SciTech Connect

Title: 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 » of electricity and scalable methods of making hydrogen will have lower costs than today. With a hybrid-electric propulsion system, the infrastructure to supply hydrogen and the vehicles to use it can be developed today and thus be in place when fuel cells become economical for vehicle use. « less
Authors: ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:OSTI ID: 231959
Report Number(s):UCRL-JC--123420; CONF-960601--1
ON: DE96009099; TRN: 96:003098
DOE Contract Number:W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:Conference
Resource Relation:Conference: 11. world hydrogen energy conference: designing the energy link, Stuttgart (Germany), 23-27 Jun 1996; Other Information: PBD: 20 Mar 1996
Research Org:Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS; 08 HYDROGEN FUEL; HYDROGEN FUELS; COST ESTIMATION; INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES; FUEL SUBSTITUTION; TRANSPORTATION SECTOR; ENERGY EFFICIENCY