Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Honda drops the Hydrogen future

Or maybe not.

I've been big into the idea of hydrogen fuel cells becoming the future form of vehicular motive energy for a while now. But my conviction is starting to wobble.

Recently, I heard about some of the complications regarding the refueling process. Phrases along the lines of "Baghdad bunker-grade concrete shielding" and "fire-suits" were mentioned (I'm not quoting exactly). Not exactly confidence inspiring. And now there's this, and I'm not sure what to think.


Honda is apparently planning to put this, the FCX Fuel Cell vehicle, into production 'within three or four years.' They've been trillions one with a family out in California for quite some time, and the only major issue has been the lack of a refueling infrastructure - a problem that Honda thinks it's got licked thanks to the Home Energy Station. This is a kind of brew your own hydrogen refinery that you set up in your garage; one you can even use to power your household electrics, potential saving you up to 50% in energy bills, Honda claims.

So this sounds way major cool - and the styling concept car looks pretty swish, too. Trouble is that hydrogen might not be all the answer it's made out to be, and this is by its very nature: the fact that it has to be manufactured - which inconveniently seems to still require fossil fuels; and the fears that it might imminently explode. Both these issues have answers - solar or wind powered generation plants, etc; hydrogen in tablet form (which I have written about elsewhere, and may add to the site at some point) - but they are answers "10-15 years away". Hydrogen power is always "10-15 years away"; is it ever actually going to make it?

Well, kudos to Honda for trying anyhow; I don't mean to pour sand on their oil fire...


Links:

Honda FCX Fuel Cell Vehicle to Go Into Production @ Gizmodo

It's worth clicking through the link; the Gizmodo commentators again have some pretty interesting things to say.


Picture is from WorldCarFans.com.

2 Comments:

Anonymous William (but you ca call me Bill) said...

So where do we get the ENERGY to free the hydrogen?

5:48 am  
Blogger InfinityReversed said...

Eh? That's exactly my point...it's still currently fossil fuel reliant.

10:48 am  

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