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Bobby Lubbers
Bobby Lubbers is owner of Bobby Lubbers Auto Group, a Chevrolet, Pontiac, Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep dealership in Harper, KS. A graduate of Wichita State University, he has been in and around the automotive industry for more than 25 years, and has been nationally recognized by General Motors for exceptional sales and customer satisfaction. You may contact Bobby by phone at (316) 721-1545, or by email at bobby@bobbylubbers.com
Cars, Trucks, Vans & Automotive
2003-09-01 14:53:00
Tell me about fuel cells
ANSWER: Last month we talked about the invention of fuel cells and how they work.  This month we will begin to talk about possible uses.  Fuel cell automobiles are an attractive advance from battery-powered cars. They offer the advantages of battery-powered vehicles but can also be refueled quickly and could go longer between refuelings. Fuel cells utilizing hydrogen as a fuel would be zero emission vehicles, and those using other fuels would produce near-zero emissions, be  more efficient than "grid"-powered battery vehicles and could produce fewer "system-wide" releases of greenhouse gases, taking into account all emissions associated with resource recovery, fuel processing and use.  Fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are achieving efficiencies of 40-50% in current testing and these numbers are improving every day. Increased energy efficiency, which would reduce dependence on foreign oil and increase energy security, makes FCVs an  attractive replacement for internal combustion engines (ICEs), which are between 10-16% efficient.Many automotive manufacturers have released data showing that FCVs are much more efficient than comparable ICE vehicles. Toyota’s research shows its conventional gasoline vehicle with a vehicle efficiency of only 16%, while its FCVH-4, running on hydrogen, is projected to achieve 48% vehicle efficiency, three times more efficient. General Motors claims its fuel cell prototypes running on hydrogen have more than twice the efficiency of their conventional gasoline vehicles.  With vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency, it is important to look at the complete picture - from the time the fuel is first taken from the ground, produced, refined, manufactured, transported, and stored, until it actually powers a vehicle, as well as the overall safety risks of handling the fuel along the way. This approach is known as the complete fuel cycle or "well-to-wheels" analysis. A "well-to-wheels" analysis factors in the fuel production efficiency (well-to-tank) and the vehicle efficiency (tank-to-wheel).    Next month, we’ll continue our discussion on fuel cells.
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