I currently drive a BMW X3 - and a lot of miles - and was looking at the new Hydrogen vehicles coming out this year. The Honda Clarity looks pretty cool. Does anyone here have/had one - or thinking of getting one? Why?
Looking to understand some of the benefits as well as things to watch-out for.
I would recommend a battery electric vehicle over a hydrogen one currently. They are cheaper, more mainstream, you can refuel at home and out and about, there's a better infrastructure (there aren't many hydrogen refuelling stations yet, not compared to electric) and I feel like the technology is simpler, tried and tested and there's less to go wrong. Those are my thoughts anyway!
There aren't any refueling stations outside of Southern California. Well, maybe a couple on the East Coast, but you won't be driving cross country anytime soon. The stations that are on line and being built are low volume, which is fine for this test, but they'll get swamped if more cars get on the road. Then the refueling time could start to approach that of a BEV. The hydrogen is far from renewable, and likely will remain so.
The hydrogen tanks are bulky, some a FCEV tends to have smaller trunks, or lose a seat. For the price, an ICE, hybrid, or plug in will have better performance.
The Clarity plug in hybrid will be a better choice in terms of cost and function. If you really want to give hydrogen a try, and you might be rejected depending on home, work, and hydrogen station locations, stick with a lease.
Also bear in mind that the limited hydrogen vehicles available now are extremely expensive, so when you factor in cheap fuel as in the US, a conventional diesel/petrol/hybrid or even an EV will work out far cheaper in the long run no doubt.
I agree with the above statements that electric cars are more efficient overall and cost way cheaper. If you are planning on getting a hydrogen car because you want to be green, it's better to choose an electric car.
You have two options when buying a hydrogen car:
2017 Honda Clarity: you can only lease at $369 per month 57MPGe
2017 Toyota Mirai: buy it for $58,385 or lease for $349 per month 48MPGe
I believe you can only buy these cars in California. California has 26 hydrogen fueling stations, with another 65 scheduled to come online within two years.
If I had extra money and lived in California then I would totally get one of these cars, probably the Toyota since you can tell people you own a hydrogen car. New technology is always exciting and these cars are different to anything else on the road. I believe you can use the Toyota Mirai as a back-up generator if the power goes out in your house, I believe a full tank lasts a week. You can even keep the car indoors and all it would produce is some water on the floor.
Car And Driver did a great comparison test in their June 2017 issue if you want to find out more. The Honda Clarity was voted a better car.
In order to use the Mirai to power a home, it needs the PTD option, which is basically a CHAdeMO outlet in the trunk. It was available on first year US cars. Next you need a home power station to plug into that PTD. They can also charge a plug in car compatible with CHAdeMO. In Japan, that is basically all plug ins. So all plug ins could provide power power in emergencies there.
If Mirais do other the PTD in the US now, the power station required will cost thousands. It is far more than a Level 2 EVSE used for faster home charging of EVs.
If I bought a hydrogen car, I would not expect to be able to drive it in the future. If the hydrogen stations are still running, there is still the end of life date of the hydrogen tanks to take the car off the road. Compressed gas(natural gas in addition hydrogen) fuel tanks on road cars require annual safety inspects. They also have an end of use date based on manufacture date in which they can no longer be used on the road.
The best CNG tanks have a life of 25 years. Going off the date caught in a photo on the inside fuel flap of a Mirai, it's hydrogen tanks might be good for 15 years.
Excuse me for not knowing the technical term for this, but doesn't tanks from compressed gas fuels leak or seep out over time? If so, how much fuel loss is there over time for hydrogen tanks? Is it worse for H versus CNG or LP, since the former is lightest element in the universe? Just curious about the technology. I've never read up extensively on fuel cell technology via hydrogen fuel; mainly because I once read that hydrogen fuel takes alot of energy to produce, and so I quickly dismissed that technology not long after George W promoted it at a State of the Union Address at a time when many Americans were frustrated with high transportation fuel prices.
The Hydrogen atom is the smallest and therefore the most prone to leaking from any storage container, requiring special attention to construction quality and the integrity of any fitting or connection.
How many miles is a lot of miles? Why specifically do you want hydrogen? As others have said, it's nowhere near ready for prime time. You might as well buy a 1000 foot long rope and tie to your ankle and your porch rail. Something like a Chevy Volt that can drive non-stop across the country and not leave you stranded with no fuel option is a somewhat better choice. Economically, a plain Civic/Corolla is a far better long term use of money. It partly (mainly?) hinges on the specific reason(s) you want hydrogen.