MemberNovember 30, 2021 at 10:51 am
I relise that whatever battery we get for the first year or two or five of production will change because of all the research that’s being done about batteries. Reading about plasme kinetics hydrogen advances makes me think that some future models will have a fuel cell. I will be happy with my older obsolete 2023 or hopefully 2022 Aptera. Maybe buy another more advanced one some years from now. What do you all think?
MemberNovember 30, 2021 at 11:36 am
I knew full well when I bought my Leaf seven years ago that it would probably be grossly obsolete only a handful of years down the road, and so it has proved. But who cares? I bought it because its capabilities served my needs well enough, and it continues to do so.
The same logic will apply to the Aptera that I expect to buy next year (fingers crossed). As long as the version I get continues to serve my needs and expectations, I will be content, regardless of how obsolete it may become compared to the latest models.
The Leaf will stay in use too, BTW. My son has a rather shorter commute and will happily replace his current ride with the older EV.
Looking forward to see how the simplicity, modularity, and right-to-repair aspirations of AMC affect the ease of upgrading earlier models with more advanced tech when it becomes sufficiently readily available. It will surely be interesting.
MemberNovember 30, 2021 at 11:47 am
One big feature of the Aptera is solar. Unless they had a small battery and more complicated electronics the idea of hydrogen film as a power source just doesn’t really mesh. A vehicle would need to be designed form the ground up since you physically need to add and remove the hydrogen films.
Personally I think the momentum for BEV technology will be too hard to stop. This kind of tech might make sense for large trucks, construction equipment, trains or ships.
MemberNovember 30, 2021 at 2:25 pm
Agree for a number of reasons. BEV momentum is the biggest of course. Then the complete lack of infrastructure except in CA would delay entry even more. Agree also that Hydrogen fueled vehicles are a complete redesign. better to start from scratch than the expense of conversion of a BEV. A lot of discussion about the expense hydrogen production and even if it is environmentally a positive thing.
Maybe a little like Beta format VCR tapes vs. VHS. Insufficient momentum
MemberNovember 30, 2021 at 9:54 pm
Beta & VHS? Ah-ptera. Got it. ????
BTW, Beta was better. A case where better design (mouse trap) didn’t win. It happens. I had both. News orgs, video production houses & even audio houses preferred Beta. Night Clubs also predominantly used Beta too. Households didn’t really adopt. Timing is everything.
MemberNovember 30, 2021 at 10:31 pm
thought beta was better too. Don’t understand why it did not catch on. Like you said, it happens
MemberDecember 1, 2021 at 7:18 am
Thats kinda the point. BEV and this hydrogen film can be compared to the competing formats.
The difference is BEV has a 20 year head start and market momentum. Even if these hydrogen films could work they would need unique distribution and recharging infrastructure. This is why I think it could take off in markets which haven’t yet transitioned yet.
BTW this isnt even the only chemical approach to storing hydrogen. Powerpaste is a method of storing it as magnesium hydride. I’m sure others concepts exist also – the question of what will work best would require a lot more information than is published or I am qualified to understand.
MemberDecember 1, 2021 at 7:58 am
Curtis, thanks for this additional information. Very conscientious follow up
MemberDecember 1, 2021 at 11:18 am
This technology will really get my attention when they come out with a modest priced and sized appliance that I can get that will take the excess PV power I generate during the summer and convert it to hydrogen on tape reels that I can use months later for heating or in a fuel cell.
MemberDecember 1, 2021 at 11:33 am
Technology always advances, and it is always a balance between bleeding edge, leading edge, mainstay, and obsolete technologies. Because the Aptera promises to be VERY inexpensive to operate, and it’s likely to be very fun to drive. I think that it will be enjoyed for many years. Even after the cool new tech image has dimmed. There are announcements about new, experimental, EV technologies, from solid state batteries, to fuel cell/hydrogen tech, to new perovskite solar cells. But seeing new technologies at university research labs, moving to newly formed companies, to mass production can take many years, and many ideas do not pan out commercially. There are a LOT of leading edge technologies that will be employed in the Aptera, from the wheel motors, to the composite structure, to the aerodynamics, to the flexible solar panels, to the Crank display/control software. And it is always a balance between using proven technology (like the Panasonic 2170 batteries) and all of the newer technology to provide exciting and fun, yet affordable and reliable transportation.
MemberDecember 1, 2021 at 12:15 pm
I think the thing that most folks don’t realize is that with renewables and the weather (cloudy, sunny, cold, wet, etc.) the plan is to overbuild to make sure capacity, including storage and generation from solar/wind renewables, means there will be times when there is dramatic over-production of electricity.
One of the things you can do with this ‘excess’ electricity is store it. Some tactics include using the extra juice to pump water into a high reservoir equipped with an electric dam meaning you can recover that energy by draining the reservoir.
Another way is to store it in batteries for immediate use but, notably like reservoirs, there is the fixed cost of the hardware/land, etc.
Obviously if you have excess electric power, you can also convert, albeit with losses in efficiency, to hydrogen, which can also be stored and used, largely in transportation.
Whether it is in pressurized canisters or some 21st century hydride film, the reality is that green hydrogen (the power for refining is excess electrons from wind and solar) that would otherwise simply be ‘grounded.’ By converting this surplus electricity – the cost per kwh because of such a great supply has plummeted to near zero – to hydrogen, you basically store that otherwise ‘lost’ energy for alternative use.
This means that, unlike the current moment, hydrogen is also operating in a surplus market.
Don’t believe in this ‘free’ energy scenario? Consider that in the very beginning of the Covid pandemic, when the world literally shut down, the price of crude oil ended up in ‘negative’ territory because the supply at the time so exceeded the demand.
It is going to happen with hydrogen probably in about a decade if solar and wind development continue.
We already know that ‘bad money’ runs good money out of circulation, so too will free energy in the form of surplus hydrogen, create an infrastructure that will consume this ‘free green hydrogen.’
I basically agree with the wise old men around here that BEVs have the momentum and the improvements in batteries; particularly in service life and density, will likely be strong enough, considering the momentum behind batteries, to keep them dominant in the replacement of private personal passenger cars.
Trucking in the broader sense will be an easier market for hydrogen to meet because of its comparable power density with current battery tech. High power demands like you would have in a business that you pull something heavy is a compelling aspect of the tech. This is particularly true when the fuel used is cheap, which is the likely path for hydrogen if we actually do what it takes to thwart continued warming of the climate.
An even more likely market for hydrogen is with fuel cells in light-weight VTOL aircraft. I suspect the availability of cheap, green hydrogen will coincide with the inevitable rising popularity of flying cars; especially when they have the kind of software driving the things that turns us hairless monkeys into birds.
Yep, as “Back to the Future” predicted … ‘Roads; we don’t need roads where we’re going.’
MemberDecember 1, 2021 at 8:35 pm
Battery storage has advanced so far so fast, that it will be difficult for hydrogen to catch up. The infrastructure to support electricity is basically already in place. There may be a need to adjust some of it to accommodate large scale number of electric vehicles, but that’s already being worked out. With hydrogen, there is a completely unavailable infrastructure that would have to be constructed leading to the chicken and the egg problem (demand and supply). One can’t happen without the other. In the meantime, electricity continues to improve in so many ways.
Another issue that seldom comes up with regard to hydrogen is its source. Hydrogen is not freely available and must come from some other source, usually the cracking of hydrocarbon fuel. This use of hydrocarbon fuel is one of the main reasons we look to electricity as a solution, and before anyone says electricity comes from other fuel too, I have to point out that it comes from a variety of fuels which are on average cleaner than putting it in your gas tank. Some of them are very clean such as hydroelectricity, wind, and solar. It is also much easier to clean up stationary sources such as electric plants versus mobile points such as automobiles.
One more interesting point is that hydrogen likes to leak. To create all the infrastructure to fuel vehicles across the country would necessitate large scale transportation issues. Also, transferring it from one source to another would result in hydrogen leaks. Not so bad is some respect, but hydrogen in the troposphere reacts with hydroxyl molecules to form water vapor. The water may be basically harmless, but the hydroxyl molecules act to mop up methane in the atmosphere. Hydrogen could then indirectly be considered a greenhouse gas. In addition, hydrogen in the stratosphere helps to accelerate ozone depletion.
I guess my closing comment on this is that hydrogen is an interesting possibility especially for long haul situations, but it is only a possibility while electricity is already taking over and picking up steam.