Due to the amount of energy required to produce, cool, and then compress hydrogen for transportation and subsequent usage within a fuel cell vehicle, Ziebart is highly critical of its role as a practical automotive energy source.
Still, a minority of automakers disagree.
In an interview with Autocar, Ziebart affirmed thatÂ “The well to wheel relationship from the energy source to the vehicle is a disaster.â€�
“You end up with a well to wheel efficiency of roughly 30% for hydrogen, as opposed to more or less well to wheel 70% efficiency for a battery electric vehicle. So the efficiency of putting the electric energy directly into a battery is about twice as high as the efficiency of producing and using hydrogen. “If there was a strong reason to have a hydrogen infrastructure, then I think it would be set up, but with this disastrous well-to-wheel relationship, it doesnâ€™t just make sense.”
As things stand currently, there are only thirty-one public hydrogen fueling stations in the United States and 28 of those reside in California. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, that total number jumps to 56 if you include private filling locations. Meanwhile, there are over 14,800 public charging stations dedicated to electric vehicles with more cropping up every year. There’s also thousands of additionalÂ 240 volt outlets provided by workplaces and local governments,Â and most EV owners have the option of simply plugging in at home.
Battery powered cars are also less wasteful in a macro sense, as they draw their electricity from a pre-existing grid â€”Â one thatÂ transports energy more efficiently and at a lower cost.
Jaguar certainly didn’t see a reason to wait around for a hydrogen infrastructure to develop and the company’s new I-Pace Concept, which Ziebart oversaw the development of, is proof that.
[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]