Car Reviews

What is the Future? Are Hydrogen Vehicles Better Than Electric Vehicles?

By Daisy Emah-Emah Posted: 03/16/2022

Which do you prefer – Hydrogen vehicles or Electric vehicles?

 

There is always this silent competition between Hydrogen and Electric vehicles. Some parties think that Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles have no future while others think hydrogen vehicles are going to replace electric vehicles. 

 

Whatever the case may be – let us delve deeper into these vehicles and you can determine the answer for yourselves. 

 

 

An electric vehicle uses a lithium-ion battery to supply power to a motor that powers the different components of the car. 

 

They are either partially or fully powered by an electric motor. Electric cars are reliable, can run silently, and produce no emissions. Their batteries are recharged at a charging station.  

 

Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles send power to an electric motor by hydrogen reacting with oxygen to produce electricity and water. The electricity powers the vehicle while the water is released as a by-product. 

 

They are refueled with hydrogen at refueling stations like gas or diesel and at a short period of time – less than 10 minutes. 

 

Electric vs Hydrogen Vehicles – Similarities and Differences

The greatest similarity between both vehicles is that they produce little to no emissions when compared to gas or diesel-powered vehicles. This makes both electric and hydrogen vehicles better for the environment as they produce greener energy and restore balance to the environment. 

 

 

An electric motor is found in both electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles. They both require electricity to power the electric motor and other components on the vehicle – the mode of producing electricity differs…

 

Both electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell are relatively safe for use. There have been concerns about the dangers of hydrogen in case of a fire and overheating of lithium-ion batteries. 

 

As with any fuel source, hydrogen and electric vehicles have their own safety challenges and automakers keep working at improving vehicle safety for their users. 

 

Electric vs Hydrogen Vehicles – Differences

Although both vehicles are good for the environment, there is still a lot of difference between the two. 

 

1. Price/No of Refuelling Stations 

Electric vehicles are cheaper than Hydrogen-powered cars. It is expensive to build hydrogen plants in many locations and this makes the production of hydrogen fuel-cell more expensive. 

 

There is also a limited amount of hydrogen refueling infrastructure and building more will take time and a lot of money. Compared to an electric vehicle which has a good amount of recharging points across the US and other countries. 

 

2. Production Process

Hydrogen is not so green – they are clean when used to power your vehicle but produces a lot of pollution in the manufacturing stage. You need a lot of energy and fossil fuels to produce hydrogen to power vehicles, and the process is a great contributor to global warming. 

 

An electric car battery can be charged using wind or solar making it cleaner and greener for the environment. 

 

3. Refuelling Time

It takes less than 10 minutes to refuel hydrogen-powered vehicles compared to electric vehicles that take a longer time to recharge. This is because hydrogen cars are much lighter than power-packed batteries. 

 

Electric vehicles are better suited for small-sized vehicles while hydrogen fuel-cell can be used to produce vehicles of different sizes. 

 

4 Range 

Hydrogen-powered vehicles offer greater ranges than electric vehicles. Hydrogen-powered vehicles have a longer range with less refueling frequency, unlike electric vehicles. 

 

According to Automotive Technologies, most fully electric vehicles travel between 100-200 miles on a single charge. While hydrogen-powered vehicles can travel 300 miles before a refuel is needed. 

 

Further Reading

  1. Is Buying a Used Electric Vehicle a Good Idea?
  2. What You Need to Know about Buying Used Electric Vehicles
  3. Your 101 Guide to Choosing the Right Electric Vehicle (EV)
  4. Hydrogen Cars: What Are All I Need to Know About Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Cars?

 

Electric vs Hydrogen Vehicles – Which is Better?

There are key differences between both vehicle types, each having its own pros and cons. These challenges can be overcome as technology advances and improvements are made to existing vehicles. 

 

 

Both are good options for an environmentally friendly vehicle but your financial ability would come into play when choosing the vehicle that suits you. Electric vehicles are more popular and easy to have readily available with charging stations for users. Hydrogen is not as popular which makes it more expensive and the limited availability of refueling stations should be considered when making your choice. 

 

Technology is evolving and the world is moving towards emission-less driving – the future is bright for electric and hydrogen vehicles. More automakers are investing in making this future possible – where gas and diesel engines are replaced with environmentally-friendly vehicles. 

 

The question should not be which vehicle is better but how can both coexist to create an emission-free environment. 

 

Hydrogen fuel-cell should not be an alternative to electric vehicles but should complement each other. Electric cars work better as smaller-sized vehicles because of battery weight – hydrogen fuel-cell are better-suited SUVs and trucks due to the lightness of hydrogen. 

 

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