May 25, 2017


Researchers Claim to Have Found a Cheaper Way to Make Hydrogen (STEPHEN EDELSTEIN, MAY 25, 2017, The Drive)

Hydrogen fuel-cell cars have several advantages over battery-powered electric vehicles. They tend to have longer ranges, and can be refueled quickly, like gasoline cars. But all those advantages are academic without large quantities of easily-accessible hydrogen.

Physicists at the University of Houston may be able to help in that area, however. A team of researchers claims to have discovered a new way to produce hydrogen that's both cheaper and more efficient than current processes. If it pans out, this development could be a boon to fuel-cell cars.

The new process uses a nickel catalyst, which is much less expensive than the precious-metal catalysts currently used. 

Electric Cars Could Be Cheaper Than Internal Combustion by 2030 : Tesla gets the headlines, but big battery factories are being built all over the world, driving down prices. (Michael Reilly  May 23, 2017, MIT Technology Review)

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, global battery production is forecast to more than double between now and 2021. The expansion is in turn driving prices down, good news both for the budding electric-car industry and for energy companies looking to build out grid-scale storage to back up renewable forms of energy.

While Tesla gets tons of attention for its "gigafactories"--one in Nevada that will produce batteries, and another in New York that will produce solar panels--the fact is, the company has a lot of battery-building competition.

Exhibit A is a new battery plant in Kamenz, Germany, run by Accumotive. The half-billion-euro facility broke ground on Monday with a visit from German chancellor Angela Merkel and will supply batteries to its parent company, Daimler, which is betting heavily on the burgeoning electric-vehicle market.

But the lion's share of growth is expected to be in Asia. 

Posted by at May 25, 2017 3:25 PM