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Letters: Hydrogen fuel has its drawbacks

November 29, 2013

Re "Hydrogen or electric? Expert opinion divided," Business, Nov. 23

The article never mentions that the hydrogen-fueled cars must include heavy and bulky high-pressure tanks to store the fuel, and that 40% of the energy in the hydrogen is wasted in compressing it. Nor is it mentioned that those high-pressure tanks can be explosive bombs in an accident.

Producing the hydrogen gas is also problematic. The energy to produce it must come from fossil fuels, with all of the same environmental problems as gasoline, or from electrolysis of water, a highly inefficient process that raises this question: Isn't it better to use the electricity directly to run the car than to waste most of it making hydrogen?

And finally, no mention is made of the coming improvements in battery capacity, cost and durability, or of the fact that many people in urban and suburban areas do not need a 300-mile range for commuting, shopping and local errands.

Bert Bigelow



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