The transition to hydrogen as a transportation fuel: Costs and infrastructure requirements
The transition to hydrogen as a transportation fuel: Costs and infrastructure requirements Hydrogen fuel, used in an internal combustion engine optimized for maximum efficiency and as part of a hybrid-electric vehicle, will give excellent performance and range with emissions below one-tenth the ultra-low emission vehicle standards being considered in California as Equivalent Zero Emission Vehicles. These vehicles can also be manufactured with increased but not excessive cost. Hydrogen-fueled engines have demonstrated indicated efficiencies of more than 50% under lean operation. Combining optimized engines and other advanced components, the overall vehicle efficiency should approach 40%, compared with 13% for a conventional vehicle in the urban driving cycle. The optimized engine-generator unit is the mechanical equivalent of the fuel cell but at a cost competitive with today`s engines. The increased efficiency of hybrid-electric vehicles now makes hydrogen fuel competitive with today`s conventional vehicles. Conservative analysis of the infrastructure options to support a transition to a hydrogen-fueled light-duty fleet indicates that hydrogen may be utilized at a total cost comparable to the 3.1 cents/km U.S. vehicle operators pay today while using conventional automobiles. Both on-site production by electrolysis or reforming of natural gas and liquid hydrogen distribution offer the possibility of a smooth transition by taking advantage of existing large-scale energy infrastructures. Eventually, renewable sources more »
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