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Hydrogen and Hybrid Vehicles

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Imagine the near future. You bend down, stick your head under your tailpipe, and take a good swig. You can do that with a hydrogen car. These cars aren’t quite on the market yet. But as people flock to buy hybrids, they want to know if a better car is on the horizon. The concept of this better car is the hydrogen car. And some people think that hybrid cars just can’t compete with it. Below, you will learn a few things about hydrogen cars.

Hydrogen cars don’t produce power by burning anything

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Instead of burning a little bit of fuel like a , hydrogen cars don’t burn at all. What happens is a chemical reaction. Hydrogen and oxygen are converted into energy, and the byproduct is water. Hybrid cars certainly don’t do that. Nor is anyone trying to make a hybrid car do such a thing.

Hydrogen in a hydrogen car provides three times the power of gasoline

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Not only does hydrogen burn hotter than gasoline, it also burns faster. This means that hydrogen cars may speed down the highway at incredible speeds. They might be able to stop and start to keep up with traffic in a fraction of a second per minute. Boy, talk about the future. Hybrids just can’t compete with that kind of efficiency. The battery in a hybrid car certainly doesn’t burn hotter or faster than hydrogen.

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Some people think that hydrogen cars are some sort of exaggerated fantasy.

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Many believe that hybrids are more viable than hydrogen cars. And hybrids have reduced emissions from 30 percent to 50 percent. So why on earth would people want to invest time and money in hydrogen cars?

Hydrogen is not a fuel source, but a fuel carrier.

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This means that hydrogen must be produced from other sources. One would expect hydrogen to be produced from wind energy or some other type of renewable resource. Right now, all we seem to have is natural gas. This is the most efficient way to get hydrogen. If that were the case, then there would be no need to build hydrogen cars. Hybrid cars have already reduced the amount of gasoline that people use. Who needs hydrogen cars because it could end up costing us more in natural gas?

It’s hard to build a lot of gas stations for hydrogen cars

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People say that if millions of people suddenly started to own hydrogen cars, creating a large number of hydrogen refueling stations would be a huge challenge. Hybrid cars use gasoline. And we already have refueling stations.

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But President Bush has made it clear that he wants hydrogen cars on the road in large numbers by 2020. So it looks like those who oppose hydrogen cars may have to hold their breath to see if they actually live up to the lofty promises that have been made to them. If they don’t deliver on their promises, people may start running back to hybrids in droves. And that’s not too bad. Hybrid cars or hydrogen cars, one of them will give us cleaner air.