Hydrogen-powered cars deemed as futuristic cars: hitting the streets in KSA

Top Quote Hydrogen cars could be the cleanest and environmentally friendly cars on the road. These cars are less noisy and are less bulky than traditional cars. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) February 16, 2019 - Hydrogen cars? Do we even have a hydrogen fueling station? Has anyone seen one? Well, all that's about to change. Soon, you will start noticing hydrogen fueling station on Google maps around the world. To lead the show and bring in this future fuel to Saudi Arabia; Saudi Aramco and Air Products have agreed to build the first hydrogen fueling station, which is expected to be operational by the second quarter of 2019.

    Traditional vehicles use gasoline or diesel while some hybrid cars use batteries (often at a higher speed). On the contrary, the fuel cell vehicles also known as hydrogen vehicles use hydrogen to run an electric motor and prefer green hydrogen, which is not only cheaper but also environmentally friendly. These vehicles mix hydrogen and oxygen in an internal combustion engine to create electricity for running the motor, thus giving power to the vehicle.

    Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles have been around for quite a while now but haven't gained much popularity. What’s holding it back? Toyota launched the first hydrogen car, the Toyota Mirai, in the year 2014, followed by Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Volkswagen, etc. As of now, there are very few hydrogen cars sold in some public markets, including the Toyota Mirai, the Honda Clarity, and the Hyundai ix35 to name a few. Several other companies are working to develop hydrogen cars; they are trying to bring down the cost with the help of the latest technology and by producing larger quantities.

    The major drawbacks of these hydrogen cars were – one, it used new fuel which people were hesitant to use; two, big brands were hesitant to promote their ‘newly found future fuel cars' because of the unavailability of hydrogen fueling stations. Hydrogen came with high carbon emission intensities when created from natural gas (which was still less than the exhaust from equally productive traditional fuel); cost liability was more and production of power per unit volume was low. Also, production and compression of hydrogen needed a large investment in infrastructure. The whole dynamics of demand and supply didn’t match. But those dynamics have changed now. Hydrogen is considered to be the future fuel so that we may find hydrogen fueling stations and hydrogen cars around soon enough.

    Though this technology isn’t new, NASA has been using hydrogen fuel cell technology to power its rockets for years. Car makers have shrunk the size and made them compact enough to fit into a car. Also, after years of research and technical upgradations, the colourless and odourless compressed hydrogen is now made available and comes with its own benefits.

    Hydrogen cars could be the cleanest and environmentally friendly cars on the road. These cars are less noisy and are less bulky than traditional cars. They generate zero emissions from the tailpipe, and in fact, it’s just water that you see coming from the tailpipe as a result of hydrogen reaction which generates power for the car. Hydrogen behaves differently from traditional fuel, but it is definitely as safe as petrol, diesel or hybrid car.

    Safety has been a worrying cause for both Hydrogen cars and hydrogen fueling stations, but the truth is, since hydrogen is a light gas, it will start venting while burning away from the source; this is safer than liquid fuels. Of course, hydrogen being colourless and odourless could be a problem, especially in times of detecting a leakage, however, all vehicles are dolled up with a parade of sensors and alarms to ensure no leakage. Also, they have specially designed safety seals or valves to avoid leakages.

    Hydrogen cars surely are a game changer and why shouldn’t they be?

    They can be driven similar to electric cars or hybrids cars; the output is decent and has enough power for twisty roads. They are quicker to fuel; for example, Toyota Mirai has 5 kg tank and takes about three minutes to fill in. Hydrogen cars run longer on each full tank when compared to traditional and hybrid cars. In functioning, one can hardly recognise the difference from a conventional car except for an H2O button that starts the stream of water with a very gentle hum during the start, proceeding to noiseless experience throughout the rest of the drive. They are twice as efficient as the conventional cars and are believed to run about 60 to 80 miles per kilogram of hydrogen.

    Hydrogen-fueled cars are seen as the future; they will throttle over conventional cars in the coming years; the time is not too far with hydrogen fueling stations marking their presence in cities. Hydrogen-fueled cars are more efficient with zero emission, a decent output, no noise and smoother driving; they are the future of mobility.

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