Renault’s Hydrogen Fantasy Debunked – CleanTechnica

Renault’s hydrogen idea automotive is a fantasy that must be debunked. The idea is to make a c-segment MPV / SUV with a smallish battery (40kWh) and a hydrogen gas cell vary extender that may add an additional 500 miles of vary utilizing a 15 kW gas cell. This sounds good, however the satan is within the particulars.

In the intervening time, there is no such thing as a hydrogen filling infrastructure. You can’t get it whenever you want it if you are touring. However there’s a usable charging infrastructure in some nations, and a mediocre one in different nations, each for AC charging for day by day wants and DC charging for touring wants. So this automotive is for at the least 5, maybe ten years into the long run.

In these 5 or extra years, with tens of billions in subsidies, there could possibly be an European-wide H2 filling infrastructure within the making. In the identical time, principally financed by industrial events, there will likely be a really usable European DC charging infrastructure for drivers touring with electrical automobiles.

That is solely about Europe, as a result of Renault sells primarily to Europe with some gross sales in Africa and Latin-America. Any massive scale hydrogen infrastructure as wanted for automobiles is very unlikely in these locations.

This idea automotive has a 40 kWh battery. In 5 years it is going to be no downside for many drivers to cost their automotive in a single day. For these with charging on their very own property this goes with out query. For many parking in public areas, the variety of chargers in strolling distance will likely be ample for most individuals. This charging infrastructure is augmented by charging at buying facilities and at workplaces. For touring to locations with out an electrical grid, hire an enormous diesel SUV and put a number of jerry cans with reserve gas within the trunk.

As is talked about in lots of discussions earlier than, 40 kWh is greater than sufficient for day by day use by the overwhelming majority of individuals. Charging each few days or as soon as every week would suffice for his or her wants. That makes the five hundred miles of prolonged vary by costly hydrogen an possibility for touring. This additional vitality is equipped by a 15 kW gas cell.

With that form of vary you shouldn’t be compelled to journey at say 55 mph. On European highways 75-80 mph is extra customary. The Scenic title is the title of the Renault midsized MPV, maybe evaluating right into a SUV. That isn’t probably the most economical of physique types.

Hydrogen tanks for 500 miles of vary are requiring lots of house. Whereas large on the skin, this automotive is not going to be large on the within, or it will be actually large on the skin, making this automotive not the primary selection for vacation journey with a household.

Two of the three 53-liter, 700 bar hydrogen tanks that present about 350 miles EPA vary

The 15 kW equipped by the gas cell is hardly sufficient for 55 mph when you may have a really environment friendly, streamlined car. However who is aware of what 5 extra years of electrical drivetrain improvement can convey. Maybe it’s sufficient for driving an enormous, totally loaded MPV at 50 mph. For touring at 80 mph, what’s regular for these journeys, with a household and baggage, maybe even a roof coffer, it is going to be over 25 kW that the motor is consuming.

Now some not so difficult math. When consuming 10 kW, the battery is flat after 4 hours driving. When driving at 80 mph, which means a flat battery after 320 miles and slowing to lower than 55 mph (some vitality is required for the airco in summer season, and heating in winter, the 2 hottest occasions of the 12 months for touring).

Now we’ve solely 320 miles of vary whole, not an additional 500 miles of prolonged vary.

In 5 years, battery expertise will likely be so much higher. The present excessive costs due to demand being bigger than provide, each for uncooked and processed supplies because it is also for battery cells, cannot final for ever. Not in 5 years, however seemingly nicely inside ten years, battery costs will return to regular, in response to the battery expertise value curve.

This value curve has been in impact for at the least the final 20 years with a median decline in costs of simply over 14% every year, halving costs each 5 years. The price curve doesn’t have a look at chemistry. It doesn’t care whether it is NMC, LFP, sodium-based, and even nano-scale flywheels contained in the black field. The vitality storage value per kWh are decrease every year. Shortage brought on by disasters or provide and demand being out of stability can disrupt this development. After some time, the value will return to the conventional degree.

In ten years, the cell worth for batteries will seemingly be round $25/kWh. A 100 kWh battery will likely be so much smaller, cheaper, and presumably not heavier than this development, with its battery plus big hydrogen tanks and a gas cell. A 100 kWh battery can even convey you 320 miles additional earlier than it’s flat. However a cease to cost each 2.5 to three hours (200-240 miles) whereas utilizing the lavatory and getting some refreshments is wise on lengthy journeys. Solely when touring on the German Autobahn with speeds over 100 mph do you want a bigger battery.

Now with the enterprise case for this hydrogen dream actually debunked, what relaxation is a straightforward query. What are they pondering at Renault? Or higher, why aren’t they pondering at Renault?




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