Electric cars losing their spark? First hydrogen cars on sale.

Industry news

Electric cars losing their spark? First hydrogen cars on sale.

13th July 2021

It’s common knowledge that switching to electric cars is better for the planet. They produce no emissions or smog like conventional vehicles do. This helps keep our communities clean by reducing pollution. Now that’s something Unity can get behind!

However, electric cars aren’t the only invention that’s trying to save the world! Say hello to hydrogen! Hydrogen cars are popping up on the market in the form of the Hyundai Nexo and the Toyota Mirai.

So by now, we bet you’re wondering what’s so good about hydrogen? Well, there are a few reasons why it’s a strong contender in comparison to electric and hybrid cars. So sit comfortably and settle in as we break down the benefits!

Firstly, hydrogen is the most abundant element on the planet and it can be found all over. There are a variety of ways you can collect hydrogen, like steam reforming or gasification. Another way it can be created is through Electrolysis.

Electrolysis works by sending electric currents through the water to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen. This then transforms into electricity. In the words of Breaking Bad’s Jessie Pinkman “Yeah Science!”.

How do they work?

hydrogen engine

Now you know why there’s such a hype around hydrogen, let’s run you through how it works!

The Hyundai Nexo is the flagship hydrogen car on the market right now (although hydrogen cars have actually been used for decades).

Fun fact: Since 1807 some engines have been powered by hydrogen, but they never really caught on, so developments are only really starting to kick in now.

Safety was a major concern of course, as flammable gas and leaks aren’t the most ideal combination! However, super secure and sturdy tanks have been designed to avoid this so there’s nothing to worry about!

So what makes them go? Well, when pushing down the accelerator, it forces air to move through the front vent of the car. It then travels to the fuel cell stack where it reacts with the hydrogen creating electricity, powering the motors and moving you forward. How cool is that!?

Effect on the environment

The best thing about it is that the only by-product is water, which leaves through the exhaust.

In case you didn’t know, a lot of these cars are also hybrids. Some of them contain a nickel-metal battery, which uses regenerative braking to build energy. This helps give you that extra push you might need on a particularly steep hill.

The spec sheet

Toyota Mirai

The Mirai can go around 300MPkg. Toyota also says that filling up the car can take as little as 5 minutes. This is great when compared to electric vehicles (EVs) such as the Tesla Model S’s charge time of an hour or more.

Not many people have time to stop and charge up their car for an hour at a time when out and about now do they? We definitely don’t anyway!

The car also goes a very decent top speed of 108.7mph, and with a fuel storage tank of around five kilos, it really is something to keep an eye on.

Per kilo of hydrogen it costs a total of £9.99 meaning from completely empty to full it will set you back £49.95, which when compared to average petrol or diesel costs, it stands up pretty well.

Refilling is also practically the same as how you would normally fill up. That’s the Mirai, but how about the Nexo? Well, we will just let this article speak for itself.

Infrastructure is the only thing that still needs major development. There are currently only 13 hydrogen refuelling stations in the UK.

Infrastructure is the only thing that still needs major development. There are currently only 13 hydrogen refuelling stations in the UK.

If hydrogen is ever to become an alternative to generic electrical vehicles, there needs to be a real push on development. We for one are pretty sure we will see this happen in the coming years.

We think that this is a great step forward in creating more cars that are better for the environment. Even if these cars don’t catch on, innovative and outside of the box thinking always will!

Developments like this can only help push the industry to be a more eco-friendly one, and we support that.

Do EVs still give you that spark, or has hydrogen stolen your heart? Share your thoughts with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you!