Saturday, 3 September, 2005 0:45 AM
Cars: A Look into the Future
BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com
GM Sequel Hydrogen Vehicle at the 2005 NAIAS.
In America, we have the
technology and resources available to build hydrogen cars. They
will lessen our dependence on foreign oil companies. Hydrogen cars
combine hydrogen gas and oxygen from the air to operate.
Hydrogen can be produced
from a variety of sources including gasoline, methanol, ethanol,
natural gas and a process called electrolysis. Hydrogen is the first
element on the Periodic Table of Elements and is the most abundant
on Earth. So why not use it?
There are many benefits
of driving a hydrogen vehicle. First, there will be zero or close
to zero smog-forming emissions released. You will have increased
fuel efficiency. You will have lower maintenance costs and higher
driving range (nearly 300 miles without a fill-up). Even after all
that, you will be able to operate electronic devices such as radios,
GPS and the internet.
What's the one reason
stopping automakers? Cost. If hydrogen cars are mass produced, it
will drive the cost down to build these type of cars. Right now,
automakers are focused on building gasoline-type cars and introducing
I am issuing a challenge
to the Big Three Automakers in Detroit. Someone needs to step up
to the plate and say: Yes, I will spend the money now to make money
later. Isn't that the way business works? GM, Ford, or Chrysler
should begin mass producing these hydrogen vehicles so that we can
free ourselves from gasoline and the foreign oil companies.
At the 2005 NAIAS in
Detroit, I interviewed a spokesman from General Motors. The car
pictured above is called the GM Sequel. Matt Erdey from GM said,
"There should be a prototype by the end of 2005. You
can get 300 miles per fill up. The chassis alone costs $34,000 so
the overall cost would be between $60,000 to $70,000 today."
GM expects to mass produce
these hydrogen vehicles in the year 2010. I believe we need to start
earlier. Just after Hurricane Katrina, gas prices shot up to over
$3.00 per gallon. The need is now. Let's make it happen! It will
definitely be a question that I will bring up when attending the
Auto show in January.
Ford has introduced the
Model U concept. It is going to run on hydrogen with an internal
combustion engine. It will be 25% more efficient then gas-powered
cars. It is going to be a hybrid with hydrogen and electric power.
It will come with a 300-volt battery pack for extra power.
The Model U will hold
7 kilograms of hydrogen. Ford is working alongside BP to open hydrogen
I was surprised to find
out how many Hydrogen fueling stations are already in the state
of Michigan. There is a BP Refueling station in Southfield, MI that
is fully operational. Another location is the EPA National Vehicle
and Fuel Emissions Lab, now open in Ann Arbor. GM operates a Hydrogen
fueling station at it's plant in Milford. Ford operates one in Dearborn.
Hydrogen stations will
open soon at the NextEnergy Center on the campus of Wayne State
University in Detroit, MI. Another BP Refueling Station will open
soon in the city of Taylor.
A study at the Stanford
University estimates that the price of hydrogen would cost somewhere
between $1.12 and $3.20 per gallon at a refueling station.
The Hydrogen Car Company
creates, designs and sells vehicles that run only on hydrogen to
minimize air pollution and our dependency on foreign oil. Some cars
that they have available include the Shelby Cobra, Shelby Series
I, Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Aviator and Navigator.
They also have hydrogen models of the Ford F-150 pickup truck as
well as the Ford Ranger.
To order from the Hydrogen
Car Company, please call 323-936-9303 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to an article
in the National Geographic Magazine, switching from gas-powered
engines to hydrogen fuel cell cars would save from 3,700 to 6,400
deaths annually. Those are caused by pollution.
In California, something
called the "Hydrogen Highway" is being created. It will
include hydrogen refueling stations at 20 miles apart to move towards
a cleaner lifestyle. The vision is for the government and private
agencies to work together and make progress. It will serve as a
model for the rest of the country.
In a recent article on
CNet, Katrina Morley director of power train control electronics
at Visteon said, "Within 10 years, you are going to see the
transition to alternative fuel sources. Eventually internal combustion
engines will die off, but it'll take 20 to 30 years." This
gives us a time table to when changes will go into effect.
Face it: One day there
will be no gasoline. It could be tomorrow, next week, next month
or years to come. We need to be prepared. The time is now. Our country
needs to be mass producing cars that run on methods other than gasoline.
© BP p.l.c
BP Hydrogen Refueling Station in Barcelona, Spain.
BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com
Ford Model U Hydrogen Concept