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EV vs Hydrogen Vehicle


Electric vehicles are becoming more widely available, and better at what they offer.  But potential consumers of EVs have a checked enthusiasm towards going out and buying one; and for good reason.  The main inquiries lie around how pricey a new EV is to purchase, their fire risk, crash safety risk, their range between top ups being rather poor and subsequent charging times way too long, the lack of charging stations, as well as their candid hidden impact on our environment which is actually very big.

EVs require big, powerful rechargeable batteries that use lead–acid (“flooded”, deep-cycle, and VRLA), NiCd, nickel–metal hydride, lithium-ion, Li-ion polymer, and, less commonly, zinc–air, sodium nickel chloride in their design.  It is worth noting that these expensive EV batteries require a bigger carbon footprint in their production and use a finite resource to make them.  Then there is the environmental cost of battery disposal when the spent battery needs replacing.  So, are we any better off driving EVs?  The answer would have to be no.

Actually, no vehicle driven on our road can be classed as purely “green” or “environmentally friendly” for people and their environment.  The fact is whatever car we choose, buy and drive; it will have some ecological impact.  Perhaps the best way of describing this would be that all vehicles impact on our environment and pollute, while other vehicles do so a lot more, and then some do so a bit less.  It is quite false to suggest that EVs are environmentally friendly.

That brings me to the question: What is the most environmentally friendly vehicle?  There are some major car manufacturers that are pushing forward with hydrogen power.  A hydrogen driven car is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that produces the electricity that the electric car engines need.  Hydrogen vehicles only take five minutes to top-up, and provide much better range.  The only emissions are water, because inside the fuel cell hydrogen reacts with oxygen to produce water as a discharge.  So, hydrogen vehicles don’t emit pollutants.  Hydrogen can be produced from fossil fuels and natural gas, but it can also be produced from renewable energy sources by way of electrolysis.

I think hydrogen is the best way forward, and the Hyundai Nexo is the first vehicle to arrive in Australia that’s available for the Australian government and business fleets to use.  The reason for its limited availability is simply because Australia doesn’t have an organised hydrogen refuel station network set up, as yet.  But I can see this changing to it becoming common place on all fuel station forecourts across Australia.

Hyundai, Toyota and BMW are some of the key hydrogen vehicle designers and manufacturers.


  1. Gordon Lane says:

    Hydrogen is like nuclear power it is very dangerous gas that takes very litter energy to explode. Therefore you are sitting on an explosion that can occur at any time. Place that use hydrogen have to have EX type electrical equipment installed so i cannot or would not consider any Hydrogen operated vehicle.

    March 18th, 2020 at 11:47 am

  2. Bill Nixon says:

    Agree with the points raised in this article, but a point not mentioned by the author is that apart from a shortage of Hydrogen refueling stations, there is also a lack of Hydrogen producing refineries in Australia and Hydrogen does not lend itself easily to transportation by sea over long distances, unlike petrol and diesel fuels which do.

    March 18th, 2020 at 11:51 am

  3. Frederick Gardner says:

    I read your article with interest, but suggest that hydrogen can also be drawn directly from the atmosphere around us, by a process of electrolysis,

    I suggest that this would be a much better way of driving your vehicle, although there would be no benefit for the mega giant fossil fuel suppliers, who over the decades have bought off any inventors that have come up with a viable form of extracting hydrogen to burn in our cars directly from the common water tap.

    I would suggest that more emphasis could be put into extracting this form of fuel for use in motor vehicles as this would satisfy pollutant release into our atmosphere and replace it with a residue out of our exhaust pipes of water

    March 18th, 2020 at 12:00 pm

  4. Alan says:

    You have left some important point out of your hydrogen dream.
    1. Battery electric cars do have lower emissions than combustion cars, both day to day and over their life span. They will also get better as the grid moves to more renewables.
    2. Batteries have a long life, with many car batteries being repurposed for home or grid storage.
    3. Battery recycling is already being done and will develop more as the number of batteries increases.
    4. Hydrogen as a vehicle fuel is inefficient. Two battery electric vehicles can run on needed to make hydrogen for one hydrogen powered vehicle.
    5. Electric vehicle chargers are a small fraction of the price of hydrogen refueling stations.
    6. Electricity is available anywhere there is a power point and charging stations can connected to the main transmission grid. Hydrogen stations need special vehicles to deliver the hydrogen or extremely expensive and inefficient equipment to make it on site.
    Hydrogen fuelled vehicles may have advantages for a few uses but they are not going to replace fully battery electric vehicles.

    March 18th, 2020 at 1:03 pm

  5. Andrew Bobey says:

    Check your facts mate. EVs are much more energy efficient than Hydrogen vehicles.

    March 18th, 2020 at 3:11 pm

  6. JOHN ASCENZO says:

    Hydrogen is very expensive to produce. Batteries, once their range is too low to be practical for auto use could be adapted for domestic solar storage. There is a case for both systems to be used and further developed into the future

    March 18th, 2020 at 3:42 pm

  7. Con Coutinho says:

    Looking for Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Cruiser 2WD or AWD new, silver sky or Graphite in colour

    March 18th, 2020 at 4:59 pm

  8. John Aquilina says:

    This article is so flawed and driven by the Author’s clear anti-EV agenda that it is an embarrassment.

    The statement: “EVs require big, powerful rechargeable batteries that use lead–acid (“flooded”, deep-cycle, and VRLA), NiCd, nickel–metal hydride” is totally and utterly false in relation to current EV passenger vehicles. Please name one EV using the aforementioned battery technology!

    I could go on pointing out the rubbish, but I won’t waste my time.

    March 18th, 2020 at 11:23 pm

  9. Jason says:

    What materials go into the Hydrogen Fuel Cell? If you are going to complain about battery electric cars using finite materials then you should declare what materials are used to make hydrogen fuel cells as I think you will find they are also a finite material and possibly in less supply than those used in other vehicles.
    Maybe one thing to do is a cost analysis of the various vehicles infrastructure. For instance, the latest information I can find about Hydrogen stations suggests $2mil, which can make 200kg of hydrogen per day (that’s 40 x 5kg fills per day). $2mil would install 1,000 home chargers, or it could install 20 car charging bays. Per day those 20 chargers could recharge at least 480 vehicles (equivalent of the 5kg hydrogen fills).
    This is just one aspect, do some research and you can see there are many more, like removing all the heavy transport required to move that hydrogen around (electricity goes over a wire that lasts a hundred years).
    Hydrogen will have it’s place, but please stop trying to make false claims about how great hydrogen is compared to battery electric, when the only issue left is the time it takes to recharge. by the way, my car recharges over night, I never wait for it.

    March 24th, 2020 at 7:03 am

  10. Thanh Phan says:

    I agree with you that a hydrogen driven car are more environmentally friendly than a electric car. However, currently, the price of gasoline and oil have dropped to a record that will affect the choice of customers to buy cars powered by what energy in the near future.
    I think a hydrogen driven cars will be the trend in the future. However, it still takes a few more years for hydrogen technology to evolve as well as customer awareness of environmental issues.
    Look forward to viewing your new posts.
    Wish you good health and happiness

    May 2nd, 2020 at 5:27 pm