Hydrogren + water=electricity (according to the video)
Eh, well... It gets its power from a fuel cell, so Hydrogen + Oxygen = electricity + water + heat. It stores the hydrogen in a tank, filled at a rather hard to find refueling/compressor station (which is why these vehicles are only leased in certain areas of California). It gets the oxygen from the air.
Originally Posted by spotaneagle
I think it's a hybrid, does hydrogen electricity generation and regeneration braking together count as a hybrid?
IIRC, it has a battery in addition to the fuel cell. The battery helps deal with peaks in power demand (when you floor it) and gives the car a place to store energy picked up by regenerative braking. Here's the only thing connected to the wheels:
It's called a hybrid because it has a fuel cell and a battery. Technically. it could be called a battery series hybrid, like the Volt. It just uses a fuel cell in place of a gasoline genset.
For consumer vehicles, the fuel cell is a dead end. While the battery allows for regenerative braking, it's there because fuel cells can't ramp up power output quick enough for acceptable driving performance. So the battery is there as a buffer. Supplying power while demand is high for accelerating, and charging up from the fuel cell while demand is low.
Most of the current hydrogen supply is made by stripping it off of natural gas. Which undermines some of hydrogen's potential advantages. Then you could make it by breaking apart water. That takes a lot of electricity, and is a much greater energy loss than just putting the electricity into a battery.
So you can take the fuel cell out of the FCV and replace it with a a nat gas genset. Burning the gas directly is likely more efficient than stripping of the hydrogen for a fuel cell, and it is easier and cheaper to store. For the cost of the fuel cell, you could look in to the use of more efficient engine configurations, like rotaries and microturbines. GM had a hybrid car with a sterling engine in the 60s. An engine also keeps other fuel options open.
Or you could simply replace the cell with a larger battery and increase the car's range per 'fill'. The ease and quickness of refilling with hydrogen is an illusion until there is infrastructure in place for it. Of course, we could choose to put in quick charge stations instead.