VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
41 - 60 of 215 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
6,717 Posts
In 2010 when the federal government mandated DEF, we went from 0 DEF pumps to almost all truck stops having DEF pumps within 5 years. And it's not simple infrastructure - the DEF storage tanks, often up to 4,000 gallons, must be stainless steel and the fluid must be kept heated while in storage.

It's the same argument EV proponents use - the infrastructure will get there. And they're right - regardless of your choice of motive power, the infrastructure to support it will come online if we need it.
Sure I get that we will eventually get there, if necessary. But this is a bit different than DEF. While most truck stops have DEF pumps, most gas stations do not. However, you can just buy DEF in a bottle indoors and get on your way. Hydrogen is remarkably different, and will require major refits/changes at current fuel stations or the creation of tens of thousands of new service stations.

If the assumption is that all HD trucks will likely only be able to fuel up at truck stops, that sounds horrendous. I drive a HD truck, and the two closest truck stops are more than an obnoxious distance away from me.

I suppose it's the same argument as deploying charging station infrastructure in many ways. But it seems like a huge ask, for a small percentage of the population. I just don't get why the HD trucks don't just remain operating as they are until there is better technology available that doesn't require a nationwide deployment of an arguably ****ty fuel source.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,369 Posts
Discussion Starter · #42 ·
I just don't get why the HD trucks don't just remain operating as they are until there is better technology available that doesn't require a nationwide deployment of an arguably ****ty fuel source.
This would be ideal, but if you're an automaker you need to be prepared for legislators to yank the rug out front under you at any time. And BEV is dead in the water for large vehicles, so what else are you gonna do?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
13,359 Posts
Yep, that's the biggest weakness of hydrogen. How do you get it? Sure its the most abundant element but it is combined with other atoms.... getting pure H2 takes a crap-ton of energy no matter how you look at it. It's major benefit is the quick refueling time compared to batteries. That's really it - because as you said, its more efficient to just charge a battery than make H2
Except battery materials are more finite and more costly than composite pressure vessels, especially at the scale required for heavy trucks. Like I said earlier, no big deal for your independent landscaper with one truck he can park at home because he has no HOA. But a very big deal for even small businesses that have 10+ trucks that need to work every day, because you’re reliant upon charging infrastructure that’s costly and doesn’t exist yet.

Charging up a Class 8 truck tractor to tow 60,000lbs over 1200 miles is not a trivial thing, especially when you have many thousands of them to manage. Even for regional short haul operations where trucks return to a depot every night, the charging infrastructure and energy costs for 25+ trucks becomes significant and only increases as the fleet size increases.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,717 Posts
This would be ideal, but if you're an automaker you need to be prepared for legislators to yank the rug out front under you at any time. And BEV is dead in the water for large vehicles, so what else are you gonna do?
That's fair enough, and I definitely don't have an answer for it either. I just really struggle to also see this being the answer, at least on a non-commercial level.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Except battery materials are more finite and more costly than composite pressure vessels, especially at the scale required for heavy trucks. Like I said earlier, no big deal for your independent landscaper with one truck he can park at home because he has no HOA. But a very big deal for even small businesses that have 10+ trucks that need to work every day, because you’re reliant upon charging infrastructure that’s costly and doesn’t exist yet.

Charging up a Class 8 truck tractor to tow 60,000lbs over 1200 miles is not a trivial thing, especially when you have many thousands of them to manage. Even for regional short haul operations where trucks return to a depot every night, the charging infrastructure and energy costs for 25+ trucks becomes significant and only increases as the fleet size increases.
That's a good point, assuming a clean way to generate the hydrogen, there are big advantages. Ideally, a local renewable power facility theoretically splits the H2 from water... but it takes A LOT of electricity. Its not like "hey lets put some solar panels on top of the exxon station to make the hydrogen". That's where it really falls apart. Splitting it from natural gas is just bad... I really want H2 to work but the more I read about it, the more it's issues become very apparent. 😕
 

· Registered
Joined
·
14,458 Posts
Except battery materials are more finite and more costly than composite pressure vessels, especially at the scale required for heavy trucks. Like I said earlier, no big deal for your independent landscaper with one truck he can park at home because he has no HOA. But a very big deal for even small businesses that have 10+ trucks that need to work every day, because you’re reliant upon charging infrastructure that’s costly and doesn’t exist yet.

Charging up a Class 8 truck tractor to tow 60,000lbs over 1200 miles is not a trivial thing, especially when you have many thousands of them to manage. Even for regional short haul operations where trucks return to a depot every night, the charging infrastructure and energy costs for 25+ trucks becomes significant and only increases as the fleet size increases.
The hydrogen fueling infrastructure wouldn't be any less trivial. There are currently only a few dozen public hydrogen fueling stations in the entire country. They are all in coastal California, and most Mirai owners have found them to be a total snit show. Fleets could do their own fueling infrastructure. But again, that's at least as big of a deal as commercial charging infrastructure.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,453 Posts
95% tow over 10,000 lbs.!?!? Not from my world view. Just a bunch guys and gals with inferiority complexes rolling into Starbucks in something they have no business driving.
I have a 2008 Chevy 2500HD I use for towing my race car in addition to hauling stuff for yard work, scrapping metal, etc. While it's a work truck for sure, I put effort in to keep it looking nice. The number of people who are so confused as to why, with such a nice truck, I don't have a bed cover on it. And confused by my reply that why am I going to spend $1000 on something that will be removed 99% of the time, to cover a bed thats always dirty anyway.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Think the Lightning range loss with a load is a wake-up call. Can only imagine what happens with a 5 ton SuperDuty.

Too bad, hydrogen has a couple of problems:
1) Generating a watt of hydrogen takes 2+ watts
2) Transporting or storing it means supercool pipeline or high-pressure tanker
3) If you don't want to transport it, onsite H generation is going to be real tough to do.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
13,359 Posts
Splitting it from natural gas is just bad... I really want H2 to work but the more I read about it, the more it's issues become very apparent.
A stepping stone is RNG, or renewable natural gas made from microbial activity and biomass. Right now about 20% of the California’s natural gas supply is already RNG because drilling and fracking are so environmentally problematic.


 

· Registered
Joined
·
60,748 Posts
I guess this is how hydrogen is transported. Add to the fact that you can't "refuel" at home overnight like BEV and hydrogen makes less sense in my mind.

Motor vehicle Wheel Tire Vehicle Automotive lighting
 

· Registered
Joined
·
13,359 Posts
The hydrogen fueling infrastructure wouldn't be any less trivial. There are currently only a few dozen public hydrogen fueling stations in the entire country. They are all in coastal California, and most Mirai owners have found them to be a total snit show. Fleets could do their own fueling infrastructure. But again, that's at least as big of a deal as commercial charging infrastructure.
It comes down to finding the right size solutions for various markets and vehicle needs. Just as there is no one size fits all solution for vehicles, the same is true for energy production, storage and distribution.

For some fleets and vehicles, hydrogen will make more sense. For other fleets and vehicles, electric will make more sense. I can tell you that large truck fleets in California are starting to transition to hydrogen for their large trucks because that works best for them given all the options and regulations. BEVs will likely dominate the medium size market like delivery vans. For privately owned passenger vehicles and light-duty pickup trucks, I expect BEVs to dominate there also.

Could smaller electric generating utility plants (e.g. micro grids) be viable in certain areas to better diversify risk and lower costs? Or should the nation focus on huge plants in rural areas and beef up the decrepit distribution network? I think diversity is the name of the game and people will use what works best in certain geographical areas (think solar in Nevada, wind in Nebraska, hydro along the mighty Mississippi).
 

· Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
I guess this is how hydrogen is transported. Add to the fact that you can't "refuel" at home overnight like BEV and hydrogen makes less sense in my mind.

/QUOTE]

In theory, hydrogen can work that way too: either reform it from the natural gas connection you have at your house or split it from water (super slow and inefficient). I forget who proposed a fuel cell car that had an in-home hyrdrogen reformer (I think it was Honda)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,369 Posts
Discussion Starter · #54 ·
In theory, hydrogen can work that way too: either reform it from the natural gas connection you have at your house or split it from water (super slow and inefficient). I forget who proposed a fuel cell car that had an in-home hyrdrogen reformer (I think it was Honda)
BEVs refuel at home because that's the most convenient way to do it. Hydrogen doesn't really have to have home refueling because it can be refueled conveniently on the road. I don't expect home hydrogen to take off.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,717 Posts
I guess this is how hydrogen is transported. Add to the fact that you can't "refuel" at home overnight like BEV and hydrogen makes less sense in my mind.

View attachment 225624
The reality is that BEV doesn't work for towing applications (at this time), and that's fine. That said, I also just don't see how this realistically fixes anything. Unless the plan is to put brand new hydrogen stations all over the place, of course. Truck stops would be an obvious start, but so many people who are towing large loads for work are often no where near truck stops a lot of the time too. For example, I see cattle and sheep ranchers all over the middle of the Uinta national forest with massive trailers. I don't see the nearest stations (****hole mom and pop like spots) getting retrofitted for hydrogen, and the closest truck stops are quite a significant distance away. Or, take someone like my neighbor who hauls an excavator or dump trailer near daily. He's constantly in residential areas working. Getting diesel is a non-issue, but that's only because it's available at every gas station around.
 

· Registered
2016 A6, 2014 X3, 1967 Bus, 1963 356
Joined
·
25,337 Posts
Hydrogen is a fools errand that is solving a short term problem which is range/charge times/cost of EVs, all of which will improve over time rendering "the fuel of tomorrow" once again obsolete.

Towing reduces range which puts it in the favor of gas/diesel trucks because they start out with long ranges and there's a good supply of filling stations. While that means gas/diesel are clearly the best option for the next 10-20 years, at some point we will see that scale tip in favor of EVs at which point people will make the switch and never look back.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
13,359 Posts
I guess this is how hydrogen is transported. Add to the fact that you can't "refuel" at home overnight like BEV and hydrogen makes less sense in my mind.

View attachment 225624
Most medium and heavy duty work trucks don’t refuel at private residences overnight. That is the domain of light-duty passenger cars and pickup trucks.

A hydrogen truck like a future Ford F550SD can be refueled from “empty” to “full” in 10 minutes or less at a public hydrogen refueling station. In comparison, the same vehicle could gain maybe 200 miles of additional range in about 20 minutes at a Tesla Supercharger. But a full electric recharge would take a bit longer. Not a big deal if you’re talking one truck parked overnight. But a huge deal if you’re talking about 50-200 trucks needing to be recharged every night using Level 4 chargers.

The megawatts are significant and not cheap. Energy utilities are getting wise and electricity won’t be significantly discounted “off-peak” rates at night for commercial venues. Instead, many of those businesses pay a variable rate. That price variability makes it more difficult to operate a profitable business.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
13,359 Posts
The reality is that BEV doesn't work for towing applications (at this time), and that's fine. That said, I also just don't see how this realistically fixes anything. Unless the plan is to put brand new hydrogen stations all over the place, of course. Truck stops would be an obvious start, but so many people who are towing large loads for work are often no where near truck stops a lot of the time too. For example, I see cattle and sheep ranchers all over the middle of the Uinta national forest with massive trailers. I don't see the nearest stations (****hole mom and pop like spots) getting retrofitted for hydrogen, and the closest truck stops are quite a significant distance away. Or, take someone like my neighbor who hauls an excavator or dump trailer near daily. He's constantly in residential areas working. Getting diesel is a non-issue, but that's only because it's available at every gas station around.
Utah is not California. Nationwide adoption of hydrogen will take decades. This is primarily a California issue first (early adopters). Ford will continue to make diesel Super Duty trucks so long as they can for other markets outside of California.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
13,359 Posts
Hydrogen is a fools errand that is solving a short term problem which is range/charge times/cost of EVs, all of which will improve over time rendering "the fuel of tomorrow" once again obsolete.
Yes, EV technology will continue to improve. But the BEV technology to do what the world needs does not yet exist. It hasn’t been invented yet. We are awaiting that paradigm shift that new technology will allow. Maybe some PhD will invent dilithium crystals or some new material that revolutionizes batteries. But there simply isn’t enough minerals in the world today that are economically extractable resources to meet the transportation demands of the industrialized nations, let alone the entire planet.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
14,458 Posts
Yes, EV technology will continue to improve. But the BEV technology to do what the world needs does not yet exist. It hasn’t been invented yet. We are awaiting that paradigm shift that new technology will allow. Maybe some PhD will invent dilithium crystals or some new material that revolutionizes batteries. But there simply isn’t enough minerals in the world today that are economically extractable resources to meet the transportation demands of the industrialized nations, let alone the entire planet.
This sounds like an analysis based off proved reserves of existing mining concerns. The same mistake was made back in the day by "peak oil" folks, who thought that the collective reserves of all then existing oil companies equaled the total supply of oil in the world.
 
41 - 60 of 215 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top