Hydrogen Cars May Not Be the Answer to Cleaner Air

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by KenH, Jul 27, 2003.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    Hydrogen Cars May Not Be the Answer to Cleaner Air
    Fri Jul 18,11:47 PM ET

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    FRIDAY, July 18 (HealthDayNews) -- While hydrogen-fueled vehicles are being touted as a way to reduce pollution, greenhouse gases and oil dependency, a University of Berkeley energy expert says that may not be the best answer.

    In a paper in the July 18 issue of Science, Alex Farrell, an assistant professor of energy and resources, says politicians and the public need to consider simpler, cheaper options such as increasing the efficiency of gasoline-powered vehicles.

    "Hydrogen cars are a poor short-term strategy, and it's not even clear that they are a good idea in the long term. Because the prospects for hydrogen cars are so uncertain, we need to think carefully before we invest all this money and all this public effort in one area," Farrell says in a news release.

    "There are three reasons you might think hydrogen would be a good thing to use as a transportation fuel -- it can reduce air pollution, slow global climate change and reduce dependency on oil imports -- but for each one there is something you could do that would probably work better, work faster and be cheaper," Farrell says.

    He and David Keith of Carnegie Mellon University compared the costs of developing hydrogen-powered vehicles to the costs of other methods that could be used to achieve the same environmental and economic objectives.

    They found improvements to current cars and current environmental rules are more than 100 times cheaper than hydrogen cars at reducing air pollution. They also concluded that for the next several decades, the most cost-effective method to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce dependency on oil imports would be to increase the fuel efficiency of gasoline-powered cars.

    "You could get a significant reduction in petroleum consumption pretty inexpensively by raising the fuel economy standard or raising fuel prices, or both, which is probably the cheapest strategy. This would actually have no net cost or possibly even a negative cost -- buying less fuel would save more money than the price of high-efficiency cars," Farrell says.

    He notes there are already technologies available to improve fuel efficiency. But there is a lack of economic incentives for car makers to use that technology or for drivers to buy more fuel-efficient cars.

    --story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/hsn/20030719/hl_hsn/hydrogencarsmaynotbetheanswertocleanerair
     
  2. ColoradoFB

    ColoradoFB
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    Just this morning I was thinking about W's push for hydrogen cars. It would seem to me that his position should not really be pushing one particular technology over another, but rather encouraging development of whatever alternate fuel programs can be developed. He is not a scientist by any means, and should leave the specifics up to those who are.
     
  3. go2church

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    The fact that we can send people to the moon and make cell phones smaller then my hand tell me that the technology is there to make cars more fuel friendly. For years the oil companies have controlled the fuel milage we receive in our cars and it is high time we stopped playing like 20 mph is some sort of accomplishment, it isn't! The ability to have a huge truck that pulls trailers and still get 30 to 50 mph is possible!
     
  4. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
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    I don't know about that. I've been driving tractor trailers for about 38 years and MPG has gone from about 3 mpg to about 7 mpg in this country. You pull 60,000 to 80,000 lbs. it burns alot of fuel and if you can't keep it at one speed you are going to burn alot. Each time you get cut off and have to break down and then built back up burns alot of fuel. You can get up to lets say 9 to 10 mpg in open country but not in major cities or near them to many people on roads doing 10 mph over and to many doing 10 mph under posted speed, which causes breaking speed to much.
     
  5. Ben W

    Ben W
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    I think that it is important to consider carefully alternative fuel sources. In Australia we are moving into Windfarm Electricity production along areas of coastline, within the next few years it is expected that this form of energy will supply one fifth of all our power needs.

    This has been happening in Denmark for a while and is interesting to see how it is developing.
     

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