What’s the future for fuel cell vehicles

A fuel cell vehicle (FCV) runs by using hydrogen gas instead of traditional gasoline so our environment benefits because no dangerous emissions flow out of the tailpipe, only steam. Considered to be an electric vehicle (they are totally energized by electricity) they still must be refueled like our traditional vehicles. FCVs sound perfect however the cost of producing them is astronomical so it is questionable if these vehicles can ever be reasonably priced and available at our neighborhood car dealerships.

Cosmetically from the outside, a FCV resembles a traditional vehicle very much but from the inside it is a different story. The inside of these vehicles brim beyond simple “state-of-the-art” design technology, primarily due to its fuel cell stack that has the capability to transform hydrogen gas with oxygen from our air (hydrogen fuel originated in the 1800s and has been used for space-crafts, cells phones and more). This conversion process then creates electricity which makes it possible to turn on its electric motor to drive this vehicle. The FCV also provides wonderful acceleration and offers an engine that is nearly silent.

More benefits of the FCV is that it will greatly lesson dependency on obtaining foreign oil, since hydrogen is a plentiful element it appears to be a renewable resource for the future and since the FCV successfully creates its own electricity, owners will not have to worry about where they can plug its battery in or how long it must charge.

So far the FCV sounds great however the cost for purchasing one and its general maintenance is more expensive than traditional vehicles and hybrids, in addition to the cost of its fuel. However the cost of manufacturing FCVs is gradually seeing a reduction so they should show up in dealerships in the not too distant future. Obviously the FCV manufacturers must focus to lower their overall cost, particularly its fuel cell stack and unit that stores the hydrogen, in order for them to be competitive with traditional vehicles.

At the present time, FCVs are not currently for sale commercially however Hyundai, Honda and Toyota plan to introduce one this year (2015) or in 2016. The cost for their standard model will run from $50,000 to $100,000. Since FCVs are slowly arriving in the United States, individuals who are considering making a purchase should first be sure that they reside close to a hydrogen refueling station.

Do Fuel Cells Have a Future As Portable Batteries?

In today’s fast-paced society, people are constantly trying to find new sources of energy. With a high increase in population growth, as well as a need to find a sustainable energy sources, many people are looking towards fuel cells, particularly in battery applications.

What is a Fuel Cell?

Fuel cells are simply devices that generate electricity through chemical reactions. Typically, fuel cells are comprised of hydrogen and oxygen. They produce a chemical reaction that creates a large amount of energy. One of the great things about fuel cells is the fact that they have a very low impact on the environment. They release no carbon emissions at all.

What are the Limitations of Fuel Cells as Used in Portable Batteries?

Even though the science behind fuel cells is relatively simple, the process of creating fuel cells is actually quite difficult. Since the rise of their popularity in the 1980’s scientists have been trying to design many different types and models of fuel cells in search of one that is efficient and safe. Specific to portable batteries, the size limitations of fuel cells creates a large obstacle. The primary material of fuel cells is hydrogen and hydrogen is not very energy dense when compared to fossil fuels. This means that a fuel cell would theoretically have to be much larger when using hydrogen.
However, scientists are continually working to improve the prospects of fuel cell technology. Currently, the most frequently used type of battery is the lithium ion battery. Though these batteries can be made small and are very reliable, they are not living up to the performance demands that come from today’s modern electronics. Many technology experts say that our electronic technology is rapidly outpacing our battery technology, creating a serious need for better battery technology.
As scientists continue to research, we may see fuel cell batteries in the future. The environmental benefits, coupled with the relative abundance of hydrogen on the planet calls for more research to be done to make fuel cells more efficient and smaller. The popularization of fuel cells in modern day electronics could create an energy revolution, allowing for longer lasting devices without the need to constantly recharge. Fuel cell batteries may also be the answer to today’s growing pollution problems. As the world population increases, demand for better fuel cell batteries will certainly increase, spurring new scientific advances in fuel cell technology.