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Fuel Cells: Cost, Cost, Cost

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  • Mike Harrington
    At technical and scientific meetings, we re hearing nothing to lead us to the conclusion that there s been a big scientific breakthrough in fuel cells, said
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 26, 2003
      At technical and scientific meetings, we're hearing nothing to lead
      us to the conclusion that there's been a big scientific breakthrough
      in fuel cells," said Elton Cairns, professor of chemical engineering
      at the University of California, Berkeley, and a developer of
      electric-vehicle batteries for General Motors during the 1970s.

      "We need breakthroughs-in electrocatalysis and in polymer exchange
      membranes-if this vision is going to be realized," Cairns said.



      http://www.eet.com/story/OEG20030522S0017
    • Chris Loyd
      Excerpt: Indeed, researchers say that fuel cell costs are currently hovering between $1,000 and $3,000 per kilowatt. To compete with vehicles equipped with
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 30, 2003
        Excerpt:

        "Indeed, researchers say that fuel cell costs are currently hovering between
        $1,000 and $3,000 per kilowatt. To compete with vehicles equipped with
        internal combustion engines, those figures need to plummet to about $30/kW.
        "As long as you've got to buy your electrodes at the jewelry store, you can
        bet you're not going to put fuel cells on the road that are competitive with
        internal combustion engines," Sadoway said."

        Would this mean that Fuel Cells are equivalent to [(1000 + 3000)/2]/30 =
        $66.7/gallon? If so, there's your current break-even point. If gas were to
        reach that amount, absent taxes, then there would be a lot of money to be
        made in the R&D-ing and eventual selling of fuel cells.


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Mike Harrington" <mike@...>
        To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, December 26, 2003 7:02 AM
        Subject: [carfree_cities] Fuel Cells: Cost, Cost, Cost


        > At technical and scientific meetings, we're hearing nothing to lead
        > us to the conclusion that there's been a big scientific breakthrough
        > in fuel cells," said Elton Cairns, professor of chemical engineering
        > at the University of California, Berkeley, and a developer of
        > electric-vehicle batteries for General Motors during the 1970s.
        >
        > "We need breakthroughs-in electrocatalysis and in polymer exchange
        > membranes-if this vision is going to be realized," Cairns said.
        >
        >
        >
        > http://www.eet.com/story/OEG20030522S0017
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
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      • Mike Harrington
        The high kw cost means fc vehicles will never be something the masses will be able to afford, even if the price of oil stays cheap like it is today. FC s high
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 2, 2004
          The high kw cost means fc vehicles will never be something the masses
          will be able to afford, even if the price of oil stays cheap like it
          is today. FC's high complexity is justified for spacecraft, but that
          is different than a couple of hundred million motor vehicles in North
          America. It will be difficult to mass produce and maintain these
          devices, and I believe they will only be for the very rich, if at
          all.

          In constant dollars, oil prices are about half of what they were in
          1980, and per capita consumption in the US is steadily upwards since
          1989. This is in the face of rapidly rising per capita oil
          consumption in China, India, Pakistan, Iran and Brazil. The problem
          is that if the oil price increases, the cost of all goods increases,
          including that of motor vehicles be they fc's, hybrids, ic's or
          storage batteries. If you have a car, Asphalt Nation said that half
          of the energy it consumes is during its manufacture and disposal.

          Not only does the price of fc transportation need to be greatly
          reduced before people can afford it, but it needs to overcome the
          inflationary pressure of high energy prices, something we haven't had
          to deal with in the past 20 years.


          --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Chris Loyd" <tybalt@p...>
          wrote:
          > Excerpt:
          >
          > "Indeed, researchers say that fuel cell costs are currently
          hovering between
          > $1,000 and $3,000 per kilowatt. To compete with vehicles equipped
          with
          > internal combustion engines, those figures need to plummet to about
          $30/kW.
          > "As long as you've got to buy your electrodes at the jewelry store,
          you can
          > bet you're not going to put fuel cells on the road that are
          competitive with
          > internal combustion engines," Sadoway said."
          >
          > Would this mean that Fuel Cells are equivalent to [(1000 +
          3000)/2]/30 =
          > $66.7/gallon? If so, there's your current break-even point. If
          gas were to
          > reach that amount, absent taxes, then there would be a lot of money
          to be
          > made in the R&D-ing and eventual selling of fuel cells.
          >
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: "Mike Harrington" <mike@p...>
          > To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
          > Sent: Friday, December 26, 2003 7:02 AM
          > Subject: [carfree_cities] Fuel Cells: Cost, Cost, Cost
          >
          >
          > > At technical and scientific meetings, we're hearing nothing to
          lead
          > > us to the conclusion that there's been a big scientific
          breakthrough
          > > in fuel cells," said Elton Cairns, professor of chemical
          engineering
          > > at the University of California, Berkeley, and a developer of
          > > electric-vehicle batteries for General Motors during the 1970s.
          > >
          > > "We need breakthroughs-in electrocatalysis and in polymer exchange
          > > membranes-if this vision is going to be realized," Cairns said.
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > http://www.eet.com/story/OEG20030522S0017
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@e...
          > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
          > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@e...
          > > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
          > >
          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          > > To visit your group on the web, go to:
          > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/carfree_cities/
          > >
          > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          > >
          > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
          > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          > >
          > >
          > >
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