The Battle of the Trucks:  H2 vs. Batteries

News Brief by Kip Hansen – 16 April 2022

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration there were “nearly 12.5 million commercial large trucks and buses were registered in 2016”.   There are more now. 

Governments around the world are considering or actually enacting laws, rules and regulations to phase out petroleum powered transportation (gasoline and diesel) and replace it with low- or no-emissions cars, trucks and buses. 

Jack Ewing, writes in the New York Times about automotive business and the transition to electric vehicles.  His latest article is titled: 

“Truck Makers Face a Tech Dilemma: Batteries or Hydrogen?”

“Under pressure to cut emissions, truck manufacturers are choosing between batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. Wagering incorrectly could cost them billions of dollars.”

He says that the major makers of trucks, in the U.S. and Europe, have already decided that they will be required to give up the ever-dependable diesel power that they have so much experience with and shift to low emissions alternatives. 

“Truck makers are divided into two camps. One faction, which includes Traton, Volkswagen’s truck unit, is betting on batteries because they are widely regarded as the most efficient option. The other camp, which includes Daimler Truck and Volvo, the two largest truck manufacturers, argues that fuel cells that convert hydrogen into electricity — emitting only water vapor — make more sense because they would allow long-haul trucks to be refueled quickly.”

Battery-powered long-haul trucks cost way more than diesel trucks – up to three times according to Ewing – but at least there is a short-haul version that one could buy.  “Daimler Truck, for example, began producing an electric version of its heavy duty Actros truck, with a maximum range of 240 miles, late last year.”

Yes, producing, but they sold only 712 in 2021 worldwide, compared to 455,000 ICE trucks the same year.  “Daimler has a new long-range Mercedes-Benz eActros commercial truck, which comes in at three times the price of the gas version.” [ source ].   These trucks have about a 400km or 240 mile range – it is not clear if this is an over-the-highway mileage or a more pragmatic average driving conditions mileage, such as making deliveries in London or NY City.

And hydrogen fuel cell (H2)versions?  “In April (2021), Daimler began testing a prototype “GenH2” long-haul truck capable of going 600 miles between visits to the hydrogen pump. But lots of work is needed to bring down the cost of the equipment and there is not yet a network of hydrogen fueling stations or an adequate supply of hydrogen produced in a way that does not cancel out the environmental benefits.” [ source ]

Electric city buses, short-haul people-carrying vans like airport shuttles, or local delivery vans all make basic sense for batteries, as these types of vehicles return to a central depot each day where they can be recharged and maintained. 

 “The environmental side is hugely important but if it doesn’t make financial sense, nobody’s going to do it,” said Paul Gioupis, chief executive of Zeem, a company that is building one of the largest electric vehicle charging depots in the country about one and a half miles from Los Angeles International Airport. Zeem will recharge trucks and service and clean them for clients like hotels, tour operators and delivery companies.” [ source ]

Ewing points out that H2 trucks will be lighter and can be fueled (once there are fueling stations) in a similar manner to diesel trucks. 

One of these two technologies may come out a big winner or the two technologies may share the market.  Only time will tell. 

The winner of the technology battle will rule the future truck market, worth billions. . . Winning billions or losing billions if one manufacturer picks the losing technology. 

These mega-corporations have already poured in millions of research dollars and euros and set their best brains to try to outguess the future.

Which tech do you think will come out on top?

# # # # #

Author’s Comment:

I have an unsettled, not-yet-formed opinion.  Battery power seems to have the edge in the present moment.  Batteries are available and becoming better.  Electricity for charging is already well distributed along major trucking routes and ubiquitous even in the less populated areas. 

H2 is tricky to deal with – it sneaks out of containers and pipes and in the end, can be explosive.  A leak can act as a FAE, a fuel air explosive.  Anyone with a bit of chemistry background can make enough H2 at home to be dangerous (ask me, I had my three boys in home school).  That said, it does burn cleanly producing only energy and H2O.

I don’t think I would want to drive a vehicle on the existing U.S. highways with a tank full of pure hydrogen strapped under the seat.

Yes, I know, gasoline is dangerous too….but not quite in the same way.  Maybe it’s just me. 

Thanks for reading.

# # # # #

 

 

 

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VOWG
April 16, 2022 6:07 am

They keep pushing their fantasies.

Scissor
Reply to  VOWG
April 16, 2022 6:27 am

Xi says that you must resist your sole’s desire for freedom. One might suspect there is a connection between these fantasies and their desire for control.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Scissor
April 16, 2022 9:42 am

My soles don’t desire anything, except walking.

Scissor
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
April 16, 2022 9:52 am

Xi doesn’t spell very well.

TEWS_Pilot
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
April 16, 2022 11:23 am

You will change your attitude when it is time to re-sole.

Rational Db8
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
April 16, 2022 5:43 pm

During Katrina some looters cleaned out a shoe store. But as we all know, these were just poor undocumented shoppers, who went out of their way and successfully liberated so many soles!!

Doonman
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
April 16, 2022 11:21 pm

Sole, soul and soal. Two are flat, one is saved and one is dirty.

Last edited 1 month ago by Doonman
jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Scissor
April 16, 2022 1:21 pm

If your sole desires freedom, go barefoot.

Derg
Reply to  Scissor
April 16, 2022 1:56 pm

Scissor I heard a fascinating clip on the No Agenda podcast from a Canada new station. Apparently Canada is trying to pass a law to limit organ transplant trips to China. It appears China has the lowest wait time in the world for organ transplants

Now where are they getting these organs, if true 🤔

michael hart
Reply to  Derg
April 16, 2022 2:30 pm

Probably from a sole sauce.

Jacques Dumon
Reply to  Derg
April 16, 2022 4:25 pm

China has an unexhaustable spring of organs available at once from the jailed people waiting for their death sentence to be executed. There are a yearly average of 2000 people who in average are sentenced to die in China. Their histocompatibility’s features are listed and once one is matching yours, the prisoner is killed on the surgical table a short moment before the organ
transplantation is scheduled in your body.

Mike Bryant
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 17, 2022 9:34 am

Kip, it is absolutely real. It is not a rumor. There are so many Americans, and others, making so much money from the Chinese Communist dictatorship that even this is swept under the table. Help the Falun Gong by refusing to support communism and murder.

http://www.stoporganharvesting.org

Shoshin
Reply to  VOWG
April 16, 2022 6:45 am

Both hydrogen and batteries are hideous WRT energy density. And we won’t even get into how the hydrogen or electricity are generated. It’s hard to imagine an application more unsuited and less compelling for either than freight hauling.

Our elites have slipped into a “South Park” episode, where they can only choose between a “Giant D****e” and a “S**t Sandwich”.

Fortunately, our elites possess the vision to make this choice.

Travis
Reply to  Shoshin
April 16, 2022 6:49 am

Here’s help imangine agricultural tractors. full load all the day

Shoshin
Reply to  Travis
April 16, 2022 7:03 am

And that’s another one.

John Aqua
Reply to  Travis
April 16, 2022 7:30 am

well, overtime would not be a problem for agricultural employees anymore. <sarc>

niceguy
Reply to  Shoshin
April 16, 2022 7:50 am

In France, we have:

  • Macron (En Marche), promoting battery powered electric and hybrid cars
  • Le Pen (Rassemblement National), whose party promotes H2
jeffery P
Reply to  niceguy
April 16, 2022 8:53 am

Why promote either? Let the scientists, engineers determine what works and let the consumers pick what’s best.

Curious George(@moudryj)
Reply to  jeffery P
April 16, 2022 9:26 am

If diesel kills the planet, how about covered wagons?

The Dark Lord
Reply to  jeffery P
April 16, 2022 12:11 pm

ICE works best …

Old Cocky
Reply to  The Dark Lord
April 16, 2022 1:48 pm

or, in the case of diesel, CIE 😉

Iain Reid
Reply to  jeffery P
April 17, 2022 12:16 am

Jeffery,

my standard response to “let the scientists, engineers etc” is what do scientists know about engineering? Seemingly very little from what they come out with?

Rich Davis
Reply to  niceguy
April 16, 2022 9:23 am

which one is Mannu Micron, the turd sandwich or the giant douche?

Derg
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 16, 2022 11:21 pm

Boy Southpark missed on that episode. After all that transpired, Hillary was both.

Last edited 1 month ago by Derg
Scissor
Reply to  Shoshin
April 16, 2022 8:53 am

Just to be clear. I don’t really watch reality shows like South Park. So, is a “D****e” something one might use for hygiene purposes?

If so, it actually has some utility. The sandwich, not so much. But I guess it’s just being used in a derogatory fashion, which seems right.

Nevermind.

Last edited 1 month ago by Scissor
Rich Davis
Reply to  Shoshin
April 16, 2022 9:19 am
Scissor
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 16, 2022 9:39 am

Thanks. LOL

Willem post
Reply to  VOWG
April 16, 2022 11:23 am

The world would have 1.5 BILLION EVs for everyone, of which the batteries will last at most 8 years.

It is total hoot dreamt up by extremist liberal-arts, political-scientists bureaucrats, commuting in the highly subsidized, feel-good, $75,000 EVs

There would have to be total recycling of all scarce, expensive battery materials, as otherwise, there would not be enough materials to build another 1.5 billion EVs

The world would have about 100 million trucks and buses, in addition to the EVs.

A long haul truck typically travels about 50,000 miles per year, about 5 times the typical travel of an EV, i.e., those trucks and buses are equivalent to 500 million EVs.

The only LONG-TERM solution is hydrogen.

Gee, that was not too hard to figure out!

Last edited 1 month ago by Willem post
The Dark Lord
Reply to  Willem post
April 16, 2022 12:12 pm

Ice is the long term solution

aussiecol
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 1:35 pm

Battery Life? Doing 50,000 km’s a year would surely lessen their life in time.

Bryan A
Reply to  aussiecol
April 16, 2022 11:58 pm

Battery does 200 – 240 miles then needs 8+ (16) hours to recharge @ 240v before you can go another 200 – 240 miles. And that’s for a 4 door sedan that seats 5. Trucks haul significantly heavier loads and would require larger batteries taking far longer to recharge. 200 miles a day x 5 days a week x 50 weeks is 50,000 miles a year with 2 weeks off per year.

aussiecol
Reply to  Bryan A
April 17, 2022 4:55 pm

Thanks Brian, that’s a lot of miles (note I mistakenly used Kms). So that would only shorten the battery life further before a replacement is needed I would assume. I wonder if that cost is factored in?

aussiecol
Reply to  aussiecol
April 17, 2022 5:05 pm

Apologies Bryan, for miss spelling your name.

Bryan A
Reply to  Willem post
April 16, 2022 11:37 pm

Your figure of 50,000 miles per year is a little underestimated. I used to drive Short Haul delivery and would easily drive more than 100,000 per year.

Willem post
Reply to  Bryan A
April 18, 2022 2:25 pm

Bryan,

You are right.

Also, one long haul driver may log 100,000 miles/y, but the truck may have 2 drivers, just as planes have 2 or 3 crews.

This whole battery ado will turn out to be a hoax.

Not only will there be a lack of high-cost chips, but also high-cost battery materials, plus supply chain snafus. The cost of E

Bryan A
Reply to  Willem post
April 17, 2022 10:41 am

Long Haul (cross-country) truckers drive not more than a maximum of 11 hours per day, according to the Hours of Service regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. All things equal, a trucker will drive about 55 to 60 miles per hour. At the end of the 11-hour driving shift, this amounts to 605 to 650 miles per day.
Which equates to about 150,000 miles per year.

yirgach
Reply to  Bryan A
April 17, 2022 11:18 am

What happens when the trucks are autonomous and there is no need for a potty stop? Won’t that affect the H2 vs Battery debate?

rah
Reply to  Bryan A
April 18, 2022 9:09 am

I drive hard. When driving for miles I did my best to average over 3,000 a week. Despite that the very best I have done in over 17 years of driving OTR was 146,000 in a year.

DrEd
Reply to  VOWG
April 16, 2022 11:54 am

WHY are we trying to reduce CO2? The hypothesis that man-made CO2 is the main cause of global warming has been disproven.
And why was the MWP warmer that it is now? Certainly not because of CO2! Why do we persist in this idiotic expensive and ineffective pursuit of CO2 reduction?
Almost all green energy schemes are net energy negative – certainly ethanol, H2, and batteries.
We are fools for letting this continue.

Rational Db8
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 6:01 pm

It truly does seem like we’re having a horrific pandemic – of idiocracy. Every time I turn around there’s something that’s just totally bat-sh*t-crazy. It’s hard to even do satire anymore, because anything written to be satire is probably something that’s already going on! It’s like we’re now living in a cross between 1984, Animal Farm, Atlas Shrugged, and Idiocracy. Sigh.

Derg
Reply to  Rational Db8
April 16, 2022 11:23 pm

This ^

Doonman
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 11:31 pm

We are doing it for the children. Of course, birth rates are down in the developed world, so saving them is getting easier. All you have to do is lower your standard of living to be a hero.

scott
Reply to  VOWG
April 16, 2022 3:37 pm

I cant wait for the choice between battery and H2 for bushfire fighting trucks. should be a hoot.

peter schell
April 16, 2022 6:10 am

Of course the other side of this wager is that we don’t see a serious drop in world-wide temperatures. In which case before these techs are ready for prime time the revelation sets in that there never was a crisis needing such major retooling. And all the companies who didn’t invest everything in an inferior technology are suddenly on top of the heap.

John Aqua
Reply to  peter schell
April 16, 2022 7:31 am

Kind of like the genesis of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.

Curious George(@moudryj)
Reply to  peter schell
April 16, 2022 7:57 am

I don’t see a serious rise of temperatures, Dr. Mann does.

jeffery P
Reply to  peter schell
April 16, 2022 8:55 am

We will never see a serious drop in worldwide temperatures because the data is adjusted to match the desired results.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  jeffery P
April 16, 2022 9:28 am

Glaciation is due in the next 2000 ish years….

Tom Halla
April 16, 2022 6:10 am

Hydrogen lacks the density to be good transport fuel, even as a cryogenic liquid.

Scissor
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 16, 2022 6:34 am

EVs are heavy and damage roads even more that conventional transport vehicles. Imagine roads with more and worse potholes. Further, tires wear faster, actually creating more particulates.

So, not only are these EV transport vehicles more expensive to produce, require the installation of expensive infrastructure while delivery performance is worsened, they cost more to operate.

Mike Smith
Reply to  Scissor
April 16, 2022 7:04 am

Yep. Road damage is approximately proportional to axle weight raised to the fourth power.

EV’s and Electric Trucks and Buses will have a very significant impact on road and highway maintenance costs.

Greg61
Reply to  Mike Smith
April 16, 2022 7:35 am

There’s probably a correlation with truck tire failure causing serious car accidents also

Joe Born(@jhborn)
Reply to  Mike Smith
April 16, 2022 8:25 am

Interesting; I had never heard that “fourth power” statement. Do you have a link to an explanation?

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  Joe Born
April 16, 2022 8:47 am

Here you go:

https://www.insidescience.org/news/how-much-damage-do-heavy-trucks-do-our-roads

It’s interesting to note that my 800 pound Gold Wing motorcycle, with 50 MPG and annual usage of 240 gallons of gas, results in about $150 in road taxes for ‘damage’. A 5,000 pound Tesla, which does approximately 1,500 times more road damage than my bike, pays zero.

Joe Born(@jhborn)
Reply to  Shanghai Dan
April 16, 2022 9:02 am

Thanks a lot. I had no idea.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Shanghai Dan
April 16, 2022 9:26 am

I pay £650 pa for my 2 seat Alfa Romeo. Fair? Nowhere near.

Rational Db8
Reply to  Shanghai Dan
April 16, 2022 6:07 pm

As soon as there are even a relatively small percentage of EVs on the road (enough to make a dent in gas taxes), they’ll almost certainly start charging taxes based on miles driven. They’ve been bandying that possibly around for some time now, even with almost no EVs to speak of (relative to number of combustion engine vehicles, that is).

Richard Patton
Reply to  Shanghai Dan
April 17, 2022 3:51 pm

Wealthy privilege. Only the wealthy can afford a Tesla without stealing [via subsidies] from the rest of us.

ex-KaliforniaKook
Reply to  Mike Smith
April 16, 2022 10:01 am

In the US trucks pay road taxes based on their maximum weight they are licensed for. For a battery powered truck, they’ll pay more or be forced to carry less. The truck will 3x as much, but the driver won’t be able to drive as far because of refueling time), so he’ll have less income to pay for it. The driver, the shipper and the customer all lose time and money.

Aren’t politicians clever?

MR166
Reply to  ex-KaliforniaKook
April 16, 2022 12:37 pm

“Aren’t politicians clever?”

Yes they are very clever and that is the problem. They are aware of the social collapse that these plans will create and are looking forward to it. The destruction of the capitalist West is their end goal. It is no accident that our entire social structure is collapsing all around us.

Rational Db8
Reply to  MR166
April 16, 2022 6:09 pm

The left thinks that global wealth should be “equitably” distributed – therefore, they must drag us down to the same level as everyone else and beggar the more wealthy nations.

It never seems to occur to them that it’d be vastly better for all if they worked on helping pull the poor nations up, rather than tearing us down.

niceguy
Reply to  Scissor
April 16, 2022 7:58 am

Toyota style hybrids are also very heavy: in France all normal family cars were way below “une tonne” (= 1000 kg), usually at 750 kg or 800 kg (for real usable cars, with enough room to go to the mall and buy for a week, etc.). Only SUV were way above the “tonne”.

But now we see many Toyota (or similar tech) hybrids at > 1200 kg (of similar size).

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  niceguy
April 16, 2022 11:55 am

niceguy:

I don’t see a technical reason for hybrids to be grossly heavier than pure IC equivalents. From Edmunds, here are comparison figures for 2022 Toyotas in US market which come in both standard and hybrid models:

  • Corolla (LE): 2,910 lbs (1,323 kg)
  • Corolla Hybrid (LE): 2,850 lbs (1,295 kg) — 28 kg less
  • Camry (LE [4cyl]): 3,310 lbs (1,505 kg)
  • Camry Hybrid (LE): 3,480 lbs (1,582 kg) — 77 kg more
  • Avalon (Ltd): 3,570 lbs (1,623 kg)
  • Avalon Hybrid (Ltd): 3,610 lbs (1,641 kg) — 18 kg more
  • RAV4 (LE): 3,380 lbs (1,536 kg)
  • RAV4 Hybrid (LE): 3,710 lbs (1,686 kg) — 150 kg more
  • RAV4 Prime Hybrid (LE): 4,235 lbs (1,925 kg) — 284 kg more
  • Highlander (LE): 4,145 lbs (1,884 kg)
  • Highlander Hybrid (LE): 4,330 lbs (1,968 kg) — 84 kg more

I can’t explain why the hybrid Corolla weighs less than the standard model. The standard Avalon engine is a V6; most of the others have standard 4-cylinder engines. I included the RAV4 Prime which is a plug-in hybrid, meaning it has a larger battery and charging circuitry to add weight.

As you can see the typical weight penalty for a hybrid is well under 100 kg with the RAV4 being an outlier.

These are for the US market which except in Hawaii does not impose any direct cost for vehicle weight. I expect Toyota models intended for sale in places where registration fees are based on weight would be trimmed down as much as possible.

In any case, a pure hybrid has a relatively small battery (1.6 KWh for the Camry/Avalon models) and a relatively small electric motor, so 50-80 kg seem a reasonable weight increase.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
April 17, 2022 8:36 am

Most EV’s in the future will *not* be hybrids. As supply of gasoline goes down the price will kill even small engine hybrids as well as limit the number of gas stations. Straight EV’s will have much heavier batteries as the RAV4 hybrid does.

Rick C
Reply to  Scissor
April 16, 2022 8:23 am

Trucks are limited by gross weight regulations to limit road damage. That means all the extra battery weight electric trucks haul around must be offset by reduced cargo weight. That makes the economics of electric trucks inferior to diesel. H2 might be better, but there are many drawbacks there as well not the least of which is the danger nature of handling pure hydrogen.

Scissor
Reply to  Rick C
April 16, 2022 8:56 am

I should have mentioned the greater demand placed on braking, except for regenerative brakes, there will be greater amounts of brake dust produced also.

niceguy
Reply to  Rick C
April 16, 2022 9:12 am

Wheel limit or overall?

rah
Reply to  niceguy
April 17, 2022 1:36 am

Axle weight. 17,000 max per axle.
Usually weighed however as tandems on the trailer at max of 34,000. Tandems on the tractor max 34,000. Steer axle max 12,000. Totaling 80,000 lb max.

On some tractors the steer axle and tires are rated for more than 12,000 and so they be can be loaded up to their rated amount but the rig still cannot exceed the 80,000 GVW.

Last edited 1 month ago by rah
AndyHce
Reply to  Scissor
April 16, 2022 12:00 pm

Maybe I’m wrong but, at least for the big trucks, 18 wheelers, I think there is a total weight limit for legal road use. A review of an experimental Telsa truck pointed out that the total weight was the same (same effect on road wear) but the possible freight load is greatly diminished.

Scissor
Reply to  AndyHce
April 16, 2022 12:22 pm

You’re right, though rules are meant to be overridden by executive order.

rah
Reply to  AndyHce
April 16, 2022 3:06 pm

80,000 is the standard GVW

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 16, 2022 7:39 am

If EV is a requirement, H2 for large fleets that follow mostly fixed routes….like Walmart…may be the best choice since H2 refill can be provided by the co. from larger tanks…there are niche businesses like landscaping that order larger tanks of H2 for their equipment…warehouse forklifts that use H2…etc. Also, in the future there may be autonomous driving of these regular routes and no stops at commercial fuel stations.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Anti_griff
April 16, 2022 9:41 am

‘..there are niche businesses like landscaping that order larger tanks of H2 for their equipment…warehouse forklifts that use H2…etc.’

H2? Are you sure it’s not NH3 for the landscapers (farmers?) and LPG for the forklifts?

Jack Woodward
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
April 16, 2022 10:33 pm

An industry website says there are already over 25,000 hydrogen fuel cell forklifts in the US. Major manufacturers include Toyota and Plug Power.

gbaikie
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 16, 2022 10:51 am

But Methane works.

Martin
April 16, 2022 6:14 am

Another option would be to convert the existing diesel engines manufacturing facilities to produce hydrogen ice engines – JCB are working on this and have already built demonstration vehicles

commieBob
Reply to  Martin
April 16, 2022 7:04 am

Indeed.

The shipping industry is betting on ammonia. Water can be electrolyzed to produce hydrogen and nitrogen comes from air. Ammonia can be burned in diesel engines. There are a number of marine ammonia fuel projects. There is a Scandinavian project to build bunkering facilities. link

There is another possibility in which hydrogen is combined with toluine which produces methyl cyclohexane (MCH). At the far end of the trip the hydrogen is separated from the MCH and the resulting toluene is shipped back to the origin. This link is to a paper comparing ammonia and MCH.

Of course, neither of those alternatives is as good as fossil fuel. Also, ammonia is highly toxic and, in the presence of humidity, can form a gas that is heavier than air. I have visions of another Bhopal.

Rick W Kargaard
Reply to  commieBob
April 16, 2022 8:29 am

You are thinking of anhydrous ammonia which is a highly dangerous gas commonly used as a fertilizer or as a refrigerant.
It it has a high affinity for water and when exposed to it turns instantly to ammonia hydroxide which is a common, usually dilute, ingredient of household cleaners.
If you are ever exposed to the compressed gas (liquid) the only remedy to reduce injury is to dive into a tank of water. You will be too late in most cases.
I am not sure how it can be safely used as a fuel but it does have a narrow range of flammability.  High NOx emissions is a characteristic.
That is not to say that it cannot be handled safely as millions of farmers and refrigeration techs can attest to. It is the appalling results of accidents that are worrying.

Jet A
Reply to  Martin
April 16, 2022 7:05 am

And another option would be to install a mini nuke plant under the hood.

Coach Springer
Reply to  Jet A
April 17, 2022 8:15 am

Might as well make that fusion.

Reply to  Martin
April 16, 2022 7:50 am

This company may be fraud https://plasmakinetics.com The tech may be real but no way can store enough H2 for EVs.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 11:02 am

The CEO is interviewed on Youtube but offers no demonstration…let’s see the device on a table top and burn the H2 coming from it. Bill Gates bought into a new battery tech firm but apparently he is not into this tech.

Bryan A
Reply to  Anti_griff
April 16, 2022 11:35 am

Sounds a lot like the STEORN business model

michael hart
Reply to  Anti_griff
April 16, 2022 3:10 pm

It’s fraud. The language alone tells you that.

commieBob
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 18, 2022 5:41 am

Electric power for heavy equipment makes sense. Railway locomotives (either diesel-electric or straight electric) and draglines are prime examples. On the other hand, I’m not sure about fuel cells.

Electric and battery powered loaders seem to be a thing in underground mining. link

It seems to me that, if you really insist on having fuel cells, you could also have a battery option or the ability to plug into the grid and operate tethered.

Devils Tower
April 16, 2022 6:16 am

The long term answer is fuel cell use, but not hydrogen. It will be some form of renewable hydrocarbons using nuclear power to generate directly.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Devils Tower
April 16, 2022 9:24 am

Fossil fuels are totally renewable. New oil and gas is produced in the Earth every day. Rate of use? Dunno.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
April 16, 2022 3:16 pm

Actually, abiotic genesis is mostly NOT true. There is some abiotic natural gas, mostly as methane clathrates on the floor of the Framm Strait thanks to seafloor spreading and iron catalysis from fresh basalt. There is NO abiotic crude oil, period. The two attempts (Sweden, Ukraine) to prove otherwise both failed miserably. Gold’s book claiming otherwise is just scientific garbage. Easy to prove that most crude source rock has marine kerogen origin, the rest (mainly Haltenbanken off Norway) has a coal biogenesis origin. All my ‘assertions’ are easily researched, should you chose to do so. Just gave you the keywords to Google.

John MCCUTCHEON
April 16, 2022 6:20 am

I suspect the choice will come down to the government support for Battery Vs Hydrogen. Technology, science and market forces will be the minor consideration, because if they were of major consideration then everybody would still stick with diesel.

My bet is Battery, because the complexity of Hydrogen generation, delivery, storage and use in a moror vehicle will be too much for a Government organisation to comprehend. The resultant administrative rules for subsidy support will make no business or common sense.

Scissor
Reply to  John MCCUTCHEON
April 16, 2022 6:39 am

Either “solution” will raise costs for consumers, so if that’s the goal, then they are both effective.

TonyL
Reply to  John MCCUTCHEON
April 16, 2022 7:20 am

My bet is Battery, because the complexity of Hydrogen generation,…
Actually, that is not a bad bet.

Scenario #1:
1) The Govts. mandate batteries, then mandate Li ion batteries, because “obvious choice”. Note here that Govts. are incapable of just mandating the technologies. They cannot just select an implementation, they must mandate said implementation, as well.
2) With Li mandated, worldwide shortages of Li and all other needed materials break out.
Prices rise to levels which would drown a giraffe. The market collapses in utter confusion and lost investments.
3) Govt. regulators look on in utterly befuddled confusion. Unable to comprehend, they declare “It could not have been anything We did.” They refuse to change direction or even back off their mandates.
4) With battery availability at a functional zero, all industries now dependent on these mandated products grind to a halt. Chaos and confusion spreads throughout the larger economy. Everything is connected to everything else, after all.
5) Atlas Shrugs.
Who is John Galt?

Mr.
Reply to  TonyL
April 16, 2022 9:14 am

6) Elon Musk starts producing gasoline fueled cars. Can’t keep up with the rush of orders.

Phineas
Reply to  John MCCUTCHEON
April 16, 2022 10:09 am

The more impractical and destructive the choice, the more likely government will back it. Especilly if it is more dangerous, requiring more licenses, fees, inspections, and of course occasional “emergencies”.

dwg
Reply to  John MCCUTCHEON
April 16, 2022 11:25 am

Coal gas was one of the main sources of heat, light and cooking in the Northeast US from the mid 1850’s through the mid 1950’s. It was about half H2 and half CO. The last town gas plant in NY was closed in 1955.

Sweet Old Bob
April 16, 2022 6:30 am

“Which tech do you think will come out on top? ”

Neither one . ” If wishes were cars , beggars would drive …”

Dave Fair
Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
April 16, 2022 9:31 am

Wake me up when China, India, Africa and the rest of the world begin investing in electric and/or H2 infrastructure. Western Leftist ideological elites will not drive worldwide adoption of unreliables. They are flogging a horse that hasn’t even been born yet; Western OPM will run out quickly.

David Elstrom
April 16, 2022 6:30 am

The garbage elite keeps pushing its bogus emergency, but one thing is certain. Whatever rotten means are left to the masses, the elitists will have all the heat, light, power, food, limos, mansions, and luxuries they might desire. Sacrifices are for the serfs.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  David Elstrom
April 16, 2022 9:22 am

You plebs will own nothing, and be happy…

Nick Graves
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
April 17, 2022 1:48 am

Life’s a shit sandwich; the more bread you got, the less shit you have to eat.

Klaus Bloschwab. Probably…

Arthur Yatsko
April 16, 2022 6:37 am

A hybrid electric would seem to be the ideal compromise. A gasoline powered generator to recharge the batteries after the truck is unplugged (& drained) in the morning. Even charging the truck while stopped for delivery. This little engine could be super tuned for low emissions due to it’s constant RPM. It could even be shut off when in an urban area that might ban ICE’s. Wouldn’t the resulting emissions meet the future government requirements?

Nick Graves
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 17, 2022 1:55 am

We tried it with the infamous Boris Bus.

Apparently, the batteries couldn’t take the cycling and soon degraded.

The poor little Cummins four-pot was thus working overtime and drank far more than a regular six-pot & auto would have done. They were also very expensive.

It’s great when you’re wasting Other Peoples’ Money, isn’t it?

Bit like all of those expensive BYD electric-buses that spontaneously combust in depots overnight.

Given that truck & bus operators baulk at the additional cost of a relatively ‘clean’ CNG ICE vehicle, the Cunning Plan seems to be to drive operators to the wall…

TonyL
April 16, 2022 6:47 am

My Humble Opinion:
Batteries can go nowhere. There is just not enough Li or other needed elements on the planet for large-scale roll out.
Hydrogen Plan A and Plan B:
Plan A) An ICE engine. More likely a jet turbine. Perhaps one with power curve characteristics similar to a helicopter engine. Important is the ability to throttle up and down quickly and smoothly.
Plan B): Fuel cells. Fuel cells avoid the punishing energy loss you get with all thermodynamic heat engines.
The Big But: But the fuel cell reaction happens across a semi-permeable membrane. The membrane is fragile, expensive and short lived. The membrane has been quite resistant to attempts to improve it. True NASA has used fuel cells for decades. NASA has vast access to taxpayer money, and spends like it. The rest of us have to pay for our toys.

Scissor
Reply to  TonyL
April 16, 2022 7:03 am

Both your plans have merit. There has been significant progress on ceramic membranes for fuel cells. Still not ready for prime time though.

Rud Istvan
April 16, 2022 6:52 am

Having consulted to for years and been the lend/lease chief marketing officer of Navistar, I have an informed opinion based on personally knowing the heads of most of the major US trucking companies. NEITHER. They are hard nosed cost conscious, and won’t do anything risky or costly—especially not with something as critical as truck diesel engines. And I doubt governments will be able to force them any time soon because trucking (supply chains) is simply too important.

Mr.
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 9:23 am

Yes Kip, battery powered vehicles of all sorts are fine for their defined applications.

It’s trying to make them the solution for all transportation power that crosses the line into stupidity.

(But we’re seeing this same stupidity on so many fronts these days 😒 )

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 9:38 am

As noted above, Kip, limited OPM (taxpayer and consumer demands: Politics) and the rest of the world will dictate economic and technological energy development, not Western Leftist ideologues.

Rational Db8
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 6:36 pm

The Let’s Go Brandon administration is giving California a run for their money all the way around, at this point.

Doonman
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 17, 2022 12:01 am

You can move away from California. Oh wait, they already are.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 9:46 am

For local stuff like city busses and airport shuttles, the best answer IMO is a full hybrid. Application is almost all start, go about 30 seconds, stop. Downsize the engine significantly for constant speed, use the electric machine for start acceleration, use the electric machine for stop regen braking. Extends brake service life by about 4x and cuts fuel consumption over 1/3. Real numbers, as all the Broward County Transit system newer busses are full hybrids (from Europe) and those numbers are what Broward is getting. More than pays back the extra hybrid premium over the 10-12 year bus service life.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 3:32 pm

No. Full hybrid in the Prius configuration. NOT Chevy Volt. Or just like my full hybrid Ford Escape my 2007 (based on Prius architecture). You can Google the configuration.

Both the ICE and the electric machine can power the transmission, separately or together. The electric machine also provides regen braking to feed the battery. We have a neat dash display option to show the system at work in real time (same display as radio and CD and drive directions).

One oddity that full hybrid owners get to know. The ICE does NOT start off the SLA PbA. That is only there for lights, windshield wipers, door locks, and such. So NO AAA jump start is possible. It starts off a >350V starter ‘compartment’ of the traction battery. Now Ford knew from the gitgo that if the car sat long enough, leakage current would drop the starter compartment of the traction battery below 350V. The car then will not start because the bigger A because lower V current pulse would overheat the 78HP electric machine. So they provide a hidden ‘jumpstart’ button that pumps up the starter compartment from the rest of the traction battery. After 14 years, we need to hit the ‘jumpstart’ button if the car sits more than about 7 days unused in summer here. Takes about a second to be good to go.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 4:13 pm

Plug in Prius is a different thing than full hybrid. Bigger battery, LiIon rather than NiMH. Terrible battery life tradeoff. Maybe I will write a guest post for CtM consideration on all this, since am actually an SME.

meab
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 16, 2022 6:59 pm

Not true for my full hybrid, an Infiniti M35H. It starts off the Lead-Acid battery. I had the Lead-Acid die during the pandemic- got jump started by AAA as my small jump-start battery couldn’t do the job at freezing temperatures. I was quite annoyed that the hybrid battery had a full charge, it starts the engine during stop-start operations, but there was no way to use it to start the engine from a cold start.

Same for the Toyota Prius I used to own. The Escape Hybrid is the only one I know of with a jumpstart button.

dk_
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 16, 2022 9:22 pm

Exactly. See also Koniggsegg Regera. Good for other market segments, as well as short haul freight/passenger. Full hybrid is the way to bet.
It might be possible to go to turbine power engine/generator, and/or to natural gas fuel cell, but don’t think the tech is any closer than GWatt fusion.

Rational Db8
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 6:35 pm

EV city buses have this nasty habit of catching on fire – fires that are nearly impossible to put out, and which spew incredibly toxic smoke. Several large towns have tried them already, only to wind up scrapping the idea. The problem apparently is that the larger the battery, the greater the risk of fires. Which sure makes them unsuitable for local delivery trucks, city buses, etc.

Unfortunately that won’t stop any number of other cities from trying the same wasteful and harmful insanity.

JohnC
April 16, 2022 6:57 am

Diesel doesn’t explode either. A hydrogen fire may be hotter but at least it can be extinguished whereas a lithium battery fire is more difficult. Can you imagine the furore if you dialled 911/999/112 and were told that there were no fire appliances or ambulances available as these electric vehicles hadn’t been fully charged.

Rational Db8
Reply to  JohnC
April 16, 2022 6:41 pm

Imagine what happens when there’s a large power outage for a few days also (major ice storm or other natural disaster, etc.). Then you’ve no way for people to get somewhere warm, no fire or ambulances for emergencies…

Carlo, Monte
April 16, 2022 6:57 am

Hauling a big heavy battery around intercity is insane, a mindless waste of energy. The cargo capacity of a battery truck would have to be reduced in proportion. And imagine the line at a truck stop waiting for 8 hours to get recharged.

No way a trucking company could be profitable with these beasts.

Scissor
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
April 16, 2022 7:15 am

Basic physics in terms of the role of mass on momentum and kinetic energy are ignored.

Curious George(@moudryj)
Reply to  Scissor
April 16, 2022 8:08 am

Basic physics does not save the planet. Idiots do.

Scissor
Reply to  Curious George
April 16, 2022 8:58 am

That could be sloganized.

Spetzer86
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
April 16, 2022 7:24 am

Just think about hauling said battery up either side of the Rockies.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Spetzer86
April 16, 2022 9:45 am

And then letting it roll down the other side.

AndyHce
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
April 16, 2022 12:30 pm

I had a VW that proported to measure & display minute to minute mileage. Coming back from frequent high altitude hiking trips, it read its maximum 99/mpg much of the way.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  AndyHce
April 16, 2022 12:41 pm

It’s a feature not a bug!

Tom
April 16, 2022 6:59 am

You can’t debate the climate alarmists; they can only be ridiculed.

There will simply be NO so-called “green” hydrogen in the foreseeable future. There won’t even be enough to make all the needed electricity, much less enough to electrolyze hydrogen.

The same holds true with long-haul electric trucks. Driverless trucks are about to revolutionize freight delivery in the US. That only works efficiently only if the vehicles don’t spend half their time charging their batteries or waiting in line to do it. There would hardly be enough charging stations or power, even with coal powered electricity, much less solar cells and windmills.

Simply laugh at the crazies that propose it. It’s more feasible to make nuclear powered freight delivery than it is to make ‘green electric’ delivery.

Robert Watt
April 16, 2022 7:07 am

Could Solid Oxide Fuel Cells running on ethanol rather than diesel be the answer? They would be safer than using hydrogen directly and converting existing fuel stations to dispense ethanol rather than diesel should be relatively easy. Also, there would be no need for huge investment in electricity generation and transmission networks.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Robert Watt
April 16, 2022 7:54 am

The problem with SOFC is the high operating temperature (about 700C), which causes cracking failure with repeated on/off cycling. EU spent over $1billion studying them for grid use in the 1990’s before giving up.

David Dibbell
April 16, 2022 7:07 am

From the author’s comment, about H2, “That said, it does burn cleanly producing only energy and H2O.”

There is nothing “dirty” about CO2, so this ought not be a binary choice between batteries and H2.

Let’s hope that the truck manufacturers help lead the way to a reality check moment, for politicians to snap out of the manufactured illusion that vehicle emissions of CO2 are harmful in respect to warming.

Emission of water vapor is correctly understood to be harmless in respect to warming. This is because the atmosphere performs far more powerfully as the working fluid of its own heat engine operation, than as a static radiative absorber and emitter between the surface and space. Emission of CO2 is harmless in respect to warming for the same reason. Heat cannot be accumulated at the surface to dangerous effect by what non-condensing GHGs do.

It may take a few more years or decades for this to be more fully rediscovered. Let’s hope for sooner rather than later.

Last edited 1 month ago by David Dibbell
Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  David Dibbell
April 16, 2022 7:35 am

“That said, it does burn cleanly producing only energy and H2O.”

. . . and H2O vapor is a far-stronger greenhouse gas than is CO2.

Looks like the IPCC may soon have to refocus it efforts (and alarmism) in order to stay alive.

/sarc off

Last edited 1 month ago by Gordon A. Dressler
David Dibbell
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 9:18 am

I would agree that there are other considerations such as you mention, but the current particulate and NOx controls have driven harmful pollution from heavy diesel trucks to low levels. We are very likely, in my view, to be at the point of diminishing returns. It is the unsound claim of harmful warming from the resulting CO2 emissions that remains the core issue.

For fuel cells, why not methanol (from natural gas) or CNG instead of H2 as the energy source?

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 9:21 am

25 years ago. Nowt much with modern engines. DKUATBT!

meab
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 7:16 pm

Jeremy Clarkson of TV’s “Top Gear” claims that the Porsche 911 exhausts air cleaner than Los Angeles’s air. This has been questioned, but it’s true that cars meeting the LEV III standard exhaust very clean air. There’s not much in the way of truly noxious gases in the exhaust anymore.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  meab
April 17, 2022 7:32 am

Need a quantitative definition of “cleaner”.

That is all.

Ronald Havelock
Reply to  David Dibbell
April 18, 2022 1:06 pm

Dibbell has it exactly right. CO2 is NOT a pollutant. It has NO measurable effect on any measurable aspect of climate. There has been no breakthrough on battery technology that can make EV trucking make any sense whatsoever. Environmental “scientists” are not scientists at all; they are ideologues, forever pushing the Malthusian-Luddite theory.
Why don’t the oil companies wake up?
Ronald Havelock, Ph.D.

April 16, 2022 7:26 am

Whatever…makes the money. Large corporations are now all in on the Great Carbon Scare….some time in the future…maybe CO2 over 500ppm….temps will be little moved…maybe even down a tenth or two….the pols will admit it was all a big big mistake….but it wuz the scientists who told them to do it…..blame that scientist over there behind that tree – don’t blame me.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 9:44 am

BINGO!

Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 11:58 am

Mercedes just announced Net Zero by 2035….new fuel economy standards for cars that will help keep killing the ICE engine slowly….trucks are fortunate no econ standards….at this time.

John Aqua
April 16, 2022 7:28 am

When will the madness around EV’s end? There are very smart people reading this exceptional website and I would like one of those smart individuals to calculate the weight of today’s present battery capacity to the energy storage of 100 gallons of diesel. What kind of fire would be produced by a large truck battery system if it were to ignite? Imagine the energy requirements at a truck stop with just 50 trucks being recharged in one location. I could keep going but my coffee has run out.

Phineas
Reply to  John Aqua
April 16, 2022 10:19 am

Ya, how would we like to have a huge lithium battery powering gasoline tanker trucks?
I saw a great video of how one municipal department deals with Tesla’s. They set up a portable water tank and then drop the entire car in with a crane.

Gordon A. Dressler
April 16, 2022 7:29 am

Speaking of battery EV trucks, whatever happened to the Tesla Semi? . . . you know, the tractor-trailer combination that in 2017 Tesla announced would start production by 2019 and would begin deliveries to customers in 2019.

A quick Web search gives the following update: “During a shareholder meeting in October 2021, Musk revealed that the production is facing another delay and would ‘hopefully’ start in 2023.” (ref: https://topelectricsuv.com/news/tesla/tesla-semi-all-we-know-feb-2022/ )

However, Musk has a long history of failing to deliver on his “hopes” (likewise, where is the Tesla CyberTruck, the Tesla motorcycle, and the Tesla/Boring company underground “freeway” system?), and right now Musk seems more interested in a hostile takeover of Twitter than in delivering EV trucks of any size.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 9:06 am

I don’t think the line workers are the ones who make the decisions on which products get built where, nor do they do the engineering work. That would be Musk and his high level hires.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 9:06 am

In most companies, the CEO is considered as the person most responsible for the performance of company, including meeting advertised product deliveries on time. The CEO hires or fires the people, that in turn hire or fire the people, that in turn hire or fire the people . . . all the way down to the lowest level workers.

I take your comment to mean that you believe that Elon Musk gets a pass on this.

I don’t.

Last edited 1 month ago by Gordon A. Dressler
Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 11:34 am

Sorry, Kip,

I see now that my OP must have “gored your bull” (pardon the pun).

BTW, “With the addition of this order by Karat Packaging, the total tally of publicly-known Tesla Semi orders goes to 42 and the total trucks ordered are 798 units (source & detailed stats: Tesla Semi order tracking page by X Auto).”
followed by this:
“According to our friends at Teslarati, PepsiCo is going to receive the first batch of 15 Tesla Semis as soon as this month (Jan 2022).”
(source of both quotes: https://www.teslaoracle.com/2022/01/10/a-large-us-logistics-firm-places-an-order-for-10-tesla-semi-trucks/ )

So, I do believe it is, indeed, Elon Musk’s job, as CEO of Tesla, to fulfill his company’s backlog of orders. Demand Tweets are not needed . . . there are laws in place to control such things, such as breach of contract and compensatory damages for false advertising.

Last edited 1 month ago by Gordon A. Dressler
Scissor
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
April 16, 2022 9:19 am

It’s easier to deliver Tweets.

Anyway, MSNBC says, “Elon is trying to control how people think. That is our job.”

meab
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
April 16, 2022 7:39 pm

The Tesla Semi has several HUGE problems. It comes in two variants (if it will ever be manufactured), one with a 500 mile range, ostensibly for long-distance trucking, and one with a 300 mile range.

  1. 500 miles is about what a long-distance trucker drives per day. So, to keep the truck on the road, it will need to be fully recharged every single night. Unfortunately, the batteries that Tesla uses lose ~10% of their capacity after 600 to 800 full charges. Not so bad for a car – if you charge the car once a week, it will still have 90+ percent of its capacity after 10 years. Not so good for long-distance trucking. If you charge daily, the battery will be down to 90% in just two years, dropping the range to 450 miles. After a year or two more, the truck will be nearly useless for long distance trucking as it will have to stop to recharge during the day – not just at night. These batteries cost ~$100,000 to replace.
  2. The batteries are so heavy, to meet the 80,000 lb over the road limit, the truck will not be able to carry as much. The weight penalty is so bad, trucking companies will have to expand their fleet by 30% or more to carry the same amount of cargo. More trucks, more drivers, more cost.
  3. Trucking goes year round. EV batteries lose 30 to 40% of their range in cold weather rendering the semi totally useless for long-distance trucking in the cold. Most long-distance trucks will not be able to avoid cold weather.
Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  meab
April 17, 2022 7:41 am

meab,

Thank you. Excellent post!

BTW, not mentioned: what percentage of those $150,000-180,000 Semi tractors will have to be replaced when the batteries spontaneously ignite?
(ref: https://www.businessinsider.com/tesla-electric-semi-truck-delayed-again-2022-now-2021-7 )

Last edited 1 month ago by Gordon A. Dressler
April 16, 2022 7:36 am

If reality ever comes into play then compressed natural gas would be the choice. The problem with diesel is the particulate emissions and CNG does not have that problem. It is cheaper than battery or fuel cell and deployment is taking place now. Of course we have to pretend that all the imaginary costs of climate change justify the more expensive options

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Roger Caiazza
April 16, 2022 7:57 am

CNG works locally. In Fort Lauderdale, about half the garbage trucks are CNG ‘diesel’. But that works because the trucks fill up with garbage, run to the dump, then run to the depot to refuel CNG before the next run.
Won’t work for long haul or regional haul. Not enough volumetric energy density.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 17, 2022 6:10 am

The Dutch company DAF have been providing electric trucks for the sort of uses you mention for a number of years. They don’t seem to have any great interest in developing long haul versions.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Roger Caiazza
April 16, 2022 9:19 am

Diseasel with adblue is incredibly clean.

April 16, 2022 7:55 am

If CO2 emissions is a problem why not make synthetic fuels from hydrogen and CO2 and continue using (emission free) hydrocarbos for transportation. No need to invent a new technology. In real life the intention isn’t to develop new technology but to destroy society.

AndyHce
Reply to  Lars Silen
April 16, 2022 12:50 pm

Net energy requirement goes up dramatically.

ferdberple(@ferdberple)
April 16, 2022 8:08 am

An 18 wheeler loaded is 80 k pounds by law. Of which 35 k is vehicle plus trailer and cargo is 45 k pounds.

A battery version needs a battery 1/3 the gross vehicle weight, which works out to net 25k pounds with allowance for ev power train simplification.

Which means your cargo capacity is reduced from 45 k to 20k pounds by switching from diesel to lp battery.

Last edited 1 month ago by ferdberple
Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  ferdberple
April 16, 2022 9:08 am

Well we all know that green energy is cheaper, so buying 2 1/4 times as many vehicles should be no problem. (Do I need /sarc?)

Steve Case
April 16, 2022 8:12 am

“Under pressure to cut emissions, truck manufacturers are choosing between batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. Wagering incorrectly could cost them billions of dollars.”
____________________________________________________________

Them? It’s going to cost everyone except the ruling class.



Robert Cherba
Reply to  Steve Case
April 16, 2022 10:50 am

It seems people, even the super intelligent, need to be constantly reminded that the consumer pays all the costs of production plus the taxes, from the field or mine to his doorstep. Not only is there no free lunch, there is no free anything — unless you’re on the government dole and the taxpaying suckers are footing the fill.

Bruce Ranta
April 16, 2022 8:12 am

Ballard Power has been on the hydrogen fuel cell bandwagon for more than 40 years. The wagon is still a wagon and going nowhere fast.

Scissor
Reply to  Bruce Ranta
April 16, 2022 9:28 am

They took it public at the right time. It’s amazing that companies like this only lose money and yet continue to survive for decades subsidized through government grants, in addition to shareholders left holding the bag.

rah
April 16, 2022 8:13 am

The 2015 Cascadia Freight Liner I drive has averaged 7.4 mpg over the 598,240 miles I have driven it since I got into it when it was brand new. I just checked it when I got back from my last run.

I know this off the top of my head because the computer gives that readout for the MPG over the life of the truck and whenever I fuel, as I did Thursday when I got in from my last run, I have to enter the mileage.

My last run I ran from Anderson, IN to out by the Kansas City Airport to a Toyota Replacement parts DC with 28,200 lb. of service parts loaded in steel racks.

At that facility I dropped the loaded trailer I brought. Pulled an empty trailer from the dock and dropped it. Re-hooked to the trailer I had brought and backed it into the door. I dropped it there and re-hooked to the empty trailer.

I then took the empty trailer up to St. Joseph, MO. There I was loaded with 44,240 lb, of new dry batteries for automobiles. I drove the short distance to a nearby Loves truck stop and took my 10 hour break.

My tractor had a slow cold leak of coolant. IOW when the system is hot there is no leakage. For that reason I left the tractor idle during my break.

I then drove back to the terminal at Anderson, IN and dropped the trailer, fueled, did my post trip inspection, and parked the truck. I then went in to the garage and told them about the cold leak.

That round trip was about 1,100 miles and I still had over 1/8th fuel remaining. I put 168 gallons in and total tank capacity is 222 gal.

I will not be holding my breath until batteries or any other alternative “green” fuel can even come close to matching that. And to be quite frank I’m quite happy that my driving career will end before they even try.

rah
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 10:10 am

Well to give all an idea of the longevity of that truck. It has covered the equivalent distance of over 24 times around the earth.
598,240/24,901=24.024738

Or to put it another way that’s a bit over two Apollo 11 missions. I personally am working on my 7th Apollo 11 mission as a driver.

No engine rebuild and it probably won’t need one until after it has 1 million miles on it.

This is not exceptional.

rah
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 12:12 pm

That is what it takes. BTW the 2004 Volvo that had a Detroit Engin in it that I first drove for the company I am with now with was only 1,400 miles short of having 1 million miles on it when they took it away from me to sell it.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  rah
April 16, 2022 4:18 pm

I believe Volvo holds the record for truck miles from a single engine at 17 million.

The highest from a car was (this was 20 years ago) 1.7 million miles on a single engine, single owner. That was the same model Volvo that The Saint used to drive.

rah
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 12:27 pm

The company I drive for is the one that is a stickler. It’s their truck. I do what I can to let them know of any problems and do the pre-trip and post trip inspections.

That cold leak for example. Tnhe truck had been sitting for 5 days. I found I had the leak when I backed out of my parking spot and saw the puddle of coolant on the ground. I immediately shut it down and opened the bonnet. I put 1/2 gallon of coolant in to bring it up to the proper level and then started her up.

Using my flashlight I checked for leaks. There were none. Nor was there the smell of hot coolant which one can smell even when driving. That is when I determined it was a cold leak and went ahead and took the truck to make the run to KC and back.

No problems on the run and no coolant loss.

That’s experience on my part.

I have been at this for 17 years and I still learn new stuff all the time about trucking and logistics. It is a much bigger world than many understand I believe. Anyone that says they know it all is lying.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  rah
April 16, 2022 12:28 pm

rah,

Excellent perspective, as usual. As you are a trucking pro, I have an off-topic question for you: What is it with a lot of rigs that have the ‘spikey’ wheel lug nuts on the front wheels? I’m sure it’s innocuous, but it’s like being passed by Messala on I-95.

rah
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
April 16, 2022 12:32 pm

Just decoration. Truck bling we call it. Now on truck and trailer wheels you may see some plastic arrow looking things, usually yellow, sticking out from under each lug nut. Those are there to indicate if a nut is coming loose.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  rah
April 16, 2022 1:31 pm

rah – I often wondered about those yellow tags. Does that mean that wheel-nut loosening is a frequent occurence? When I was an apprentice many decades ago, we ensured the wheelnuts were tight by swinging on a long bar. I presumed that stretched the wheelstuds, making them less likely to come loose. Maybe some use a torque wrench nowadays?

rah
Reply to  Mike Lowe
April 16, 2022 3:23 pm

Not frequent at all in my experience. I have seen them use a torque wrench to check them but usually it’s just impact wrench them on and go.

The company that I drive for does not use those things. But one reason why I have stayed with the company I work for so long is because of the equipment and their maintenance program.

rah
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
April 16, 2022 1:00 pm

BTW those are just plastic caps that fit over the nuts.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  rah
April 16, 2022 2:50 pm

Phew! Thanks!

michel
Reply to  rah
April 16, 2022 12:59 pm

Thanks, very informative. The real world!

Your last line is the key. If they seriously try to implement alternative fuels, given the present technology what will happen is huge changes in lifestyle and ways of working. You’re hinting at it in your last line. What will happen is that deliveries and freight and trucking (as a key example) will have to change to accomodate battery power. And it will be nothing like the way it works at the moment, and the changes will have all kinds of unforeseen consequences all across society.

And trucking is only one of these cases. People are going to have to work around and change how they live to accommodate the shift. Its going to take a decade or more for the effects to ripple through society, and when we look around ten years or so from now, America (or any other country that seriously tries this stuff) will be unrecognizable.

rah
Reply to  michel
April 16, 2022 3:45 pm

In the real world it is going to take considerably more trucks to move the same amount of freight unless they can come up with a power system as efficient as a diesel. That means more cost in every way shape and form. More equipment, more trucks on the road, more drivers taking longer to run their routes, more maintenance, more of just about everything.

The manual for my 2015 claims that the pollution control system brings the emission levels down to the point where the exhaust has an air quality better than the ambient in large urban areas.

I get paid a salary of $1,700.00 per week. That’s after two raises of $100.00 ea, already this year! Walmart is now starting inexperienced drivers at $95,000 and they will be above the six figure mark after their first year OTR.

rah
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 6:52 pm

Yep. Too bad the raises get eaten up by Bidenflation. I grilled two nice Ribeyes for dinner last night. Bought from under the glass at Meijers. $48.00! I really don’t know how the retired on a fixed income are going to make it if this keeps up.

I qualified for full SS in October last year. Have not taken it yet. I intend to keep driving in my current position at least through the end of this year and possibly longer. Won’t file for SS until I feel I can’t continue in this position anymore.

When this on call job gets to be too much for me then I’ll probably get the shortest dedicated route that qualifies me as a full time employee just to keep the benefits because we really do have pretty descent insurance.

TEWS_Pilot
April 16, 2022 8:15 am

I am including the link to DeSmog BOG once again cheering the idiots who are actually undermining the production of the electricity needed to charge the kazillions of new electric vehicles. Here is the excerpt from Brendan DeMelle’s latest CAGW Alarmist email blast.

Typically sleepy Grant Town, West Virginia, was in the spotlight on Saturday, April 9, as more than 50 activists from the region and around the United States gathered outside its power plant, which happens to be the primary customer for expensive waste coal sold by Sen. Joe Manchin’s company. That day 16 people were arrested after trying to block the entrance to the Grant Town Power Plant. The protesters — some of whom formed a human chain — called attention to the nearly half million dollars a year Sen. Manchin earns from these coal investments, while the conservative Democrat again stymies climate action in D.C. One protester who was in the process of being chiseled by police out of the plastic tube over her and another protester’s joined arms, remarked, “At this point, everybody knows what needs to be done.” Photojournalist Zach Roberts reports from the scene.

Scissor
Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
April 16, 2022 9:14 am

They sure use a lot plastics in their protests!

Their “chain” was pathetic. It’s a good thing the police there aren’t sadistic. Application of a little pepper spray would be a sight to behold.

Mr.
Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
April 16, 2022 9:34 am

Use a battery powered angle grinder to cut the tube?

TEWS_Pilot
Reply to  Mr.
April 16, 2022 11:27 am

…and lead the person who will be cutting it over to the protester wearing dark glasses and tapping with a white cane and shaking with the DTs.

Last edited 1 month ago by TEWS_Pilot
Tom in Florida
April 16, 2022 8:23 am

“fuel cells that convert hydrogen into electricity — emitting only water vapor”

Since water vapor IS the main greenhouse gas, adding more kind of defeats the purpose of combating “global warming”.

John Bell
April 16, 2022 8:23 am

With petrol of any kind one only needs to bring the fuel, as the air is free, but with a battery ALL the energy must be brought and stored in the battery, no free oxygen is used, there is the main problem.

Michael Ozanne
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 17, 2022 4:31 am

H2 is a non-starter and I shudder to think how much of a class 1 HGV (“18 wheeler”) max road weight 44 Metric tons would have to be used as battery to give the necessary torque and range…

dgp
April 16, 2022 8:28 am

Hydrogen is better used to hydrocrack heavy oils to make more diesel or desulpherize diesel. Batteries are not going to do squat for a loaded truck weighting 60,000 lbs.

Maybe the final delivery vehicles could be battery though.

jeffery P
April 16, 2022 8:41 am

Neither is practical for trucking. Both are equally unsuitable (albeit for different reasons). Who knows when H2 will ever be practical, much less economically feasible? Possibly never.

Walter Sobchak
April 16, 2022 8:41 am

“One of these two technologies may come out a big winner or the two technologies may share the market.”

Neither. They both suck. For long haul OTR, they are wildly expensive and energy inefficient.

For long haul, the only non diesel technology that makes any sense is electrified railroads.

For urban mass transit, electric buses powered by overhead trolleys. This is technology that was widely used in the 1930s and 40s. They are still being used in San Francisco.

I do not know which will win the false contest between fuel cells and batteries, but I do know who the losers are. They are we consumers and taxpayers who will be impoverished to play act the fantasies of our overlords.

Erik Magnuson
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 10:30 am

IMHO, Walter is right about electric railroads for long haul shipping. This would leave trucks used for drayage between the rail/truck intermodal terminals and the initial shipper or final receiver.

The killer for freight electrification in the US has been the high capital cost of the traction power supply system, which would almost certainly be overhead wires (Catenary). For urban areas, at least half the cost of installing overhead wires is in providing adequate overhead clearance (almost always a road/highway overpass). Along with the capital costs, there is also a chance of increased property tax.

Another problem is electric supply – railroad electrification relies on a reliable source of electric power.

Erik Magnuson
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 1:41 pm

Kip, the minimum long haul distance for intermodal by rail is now typically greater than 500 miles in the U.S., with the exception of Florida (a lot more freight goes to Miami than comes from it and truckers don’t want to haul empties). Going “all-electric” for freight would reduce the minimum long-haul distance favoring rail down to 200 to 300 miles.

Some recent changes that may make railroad electrification a bit easier is greatly improved battery technology, which would allow for gaps in the electrified trackage (no need for extra clearance under bridges). Equally important is advancements in power electronics that allow efficient operation off of constant voltage batteries.

All this assumes that we need to end the use of diesel fuel for transportation and I’m dubious about the necessity. There may be reasons for diesel alternatives in areas with high air pollution. An example was the Southern California Regional Rail Authority held a series of meeting about electrifying freight railroad operations in the L.A. air basin circa 1991-92. The idea was dropped when the price tag reached $4B, half of which was raising clearances from road overpasses.

Erik Magnuson
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 8:37 pm

Kip, in 1991 the pollution of concern was NOx and particulates, both of which have been reduced with the Tier 3 and tier 4 emissions limits. There have been tests of using CNG with spark ignited versions of locomotive engines for switching in the L.A. air basin.

rah
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 12:10 pm

A whole lot of rail infrastructure was torn up and even the intermodal transfer yards are maxed out. Who’s gonna pay to lay all the new track required and the new yards?

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  rah
April 16, 2022 8:47 pm

You are sucker.They aren’t going to pay for anything. You are going to pay for everything. Their real agenda is to impoverish, humiliate, and demoralize you and everyone like you. They won’t be happy until you taste the lash.

Shanghai Dan
April 16, 2022 8:42 am

H2 with on-demand generation. All you need is electricity and water – something pretty much every gas station already has.

Refueling may take a bit longer, but still well short of the 50X longer duration to recharge large batteries.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Shanghai Dan
April 16, 2022 9:17 am

Or you could add some C atoms to the H2 and have a better, much safer fuel. We could call it gas….

Tom
Reply to  Shanghai Dan
April 16, 2022 10:09 am

Gas stations don’t have nearly enough electrical power to make H2 out of water to produce the same amount of energy they deliver now in their fuel. The entire nation would have to be rewired, and there still wouldn’t be enough generator capacity to produce it (unless we quadrupled our number of coal fired power plants to produce it).

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  Tom
April 16, 2022 6:43 pm

No more than needed for EV charging – probably less, to be honest… You can make H2 24/7, and store some. Don’t have to produce all when there’s a truck present.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Shanghai Dan
April 16, 2022 10:13 am

Shanghai Dan,

I don’t know if you are aware, but hydrogen burns invisibly, or nearly so. Given that hydrogen is harder to contain in storage tanks and pipelines, I for one would like to be able to see the fuel burning if and when it escapes and catches fire. How about you?

One of the plausible explanations for the Hindenburg blimp disaster in 1937 is believed to have been escaping hydrogen from the ship which was ignited by static electricity sparks on the outside of the ship. Boom! The video of it is on YouTube.

Robert Cherba
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
April 16, 2022 11:07 am

I spent a few years in electric generating plants, all of which used H2 to cool the generators. I’ve seen an H2 fire at a storage tank and the results of at least one H2 explosion. H2 not only burns cleanly, it explodes quite cleanly, leaving very clean debris laying around. In one case it put a large generating unit out of service for months. Since I’m an old guy, I probably won’t be around to see the reports of 18-wheeler Li-ion fires or H2 explosions on the nation’s highways, but I’m sure they’ll be spectacular.

Slowroll
Reply to  Shanghai Dan
April 16, 2022 11:56 am

Besides the below mentioned need for station rewiring for a lot more capacity (if available) to electrolyze hydrogen, the cost to do so would be prohibitive. Takes about 5 to 7 X more energy to extract hydrogen from water than it produces. Nice chemistry class experiment, but not too practical in production

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  Slowroll
April 16, 2022 6:44 pm

H2 is just a storage medium. It’s not an energy source. You can either be wasteful with power, do H2, and save time – or you can save SOME power, do EVs, and waste a lot of time.

al in kansas
April 16, 2022 8:46 am

Either of these options are ridiculous solutions to a non-problem. But as an fyi to commieBob and the rest of you-all. Ammonia is already produced in large quantities for fertilizer. Those big white tanks at the farm coop labeled Anhydrous Ammonia are what you are talking about. In this case Google is your friend, for pictures and background information. As a teenager, I was on the tractor pulling that rig around the field squirting the stuff into the ground. Just make sure the valves are shut and you are up-wind when disconnecting hoses. It is not handled much differently than liquified propane. I also drove a propane tractor on occasion.
What fun.

commieBob
Reply to  al in kansas
April 16, 2022 8:25 pm

Yep. A big advantage for ammonia is that it is very commonly used and there is a sizeable infrastructure devoted to it. There is also history.

The X-15 rocket plane was powered by ammonia. Unsurprisingly, there are modern proposals to use ammonia as jet fuel. link

Also, there’s a long history of using ammonia as a motor fuel.

I hasten to point out that ammonia, and every other alternative fuel, is not as good as fossil fuels.

Last edited 1 month ago by commieBob
jeffery P
April 16, 2022 8:50 am

I recall a segment of “Who Killed the Electric Car” (2006) detailing how the California Air Resources Board (CARB) scrapped support of EVs because hydrogen vehicles were just around the corner. Bureaucrats have terrible track records picking winners and losers. Yet governments are still in that business. When will we learn?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  jeffery P
April 17, 2022 5:56 am

Never?
Progressives are goldfish, 9 seconds of memory

Gary Pearse
April 16, 2022 9:03 am

“Truck Makers Face a Tech Dilemma: Batteries or Hydrogen?”

As an engineer, the dilemma is much broader than NYT thinks. They are asking each company to to do a feasibility study essentially at full scale. I’ve managed a number of mining feasibility studies (actually in rare metals like Li, rare earths, etc. for which I have hydrometallurgical production patents) and they go through scoping, prefeasibility and bankable feasibility. Following that is the design phase where some more issues arise requiring new testing to resolve.

AND the entire renewable energy system that the trucks will use,has gone through $-several trillion prefeasibility at scale and still isnt working.The route of adding on patches that still aren’t near satisfactory to shore up an as yet failed tech is a huge no-no to an experienced engineer. Remember that conception of this new electrical system came from activist/politico/U. Professors, not Fluor Corp or it’s like. No feasibility study has ever been done.

Slowroll
Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 16, 2022 12:00 pm

It is however, typical leftard policy making about technical issues by art or poly-sci majors.

Rich Davis
April 16, 2022 9:07 am

Sure all the politically-connected woke corporations are paying lip service to Green lunacy, but in the end, diesel will continue to rule. At a minimum using biodiesel.

Bruce Cobb
April 16, 2022 9:13 am

Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and choose door #3.

Chaswarnertoo
April 16, 2022 9:15 am

What effin emissions? CO2 is plant food.

lmo
April 16, 2022 9:43 am

Beta vs VHS? 8 track vs cassette?

Trivial examples, but it shows that a superior alternative can show up if you can sit on the sidelines for a bit.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 10:03 am

Which is about as likely as switching to teams of unicorns fed by munching magic beans.

AndyHce
Reply to  lmo
April 16, 2022 1:09 pm

Marketing ability and government regulations often chose an inferior product as the winner.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  AndyHce
April 17, 2022 5:54 am

Evidence- vacuum fluorescent bulb, twisty nightmares

TEWS_Pilot
April 16, 2022 9:47 am

This comparison of costs of EVs vs ICE vehicles needs to go viral.

comment image

markl
April 16, 2022 9:49 am

Just another shoot – ready – aim from the ecoloons. Deadlines to produce results with no real methods of achieving the goals available. This too will be kicked down the road forever. Virtue signaling only works in a virtual world.

DMacKenzie
April 16, 2022 9:59 am

Batteries over hydrogen….but bio or synthetic diesel fuel over them both….

Frank from NoVA
April 16, 2022 10:15 am

Kip,

I have no idea what the timetable(s) are for phasing out ICE trucks, but if I were a manufacturer, I wouldn’t be willing to lift a finger to comply, other than issuing the occasional eco-puff piece. Unless some alternative can be shown to be practical or economic, I’d be willing to bet that these arbitrary eco-deadlines will prove to be highly elastic, and, in fact, will disappear altogether once enough people catch on that their liberties and standard of living are increasingly at risk to the eco-nutters

Janice Moore
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
April 16, 2022 10:36 am

Yes.

This article is a blatant example of the classic fallacy: FALSE DICHOTOMY.

As others have pointed out already, the answer is: neither.

The most effective, efficient, technology is: INTERNAL COMBUSTION (diesel or gas).

*********************************

Re: “I have an unsettled, not-yet-formed opinion.”

Disgusting. You are trying to hide (and doing a poor job of it, by the way) the fact that you are for grabbing market share by fiat and will go whichever way the taxpayer subsidy wind blows.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 1:33 pm

I beg your pardon, Mr. Hansen. I was aiming my sharp criticism at the original news article’s author. I completely failed to make that clear.

Please, forgive me.

Janice Who Is Very Sorry 😔

Janice Moore
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 16, 2022 4:04 pm

Thank you!

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 17, 2022 5:51 am

You describe a problem created by government fiat. And of course these people can only see a solution in more government fiat

John VC
April 16, 2022 10:22 am

I’m just a wee bit confused on this H2 argument. They want to get rid of fossil fuel ICEs because of the green house gas emissions, and replace them with an H2 ICE that emits an even stronger green house gas. I must be missing something here–not that I’m against more water in the atmosphere.

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
April 16, 2022 10:30 am

Good post Kip. I suspect that diesel and gasoline ICE will be around for a very long time.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 17, 2022 6:57 am

Over 1.4 billion ICEVs in the world today compared to 16m EVs. IEA expects about 70m EVs by 2040 Even if they are out by a factor of 10 (unlikely) there will still be twice as many ICEVs as EVs then.

And that doesn’t take into account any growth of ICEVs over the next 18 years.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave Andrews
Philip
April 16, 2022 10:33 am

So, future supply chain crises are a good thing?

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Philip
April 17, 2022 7:02 am

Future supply chain crises are already on the horizon. IEA foresees potential shortages of lithium and cobalt as early as 2025.

Barnes Moore
April 16, 2022 10:42 am

My prediction re: “Wagering incorrectly could cost them billions of dollars.” Wagering on either of these “solutions” will cost them billions. My bet