Why a `Zero-Emissions War` of Hydrogen v Battery is the New Tesla v Edison `War of the Currents`

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

Author: H2Power Consulting

Date: 30/08/2019

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be known as the Hydrogen Games and just as the Chicago World Fair of 1893 did for AC power, the games will change the world`s understanding of Hydrogen power.

  • Why - Hydrogen and fuel cells must fight a war and beat batteries to power the world

  • Why - We must turn our backs on hazardous batteries and save lives

  • Why - Elon Musk belief that "all vehicles should be battery" is "mind-bogglingly stupid"

A strategic change is needed to beat batteries

Hydrogen and fuel cells will only succeed when a critical number of users experience the technology and appreciate fuel cells practical superiority and greener credentials over batteries. The only workable path to this success is improved collaboration between all stakeholders of the hydrogen vision. This will mean the creation of more coherent and strategic transitioning road maps, leading to improved understandings of the policymakers, technology innovators, energy suppliers and technology sellers varying business objectives and perceived business risks. Only when this is achieved, coupled with a head-line changing event like the Tokyo Olympics, will the many advantages of hydrogen and fuel cells be openly understood. This should then lead to more early adopters taking the financial plunge required to help convert the masses to this ultra-clean super fuel. Only then, on greater mass adoption, will the benefits hydrogen fuel cells have over the battery and the transformational effect this zero-emissions energy can have on climate change and the polluted air disaster facing us all, be fully acknowledged.

"Just as the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 meant AC would go on to win the War of the Currents over DC and power the newly industrialised world, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Hydrogen Games will mean hydrogen fuel cells winning the Zero-Emissions War over batteries and power the new renewable clean energy world of tomorrow."

Collaboration is the key to success

H2Power Consulting, the UK`s leading hydrogen and fuel cell consultancy, is actively calling for better collaboration between all stakeholders of the hydrogen society and a greater understanding of the fight ahead required for hydrogen fuel cells to succeed over batteries. Just as Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison battled in the 19th century for the hearts and minds of the public and their leaders over the mass adoption of AC or DC as the world's power, we must convey the practical and environmental advantages of hydrogen fuel cells over the battery.

Why we must turn our backs on batteries.

To create a battery takes around 450 W/hr of energy to produce 1 W/hr of cell capacity. This means a battery needs to be used approximately 450 times just to break energy even.

Batteries are extremely toxic to us and the environment, they contain harmful chemicals and hazardous materials being difficult to recycle or dispose of safely. With most modern battery-electric cars, the batteries contain Lithium, Nickel, and Cobalt. The model S is reported to contain 63kg of Lithium and the demand for this poisonous metal is outpacing supply. The environmental and human harm mining these metals, mostly in developing countries, is tragic. Waterways and farmlands get contaminated with fatal consequences for the local population and wildlife.

Like any mining process, it is invasive, it scars the landscape, it destroys the water table and it pollutes the earth and the local wells,” said Guillermo Gonzalez, a lithium battery expert from the University of Chile. “This isn't a green solution – it's not a solution at all."

Child labour - Cobalt mining for batteries DRC

The mining of these hazardous metals for battery production, impact on the local air and water quality, causing increased rates of new born deformities and respiratory problems in people exposed in the surrounding communities. There is also human rights and child labour violations regularly reported for mine workers and this may be why so many battery manufacturers are very secretive about the sourcing of the materials used in their products.

"The technological solution required to halt climate change and end the fossil-fuelled air quality catastrophe heaped upon us, needs to be environmentally friendly through its whole life cycle and, not just at the consumer point of use," said Mike Dixon a specialist hydrogen consultant at H2Power Consulting. "This is where green hydrogen and fuel cells stand above and beyond and why they are a truly viable green solution without the harmful hidden consequences of battery production and disposal."

Why we will turn to hydrogen fuel cells to power our world

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe and found most commonly on Earth composed as water.

Hydrogen produced through the use of electrolysis and powered by renewable energy, creates an inexhaustible supply of pure clean green hydrogen that is environmentally positive through its whole life cycle.

Fuel cells use an electrochemical reaction, similar to batteries, and when powered by hydrogen, the electricity they produce is zero-emissions with water and heat being the only by-product. Modern fuel cells are highly efficient, highly reliable and very safe. The majority are made with more common and environmentally friendly materials such as steel and ceramic, have long life-cycles up to 20 years and are easily recycled.

Fuel cells are here now and powering our homes, commercial buildings, power back up systems, trains, boats, commercial vehicles and of course, electric cars.

A game changing event leading to a truly green energy future. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be showcasing this super fuel and propelling it into the minds of the public and our leaders. The future will see fuel cells replacing the internal combustion engine and hydrogen will power all that Tesla's AC and Edison's DC powers now and without the hazardous battery production and recycling issues harming us and our planet.

“Should we all be driving battery cars Mr Musk? - I don't think so, that would be mind-bogglingly stupid.”

### About H2Power Consulting

H2Power Consulting is the UK's leading hydrogen and fuel cell specialist consultancy. Our expertise is in helping both private and public organisations worldwide succeed in transitioning to zero-emissions green hydrogen. We actively promote the hydrogen economy, believe in stopping climate change, cleaner air for all and a better world environment. Please visit: Source: H2power Consulting