56,000 Hydrogen-Powered Vehicles On The Road So Far27
The total number of hydrogen-powered passenger vehicles on the road amounts to approximately 56,000 units, according to a study released in February 2023. Out of these, 30,000 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (FCEVs) were sold in 2021 and 2022, or roughly 54 percent, which the study suggests accelerating demand for these vehicles.
The FCEV study from Information Trends notes European and Asian countries have been investing more strongly in hydrogen fuel cell technology and infrastructure. Meanwhile, adoption is extremely slow in the U.S., except in California, largely because the federal government appears uninterested in funding the technology.
The two major nameplates currently using hydrogen tech are the Hyundai Nexo and the Toyota Mirai. The Mirai is built as a rear-wheel drive sedan with a hydrogen powertrain capable of developing 182 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. The Nexo is a crossover with a motor rated at 161 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque.
GM has no production hydrogen vehicles in its lineup, but has been working on related development projects for some time, including its HydroTec hydrogen fuel cell technology. The General has multiple partnerships with different companies to work on various elements of this alternative fuel propulsion system.
GM’s HydroTec hydrogen fuel cell technology is potentially adaptable to many uses across passenger and commercial vehicle development. The U.S. military also appears to have some interest in hydrogen fuel combat vehicles.
Back in 2013, GM operated a test fleet of 119 Chevy Equinox hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Together, these cars accumulated at least three million miles of test driving. Partnership between GM and Honda was already in the works, with a planned 2020 arrival date for a jointly developed hydrogen FCEV that never came to fruition.
More recently, GM and Honda collaborated to develop the hydrogen FCEV powertrain Honda is now about to use in some upcoming vehicles. Honda says it intends to develop an as-yet unnamed hydrogen fuel cell compact crossover featuring a hybrid hydrogen and plug-in electric powertrain.
Thanks to this plug-in hybrid design, the Honda crossover will be able to use battery power for short-range, local trips and switch to hydrogen for longer journeys. The new vehicle will be based on the 2023 Honda CR-V and will be a competitor to the Chevy Equinox EV.
The hybrid plug-in hydrogen fuel cell powertrain in Honda’s upcoming crossover strongly resembles similar technology GM is currently developing. The General is working on a battery-supplemented hydrogen powertrain for its medium-duty trucks which is expected to be available by 2026. GM CEO Mary Barra said as early as 2021 that future GM medium-duty trucks would feature GM hydrogen fuel cell technology.
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I find it odd that auto manufacturers have almost completely jumped over proven technology like hybrids and fuel cells and are all in on EVs. They were once touted as the future and are now relegated to almost niche vehicles. In 6-8 years I anticipate lots of EV owners crying foul as to the cost of battery replacement or being upside down in resale value. Honestly, who is going to buy a used EV with 80% battery capacity?
Show us any GM EV with a 80% battery capacity, and I can show you thousands of other GM EVs (and the hybrid Chevy Volt) that have no battery degradation. In fact, gasoline engines degrade much faster and need much more repairs than any EV battery!
They know exactly what they’re doing. Selling people electric vehicles which will be trash in a few years and then suddenly coming out with “new hydrogen cars!” When people lose all hope and trust in EVs. This is just the executives playing it smart.
Here is the problem.
GM has hydrogen pretty much ready but there are so few places to refuel. Adding them will be more expensive and difficult than charging stations.
I expect Hydrogen to take off with fleet use and grow slowly in the private markets.
Hybrids issues are mostly rooted in that they are still ICE powered. That produces emissions and with regulations coming that forbid any ICE the future is limited by these.
It may work for larger trucks that are not impacted as much by the coming regulations.
A hydrogen ICE has no carbon in the exhaust emissions. It would be difficult for any state to ban this type of ICE.
Hydrogen is hydrogen not a Hybrid.
No one had banned them….
It is ICE battery hybrids. With hydrogen there is no need for a hybrid.
Hydrogen fuel cell power will only become effective for large tucks and electric generators. I have the original 2009 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell Owner Manual, and refueling requires two physical connections, one for the H2 line (which is a very cold liquid) and one electrical. There are several steps and it is not simple. And where are the hydrogen stations? There are thousands of gasoline and millions of electrical outlets. GM did the correct decision of not producing fuel cell vehicles.
And as a historical trivia, those Chevy Equinox vehicles were the first electrical crossovers as they had electric motors and a battery to move.
Actually I got to drive one of these and it drove and ran just like a EV Nox would run.
They even let me do a burn out.
Refueling was the one issue and at that time cost. Cost gave come down but refueling even in LA at that time, well all of Souther California was 3 locations.
Also liquid Hydrogen is -400 plus degrees and if more flammable than gasoline. The fueling for the public needs to be safe and simple. No bad nozzles can be had.
Remember the space shuttle when it leaked. That is the kind of problems on a smaller scale you may face so many things need to be done for safety.
You think a battery burns….
It’s a good idea for the future, but right now the source of hydrogen is from natural gas, a fossil fuel. Maybe once the technology is there to make hydrogen from non fossil fuel sources it will be the way to go.
What power source creates hydrogen fuel? Does it take energy from power plants or other sources to generate the hydrogen?
At present hydrogen is produced commercially from fossil fuels.
There are however alternatives which have been used in the past and are under development at present.
Hydrogen production from renewables
Renewable hydrogen can be produced in several ways:
Electrolysis – splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity from one of the many renewable sources;
Biomass conversion – via either thermochemical or biochemical conversion to intermediate products that can then be separated or reformed to hydrogen; or fermentation techniques that produce hydrogen directly;
Solar conversion – by either thermolysis, using solar-generated heat for high temperature chemical cycle hydrogen production or photolysis, in which solar photons are used in biological or electrochemical systems to produce hydrogen directly.
Was on the freeway in Los Angeles Saturday, and was really surprised to see 2 hydrogen powered passenger cars.
I rarely see any, and here were two groups moving right along.
Not sure where they get fueled or the range, but I think I like it.
We have four hydrogen stations in Metro Vancouver, and there was a plan to connect LA to Vancouver with a hydrogen highway. I see a pretty good number of Mirai around here, but with most automakers pivoting towards electric, it’s not looking so good.
Hydrogen for Passenger vehicles always was and always will be a a terrible idea.
The only reason they exist is for the Automakers to get the Subsidies their Countries offer. That will most likely end and so too will Hydrogen powered passenger vehicles as well. Makes absolutely ZERO sense.
Hydrogen will most likely be used for Cargo Ships and maybe Long Haul Airplanes.
My bet. Hydrogen is the future, new tech will come along and beat lithium battery car.
New Tech might come along one day that replaces Lithium but it most certainly will not be Hydrogen. Makes zero sense…None
Just think of the infrastructure needed to completely gut out Gasoline Stations across the entire Nation to now hold Hydrogen, Will never happen.
Think of the insane Logistics as well that will be constantly needed. Again, makes absolutely zero sense and most Automakers and Countries are quickly realizing this as well.
And one a side not, why would anyone want Hydrogen anywhere near them let alone in their car….no thank you.
“makes absolutely zero sense”
That’s exactly what “Ice Heads” said and still say about BEVs. Remember, it’s been a long and choppy road for battery electric cars for the past 100 years. But BEVs have not died; they keep coming back. The urgency of Climate Change and international government policies and subsidies may finally help it succeed this time.
My bet is hydrogen fuel cell electrics won’t die either. This is not shaping up to be a “winner take all” scenario, like VHS/BETA or AC/DC. Shortly look for a blend of electric drivetrain alternatives. It is already occurring.
Google the 400,000 mile Volt!! I know the guy personally. He drove that thing like he stole it, only mileage lost is when he put “run flats” on it.
There are probably 200 hydrogen cars total in the USA running between the 20 CA hydrogen stations, when they are open. The Mirai is dog slow and has no storage space. They can’t sell them even when they give you $15,000 in free Hydrogen when you buy it. I look forward to seeing DIY groups remove the tanks and install batteries to make the Mirai useable. These cars will be going to zero value in a year or two. It will always and forever cost three to five times as much to drive to a station and fill a tank with hydrogen rather than just plug in at home and charge a battery. Hydrogen is a fake solution.
If they invested the $ wasted on ev chargers we could get hydrogen stations started in parts of the country. Stop rushing these mandates when batteries and charging aren’t ready.
Do you realize just how much simpler it is to put up DC Fast Chargers across the entire globe than it is to dig up and place Hydrogen Tanks in Gas Stations in just say one big State in the USA?
It is almost stupid how easy it is to put up Fast Chargers. They are now basically plug and play now.
Tesla just announced they will double the amount of Superchargers in the USA that they currently have by end of 2024…..they started building their Network in 2012 and with 20 moths now they will be able to double up their Network. That is insane!!!
Just let that sink in for a minute.
Hydrogen will never ever happen for Passenger vehicles. I can see on maybe Long Haul Class 8 Semi Trucks, Cargo Ships, and long Haul Airplanes.
They can put up all the charging stations they want, but it will not solve the basic problem. Where will all of the power come from if the electrical grid is having issues in many states now? States have decommissioned nuclear power plant for the tree huggers but no matter how many windmills, solar fields, etc., there will be grid failures. IMO, the technology is being pushed rather than market-driven (puns intended).
Is that a serious question?
Do you think they just plop down DC Fast Chargers where power to support them is MIA?
People do realize that the Grid is an ever growing and always constantly updated with new Technology correct?
Me personally I am not against Nuclear power. But it needs to be heavily regulated and constantly updated.
I was addressing the charger issue and infrastructure’s inability to support all the potential chargers. I was taking them (potential chargers) out of the equation to show that the current grid is not sufficient to meet current needs.
I agree that nuclear is the way to go and the new technology I was looking at – a distributed system of smaller generators rather than very large, high output. It reduces a “single point of failure” issue along with reduction in exposure to any attacks – cyber or physical.
This is excellent! Hydrogen over electric only every time! Abundant resource, truly zero emissions.
Hydrogen is such a joke fuel. Much better to just skip ahead to batteries. The new batteries last way longer than an ICE engine, and are 109% recyclable. People calling foul on batteries have limited understanding of how long they actually last, and how little they degrade.