* Posts by Farty Penguin

1 post • joined 26 Jan 2018

Electric cars to create new peak hour when they all need a charge

Farty Penguin

Re: Hydrogen Economy

As we all (presumably) know, a hydrogen car is just an electric car with the point of electrical generation brought more locally. So we're postulating here that local generation of electricity is more efficient than centrally generated, locally stored electricity. That feels counter-intuitive.

Weight wise, it's about the same. Your hydrogen car has a battery (it locally manages the peaks and troughs caused by acceleration and braking) and a hydrogen tank. The combined weight of those (plus the means to generate electricity from the hydrogen) roughly equals out an equivalent BEV. Obviously technology will move on but given their fundamental components (battery and motor) are the same it's likely they will remain broadly comparable. Personally it feels to me like major advances in battery density seem more likely that major advances in hydrogen usage efficiency (given the maturity of those offerings) but that's personal opinion so lets assume weight isn't the issue.

Note: The heaviest Tesla Model 3 weighs ~100kg LESS than the Toyta Mirai.

So the argument isn't about weight.

It might be around charging but for MOST people, honestly it isn't. You've got 10 to 12 hours to charge it in... IF you do your whole range every single day, IF you don't charge at work, IF you don't stop off somewhere with a charging point on the way home. In real life for MOST people MOST of the time they probably only need to charge it 2 or 3 times a week. Therefore plugging it in overnight every night (easy habit to get into) means that it has 10 to 12 hours of time to charge and only needs 1 or 2 at capacity or (as I do it) about 10 at a trickle charge.

So therefore I suggest you get home and plugin. You tell the grid how much minimum capacity you want in your car for the morning (80% is what we mostly go for) and let the grid handle it. If it's quiet the grid might put you up to 85% and then when it's busy, draw on that 5% to supplement it's other demand. Millions and millions of 50 to 100kwh batteries to draw on are a hell of a thing to help balance demand. If you need 100% one day as you have a big trip you have to remember to tell the grid (probably via Alexa or Google Home - that already works) and if you forget then yes, you've got an extra stop at the services you might not have needed. You'll only do that once!

Here's why that will work. If you do that, you pay 10p per kwh, if you choose to self manage your capacity, 12p per kwh. You only pay for the NETT of what you have more in your car than when you plugged in, any extra the grid puts in or takes away is invisible to you. The cost savings to the electricity generating companies of balancing the load are greater than any incentive they offer you of course so everyone is happy.

If hydrogen is so amazing, use that instead of Coal, Gas and then Nuclear to centrally generate such energy. I just don't see how locally generating it would be more efficient (and I think that's been proven to be the case in another white paper).

If you live in the outback of Australia and have 1000 mile journeys to do and are too impatient to wait for a BEV charge then you might have a good use case for a Mirai or similar. If the use case is there then there will be places you can top up hydrogen but I'd imagine you'll pay for it. Which is fine too, all us impatient folk pay more already and we accept it.

If you live in a tower block or off street parking and if you have a daily commute from a tower block to a building that can't help you - that's a problem too. I'd imagine you won't be the first to adopt but I also imagine over the next 20 years or so solutions will present themselves. Nothing (apart from war) drives innovation like necessity driven demand after all!

The National Grid published a paper recently saying they'd done the numbers and they weren't worried. No offence to anyone on this page but I trust them over you - they may even have had the same idea as me!

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