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Japanese Manufacturers Form Association to Research/Develop Hydrogen Engines

There are many technical challenges to the use of hydrogen as a power source for vehicles, including both automobiles and motorcycles. The Japanese are not giving up on this approach, however.

In the automobile world, Toyota seems committed to mainstreaming hydrogen vehicles. It already has several thousand hydrogen fuel-cell powered Mirai models on the road.

Japanese motorcycle manufacturers also feel hydrogen fueled motorcycles can become viable in production. The four main Japanese manufacturers, including Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki, have formed an association to research and develop such small engines for motorcycle use (among other potential uses).

Here is the press release on the formation of the Hydrogen Small mobility & Engine technology association:

Ministerial Approval Granted to Form Research Body “HySE” for Development of Hydrogen Small Mobility Engines to Help Build Decarbonized Society 

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Yamaha Motor”), Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Honda”), Kawasaki Motors, Ltd. (hereinafter “Kawasaki Motors”) and Suzuki Motor Corporation (hereinafter “Suzuki”)  jointly announced today that they have received approval from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to form a technological research association called HySE (Hydrogen Small mobility & Engine technology) for developing hydrogen-powered engines for small mobility.*

To realize a decarbonized society, a multi-pathway strategy to address various issues in the mobility sector is necessary, rather than focusing on a single energy source. Against this backdrop, research and development targeted at commercialization of mobility with engines powered by hydrogen-deemed a next-generation energy source-is gaining momentum.

However, the use of hydrogen poses technical challenges, including fast flame speed and a large region of ignition, which often result in unstable combustion, and the limited fuel tank capacity in case of use in small mobility vehicles. In addressing these issues, the members of HySE are committed to conducting fundamental research, capitalizing on their wealth of expertise and technologies in developing gasoline-powered engines, and aim to work together with the joint mission of establishing a design standard for small mobility’s hydrogen-powered engine, and of advancing the fundamental research endeavors in this area.

The members of HySE will continue to deepen their collaborative relations in order to provide a variety of small mobility options to users and meet their diverse needs, thereby contributing to the realization of a decarbonized society.

Kenji Komatsu, Chairman nominee of HySE and Executive Officer of Technical Research & Development Center, Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd., comments, “We are extremely pleased to announce the planned formation of the association. There are many challenges in the development of hydrogen-powered engines, but we hope to see the association’s activities advance the fundamental research in order to meet those challenges. We are committed to this endeavor with a sense of mission to preserve the use of internal combustion engines, which epitomize the long-time efforts that our predecessors have invested.”

Main research and development areas, and the role of each company:

  1. Research on hydrogen-powered engines

Research on the model-based development of hydrogen-powered engines (Honda)
Element study on functionality, performance, and reliability of the hydrogen-powered engines (Suzuki)

Hands-on research using real hydrogen-powered engines on their functionality, performance, and reliability (Yamaha Motor, Kawasaki Motors)

  1. Study on hydrogen refueling system

Studying the requirements for a hydrogen refueling system and hydrogen tanks for small mobility (Yamaha)

  1. Study on fuel supply system

Studying the auxiliary equipment required for a fuel supply system and tanks, and the equipment installed between the fuel tank and the injector (Kawasaki Motors)

In addition to the full members (the four aforementioned motorcycle manufacturers), Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (hereinafter “Kawasaki Heavy Industries”) and Toyota Motor Corporation (hereinafter “Toyota”) support the association as special members. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, being one of the main organizers of the “CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association” (hereinafter “HySTRA”), will drive forward HySE’s activities, based on the knowledge gained from its activities for HySTRA. Toyota, on the other hand, will assume the role of leveraging HySE’s research results to the maximum benefit for the development of hydrogen-powered engines, utilizing its know-how on experiments, analyses, and the designing of large hydrogen-fueled power units for four-wheel vehicles.

*Small mobility: motorcycles, Japan-originated mini-vehicles, small marine vessels, construction equipment, drones, etc.

Overview of HySE (Details, including members, are still in the planning stage)

NameHydrogen Small mobility & Engine technology (HySE)
AddressYaesu Central Tower 2-2-1 Yaesu, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
ChairmanKenji Komatsu(Executive Officer, Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd.)
MembersRegular Members: Kawasaki Motors, Suzuki, Honda, and Yamaha Motor
Special Members: Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Toyota
EstablishmentEstablishment procedures in progress


  1. Stephen says:

    This is just a press announcement thought bubble.
    There’s no actual technology or implementation announced and nor will there be as hydrogen is a dead energy transfer mechanism,

    The oft quoted Mirai had combined global sales of 5,300 in total over the period from 2014-2017. It also has extremely poor packaging due to size and complexity of its hydrogen tanks and processing. It’s a medium sized car with the utility of a small one.

    Even with these tiny sales finding sufficient available hydrogen for owners is a constant struggle due to the flakiness of the infrastructure.

    Hydrogen’s future is probably in fertanlizers, for all other applications it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. The Japanese are pushing it because they have access to some incredibly dirty supplies which migt give them energy independence but not within any of their commitiments to to CO2 emission reduction.

    And there are a lot of people here who should really read the IPCC reports, Actual scientists who study the climate and atmosphere are giving you good advice and you’re choosing ignorance promoted by the same people who told you cigarettes don’t harm you.

  2. badChad says:

    What do you think about a name change for this site? It’s really not anything close to daily anymore, maybe M/C bi-weekly?

  3. JRM says:

    Here’s a thought about CO2 that not many people even consider.
    CO2 dissolves in water. (Carbonated beverages?) This CO2 becomes
    carboxylic acid in water. Thus lowering the pH of the water.
    Okay. This is BAD for the oceans. Why? It destroys coral reefs.
    The PLANKTON in the ocean do not like it. Where does the MAJORITY
    of the 02 in the air you breathe come from? That’s right. Those
    little single-cell organisms that live the first three feet of
    the OCEAN. People –> it ain’t the rain forests that generate
    all that O2. We lower the pH of the oceans, we are in SERIOUS

  4. Gary says:

    Hindenberg. “Oh, the humanity!”

  5. Mick says:

    Wow! Look at the trouble you guys get into when I take off for a dirt bike trip, apparently to nourish the forest with the CO2 it so desperately needs.

    People will believe anything if there really want to. And there are a lot of people who really want to believe a lot of absolutely ridiculous things.

    I must say that being able to hop in my truck and travel 600 miles between quick fuel stops is why I can be found 1500 miles away from home dirt biking so often. I rode with a 75 year old guy who just bought a new dirt bike. We fed the forest with lots of delicious CO2. We’re heroes!

    And apparently some folks think that the world will starve if I quit. Those guys must have some very high quality bongs.

    • Bob says:

      Boomer harder.

    • motorhead says:

      So, if trees need carbon dioxide to live, and humans need calories to live, doesn’t it make perfect sense to feed trees five times more carbon dioxide than they need, and feed humans five times more calories than they need? The trees will certainly be healthier, and we humans will be five times healthier on 10,000 calories per day. Problem solved.

    • Mick says:

      Maybe not. The grocerers don’t lobby hard enough to get the right wing propaganda machine to make up a fear based story for the guilibles to hang their hat on.

      So it’ back to three squares featuring nothing but beef from the highest lobbier food chain that doesn’t serve Bud Light…if you’re not already cowering in your private underground bunker loading ammo.

  6. Gary in NJ says:

    Yes, both creating and storing Hydrogen are the hurdle of it’s use as a fuel. Keven Cameron reminded me however that this is the very essence of this research in his latest Technicality artice when he stated:

    “There are solid materials into which hydrogen can be absorbed, and there also exist reversible chemical means of storing it. This is why the motorcycle manufacturers are forming a research association—to see if there is a practicable way to power future bikes with hydrogen.”

    I do remember seeing several YouTube videos over the last year that discussed membrane storage of hydrogen. Could this be the future?

  7. Rapier says:

    Hydrogen is most applicable to ports, mines, warehousing and such. Intermittent duties in a fixed location.

    The amount of energy to build and maintain a universal distribution system, and operate it, would be staggering.

  8. Tom R says:

    If hydrogen is so difficult to store and use in motor vehicles, how is it that Toyota has had the Mirai running around Los Angles for a number of years?

    • Dave says:

      That a very small number of cars are running around in a single city and nowhere else in America hints that it is pretty difficult. It’s also much more expensive to fill up than a gas car. There are plenty of review articles out there to read.

  9. Artem says:

    May be this is about Proton-exchange membrane fuel cell techology on german 212 u-boat type.
    Well, this is u-boat, not a car or motorcycle

  10. Jeremy says:

    I really don’t see this as a viable way forward. For long-haul trucking and diesel electric locomotives, I can see some clear advantages, assuming appropriate infrastructure. Even in something as large as a car, onboard storage seems impractical to challenge batteries at this point. The Japanese affair with hydrogen must be related to some cultural component where no one is willing to go against the flow and say, “This is folly.” It will be interesting to see if they prove me wrong over the next 20 years.

  11. Bart says:

    Hydrogen is not fuel because it has to be manufactured like electricity from something else, and it is almost as transient to store, transfer and utilize. It can’t be mined, it has to be energetically reduced from water (hydrolyses) or a hydrocarbon, like methane. That wastes a lot of energy vs just using the electricity or burning CH4.

    It is very small molecule, hard to keep in a container at any pressure. I know, I designed equipment that held H2 at 1200 psi for long periods, not easy or forgiving.

    It burns really really hot. This high heat of combustion (with air) creates a lot of oxides of nitrogen, stuff ICE engines, esp diesel, have trouble with. Have to react the Nox emissions.

    Storing it is a hassle. 10000 psi? No thanks. Propane tanks run around 100/150 psi depending on temperature. And those tanks are supposed to be recertified after a time. So who will cert test tanks at 10K psi? Or do they just time/fatigue out like batteries. Do you test them in the car/bike? And then what if the tank fails during the test? Nobody will build high pressure H2 pipelines across state lines, for example.
    Infrastructure: H2 support has to be funded and built totally from scratch. Generation, distribution, storage and maintenance. Can be done, but not cost effective vs extending the electrical grid for charging networks (not easy or cheap either.) Interstate distribution by rail/truck?

    I wish the Japanese luck on their endeavor. They are sharp folks, this is uphill all the way,

  12. A P says:

    20 years ago Benz-Chrysler (or whatever it was called then) was looking for highly specialized valves from my employer to control hydrogen in their prototype hydrogen buses. I left the company shortly after that and apparently the project got shelved. We know because there are no fleets of hydrogen-powered buses worldwide. Compressed Natural Gas fleets, yes, but that is different technology.

    Back then the (standard) mantra was “only 10 years away” from production. Just like now, solid-state batteries are singing the same song. And nuclear power was going to be so cheap they wouldn’t need to meter it.


    FACTS: CO2 is about 0.04% of the sea-level atmosphere. That sounds very different to 400 parts-per-million, but it is THE SAME concentration. The climate-alarmists use the BIG number because it appears scarier to the uninformed public.

    CO2 is what powers plant life on this planet. No plants, no food chain. Simple huh?

    Here’s the REALLY scary part. Most plant life cannot grow below 150PPM. So we’ve got another 250PPM to go before that happens, so no big deal, right? Not so fast Climate Change Booster… that 150PPM is really 0.015%, only 0.025% drop to where plants don’t grow. CO2 levels that low have happened on Earth in the very distant past, but at times when there was near zero terrestrial life, and not much more in water. So it is somehow smart to both lower CO2 AND temperature at the peak interglacial warming period? Assuming eliminating all “CO2 emitters” will have any significant or sustained effect on atmospheric CO2. Don’t forget, in the 1970s the fear was a new ice age, not warming. Human-caused climate change, the hoax that keeps on giving.

    CO2 is NOT a pollutant, it is the basic feed-stock of ALL LIFE ON EARTH. Y’know, CARBON-BASED lifeforms.

    • BeatriceKiddo says:

      AP, CO2 levels have oscillated between ~180 and ~280ppm for the past 800 THOUSANDS years. It crossed ~300ppm is 1950 and it’s now ~420. But sure, it’s the human-caused climate change that is a hoax. Simple huh?

      • viktor92 says:

        The climate is always changing, and the variation in atmospheric CO2 occurs when solar activity increases or decreases, this is a proven truth by real scientist and not paid propagandists by the globalism.

      • A P says:

        Beatrice, that is true, which only reinforces my point. Human civilizations developed in a Goldilocks scenario, thrived during the warm periods and collapsed during cooler periods.
        “By matching the ice record of these chemical traces with tree ring records of climate, a team led by Michael Sigl, now of the University of Bern, found that nearly every unusually cold summer over the past 2500 years was preceded by a volcanic eruption.”

        That said, Victor is correct, research shows the longer-term temperature variations have more to do with solar radiation absorption than CO2 levels.

        There are theories that if humans didn’t release CO2 naturally sequestered in the earth’s crust as petroleum/coal deposits, CO2 levels could have easily continued to drop quickly below the 150PPM plant death-level.

        Earth’s CO2 levels have been multiple 1,000s of PPM, mostly when dinosaurs, plants and ocean creatures were HUGE. Again, CO2 is not toxic or asphyxiant until the levels reach 35%… that is over 800 TIMES the current 0.04%.

        Also, as an immediate functional effect, when there is low CO2, plants have to enlarge their stomata to access more CO2. This also reduces the plant’s ability to retain moisture, hence harder to grow and produce what herbivores and omnivores depend on as food. If crops are being irrigated, that irrigation needs to be increased to MAINTAIN the level of production which could have been achieved at higher CO2/lower irrigation.

        I’m here all week, try the veal… (rimshot).

        • beatriceKiddo says:

          Sorry AP but you are just rambling random facts to fit your point. In the same post you made a sup of volcanic eruptions, solar radiations, dropping of CO2 levels (disproven by this graph CO2 toxicity and finally (drum rolls) leaf stomata! Just WOW

          • Motoman says:

            Thanks beatriceKiddo for sticking with it and providing counterpoints.

            He is an example of why it is so easy to manipulate statistics (and those who would listen). Sounds so knowledgeable must be right, no?

            Billions of years of ebbing and flowing life and now human caused climate change has saved the earth? Amazing….

          • A P says:


            I merely selected a couple items that indicate all is not according to
            Al Gore and the “hockey stick” graph. An intellectual teaser, as it were. These “proofs” have been recently refuted (science is not static, especially at the margins), not hard to find if any care to look. I doubt the moderators want me to post all the info I have on “climate change”, even though that incorrect agenda is behind all this EV/alternative fuels/hydrogen-boosterism.

            Shout me down, it won’t stop reality eventually intruding on “CO2, human caused climate change”. Just like the Earth actually orbits the Sun despite Popes since 1666AD saying otherwise until 1992.

            Bear in mind, most of the rest of the non-Christian world knew the earth was a sphere (oblate spheroid to be more accurate) and orbited the Sun from ancient times. But the flat-earth, science-challenged Popes said otherwise… for 600 years. One wonders how long such scientific ignorance and establishment intransigence can persist in the Internet Age.

            Hydrogen vehicles MIGHT eventually become practical for the masses, but that’s not what the Great Reset crowd are planning by 2030 or even 2050.

            “You will own nothing and you will be happy.” Their words, not mine.

          • Dirck Edge says:

            There is a “Great Reset crowd” and you have quotes from them?

        • motorhead says:

          There are theories: “There are theories that if humans didn’t release CO2 naturally sequestered in the earth’s crust as petroleum/coal deposits, CO2 levels could have easily continued to drop quickly below the 150PPM plant death-level.”

          Humanoids have been walking around about 1 million years max. Mammals have been around for about 300 millions years. If homo sapiens hadn’t shown up in the last million years, and we hadn’t started burning everything quickly, then mammal life would have ended? Perhaps only reptiles would exist, if anything. Cool. Thank god for the industrial revolution and automobiles! Keep it burning!

    • Jeremy says:

      Wow. Thank goodness for the industrial revolution. Stupid nature. How did it ever get by without us?

    • viktor92 says:


    • Motoman says:

      Wow. Just Wow.

      Talk about massaging the facts to fit a narrative.

    • Mr.Mike says:

      This article spells it out pretty clearly:

      …or you can skip to this diagram of CO2 ppm over the last 1000 years:

      Obviously CO2 is necessary, but like ice cream, you can have too much of a good thing.

  13. TP says:

    The Japanese can do what they like and they can do just about anything, but this reminds me of their attempt to create high-definition analog tv in the 1980s. The digital technology passed them by. Toyota has invested in hydrogen but then realized it under-invested in electric cars, which led the chair of Toyota to resign, because Toyota reluctantly had to admit it knows that electric cars are going to become dominant. Hydrogen might work in the Japanese manufacturers’ home market but it’s not the way the rest of the world is going. As Patrick Bedard, who could be a crank, at Car and Driver wondered, Where do you get the hydrogen? In the past, that meant fossil fuels. Today, that’s distasteful.

  14. Harry says:

    Question: are we talking fuel cell, combining hydrogen and oxygen (atmosphere) to produce electrons (electric motor) with the byproduct of water.

    Or substituting hydrogen for petroleum in an ice engine.

    • joe b says:

      Hydrogen is an alternative fuel. it in itself, will not create electricity. it needs to be used in some way, to create force. direct propulsion or electricity creation. One needs to keep in mind, Hydrogen is a carrier, it is often created elsewhere, just how and where it is created, can effect how much pollution was created to make it. Hopefully, with less pollution, than other fuels. the infrastructure to created refueling stations, is the same issue with electric vehicles. the small percentage of e cars now on the road, overwhelms the charging stations available at this time. if electric cars sales increase as many suggest they should, there also needs to be an equal amount of charging stations. Hydrogen fuel, is similar to other fuels, as it only takes minutes to ‘refuel’, unlike electric vehicles, depending on the quality and brand of charger or the make of the vehicle, can take hours.

    • Harry says:

      There is this mindset that refueling an electric vehicle is a problem. I beg to disagree.

      Yes, one can pull up to a gas station and pour gasoline into the vehicle, let’s say 20 gallons in about 5 minutes. But then you go into the station, use the bathroom or buy some snacks and take a break.

      On my road trip from Lancaster PA to Rochester MN, I covered approx. 870 during the day. Stopped three (3) times to refuel, charge the battery in my Tesla. Each stop varied from 30-40 minutes. Is this a hardship? Not in my mind. Getting out of the car after driving for 2-300 mules required me to use the bathroom, grab either breakfast, lunch or dinner. And just stretch my legs. I usually walk around the station for exercise I’m a hiker.

      In addition I bought the full Self Driving package. So engaging the option the car basically drives itself, really! Set the speed and it changes lanes automatically and keeps going. One has to have a hand on the wheel and eyes forward (there is an internal camera to verify you are alert and looking forward – no monkey business) but it’s very relaxing. I listen to music or can watch a Netflix movie if I care to. Yes, there were some hiccups but nothing really serious. So, as I said at the beginning, not brand loyal BUT Tesla really did their homework. Their software is phenomenal, best charging network in the country and the car performs – 0-60 in 3.1 seconds with a top speed of 149 mph. I have dragged a corvette – smoked it.

      • My2cents says:

        I like what you say. I believe the electric car will eventually change the infrastructure of fuel stops. Better food, shopping, etc as the layover of a 30-45 minute full charge is happening. Oddly on my motorcycle trips now I avoid the gas and go idea for half tank refills and a leisurely stroll. My 600 -750 miles days are old history. I like 250 maybe 300 miles max per day. I want to enjoy the trip and really the scenery, food, and landscape change dramatically even after 100 miles. Life shouldn’t be a blur.

      • Jim says:

        And when everyone has an EV that take 30-40 minutes to recharge? How many will be charging at once? Have you seen how busy gas stations can get?

      • yellowhammer says:

        Something nobody ever discusses: if you ever run out of charge out on the highway somewhere you are STRANDED. No flagging down someone to run and get a can of gas for you. Maybe call someone to bring a small generator LOL? Get real, that thing is stranded with a capital S. Otherwise a tow is the only way out. Help me out here, Harry, and suggest how you would extricate himself from this situation. Just asking. Surely you’ve pondered this.

        • Dave says:

          Nobody discusses it because it almost never happens. Just like you’d make sure you have enough fuel to make your distance, you do the same with your state of charge. If you know you’ll need to charge to make the distance you plan for that too (if you have a Tesla, it plans the route and stops for you).

          Remember, most people who own EV’s charge at home so they can wake up for a full “tank” every morning if they choose.

          • Dave says:

            yellowhammer, you’re mistaking murphy’s law for fringe anecdotes. I have been driving for 35 years and ran out of gas in a vehicle exactly once, on my motorcycle which had been stored over winter an didn’t have fuel gauge.

            This scenario you cite (like most cited by EV opponents) is so rare that it’s not worth considering.

        • Harry says:

          Tesla does an excellent job of planning ANY trip. You use the onboard mapping program. The program maps the route along with places to charge the vehicle. The program is constantly evaluating your progress. As an example, the charging station locations are based on the posted legal speed limits. If I exceed and go over theses limits then I use more electricity and this depletes the battery. The software then reroutes me to a different charging station. Look at how many charging stations are in the network. I have NEVER had a problem running out of juice.

          • yellowhammer says:

            No, Harry & Dave, “It won’t happen to me, because I’m prepared” are famous last words and the source of Murphy’s Law. Now, I ask again, Murphy bit you, and you are out of charge on the side of the road. Surely you guys have thought about this? What will be your procedure for getting out of this situation? Lot’s of good Samaritans will stop, but none will be able to do anything. All I see is a towing service (I hope you have cell service there in that dark canyon where you came to rest).

        • Harry says:

          I respect Murphy’s Law BUT take a look at the supercharger network in just the United States:

          In addition I bought a CCS adapter from Amazon. This means I can also use any ElectrifyAmerica or EVgo charger for my Tesla.

          ElectrifyAmerica network:

          EVgo network:

          I have accounts setup at all three networks. So to answer your question – Murphy can go to hell – it ain’t going to happen. I will find a charger if one is needed. And again the software will automatically guide me to the right charger.

        • Harry says:

          Been driving a Tesla for 4 years.

          Tesla charging network:

          Bought a CCS adapter from Amazon, so can now charge at ElectrifyAmerica and EVgo.

          ElectrifyAmerica network:

          EVgo network:

          Not worried in the least.

      • Tom R says:

        EV apologists always rationalize the changes in behavior required of their cars. If smokin’ a Corvette is worth it to you, then by all means enjoy those “rest stops”.

      • motorhead says:

        If each EV refueling stop now takes 30-40 minutes for electrons, in comparison to 5 minutes for gasoline, then gas stations will need 6-8 times more pumps than they have today to accommodate the same number of customers. Investor tip: buy up real estate next to gas stations. Of course, some EV owners will wisely charge up every night at home, to avoid the long waits at a station. And there is that four-course meal you can enjoy and pay for while charging. It will be different.

        • Harry says:

          Valid point, I agree.

        • Dave says:

          This won’t take up the real estate that you think because there won’t be underground fuel tanks to think about. EV charging stations can be integrated into anywhere cars already park. “Fueling stations” will pop up everywhere there is opportunity for commerce based on people stopping there.

  15. mechanicus says:

    Its easy to understand why the Japanese are investing capital into this. ICE intellectual capital is preserved, and refilling time for the user would mimic current infrastructure rather than burdening them with long delays. It’s a no brainer if they can prove production/distribution/refilling viability.

    Cryogenic operations in this case are problematic and really not feasible. If you look at the phase diagram for hydrogen, ambient temperature operations are going to require pressure vessels, pumps, and refilling nozzles in the 350-750 bar range – way beyond the liquid phase into the “super-critical” phase. This is do-able, but requires careful design and demonstrated safety procedures “at the pump”.

    The bottom line is: If the high-pressure aspect of distribution and operations can be overcome, H2 powered vehicles can potentially provide vastly greater utility for the American rider/driver than converting over to batteries.

    • yellowhammer says:

      So the driver would pull up to a pump and instead of inserting a nozzle into a tank, you would plug up to a high pressure hose with a quick-disconnect similar to the one on your air compressor? I can see that being feasible. But 750 bar!?!?! That’s over 10,000 psi! That, uhh, how shall I say it, doesn’t inspire confidence.

  16. Tom K. says:

    Question for an Engineer or someone at least more edumacated than I am on the subject: The way I understand it, the way they typically make hydrogen is from natural gas (steam reformation?), and is neither energy efficient nor is it environmentally “friendly”. What is the cost per “equivalent energy of a unit of hydrogen” compared to a gallon of gasoline, assuming the hydrogen is made through electrolysis using average electricity pricing? Ideally, eventually, our electricity will come from environmentally friendly sources, but that’s a different conversation. I’m mostly concerned about the economics – is electrolyzed hydrogen gas anywhere close to the pump price of gasoline per unit of energy?

    • Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

      From an engineer kind of in the process industry but has done my fair share of reading in hydrogen over the decades: Producing usable hydrogen gas is a dirty business. It takes about 3 times as much energy to produce usable hydrogen than to refine gasoline. In the end, you get a product that has about 3 times as much potential BTUs and has practically clean emissions. However, you created a bunch of pollution to get there.

      To the end user, theoretically you can make an engine 1/3 the size and get the same power output and efficiency, reducing engine weight and packaging space by virtue of the smaller size and emilinating unnecessary emissions componentry. But you’ll lose that space to storing the fuel becuase it needs to be stored compressed and vacuum jacket insulated as well as protected very sturdily from damage. It will likely take up more space and gain that weight back.

      Price-wise, I don’t know the cost to produce. But I do know that supply will need to be adequate for the masses and that will take scaling up production facilities and an infrastructure is needed and there will be regulations for that as well. Initially, the price would be outrageous until it’s common.

      In this country, I just don’t see it being worth the effort. All you’re doing is shifting the pollution burden fom one place to another but it’s still there. And with the government needing to be involved in this new direction, that is only going to keep this power out of the hands of any consumer concern with living within their means. The Japanese are wasting their time with this. Save the tech for specialized uses instead.

      • Tom R says:

        “However, you created a bunch of pollution to get there.”
        Kind of like producing the batteries and most of the electricity required of electric vehicles. Gas, grass, electrons, or ass, nobody rides for free.

        • Dave says:

          No, not like that. Even if you charge an EV with coal fired electricity, you’re cleaner than burning gas in an ICE car because an EV is massively more efficient energy per mile.

      • WesC says:

        Hydrogen is a net loss of energy. Takes more energy to produce than it provides as a product as stated above. Not really a good option.

    • Stinkywheels says:

      I’m far from an engineer or even very bright, but was I the only one who separated hydrogen and oxygen in HS science class? I was a VERY “indifferent” student. We made small quantities with 110V and it went to test tubes to burn and extinguish in hydrogen and relight in the oxygen tube.

  17. My2cents says:

    If oil felt threatened the Middle East would open the flood gates and release its oil reserves. If the world goes 100% electric the oil in the ground will be almost worthless. Electric cars are great but charging time and access to charging are still a challenge, but the grid is already available as are gas stations. Hydrogen has almost no infrastructure and requires the ability to be is use in self service, laughable at best. If electric was serious about transportation they would have designed mini vans and large sport utility vehicles first, not squishy little cars that go beep, beep, beep. They would have also designed and put into place electric transport trucks quickly to reduce the huge fuel loads required.
    I hope all cars go electric soon, but hybrids are the only viable option for the next decade. Motorcycle should be the last concern, the draw on fuel supply from them is minimal. Motorcyclists should unite as a segment of society that is being harassed by fuel sucking automobiles and trucks, rise up and fill your jerrycans. Yes the last bit is over the top. Cheers

    • Stuki Moi says:

      At some point (not next week, nor even decade, but one day….), the remaining in-ground oil will become expensive enough to extract, that alternatives will have a less formidable hurdle to overcome.

      Compared to poking a hole in some dessert and having it gush out like a fountain, H2 would never be competitive. But compared to, say, synthetic petrol of the kind Porsche is pushing, things may not be so clear cut.

      • My2cents says:

        The Germans have been working on synthetic fuel since WW2. Though I do believe it can be done with a formula that negates emissions and increases fuel economy and increases power, face it we’ve built engines to suit conventional fuels why not swap the thought and build fuels to suit available engines. Interesting times.

    • Gene says:

      You’re under the illusion that ICE passenger and light trucks or any mode of vehicular travel/transport is responsible for a large amount of carbon emissions. They are not. Around 10% is what I’ve read. The majority of carbon emissions comes from energy production. Not such a great idea to do away with nuclear power production.

    • Dave says:

      “ If the world goes 100% electric the oil in the ground will be almost worthless. ”

      Not at all. Petroleum is used for an unfathomable number of purposes, but it is a finite resource and this is one of the reasons it makes sense to stop burning it for energy.

      • Tom K. says:

        Somebody give Dave a kewpie doll for his reply…

        Stop reading for a minute and look around whatever room you’re in. A whole lot of the items around you are made with petroleum products. I love the idea that “Oil is too valuable to burn”. But, the only problem is, if you can only use a portion of the raw crude to make plastics, fertilizer, etc., what do you do with the rest of it? Today, we burn it in our Family Trucksters. Is this really a problem?

        • Dave says:

          I don’t know what percent of crude oil’s volume is suitable for things other than fuel but I am reasonably certain it is more than is used now.

          It is a problem to burn it and it always has been. It’s polluting and the sheer volume we use ties us more robustly to a volatile (corrupt?) global oil market. Obviously fuel use is never going away but it’s worthwhile to reduce consumption.

  18. Harry says:

    Understand the range and weight issues with batteries. Solid state batteries with a higher charge density will be here in 5-10 years. My main concern with hydrogen is refueling. Where and how many refueling stations will be available?

    Look. I drive a Tesla. Why Tesla, not brand loyal. It’s the charging stations. There are three (3) charging networks in this country, Tesla ElectrifyAmerica and EVgo. I just came back from a trip from Rochester Minnesota to Lancaster Pennsylvania. No issues with range anxiety, at all!. Tesla did their homework. I rented a Hyundai Kona and tried the other two networks. ElectrifyAmerica chargers were not always operative. EVgo chargers, ditto. Never had a bad Tesla charger. I’ve had my Tesla since 2020. Been to over a hundred Tesla chargers.

    So, bottom line, where are the hydrogen chargers?

  19. TimC says:

    Once the a) asininity of continuing to carbon-starve our plant biomass is recognized and b) the abiogenic origin of oil is recognized, we can get back to loving life.

  20. Gary in NJ says:

    I think the big four see the writing on the wall…batteries and bikes don’t gel well. You can’t jam enough batteries into a small space to get any kind of useful range. Of course, you get get enough hydrogen on board either (unless it’s liquid…and that isn’t viable)

    I’ve been waiting for hydrogen powered vehicles for 40 years…maybe this time they really are just 4 years away. No…I don’t think so.

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