we have got used to that. In a crash, if the petrol tank splits the petrol may cause a furious fire, but luckily it hardly ever explodes like a bomb while under pressure, it just causes a huge bonfire. Remember how people in the 1950s used to fill up their petrol tanks while smoking a cigarette?

I'm sure that London taxis already have hydrogen tanks in the boot (trunk). I think we would get just as used to having a hydrogen tank in the car as a petrol tank, dangerous but manageable with care.

As an alternative, why not run cars on natural gas? Just plug into the house gas main and pressurise it with a pump. Vehicles in WW2 ran on town gas from a gas bag on the roof, but it would have to be pressurised into a small tank like hydrogen. There would be dirty emissions, but less noxious fumes than from diesel or petrol.

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Re: Electrically v hydrogen powered vehicles

Post by captain bobo » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:41 pm

I too can see many difficulties surrounding the use of purely electric cars.

During a recent trip to Vancouver I noticed that most of the cabs were modified to run on what I call "cooking oil"; I imagine it to be sunflower oil, rapeseed oil or something similar- a tank being fitted inside the boot and a plentiful supply of oil around the city. They smelt a bit like a fish 'n chip shop as they pass you in the street but I suspect that it is quite a clean combustion process.

Do any forum members know more about this technology & its possibilities for the future?
Best wishes, Dave B

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Re: Electrically v hydrogen powered vehicles

Post by Big Col » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:14 pm

I am not sure that the farmers could supply enough bio fuel to run the world as well as keep us all fed.
Like it or lump it fossil fuels are still the cheapest and most plentiful way of keeping the world turning.
Colin,
I may be slow but I’m rough as well !

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Re: Electrically v hydrogen powered vehicles

Post by Phillmore » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:34 am

captain bobo wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:41 pm
I too can see many difficulties surrounding the use of purely electric cars.

During a recent trip to Vancouver I noticed that most of the cabs were modified to run on what I call "cooking oil"; I imagine it to be sunflower oil, rapeseed oil or something similar- a tank being fitted inside the boot and a plentiful supply of oil around the city. They smelt a bit like a fish 'n chip shop as they pass you in the street but I suspect that it is quite a clean combustion process.

Do any forum members know more about this technology & its possibilities for the future?
Yes I know someone in Malvern who runs his camper van on old oil from a fish and chip shop. It needs slight refinement first (a basic filtration from memory) and you're right, it doesn't lose that fish and chips smell.
Andy

1954 Conquest Mk1, 1956 Conquest Mk2, 1957 Conquest Century Mk2, 1955 Austin A90 Westminster

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Re: Electrically v hydrogen powered vehicles

Post by Sydsmith » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:42 am

Oil companies have a vested interest in keeping oil consumption going and very little incentive to develop more eco friendly ways of using their product.

Until that changes, and that will take a big shift in policy, there is little hope that we will stop polluting the planet with toxic fumes.

I have a thing about the amount of methane horse transport must have produced, and methane is much more damaging to the worlds climate that fossil fuels, the smell must have been incredible. But we moved on to internal combustion power. The time has come to move on again and we cannot just ignore the situation we are in, if we do we will commit our grand children to an uninhabitable world.

We have come a long way since the internal combustion engine became the main source of motive power, with some investment and determination we can solve the problem we have created, we have to, the alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

You may doubt the global warming theory but you cannot challenge the health damage carbon fuel use causes.
Syd

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