Hydrogen cars are the future,
baby! Not only are hydrogen cars the future of automotive
travel as we know it, they are here right now, among
us. Did you know that? Hydrogen cars are not some George
Jetson fantasy, but they are here now and are being
shown off all over the world.
U.S. Representative Tom Petri Drives GM HydroGen3
At Press Conference
When some people think of hydrogen cars,
they immediately think of the Hindenburg. The Hindenburg
was a big, German zeppelin filled with hydrogen that
caught fire, blew up in dramatic fashion and killed
a bunch of people. People think this early hydrogen
vehicle blew up because of the hydrogen which is totally
false. The skin of the zeppelin was coated with the
equivalent of jet fuel and it caught fire and went down
in flames. It wouldn't have mattered if the aircraft
were filled with helium, oxygen or feathers - the same
thing would have happened.
So, hydrogen cars have gotten a bad
rap because of this. Is hydrogen
fuel totally safe? Of course not. H2 is combustible
like other fuels such as gasoline, diesel, natural gas,
methane or ethanol. All fuels, including hydrogen need
to be handled with care.
So, what is the deal about hydrogen
cars anyways? Well, these cars will change the
way we breathe for one thing. The only emissions
from a hydrogen car is a small amount of water
vapor. This water vapor can even be trapped, electrolyzed
and run back through a fuel cell to generate more
power for the car. How about that for efficiency
Hydrogen cars are powered by three
main sources. Most use fuel cells to generate
electricity and power the car via electric motors.
A few cars use internal combustion engines modified
to accept hydrogen and burn it as fuel. A third
type of hydrogen car uses a hydrogen compound
to generate hydrogen-on-demand to power the vehicle.
In this same category are the vehicles that do
so by use of electrolysis. Much research, development
and money is being poured into hydrogen fuel cell
research as this is seen as the ultimate in green
Can you imagine pulling up to a fueling
station a few years from now, filling up with hydrogen
gas, then pulling away in a very quiet hydrogen car?
The car is quiet because there is no internal combustion
engine to make noise and has relatively few moving parts
in comparison to a gasoline or diesel-powered engine.
Or you could even refuel at a home hydrogen refueling
If we wish to eliminate our addiction
to foreign oil and clean up the environment at the same
time, hydrogen cars will help do just that. Check out
Sweden which is part of the Scandinavian Hydrogen
Highway when you get a chance. Also
check out Hyrban
a new open source hydrogen fuel cell automobile in the