Aardvark DailyNew Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.
Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk
Please visit the sponsor!
Regular readers of this column will know that I have, on several occasions, pointed out all the downsides of hydrogen as a fuel.
Although touted by everyone from car-makers to oil companies, to greenies to airlines as "the fuel of the future", the sad reality is that hydrogen is a really, really, impractical source of energy for a great many reasons.
Well it seems that even the oil companies that were set to make money by providing H2 as a fuel. are waking up to the obvious.
In the USA, Shell has announced the closure of a number of the hydrogen refueling stations it operated for vehicular users.
The notice from Shell states:
" will no longer be operating hydrogen light duty passenger fuelling stations due to hydrogen supply complications and other external market factors"
How can this be?
We were repeatedly told that hydrogen is the most plentiful element in the universe, how can there be "supply complications"?
And what are those "external market factors"?
Could they be that it's too expensive to produce and there is no demand?
Yes, this has to be the final proof that EVs are the way forward and hydrogen as a vehicle fuel was always going to be massively inferior, as I predicted.
In fact the economics from a driver's perspective don't even come close to matching those for an EV, given that Shell was charging a whopping US$36 per kg for the stuff. Nor do the economics from an environmental perspective stack up when you realise that it takes 55kW to produce that kg of H2 and the same amount of electricity will power an efficient modern EVs for around 200km. That kg of H2 will only deliver around 120km of range in a hydrogen-powered car.
This closure by Shell in the USA comes just 18 months after Shell UK closed its H2 refueling stations and I expect that it's only a matter of time before the folly of H2 as a vehicle fuel is relegated to the history books -- at least until suitcase sized fusion generators become a reality.
With H2 out of the picture, what will the oil companies do now in a world that is headed down the EV path? What can they use to replace the revenues that sales of petrol and diesel used to generate?
Carpe Diem folks!
Please visit the sponsor!