The Science Behind Hydrogen-Powered Cars

With the push for sustainable and green living, finding alternative fuels for transportation has become a priority for many auto manufacturers. One interesting alternative that has been dubbed “the fuel of the future” is hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Companies like Toyota are dedicated to researching this alternative to see if it is scalable and marketable. Keep reading to learn how hydrogen cars work, and the pros and cons of this technology.
The Pros and Cons of Hydrogen Vehicles
Hydrogen cars generate electricity through a hydrogen fuel cell. Within this fuel cell, a reduction and oxidation reaction converts water and oxygen into electricity.

Hydrogen cars are an eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered vehicles, yet the technology still faces some logistical challenges before becoming mainstream. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons.
The Greener Way: Since hydrogen cars only release water and heat, air pollution is reduced. This overall is a greener way of traveling.
Travels the Same Distance: Unlike electric cars, hydrogen cars don’t need to be charged overnight. They run similarly to gas-powered cars, needing to be refueled every 300-400 miles.
Faster Fueling Compared to Electric Cars: Electric cars need to be charged overnight to refuel, but hydrogen vehicles take just five minutes to fill up at a filling station.
The World is Rich in Hydrogen: Hydrogen is the simplest, most common element in the world. The globe is abundant in hydrogen which makes the use of hydrogen in cars a great use of the resource.
Not Widespread Yet: Since there aren’t many hydrogen-powered cars, finding a refueling station is extremely difficult. To put things into perspective, the United States only has 14 stations that are designated for people that own the specific type of car.
Costly: Because hydrogen cars aren’t being produced on a mass scale, their production costs are higher than both gas and electric vehicles. One of the cheapest options is valued at about $50,000.
Rare: There are only 4 main manufacturers currently producing hydrogen vehicles: Toyota, Hyundai, Mercedes, and Honda.
Fuel Cell Cars vs Battery-Powered Cars
Both fuel cell cars and battery-powered cars under the same category: electric cars. Both do not use fossil fuels in order to run the vehicle, which leads to a less polluted environment. The difference is that hydrogen cars, also known as fuel cell cars, use a hydrogen fuel cell to generate electricity.

To learn more about hydrogen cars and how fuel cells operate, check out the infographic from The Zebra below!


How do hydrogen cars work?

Author bio:
Karlyn is a writer who specializes in the insurance space. She believes the best ingredients for success are passion and purpose.

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