You are looking to purchase a hydrogen vehicle. Is there a hydrogen filling station within 10 miles of your home? Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. No. No. !
Are you willing to buy a hydrogen vehicle? No! It is impossible. There are no hydrogen filling stations in Dallas, so nobody has a hydrogen car.
OK, so now imagine yourself as an investor in Dallas Texas.
It seems like a smart idea to build a hydrogen filling station. They are three times more expensive than a gasoline filling station, which is approximately $15 million.
Okay, so how many people will stop by your gas station to fill up? Look around, and you’ll see that there aren’t any hydrogen cars in Dallas. Not one within 1,000 miles. There isn’t one in Texas.
Spend $15 million on staff, and hope people will buy hydrogen.
It is therefore impossible for hydrogen cars to enter Texas …..
WILL IT BE ELECTRIC VEHICLES?
OK, so you live in Dallas Texas and there are no rechargeable electric cars.
If your car can travel 240 miles on one charge (which the $35,000 Tesla Model 3 can), then you can charge your car overnight at a 220v outlet. You can charge your car overnight from a 110v outlet if you drive 60 miles per day, which is the average US driving distance.
You can also charge your RV at RV parks that have 220v RV chargers. These have been around for over 30 years.
You may decide that an electric car is a good choice. Despite the fact that there aren’t any chargers for electric cars, it is possible to use them.
Okay, let’s say you are an investor and are thinking of building an electric car charger.
They cost between $1,000 to $15,000 and can be installed in any existing parking space.
Even though there aren’t yet electric cars, it is not that much to pay for a restaurant, a hotel, or big-box store.
Most hydrogen production in the world is done using “Steam Reformation”, which uses fossil fuels to start and then produces large amounts of CO2. Only high-purity hydrogen is made by electrolysis. Your hydrogen car pollutes just as much as your gasoline car.
Hydrogen can be dangerous to transport and store.
The power plants that produce electric cars are made from nasty coal, slightly less toxic natural gas, and “carbon neutral” nuclear. Hydro, wind, and solar also make the electricity. About 35 to 45% are currently made cleanly, and the rest is not.
As-is, electric cars are cleaner than hydrogen or gasoline.
There is a trend to make more power, but hydrogen production is still based on steam reformation. Your electric car will become cleaner over time, but your hydrogen car will not.
Hydrogen cars are a terrible “chicken-and-egg” situation. Without hydrogen filling stations, the cars are useless – and a filling Station is an expensive expense with zero income – it won’t make a profit for many years, perhaps decades, or even never after you built it. It is absurd to expect a return on $15 million spent by a lunatic. It’s not enough just to have one refill station in a city. It’s not ideal to need to travel all over town for a refill every week.
Because they can be charged at home, electric cars can still be useful.
We’re not there yet. Tesla super-chargers are available at every 100-150 miles of just about any freeway in America. There are also a lot of smaller “destination chargers”, which can be found in most cities. And RV parks are available if you live 100 miles away from any freeway or city.
There is no prospect of hydrogen cars ever taking off right now. And electric cars are definitely here to stay – well over a million are in the USA. If you add plug-in hybrids, it’s even greater.
California has a handful of hydrogen filling stations, but not many other places.
There is no question that hydrogen cars will only be a niche phenomenon, but electric cars will be all around.