Hydrogen is a great medium for storing energy. It can be used as an alternative to batteries to store the excess energy from renewable energy systems like solar panels or wind turbines, and can be released from a tank to power a vehicle equipped with fuel cells. More than a decade ago, these prospects hyped the so called “hydrogen economy”. Governments and funding agencies drew up ambitious plans to develop cheaper fuel cells and to enable cars to store practicable quantities of hydrogen. In 2003, President George Bush committed $720 million to the research effort. But eventually… it all turned out to be a pipeline dream mostly because of two shortcomings: hydrogen is very expensive to store and make; from renewable sources at least.
This is the biggest news that no one seems to notice. Sunvault Energy and the Edison Power Company quietly announced they’re incorporating a new company called the the Edison Motor Cars Corporation which will focus on selling hydrogen powered cars running on a graphene-based fuel cells. Based on the press release, this is the dream vehicle the world was promised by the now disappointing hydrogen economy: a car that only runs on water and a bit of electricity, is lightning fast, has a high autonomy, is safe and charges within minutes to be ready to hit the road again. To top everything over, the car will allegedly be ready in 2016. That’s less than a year from now. But we don’t know how the car looks like and considering all these bombastic claims, it all looks like a bunch of star dust in the eyes.
Major automaker Toyota announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that it would release all of its nearly 6,000 patents pertaining to hydrogen car technology royalty-free for the next five years. Officials most likely hope that this sort of move will encourage other auto manufacturers and capital to invest in the hydrogen economy. Of the nearly 6,000 patents,
Researchers from Stanford have found a way to split water into oxygen and hydrogen using very little energy; the hydrogen they obtain could be used to power fuel cells in zero-emissions vehicles. I’m quite excited for cars that run on hydrogen, which are set to hit the market in 2015; but while they are always presented as “zero emission cars”, many of
It’s been discussed since the 70s – can hydrogen fuel be the much anticipated solution that ends our full dependence on fossil fuels? A team of researchers from Virginia Tech believes the answer is ‘yes’. They found a way to extract large quantities of hydrogen from any plant, bringing low-cost, environmentally friendly hydrogen-based fuel one step closer. “Our new process