In the battle of the hybrid cars, it’s a shame that hydrogen and electric seem to be sworn enemies, rather than allies. However, as an environmentally-conscious consumer, you want to choose the right one for you. There is an on-going debate about which one is the best, and at the moment, Tesla (on the electric-side) and Toyota (representing hydrogen) seem to be clashing horns. Electric cars have really had a head start – especially with the support of Elon Musk – but which one is likely to dominate the market in the future? Read on to find out.
The big negative? They are extremely expensive to buy, however, the price is coming down every year – for an appreciation of cost, why not check it out using online car valuation tools, like this one. Working off lithium-ion batteries – which were previously very expensive – is now becoming more viable; this technology is dropping in price by 8% every year. In 2014, it cost $300 per kilowatt-hour, but it’s thought that this price will reduce to $230 per kilowatt-hour by 2018.
Another negative is that battery capacity reduces with time, so you may find that your full charge lasts for shorter distances (the longer you have your car), until you finally need to get it replaced.
However, there are tax incentives to make the move to electric, which could help you reduce or cut costs overall.
It’s said that hydrogen cars will be able to travel up to 300 miles on their fuel cells, generating nothing but water as a by-product. California State loves their hybrid cars, and they have promised to invest $50 million to construct hydrogen fuelling stations in the near future. At the moment, though, there is no infrastructure to support hydrogen cars, whereas there has been broader investment in electric vehicles already.
Hydrogen, however, can boast almost triple the driving range of most battery-powered electric cars. Furthermore, they can be refilled in mere minutes, compared with the hours it takes to fully-charge an electric vehicle. Unlike their electric competitor, hydrogen technology can be scaled up to fuel buses, trucks, and other big vehicles. And, as hydrogen is one of the most abundant elements in the world, we’re unlikely to run out of it any time soon.
Hydrogen cars have nearly no trade-offs, when it comes to comparing them with fossil fuel powered cars – that is, except, for price. Unlike electric hybrids, hydrogen technology hasn’t quite reached the point where it’s moving towards affordability. In time, though, hydrogen could be an exceptionally feasible option.
Are Either Electric or Hydrogen Really Green?
The answer is, yes, as long as the source of their original energy is green too. There’s no point sourcing electric power from a fossil fuel plant to split elements or to charge batteries – it needs to have a renewable energy source, such as solar or wind power. So both electric and hydrogen vehicles score brownie points in the environmental category. An added bonus of both hydrogen and electric cars is that they run silently.
So, there you have it – the pros and cons of this exciting green technology. Which team are you on though – Hydrogen or Electric? Let us know in a comment below!