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Global automakers split on 'green car' strategy


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The biggest problem with fuel cell vehicles is finding a way to generate enough hydrogen as fuel for the engine, not to mention hydrogen storage.

In the end, the most likely immediate solution is gasoline (petrol) engines using a new combustion technology called homogeneous charge compression-ignition (HCCI), which offers diesel-like fuel economy without the particulates and higher NOx gas levels associated with diesel engines. In the longer run, new battery designs using nanotechnology such as dry-electrode lithium-ion batteries with graphene sheet as a conductor material and carbon nanotube ultracapacitors will finally extend the range of electric cars to 400 km (248 miles) or higher per charge, which will make electric cars finally viable as replacements for cars with internal combustion engines.

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All electric vehicles make good sense for city driving and commuting from city suburbs. Fuel cells with much greater range and power make sense for people living in rural and frontier areas who must drive longer distances. Also for trains and trucks in place of diesel engines.

Electric vehicles can greatly extend their range if they also utilize fly-wheels to store energy from braking that can be applied when accelerating. Once they reach driving speed 80% of the energy from decelerating or stopping can be redirected this way, with the spinning flywheel continuing to hold the energy for up to 2 hours after stopping the vehicle.

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At the end of the day it's either an electric car with big batteries and no fuel cells or an electric car with small batteries and fuel cells.

Not much of a difference since they are both powered by an electric motor. I have a feeling that they will create a plug in type fuel cell like the present plug in hybrid cars so you can save up at the hydrogen pump.

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Hydrogen can wean Big Oil off fossil fuels; electric will really take off when renewables are properly exploited, and home generation becomes irresistibly affordable.

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