Quantcast
Business

Hydrogen Fuel Cell vs. Electric Cars: Which Will Drive Us Into the Future?

The debate between electric vs. hydrogen fuel cell cars rages on. Last year, Toyota made a big announcement that they were getting closer to unveiling a hydrogen fuel cell car, calling it the "ultimate environmentally friendly car." That car, the Mirai is already available in Japan and Europe. And today, in conjunction with Back to the Future Day, the Mirai became available in the U.S.

"More than 2,000 people so far have requested to buy a Mirai in California, where it is first available," said Toyota in a press release.

“A piece of the future is now a reality with the Toyota Mirai,” Christopher Lloyd, who played eccentric scientist Doc Brown in the Back to the Future trilogy, said. “Compared to some other technologies predicted in the film, like rehydrated pizza or self-tying shoes, this technology has the real potential to change the world.”

“It drives like a regular car, operates like a regular car. You can refuel in three to five minutes and, you know, do 350 miles on a trip,” Craig Scott, Toyota’s national manager for advanced technologies in the U.S., told Ira Flatow in a Science Friday interview last month.

However, there are even fewer hydrogen refueling stations than there are electric charging stations. Tesla has been rapidly building its network of supercharging stations around the country, with 534 stations and 3,024 superchargers to date. In total, there are 10,000 electric vehicle charging stations in the U.S., Levi Tillemann, a fellow at the New American Foundation and author of The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future, said in the interview. In comparison, "there are 12 public hydrogen refueling stations in the entire country, with about 10 of those in California," he says.

There are far more companies investing in electric cars right now. Tesla's fleet is all-electric and many of the major car companies already have or are working on an electric car. Even Apple is rumored to be developing an all-electric vehicle under its so-called "Titan" project. And Toyota's own hybrid electric Prius, which has been around for 15 years, is wildly popular. Tillemann said on NPR's Marketplace earlier this year, "It’s almost inevitable that the car of the future is going to be electric, and it’s going to drive itself.”

Currently, Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles "don't produce much less CO2 than your standard hybrid electric vehicle because of the fact that hydrogen comes from methane," said Tillemann. "And when you produce the hydrogen from methane, you release a lot of CO2 and it requires a lot of energy." But Tillemann says if someone were to "come up with a way to produce zero carbon hydrogen ... then hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are a great idea."

Actually, we might be getting closer to producing zero carbon hydrogen. Check out this video from Toyota, which features Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown) and Michael J. Fox (Marty McFly) to find out how:

For further debate on hydrogen fuel cell vs. electric cars, check out the interview that aired on Science Friday with Ira Flatow:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Colbert: I Woke Up Yesterday Morning and My Tesla Could Drive Itself

World’s First Smart Microhabitat Grows Just About Anything

Scuba Divers’ Haunting Photos Show Devastating Impact of Ocean Trash on Marine Life

Interactive Map Shows 414 U.S. Cities Already Locked Into Catastrophic Sea Level Rise

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Politics
Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle on October 10, as a category 4 storm causing massive damage and claiming about 30 lives. Scott Olson / Getty Images

Climate Deniers on the Ballot in 2018

By Justin Mikulka

As the midterm elections approach, DeSmog is taking this opportunity to highlight some of the top climate science deniers currently running for office in the U.S.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
If you have to pay for free speech then it isn't free. Tim Aubry / Greenpeace

Our Constitutional Right to Protest Is Under Assault

By Lauren Reid

A new proposed rule from the National Park Service is aiming to restrict peaceful protest in parks and even sidewalks within the District of Columbia—just one effort on a long list of anti-protest laws popping up all around the country.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
Pexels

A New Language for Grappling With Climate Change

By Phil Newell

This month, a major UN report on climate change declared that humanity has just a few short years to make the drastic changes needed to stave off an environmental catastrophe. While news outlets reacted with shock and alarm, those who regularly write, research or advocate on climate change were more resigned. For them, the report—which synthesized existing research—merely aggravated the psychic wound formed by continually reckoning with the end of the world.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
Microplastics. MPCA Photos / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Microplastics Detected in Human Stool Samples for First Time

Humanity has created more than 9 billion tons of plastic since the 1950s, when large-scale production of the material first took off. Of that total, a staggering 76 percent has gone to waste. These days, plastics are found in most table salt, marine life and the deepest parts of the ocean. So is it any surprise that they have made it into our bodies, too?

A small study has detected microplastics in human excrement for the first time, raising larger questions about how the tiny particles can affect our health.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Health
Pexels

Massive Study Finds Eating Organic Slashes Cancer Risks

Eating organic foods free from pesticides is strongly correlated with a dramatic reduction in the risk of cancer, according to a groundbreaking study published today in an American Medical Association journal.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
Pexels

Does Climate Change Affect Real Estate Prices? Only if You Believe In It

By Constantine Yannelis, Lorenzo Garlappi and Markus Baldauf

In the wake of two powerful hurricanes in the U.S. this fall, the scientific evidence that climate change will raise the risk of severe weather events continues to grow.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Health

Dewayne Johnson reacts after the verdict to his case at the Superior Court Of California in San Francisco on Aug. 10. JOSH EDELSON / AFP / Getty Images

Judge Upholds Historic Monsanto Verdict But Lowers Damages

A San Francisco judge made a surprise ruling Monday and upheld a jury's verdict that Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller gave a California groundskeeper cancer, and that the company failed to warn him of the danger, CNN reported.

Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos had issued a tentative ruling Oct. 10 ordering a new trial over the punitive damages awarded to plaintiff Dewayne "Lee" Johnson, saying he had failed to prove that Monsanto acted with "malice or oppression." After reviewing arguments from both sides, however, Bolanos instead upheld the verdict, but lowered the punitive damages from $250 million to $39 million. A new trial will only take place if Johnson's lawyers don't accept the reduced award.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
On Monday, Hurricane Willa was is in the eastern Pacific, on a path towards Mexico's Pacific coast. NOAA

10,000+ Flee as 'Life-Threatening' Hurricane Willa Menaces Mexico

Thousands were evacuated from Mexico's Pacific coast Monday as Hurricane Willa is expected to make landfall as a "life-threatening" Category Four storm Tuesday afternoon, Reuters reported.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!