## Fuel Cells: Cost, Cost, Cost

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• 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
• 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

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
>
>
>
>
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• 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
> > 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...
> >