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Re: Fuel Cells: Cost, Cost, Cost

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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 1 of 3 , Jan 2, 2004
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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 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
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
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