Hydrogen fuel the way backwards

Correspondent Gary Hollis (Times, January 19) is mistaken to suggest that hydrogen fuelled vehicles have a future in New Zealand.

New Zealand’s dying oil and gas industry is desperate to find a survival strategy, but hydrogen isn’t it.

The problem with hydrogen as a fuel for cars and trucks is sourcing the hydrogen.
If you make hydrogen from electricity using electrolysis, the process is 75 per cent efficient. When the hydrogen is turned back into electricity in a fuel cell the process is 60 per cent efficient.

Multiply 0.75 by 0.6 and you get 0.45. That means that the overall efficiency is only 45 per cent. Compare that to 95 per cent efficiency for a lithium-ion battery and you see why hydrogen-fueled cars or trucks is such a bad idea.

It takes only 1 hour and 30 minutes to charge a Tesla Semi truck. Auckland Transport’s hydrogen bus experiment is an example of indefensible ignorance. Hydrogen airplanes, maybe but hydrogen vehicles are a step backwards.

John Caldwell