What's the place for the hydrogen car?

This summer, Japan will host the Olympic Games with the ambition of making it a showcase for a future hydrogen society. A few weeks later, Toyota will launch a new version of its hydrogen car, the Toyota Mirai. A sign that the mobility of the future will be based on fuel cells?

Since the Fukushima disaster, Japan has made hydrogen technologies its top priority to build both its cities and its mobility of tomorrow. Already more than 25,000 homes are equipped with a fuel cell for their power supply. And the country has set a target of reaching 40,000 hydrogen vehicles in circulation by 2020. A figure he even hopes to multiply... twenty by 2030!

The landscape of individual mobility is in the midst of a revolution...

Indeed, for a very long time, the thermally powered car has prevailed undivided on the market. The only choice available to the motorist was gasoline or diesel. The mobility landscape was then standardized to the extreme. But things have changed. Today, the offer has expanded. As the thermal engine loses market share, various hybrid and even 100% electric solutions have gradually appeared on our roads.

The hydrogen car enters the category of electric cars. Its main advantage is that it has a very interesting weight-to-power ratio. Its range is in the order of that of thermal vehicles, i.e. 700 to 800 kilometers. The "load time" is also comparable to the time it takes to refuel. And unlike an electric vehicle's battery, a hydrogen-filled tank doesn't discharge on its own. On the other hand, if the hydrogen a car consumes is produced by electrolysis of water from renewable electricity - which is currently not currently the case - it can participate in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Are there any technological locks left to blow up?

One example is the tank issue. The hydrogen used by hydrogen cars must be compressed. And so it is a reservoir under 700 pressure bars that must be protected. As for the oxygen needed to operate the fuel cell, it must be quite pure. The air must therefore be filtered, but the operation generates today a lot of noise.

Does the hydrogen car represent the future of individual mobility?

I don't think so. But it will be interesting for some motorists. Those who live in hot areas, in particular.

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