Last week Travis wrote about Audi and its E-gas plans.
I posted a comment: "Why wouldn't you just use the Hydrogen? Or a fuel cell for that matter? Seems like an unnecessary extra step; especially if the want to eventually just go e-tron anyway."
Patrick Frawley replied:
Hydrogen is a right pain to handle and store, and its burn characteristics aren't so great in modern engines. Fuel cells that are big enough to power a car are bulky and extremely expensive. Propane/natural gas/this stuff is much easier to manage and use.
Hydrogen is really tough to store for any length of time in any reasonable density.
Bob Sacaman replied:
You are spot on concerning the pain to handle Hydrogen. Also, why break down natural gas or methane to get hydrogen? It takes energy to do so and it's not significantly more efficient to burn/use. The best option is to use natural gas, we already have the infrastructure and all modern vehicles are capable or running on this with little conversion effort.
The ugly secret about fuel cells is that they do not last the gazillion miles that the new car buyer expects. When I was working on prototypes for a fuel clee company, stack life was 12K miles, and i have yet to see anyone even mention how long they last. fuel cells require deionized water for cooling and depending upon other systems, processing, and that alone can cause a lot of wear on internal parts. Stacks work best with fixed or slow loads, which cars are not known for.
Hydrogen want sto leak out of things, and leak it will, and very sneakily. It burns so cleanly you do not see the flame. We had some humorous fires at the lab, but they hurt no one and unlike gasoline quickly disipated.
And as Patrick stated, they are EXPENSIVE, and the cost per mile is so much higher then even the worst gas guzzler on the road
I'm gonna give you the simple and short answer... Because Hydrogen Has No Future...
Despite all the intelligent responses GM and Honda just announced a 7 year joint venture to do just that. Hydrogen powered fuel cell project.
Now what does Jalopnik Land have to say for itself?