Feedback: Are Hybrids the Answer or Is There Another Automotive Power Source?

A Potential Automotive Power Source Was Overlooked —Fuel Cells, But With Fuel Cells Is the Issue of Storing Hydrogen and No Fueling Infrastructure

By Randy Zeitvogel

Re: "What Killed the Electric Car?" October 2013,

You overlooked a potential automotive power source—fuel cells, but there is the issue of storing hydrogen and no fueling infrastructure. A parallel hybrid, like the Prius, still requires batteries, though they need not be as large. A series hybrid, like the Volt, is really an electric vehicle that carries an on-board generator and uses a large expensive battery. Neither suffers from the range limitations of a pure electric vehicle (EV). Unlike a parallel hybrid, the Volt can function for a limited range as an EV, where as a parallel hybrid uses the electric motor to aid in starting from a stop, meaning the hydrocarbon powered engine need not be as large.

As for non-intermittent renewable energy sources, I would love to see more use of tidal or wave or water current (not dam-based hydro) based sources.

Interesting reading: Based on that document, new generating capacity will all be natural gas, as that is the most cost-efficient. Off-shore wind is the second most expensive, largely due to capital costs, whereas hydro, I guess defined as gravity-driven water, is right in the mix, but location-limited. I have seen designs for water-current-based generators. It would be interesting to see where they fit in the equation.

Randy Zeitvogel  
C & N Manufacturing

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