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01-31-2006 06:18 PM #1
Hello my name is Elizabeth and i wrote in a couple months ago talking about my research project. I was wondering if Hydrogen cars and Hybrids were the same thing. If not what are the diffrences? I was also wondering what the cons of owning a Hybrid car were. Thanks for your help.
01-31-2006 06:58 PM #2
Elizabeth, the primary difference between Hydrogen cars and Hybrid cars is that there are hundreds of thousands (if not a million or more?) of hybrids on the roads - they have been in public use for years. Hydrogen cars, on the other hand, are science fiction. The only Hydrogen cars are prototypes. Additionally, while Hybrid cars use ordinary gasoline - available everywhere - there are essentially no hydrogen "gas stations."
The primary "con" of owning a Hybrid car is that there aren't a lot of hybrids with excessive cargo capacity. There are no hybrid minivans, and there are very few hybrids with trailer-towing capability.
01-31-2006 08:51 PM #3
Hydrogen is a kind of fuel, while Hybrid refers to a vehicle with different kinds of motors. You might want to look up the word "hybrid" in the dictionary as a start.
Hydrogen cars are being proposed to replace gasoline as the fuel that cars use. While Hydrogen can be used in normal internal combustion engine powered cars, it also can be used by fuel cells that convert hydrogen and air into electricity which runs an electric motor. The main problems with hydrogen as a fuel are:
1. It doesn't exist naturally in nature, while oil can be pumped from a well. It can be stripped out of natural gas or 'manufactured' by seperating it from the oxygen in water (H in H2O is Hydrogen while O is Oxygen). The problem is that it takes about 4 times as much energy to seperate the hydrogen from oxygen in water as is left in the hydrogen or in other words, for every 'gallon' of hydrogen, one wastes 3 'gallons.
2. It is a gas and just like natural gas, it is much more difficult to handle and store than a liquid such as gasoline. In order for a car to carry enough hydrogen to go more than about 200 miles, one would need a very high pressure hydrogen tank. Such high pressure would be hazardous in an accident and during fill-up.
The traditional Hybrid being discussed here and which is on the market has both an internal combustion type gasoline engine and an electric motor both being used to move the car. The car has a computer which determines how much of which motor to use to provide the best economy and performance depending upon the situation.
Most of the prototype hydrogen cars being developed today are also a kind of hybrid. Many use a fuel cell to convert the hydrogen into electricity but also store excess electricity in a battery to provide for extra power during acceleration and to recover braking energy for efficiency.
In my opinion: The hybrid is clearly an improvement upon traditional gasoline or diesel engines. Hydrogen, however, does not look like a very good alternative to gasoline, diesel, or batteries for storing energy to propel cars.
But maybe the research being done will find a breakthrough to prove me wrong.