Home >> Concept Comparision: Tesla with Battery or Honda FCX with Fuel Cell

Today's alternative Energy for Cars - let the Race begin
Green Tech - Posted: October 28, 2009

Top Gear - a British TV Show that mainly reviews automotive technologies and test drives cars put two of them to the test. It's a comparison of technologies: battery vs. fuel cell and a comparison of car types: sport scar vs. family sedan. Well - good enough to provide for some good entertainment.

The Contenders:

The battery-powered Tesla Roadster
(sports car, two-seater, 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds, range 240 miles (if driven normally), $110,000).

The fuel cell-powered Honda Clarity
(family sedan, 136 HP, 270 miles range, price ??, available only in Los Angeles to a few chosen ones).

Watch the Tesla Roadster pushed to its Limits by Top Gear

Watch the Honda Clarity Test Run by Top Gear

We will expand on this issue a bit more in the near future, but here are a few things many of you have probably on their mind.

The Big Questions:

Q: When will Hydrogen Fuel cell cars be ready for the show room?

Q: Both technologies, batteries and fuel cells, have the same problem for long distance driving.
What will it take to build up the distribution system (for batteries see Better Place - for Hydrogen it's the incumbent gasoline companies (right?))?
A: This just in - SolarCity and Tesla are installing solar-powered 4 charging stations along the 101 Freeway between the San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles Basin.

Q: What is more expensive to produce - a gallon of gasoline or a gallon of Hydrogen?

Q: What is technically more challenging - to get a gallon of gasoline to a gas station or a gallon of hydrogen?

And some smaller ones:

Q: Which production process generates more greenhouse gases?

Q: Which technology is more transportation intensive?

Q: What will be the effects on current practices (from repair shops to the 300,000 ton tankers)?

Summary (might change next week)

The answer probably is that it is not a one-for-all technology. For long distance driving there will be for quite some time the good old gasoline. But in the short term and for short distances (commuting) there will be batteries "tomorrow" and fuel cells "next week".

And then some:

Tesla takes parts in Australian Desert Car Race.


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