Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Beautiful Vision of the Future

But then the ugly realities of economics and existing infrastructure come into play.  The video here shows an GM hydrogen fuel cell car project being reviewed by James May of BBC's Top Gear.  

Elegant.  Beautiful.  Like science fiction.  But then read the notes below the video:
Introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 2002, General Motors hopes to have this "car of the future" in affordable production by the year 2010.
Whoops!  Didn't quite work out, did it?

General Motors has enormous engineering expertise.  But there are some harsh realities about hydrogen as a fuel that have made this beautiful green vision of the future not show up in the showrooms.  Hydrogen has leak problems, because it is such a tiny molecule.  The infrastructure does not yet exist to make hydrogen available as ubiquitously as electricity and gasoline.  Worst of all: hydrogen requires a lot of electricity to make in quantity.  And where will the electricity come from?  The only practical solution that doesn't make the global warming crowd foam at the mouth is nuclear power--which makes environmentalists (with a few notable exceptions) foam at the mouth.

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