Toyota Mirai Owners; There Is No Fuel And We Want Out Of These Cars

EVS

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As usual, these issues are blown out of proportion by the reporters, to make them sound sensational. Yes, this is an issue but not as big as it is made out to be.
I speak from my own personal experience of having driven 40k+ miles in 3 years. If not for th epandemic, it would have been over 50k+ miles.
I have nothing against electric cars or Mache. But you can't deny that:

- a fuel cell car fills up much faster (when there is fuel :)). It can handily beat any cannonball record by electric cars. I've persoanlly benefitted from this a few times, though I am not really a frequent road tripper.

- There is no 'tapering' down at 80%, 90% or even 95%. It is 98%-100% as most people driving gas cars are used to.

- Many people don't have home charging (apartment people). Upgrading old home electical system can be expensive. Charging only on non-home chargers can be rather expensive and time consuming. Here in CA, even my home charging is quite expensive and every year the electric rate seems to only go up while gas has been at the same $3-$4 range for 15 years!

- Seems to me that a lot of electric car makers are already hitting battery resource constraints.

The story of mass ZEV transportation is still unfinished. If renewable hydrogen really gets very cheap and plentiful, as many experts predict, the future can look very different from now.

BTW, do check out the new stations. They are coming up with 5X the capacity of the first gen stations. Don't be fooled by just the number of stations.





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ChasingCoral

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As usual, these issues are blown out of proportion by the reporters, to make them sound sensational. Yes, this is an issue but not as big as it is made out to be.
I speak from my own personal experience of having driven 40k+ miles in 3 years. If not for th epandemic, it would have been over 50k+ miles.
I have nothing against electric cars or Mache. But you can't deny that:

- a fuel cell car fills up much faster (when there is fuel :)). It can handily beat any cannonball record by electric cars. I've persoanlly benefitted from this a few times, though I am not really a frequent road tripper.

- There is no 'tapering' down at 80%, 90% or even 95%. It is 98%-100% as most people driving gas cars are used to.

- Many people don't have home charging (apartment people). Upgrading old home electical system can be expensive. Charging only on non-home chargers can be rather expensive and time consuming. Here in CA, even my home charging is quite expensive and every year the electric rate seems to only go up while gas has been at the same $3-$4 range for 15 years!

- Seems to me that a lot of electric car makers are already hitting battery resource constraints.

The story of mass ZEV transportation is still unfinished. If renewable hydrogen really gets very cheap and plentiful, as many experts predict, the future can look very different from now.

BTW, do check out the new stations. They are coming up with 5X the capacity of the first gen stations. Don't be fooled by just the number of stations.
Let's not forget that at this point most H2 for car fuel is made from petroleum, not electrolyzed water.
 

LagerHead

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As usual, these issues are blown out of proportion by the reporters, to make them sound sensational. Yes, this is an issue but not as big as it is made out to be.
I speak from my own personal experience of having driven 40k+ miles in 3 years. If not for th epandemic, it would have been over 50k+ miles.
I have nothing against electric cars or Mache. But you can't deny that:

- a fuel cell car fills up much faster (when there is fuel :)). It can handily beat any cannonball record by electric cars. I've persoanlly benefitted from this a few times, though I am not really a frequent road tripper.
It's true, a hydrogen car has never taken longer to complete a Cannonball run than a BEV. But only because a hydrogen car has never completed a Cannonball run. However, if you put a large enough hydrogen hydrogen tank in a car to drive Coast to Coast non-stop, well, that would be impressive. Especially if something went wrong and it blew up!

- There is no 'tapering' down at 80%, 90% or even 95%. It is 98%-100% as most people driving gas cars are used to.
I charge at home and never worry about tapering down. It's a non-issue. On a road trip I stop charging when I get to the taper.

- Many people don't have home charging (apartment people). Upgrading old home electical system can be expensive. Charging only on non-home chargers can be rather expensive and time consuming. Here in CA, even my home charging is quite expensive and every year the electric rate seems to only go up while gas has been at the same $3-$4 range for 15 years!
You think gas and electricity is expensive? Try hydrogen! If you can find anyone to sell it to you! Electricity is everywhere!

- Seems to me that a lot of electric car makers are already hitting battery resource constraints.
Battery production is expanding at rates never seen before, ~doubling every year and accelerating.

The story of mass ZEV transportation is still unfinished. If renewable hydrogen really gets very cheap and plentiful, as many experts predict, the future can look very different from now.
Over 80% of hydrogen is made using the cheapest known method (from fossil fuels). There is no known process that would allow it to become competitive with gasoline and certainly not electricity. The manufacture of hydrogen using the cheapest known methods has a carbon footprint larger than just driving a gasoline car. The only people predicting cheap hydrogen are oil industry shills.

BTW, do check out the new stations. They are coming up with 5X the capacity of the first gen stations. Don't be fooled by just the number of stations.
The number of fueling locations is what matters. Because they are extremely limiting. Want to drive to Oregon? Out of luck! The infrastructure to refill is quite expensive. Which is why retail hydrogen will not be competitive with gas (let alone electricity) without discovering some unknown process. Simple scaling of existing known technologies cannot get us there.

I didn't expect to find so much hydrogen misinformation here on a Ford Mach-e forum! Maybe on a Toyota forum...
 

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It's true, a hydrogen car has never taken longer to complete a Cannonball run than a BEV. But only because a hydrogen car has never completed a Cannonball run. However, if you put a large enough hydrogen hydrogen tank in a car to drive Coast to Coast non-stop, well, that would be impressive. Especially if something went wrong and it blew up!
Now I think this is reaching some level of fear mongering. ;) There is such a thing called hydrogen trailer that can travel alongside the car and fill the car multiple times? If someone did want to do this and hydrogen trailers and cars were legal to drive along the route.

Cars blowing up? LOL. In almost 3 years, neither me nor any of my family members felt any fear. Have you read about a hydrogen car blowing up? I'm afraid if I speak too much, I may accidentally point out some inconvenient facts. So I will keep my mouth shut..

I charge at home and never worry about tapering down. It's a non-issue. On a road trip I stop charging when I get to the taper.

You think gas and electricity is expensive? Try hydrogen! If you can find anyone to sell it to you! Electricity is everywhere!

Battery production is expanding at rates never seen before, ~doubling every year and accelerating.
Yes, renewable hydrogen is expensive now, especially if you compare to the low demand period (night time) electricity rate which is ~100% fossil fuel based.
But I don't know what happens in 10 years. It is certainly much cheaper to store excess renewable energy as hydrogen than in enormous, expensive & difficult to mine & process batteries.
You may have missed the news from Tesla that it can't produce the semi trucks due to ...lack of cells! After starting the gigafactory > 6 years ago!

Over 80% of hydrogen is made using the cheapest known method (from fossil fuels). There is no known process that would allow it to become competitive with gasoline and certainly not electricity. The manufacture of hydrogen using the cheapest known methods has a carbon footprint larger than just driving a gasoline car. The only people predicting cheap hydrogen are oil industry shills.
I will pass. I'm afraid I may point out some inconvenient facts about electric cars. :)

The number of fueling locations is what matters. Because they are extremely limiting. Want to drive to Oregon? Out of luck! The infrastructure to refill is quite expensive. Which is why retail hydrogen will not be competitive with gas (let alone electricity) without discovering some unknown process. Simple scaling of existing known technologies cannot get us there.
Umm, the topic is about hydrogen shortage. Why drive if I can fly to Oregon, cheaper and with less carbon footprint? But I get your point. You are pointing to the stations being only in California. But that's not a limitation of the technology. It's political.

I didn't expect to find so much hydrogen misinformation here on a Ford Mach-e forum! Maybe on a Toyota forum...
Now you are sounding completely misinformed, almost like a hydrogen FUDster. ;) It's odd that people who have no personal experience with hydrogen cars are often the most vocal critics. Is it the fear of the unknown?

And for the record, I have currently 3 cars in my stable and I hold no animosity to ANY of these forms of fueling. I drive them all.
- A pure gas SUV
- A pure electric sedan
- A pure hydrogen car.

Let's not forget that at this point most H2 for car fuel is made from petroleum, not electrolyzed water.
Average renewable in US electricity: 17%
Required renewable hydrogen in California for stations: 33%
 
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AzCoronaDog

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Every current industrial scale method for producing hydrogen in the form required for fuel cells requires more energy than the energy in the resulting hydrogen. So with today's technology, hydrogen is not really a fuel, just an energy transfer medium.
The most efficient methods start with fossil fuels, which certainly does not live up to the "green" promise of a "hydrogen economy".
So for now, great for rockets, not so great for the environment!
There are some promising production processes being developed in the lab, so this will likely change eventually.
 

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Every current industrial scale method for producing hydrogen in the form required for fuel cells requires more energy than the energy in the resulting hydrogen. So with today's technology, hydrogen is not really a fuel, just an energy transfer medium.
The most efficient methods start with fossil fuels, which certainly does not live up to the "green" promise of a "hydrogen economy".
So for now, great for rockets, not so great for the environment!
There are some promising production processes being developed in the lab, so this will likely change eventually.
Well said! For now, it is more of a science experiment. So far, the cars have matured and people who drive them love them. The fueling stations and fuel are a different story.
If Toyota brings its reliability to the stations, it may get interesting.

I'd personally keep an open mind. Who knows what the future holds? ;)
 

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Over Easter weekend there was a widespread shortage of fuel at the hydrogen stations in northern California. At one point the only station north of Santa Barbara that had hydrogen and was in operation was the station in Truckee. (Roughly on the CA-NV border in the middle of the state, on the highway between Sacramento and Reno.)

There are seven hydrogen refueling stations in my area (San Jose region). The two within 20 miles are out of fuel. One about 20 miles away has a warning that it is low on fuel, with 25 kg of H35 and 16 kg of H70. Three are marked offline, with no specific fault. The only one working normally is the one close to the Tesla factory in Fremont.

North of here, the San Francisco - Oakland stations, the situation is better. Only half of the ten stations are broken (4) or have limited fuel (1).

When you can't get fuel for a hydrogen car, you are screwed. There isn't an alternative such as plugging in for a slow charge, or filling from a can. You need to be flat-bedded to a station with fuel.
 
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Average renewable in US electricity: 17%
Required renewable hydrogen in California for stations: 33%
Let’s compare apples to apples, please. 2019 renewables in CA electricity 36% and rising.
 

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Now I think this is reaching some level of fear mongering. ;) There is such a thing called hydrogen trailer that can travel alongside the car and fill the car multiple times? If someone did want to do this and hydrogen trailers and cars were legal to drive along the route.
Are you actually suggesting a hydrogen tanker trailer complete the Cannonball Run in the same time as the competing car? Do you understand what the Cannonball Run actually is?


Yes, renewable hydrogen is expensive now, especially if you compare to the low demand period (night time) electricity rate which is ~100% fossil fuel based.
No, I said the cheapest, non-environmentally friendly hydrogen is uneconomic. And there is no known process to make it competitive with gas and certainly not with batteries. Environmentally friendly hydrogen costs far more! And why use hydrogen if it's not greener than gas?

But I don't know what happens in 10 years. It is certainly much cheaper to store excess renewable energy as hydrogen than in enormous, expensive & difficult to mine & process batteries.
The market has already answered this question using simple economics. There are millions of kWh of battery storage already connected to grids around the world that are privately funded because it makes economic sense. No one has figured out a method, even a theoretical one, that can do this with hydrogen in an economic manner.


Umm, the topic is about hydrogen shortage. Why drive if I can fly to Oregon, cheaper and with less carbon footprint? But I get your point. You are pointing to the stations being only in California. But that's not a limitation of the technology. It's political.
No, the limited number of hydrogen stations is purely economic, not political. It doesn't make economic sense. Most of the ones that have been built used government subsidies and they are still terribly uneconomic and environmentally unfriendly because they use fossil fuel hydrogen and there is no known way to scale it economically either. How can you claim the lack of hydrogen is political when hydrogen has recieved millions of dollars of government subsidies? It's not governments slowing down hydrogen, it's economics. The private sector doesn't like doing things that will lose money as far as the eye can see.



Now you are sounding completely misinformed, almost like a hydrogen FUDster. ;) It's odd that people who have no personal experience with hydrogen cars are often the most vocal critics. Is it the fear of the unknown?
It's not hydrogen cars, per say, that I have a problem with. It's the claim that hydrogen is viable economically and that it's more environmental friendly than gas or BEV. It's not. It's an environmental disaster and there is no known way to scale renewable hydrogen such that it makes more sense than gas, let alone BEV. If there was, I would be all over it.

I have no problem with studying hydrogen power in the lab but deploying it, using current technologies, makes zero sense.

And for the record, I have currently 3 cars in my stable and I hold no animosity to ANY of these forms of fueling. I drive them all.
- A pure gas SUV
- A pure electric sedan
- A pure hydrogen car.
That doesn't change my mind about anything. I'm not anti-hydrogen, I'm simply against deploying fossil fuel hydrogen using government subsidies when there is no environmental benefit over existing technologies that are actually economically viable today. And renewable hydrogen is even less commercially viable. The government should fund hydrogen research in the laboratory but deploying it for every day use without a path to viability is a ridiculous waste of tax money.
 

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In the beginning I thought that the idea of a hydrogen-cell vehicle was good. Once I read more about the technologies involved, the less attractive it became vs. BEV technology. Sure, we have our drawbacks too, but by and large the scale tipped (for me) toward BEV.
Those are very different technologies and have different pros and cons depending on application. Toyota is not wrong about fuel cells, they are wrong about small FCEV cars.
BEVs are great as small/city vehicles, but don't scale up. FCEVs are great for large/interstate vehicles, high powered, long range, highly efficient. So we may see BEVs replacing family cars, and FCEVs replacing diesel trucks, semis, and busses. It's not either/or, it's both/and.
 

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@LagerHead good points all around. About hydrogen not being environmentally friendly, I would add that sometimes perception trumps reality. If people think they are doing something green friendly, they might still go for it even if the net effect is a hit to the environment. Like buying a hybrid instead of an efficient non-hybrid car and then trading the hybrid in for something new at 50,000 miles.
 

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Here is a good autoline discussion from January on the future of hydrogen. I figured, it is better for me to just point to this than participate in a hot debate with each person. The problem I see is that many people are stuck in what it is today and not what it can become. Just 7 years ago, there was no hydrogen cars (well, except very very few Clarity and Mercedes F-cell prototypes). Today, the latest car from Toyota is the longest range ZEV car in the market AND at a much lower price under $50k! I think it is making good progress. It is possible that solid state batteries will beat it in range and refueling speed. I don't know.

Video summary as shown on Youtube:
Hydrogen fuel cell cars are not going mainstream anytime soon. But they make a lot of sense in other parts of the transportation sector, such as with semi-trucks, trains and ships. Wall Street is also waking up to the possibilities and investors are sniffing out investment opportunities. Bryan Pivovar, a Senior Research Fellow at the National Renewable Energy Lab, talks about the progress being made in hydrogen production and fuel cell development. PANEL: Bryan Pivovar, NREL; Frank Markus, MotorTrend; Bob Gritzinger, Wards Intelligence; John McElroy, Autoline.tv

Several OEMs besides Toyota have a foot in the hydrogen space. Hyundai is pretty big in Korea with its Nexo CUVs. Renault has plug-in hybrid hydrogen van. Stellantis will bring one to market this year. Cummins has plans afoot.
After a certain range and size of vehicle, it gets difficult to add enough batteries for long range. Hydrogen being more energy dense has an advantage there.
 

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Over Easter weekend there was a widespread shortage of fuel at the hydrogen stations in northern California. At one point the only station north of Santa Barbara that had hydrogen and was in operation was the station in Truckee. (Roughly on the CA-NV border in the middle of the state, on the highway between Sacramento and Reno.)

There are seven hydrogen refueling stations in my area (San Jose region). The two within 20 miles are out of fuel. One about 20 miles away has a warning that it is low on fuel, with 25 kg of H35 and 16 kg of H70. Three are marked offline, with no specific fault. The only one working normally is the one close to the Tesla factory in Fremont.

North of here, the San Francisco - Oakland stations, the situation is better. Only half of the ten stations are broken (4) or have limited fuel (1).

When you can't get fuel for a hydrogen car, you are screwed. There isn't an alternative such as plugging in for a slow charge, or filling from a can. You need to be flat-bedded to a station with fuel.
As I said, it is not as bad as it seems. People just fill up when the stations are replenished. That's how they get empty in the first place. Fill up often so you are not left dry with no fuel in the tank or the station. Large capacity stations (the new ones) or onsite generation should help in the future.

But agree, this is not for busy people who can't make extra trips to the stations at odd hours. I might also add that one should have spare cars in case there is no fuel and also love a bit of adventure.
BTW, this shortage is nothing compared to the big summer shortage in 2019 when I had to make trips to the station at odd hours to avoid the crowd.
 

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Hydrogen is great for rockets.

Some common fuel's energy density below. The perfect fuel is in the upper right. The least desirable in the lower left.

The upper left is where "size matters". Tons of energy in a small package. The package might be heavy, though.

The lower right is where "weight matters". Tons of energy in a light package. The package might be as big as Texas, though.

What's missing is the energy needed to produce a usable fuel. Right now hydrogen fuel production is energy negative, i.e. it takes more energy than you get out of the end product. That is not really sustainable or environmentally friendly. Not to say it can't move to the positive side, but there isn't much on the horizon to say it will at scale.

Notice Li-Ion batteries might be the worst "fuel". So if you are betting on upside of BEV vs. H2 fuel cell, I gotta say BEV is looking pretty strong in that battle.

And yes, "Sugar Metabolism" and "Fat Metabolism", that's you!

1618338774568.png
 

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I have to agree completely with what LagerHead posted. Hydrogen is not even remotely economically or environmentally viable as an alternative fuel today.

That does not mean it does not have great potential in the future, if it can be produced using less energy than it stores.

And even at some net loss, there could be potential to use it as a storage medium for the unreliable power that wind and solar generate. The production process still needs to get far more efficient though.

So any hydrogen fuel cell car today is almost certainly less environmentally friendly than an efficient ICE vehicle when considering the total impact over it's lifespan. That means they are a failed science experiment at best, and a taxpayer funded "feel-good" boondoggle at worst.

If you believe otherwise, I will gladly give you $15 for every $20 bill you give me back to illustrate the point!
 

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