Hydrogen is ” an incredibly dumb ” car fuel

That’s Elon Musk’s opinion so that must be true. Tesla’s genius founder put yet another nail in the hydrogen coffin and stated what we knew all along : hydrogen is a technology that may well be too complex to ever be significant.

As I stated in a previous article all the way back to 2011 :

There is no possible case in which using electricity to strip hydrogen from water, then use that hydrogen in a fuel cell… could ever compete with the efficiency of simply using that electricity in a battery/electric motor…

So Elon Musk with his Tesla super electric vehicles is just saying what everyone already believes. Here are some details from the Climate Progress  article :

Last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk explained at length why hydrogen fuel cell cars “are extremely silly” and why “hydrogen is an incredibly dumb” alternative fuel.

Musk also said, “there’s no need for us to have this debate. I’ve said my peace on this, it will be super obvious as time goes by.” Indeed, it is super obvious already, as I’ve written many times — see my 2014 series, “Tesla Trumps Toyota,” which explains why hydrogen cars can’t compete with pure electric cars. A key reason Musk calls hydrogen “incredibly dumb” — its untenably inefficient use of carbon-free power compared to electric vehicles (EVs) — is detailed below.

(…) Returning to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, EV-maker Musk has, unsurprisingly, long been critical of the only other plausible zero emission vehicle. He called them “bullshit” in 2013, briefly noting their relative high cost and infrastructure issues. In 2014 Musk said, “They’re mind-bogglingly stupid” and “Success is simply not possible.” Why?

“Consider the whole fuel cell system against a Model S. It’s far worse in volume and mass terms, and far, far, worse in cost. And I haven’t even talked about hydrogen being so hard to handle.”

Do we need more details on how hydrogen cars are not fit against electric car ? I think Musk covered it quite well… On a sidenote, perhaps Toyota, who is banking on the technology, has some arguments that are scarrying electric vehicles advocates…

Otherwise, yes, electric cars are fantastic, and they could replace many a car in our cities around the world. But keeping on relying on cars as we do is clearly unsustainable. It’s time for more biking, walking and public transportation in our cities…

 Image credits : Wikipedia.

Edouard

Edouard is a sustainability and energy professional committed to bringing our societies to a carbon neutral future. He has been writing on related topics on this very blog since 2007.

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