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The Auto and Fuel Without bounds

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  1. The Car and Fuel of the Future JOSEPH ROMM

  2. Background • Former Acting Assistant Secretary EERE • Billion-dollar clean energy effort • Hydrogen, fuel cells, renewables, hybrids…. • The Hype About Hydrogen: One of 2004’s best sci-tech books: Library Journal • “The Car and Fuel of the Future,” NCEP, 7/04 • Exec Dir, Center for Energy & Climate Solns.

  3. Hydrogen Vision • In the future, efficiency and $/ton CO2 rule • H2 cars are inefficient, costly GHG reducers • A post-2040 climate strategy at best • May well prove to be a dead end • Stationary fuel cells are promising: • Especially high-temperature SOFCs • Car of the future is the plug-in hybrid

  4. The Global Warming Century • Solidifying scientific consensus on GHG forcing • Near-certainty we’ll overshoot 550 ppm (doubling) • 700 ppm seems likely, more if positive feedbacks exist • So, 10°+ F warming in U.S. is business as usual • 20+ foot sea-level rise is now plausible worst-case • By 2030: 1400 GW of coal; transport GHGs double • Must get off business-as-usual path fast or face tripling • Must address coal and cars simultaneously

  5. For H2 Cars, Think 2035-2055…. • Even with technology breakthroughs and a greenhouse gas cap, “hydrogen doesn’t penetrate the transportation sector in a major way until after 2035.” — Jae Edmonds et al., PNNL, 2/04 • “Total time to noticeable impact [of HFCVs]… is likely to be more than 50 years.” — John Heywood, MIT, 7/05

  6. … Or Maybe Never • “If I told you ‘never,’ would you be upset?” Bill Reinert, U.S. manager of Toyota’s advanced technologies group, when asked when fuel cells cars would replace gasoline-powered cars. 1/05 • Is there a better AFV that reduces uses low-carbon resources more efficiently and has much lower infrastructure costs?

  7. The 7 Barriers to AFVs 1) High first cost for vehicle 2) Storage (i.e. limited range) 3) Safety and liability 4) High fueling cost (compared to gasoline) 5) Limited fuel stations: Chicken & egg problem 6) Not a cost-effective pollution-reducer 7) Tough competition: Hybrids

  8. Barrier 1: Fuel Cell Cost • PEM engines cost ~$3000/kw. Need <$50/kw while increasing durability 4x, maintaining high efficiency, addressing heat rejection…. • This ~100x drop could take decades • PV, wind took 20 years for a 10x drop • Major technology breakthrough needed

  9. Barrier 2: The Storage Showstopper? • “The DOE should halt efforts on high-pressure tanks and cryogenic liquid storage…. They have little promise of long-term practicality for light-duty vehicles.” (NRC, 2/04) • “We're not even close to solving storage technology issues yet.” (Toyota, 2/04) • “A new material must be discovered.”(APS 3/04)

  10. Barrier 3: Safety and Liability • Hydrogen: Good safety record in industry BECAUSE of onerous codes and standard. • The typical fueling “station violates all safety regulations for hydrogen and no sensible zoning board would permit it, if made aware of the facts.” Reuel Shinnar, Prof. Chem. Engineering Technology in Society (2003) • Need new storage technology

  11. Barrier 4: Most Expensive Alt. Fuel • “The daily drive to work in a hydrogen fuel cell car will cost four times more than in an electric or hybrid vehicle.” (Ulf Bossel, 3/04) • H2 from CH4, grid: $4 to $8+ gallon equiv. • “Green” H2: $8+ gallon equiv. • Will consumers accept the high price of H2? • Will early adopters accept dirty H2?

  12. Barrier 5: Chicken-and-Egg Problem • BP: 30% to 50% fuel station coverage needed from day one • Argonne: $600 billion infrastructure cost • Shell: “hundreds of billions of dollars” • Who’ll build infrastructure without cars on the road and vice versa?

  13. Barrier 6: H2 not a CO2-saver pre-2035 • “… fossil fuels will be the principal sources of hydrogen for several decades.” (NRC 2/04) • H2 cars can’t help fight global warming until: • After “CO2 emissions from electricity generation are virtually eliminated….” (Science, 7/03) • After “there is a surplus of renewable electricity.” (UK Study, 1/03)

  14. Barrier 7: The Competition (today) • Compared to hybrid PZEVs like the Prius: • FC: Will cost more ($20,000+) • FC: 3x+ annual fuel bill (5x+ green H) • FC: 1/3 range (and less roomy) • FC: Limited fueling options • FC: Major safety and liability issues • FC: NOT greener • Likely through 2025 if not much longer

  15. Low-carbon electricity: E-hybrids • Electric hybrids (Can be plugged into grid) • All-electric 20+ miles, then a regular hybrid • More and more gasoline will be displaced • Can be a Flexible Fuel Vehicle (running on biofuels) • Why use future clean electricity for H2? • E-hybrid uses electricity 3 to 4 times more efficiently • Make use of existing infrastructure/vehicles