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Last year only 1.8% of electric in U.K. came from coal. 0% in Norway....
(edit: I’m also pretty sure I read coal dropped below renewables in the US in 2020 or before)
And that's sort of the point. A BEV is as clean as its supporting power grid, which means that it's going to be improving over time as renewables displace fossil fuels. An ICE vehicle will always be as "dirty" as it was when new.
 

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Hydrogen or Methane Fuel cells may be the answer but the feeding infrastructure needs to be UPGRADED BIG TIME!!!
Hydrogen as a vehicle fuel isn't "fuel" per se, it's an energy storage medium like batteries. This is because it takes more energy to create liquid hydrogen than is given off when it's burned.

And the vast majority of liquid hydrogen is made by steam reformulation of methane.

Electrolysis is not only inefficient, it creates gaseous hydrogen which then needs to be compressed and chilled (at additional energy cost).
 

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There is also the known and unknown environmental cost of releasing so much hydrogen into the atmosphere and its contribution to the greenhouse effect.

Hydrogen is pretty much impossible to keep completely contained due to its molecule size. In the atmosphere it rises and attacks/depletes the ozone layer. It may also recombine at altitude, forming noctilucent clouds, a greenhouse gas.
Some will ultimately leave the planet, so we don’t get all that cracked water back.

You also don’t want hydrogen around steel/other metals, the tiny molecules are so small that they pass deep into the metal causing it to become brittle and fail.

Lots of people trying to sell it to us, lots of problems still to fix/understand
 

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Fill your tires with it and loose some mass. New meaning to "Balls of Fire"
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
So much love for batteries and so much hate for Hydrogen? The fact is, batteries aren't suitable for many applications because of their power to weight ratio. Commercial aviation, freight trucks and trains come to mind. In some use cases batteries could work for trucks (yard goats, intermodal) but if you're hauling 40 tons of freight over the rockies in the winter batteries aren't going to get you there with anything available or on the drawing boards for the next decade.

Manufacturers have had a century to improve internal combustion engines and make them viable for a broad range of applications. No one approach will be able to replace them all out of the gate. It will be a case of matching the right tool with the job. In some cases a battery will work in others a hybrid and in others alternative fuels in an internal combustion engine. An electric scooter with 100 mile range may be practical in a large city with swappable battery stations strategically located at every 7-11 but there's no way it would make sense to try to drive the same scooter to Boise.

Hydrolysis isn't the only way to get hydrogen. To be honest, there have been more improvements in hydrogen extraction methods in the last decade then there have been in battery technology. Microwave plasma pyrolysis takes 1/4 the energy to produce hydrogen that's free of CO2.

There are a number of issues with the rare earth minerals required to make modern batteries. The environmental damage extracting them, the political concerns since many of them are controlled by one country (China is NOT your friend), and the issues with disposal once they're used up.
 

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Both things are what they are - love/hate doesn’t cone into it, neither is perfect.

China controls rare earths for the same reason as most things - they are the cheapest option at the moment

There are a number of issues with with materials in hydrogen tech too and they still use rare earth elements.
The fuel cell catyliser is usually platinum, the production and disposal of PEM Nafion is a major source of pollution.

Another complication is that any air that gets into the cell will kill it.

Hydrogen does benefit one particular group of companies, one with an existing infrastructure of refuelling stations and supply network - they will lose you as a customer if you can just plug in at home.
 

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I was hoping for a viable large-scale fusion technology by now, but that probably won't happen in my lifetime.
 
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