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Discussion Starter #1
Hey does anyone on here own a Honda FCX? I am just curious to know because I have never seen this car on the road at all. I am not really sure how this car works other than it runs on a fuel cell. So if this car runs on a fuel cell does that mean you never have to fill it up? I would never buy this car, because I think it looks ugly.
 

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You haven't seen it on the road because it's not for sale yet. It still uses gas for fuel to get the hydrogen to feed the fuel cell.
 

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I have a question about the FCX (and fuel cells in general):

I can see the benefit of a car which emits water as exhaust, but where does the hydrogen come from?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well I did some searching on the FCX. Well the car does not use gas at all, instead it take hydrogen and oxygen and converts it into electricity. The only emission the FCX produces is water vapor. That’s because a revolutionary technology allows the FCX to power its motor with electricity generated from a hydrogen-oxygen chemical reaction. With a maximum output of 80 horsepower and 201 foot-pounds of torque, the FCX’s acceleration is similar to a Honda Civic. And with a range of up to 220 miles and seating for four people, the FCX is a practical vehicle for today’s world.

Electric Power from Hydrogen Fuel

1. Fuel cells create electricity through an electrochemical process that combines hydrogen and oxygen.
2. Hydrogen fuel is fed into the anode of the fuel cell. Helped by a catalyst, hydrogen atoms are split into electrons and protons.
3. Electrons are channeled through a circuit to produce electricity.
4. Protons pass through the polymer electrolyte membrane.
Oxygen (from the air) enters the cathode and combines with the electrons and protons to form water.
5. Water vapor and heat are released as byproducts of this reaction.

 

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Chris is right, except he forgot to add where the hydrogen comes from. In this case, Honda has had the foresight to split the hydrogen from water using a solar-power refueling station at its regional headquarters in Torrance, Calif.

In my opinion, this is the ultimate and best way to produce hydrogen as an automotive fuel. Eventually, we could all have such a system at our own homes, with solar panels on the garage roof making hydrogen fuel from tap water.

Unfortunately, many oil companies are diving into the fuel cell game because they want to make hydrogen from fossil fuels, which is very inefficient and polluting.

As a side note, I have driven the FCX -- at a press event about a year ago with a very hyper Japanese engineering whiz in the passenger seat next to me. It drove and felt just like a normal car and was very quick off the line, but power trailed off rapidly after about 40 mph and it seemed to take forever to gain speed beyond that. The most eerie thing was that the car sounds like a hair dryer. It makes almost no mechanical noises like normal cars.
 

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The reason you haven't seen a FCX is because they are not for sale, and the only ones are about 2000 miles away from you in California. The California Government has about a half dozen of the million dollar a copy cars leased from Honda in their fleet. They are built on the EV Plus platform of their Nickel Metal Hydrive battery electric vehicle which 300 were leased to California residents back in the late 90's.

Not to start a whole new argument, but there are still some big hurdles that Fuel Cells have to get over. The biggest problem at this point is only recently has the life of a fuel cell been made long enough so that they would last a year in the average person's 15K mile year. Secondly is the energy efficiency issue. It takes almost twice the energy to make hydrogen and use it compared to what it would take to charge a battery electric vehicle. And unfortunately at this point the cheapest way to get hydrogen is refining it from fosil fuels, which kind of defeats the purpose.

Yes idealy some day we could extract hydrogen from water using solar arrays, but this is still very expensive to do.

Ohh yeah, the Power/water utility service in Phoenix has already installed a Hydrogen refueling station downtown:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah your right Rick about the broblems with the fuel cells. I have read some of the problems that you have mentioned off of other site as well. Do you think that this car can get better milage than the Insight? I would say it is a possability but not sure(Probly not). Although the dash board in the FCX looks pretty cool(I still like the Insight's dash better.), here is a link to a pic of the dash:

http://auto.gznet.com/zhuanti/chicago/3 ... ndafcx.jpe

Much clearer shot of the dashboard.

http://china.nikkeibp.co.jp/china/img_d ... honda2.jpg

This link is some other pics of the car.

http://auto.gznet.com/zhuanti/chicago/3/m1.htm
 

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Don't hold your breath for the FCX. I read in Consumer Reports that Honda said they don't expect to mass produce fuel cell cars for 20 years, not that I believe everything I read in CR.
 

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I think the FCX mpg equivelent is something in the 50's range. It's really more of a mini mini van than anything, so much larger than our Insight's. So all things considered not too bad on the efficiency side of things.

http://www.eliotlabs.org/EVehicle.html
Here's the link to a former EV plus leasee with a picture of the dash. Similar to our Insight's, but in green and yellow (wouldn't that color combo go well with a citrus yellow Insight). I remember seeing a picture of the key flob as well once, it could tell you how much charge the vehicle had by pressing a button on the remote.
 

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Skimmer said:
Honda has had the foresight to split the hydrogen from water using a solar-power refueling station at its regional headquarters in Torrance, Calif.
Cool. Got alink for more info?
 

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ElectricTroy said:
I can see the benefit of a car which emits water as exhaust, but where does the hydrogen come from?
I actually find it quite interesting that they always tout that as a unique feature. In theory, internal combustion engines only emit water vapor and Carbon Dioxide.

It's the imperfections that cause other impurities, and I anticipate the fuel cells will be imperfect also, (and hence discharge some other compounds, possibly ozone or combining with some compounds in the air to for caustic compounds.)
 

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I'm pretty sure that the H2 fuel cell reaction is not subject to the same problems as ICEs that produce pollutants. The pollutants mainly arise from uncombusted fuel, partially/incompletely combusted fuel, or accidental combustion of some of the air.

Reforming hydrocarbons into hydrogen will undoubtedly have issues, as could (according to a recent Caltech study) the issues with leakage of hydrogen into the atmosphere.

P.S. bumped to Insight/Honda News
 

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Foxpaw said:
ElectricTroy said:
I can see the benefit of a car which emits water as exhaust, but where does the hydrogen come from?
I actually find it quite interesting that they always tout that as a unique feature. In theory, internal combustion engines only emit water vapor and Carbon Dioxide. It's the imperfections that cause other impurities, and I anticipate the fuel cells will be imperfect also
Ditto natural gas cars. They're supposed to be clean, but they emit lots of non-regulated toxics.

Fuel Cells with reformers will emit CO2 & Nitric Oxide... just like today's engines.



But what I'm really concerned about is:
- where will the hydrogen come from?
- where will the platinum & other exotic metals come from?



Whatever you think about the ICE, at least it can be built cheaply out of common metals like iron, steel, or aluminum, and can run off just about anything (oil, soybeans, peanuts, corn, liquefied coal, hydrogen).

I think both Bush & Kerry are making a mistake pushing fuel cells. They should be pushing higher-efficiency engines like single-seat-wide cars (half the wind resistance) and regenerative braking hybrids.

Forget future technology that might never work.

Use what is available NOW and reduce consumption. VW has a prototype that gets 240 mpg, and they are releasing a 3-seat family car that gets 120 miles per gallon! Bush & Kerry should provide incentives for other manufacturers to produce similar vehicles.

There's no excuse for allowing <30 mpg cars/trucks in today's showrooms.
 
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Hi ElectricTroy:
ElectricTroy said:
I think both Bush & Kerry are making a mistake pushing fuel cells. They should be pushing higher-efficiency engines like single-seat-wide cars (half the wind resistance) and regenerative braking hybrids.

Forget future technology that might never work.

Use what is available NOW and reduce consumption. VW has a prototype that gets 240 mpg, and they are releasing a 3-seat family car that gets 120 miles per gallon! Bush & Kerry should provide incentives for other manufacturers to produce similar vehicles.

There's no excuse for allowing <30 mpg cars/trucks in today's showrooms.
___You keep thinking the government is supposed to solve these problems? Why don’t you start a company that makes covered motorcycles and see what the demand is? You might consider burning your money because at least it would keep you warm for a few minutes?

___VW’s prototype is a POS. Look up its attributes and you will know what I mean. 3-seat? We shall see. Look up the Daihatsu UFE-II for a 4 passenger that does receive 120 + mpg. Although being made of exotics, it will have an exotic price as well …

___Lastly, there is no excuse for < 30 mpg cars and trucks, this is a fact. There is also no excuse that the vehicles most drive today will receive > 30 mpg but the drivers themselves do not know how or simply will not. I drove the Acura MDX to work the other day as I had to spend the night in it. EPA rated 17/23. What was she worth? 31.8 mpg there and 32.8 mpg back. I have driven the Ranger XLT back and forth a few times over the last month when waiting for the Insight’s new right rear tire because of a screw through the sidewall … First tank and not setup in 40 - 60 degree F temps and she was good for 35.5 over 568.4 miles. The next tank with some setup (Mobil1 0W-20 and 50 #’s in the Continental’s) and 40 - 50 degree F temps, 38 mpg over 602.9 miles. This last tank, although I probably won’t drive it until again until early next week to finish it off, is currently at 480 miles and I still have ¼ tank left! In other words, most of what the American public drives today will get > 30 mpg if they drive them for that goal. Well, the Lincoln Mountaineer was only good for 27.9 but I only drove it for 100 miles and it definitely wasn’t setup. The Insight … At least in 75 degree temps using this garbage winter blend RFG, it is still worth 108.1 mpg for my commute home tonight.

___These Washington bureaucrats probably need help to find the bathroom let alone mandating or subsidizing something they know little to nothing about … Relying on Bush, Kerry, or the rest of Washington to do anything right in regards to our future transportation needs is a huge mistake. Damned EPA mandated RFG anyway :evil:



PS: What is all of this talk about a pure EV based Prius anyway? The thing is a pig at 2,890 #’s with no option packages right off the showroom floor.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1qg1sb9o][email protected][/email:1qg1sb9o]

 

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ElectricTroy said:
I can see the benefit of a car which emits water as exhaust, but where does the hydrogen come from?

Hydrogen is so abundant that you can even get it from gasoline, this is the plan at first by the auto manufactures. Get hydrogen from gasoline until we use up all the oil and then convert totally to hydrogen.
 

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I wouldn't count the VW 1L car.. admittedly, it does get amazing mileage, but it also costed over a million dollars to build and has a 20 second 0-60 time. So, although in theory it would get very good mileage if driven gently, you would have to drive it very hard (and hence sacrifice mileage) to even get anywhere. Heck, you could pin the throttle off a stop light and people would still honk, thinking you didn't realize the light had changed. ;)
 

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"Hydrogen is so abundant..."

Err... Reember your high school chemistry? Yes, there are a lot of hydrogen atoms around, but on this planet they're all locked up in chemical compounds. Takes energy - lots of energy - to break it loose, and those reactions are not all that efficient. Then you have to deal with the costs of compressing and/or liquifying the hydrogen, transporting it, etc. Turns out that if you take all that into account, fuel cell cars aren't all that more efficient than good IC engine ones, and less so than hybrids.

Personally, I think the whole hydrogen thing is a scam. Pie in the sky for those who think a little bit about the future, who read some book about the world running out of oil, and wonder what to do. The politicians promise them hydrogen, and that stops the thinking.

A better solution would be (when battery production ramps up, and prices go down) grid-rechargable hybrids, that could do short trips entirely on batteries. Then run more ethanol in the IC engines...
 

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Welcome to the forum Christian. You sure chose a hot button topic to jump into.

I also think that the Hydrogen car will never work out. There are too many other better fuels. Hydrogen fuel cells, solar cells, electric cars and personal hovercraft were hot items in the pages of Popular Mechanics/Science when I was in High School 35 years ago! It still makes for interesting reading though. :roll:
 
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