Jump to content

Electric cars not the answer: Honda

Recommended Posts

Electric cars not the answer: Honda


June 28, 2010 - 12:42PM

Comments 14

Honda's fuel cell electric car, the Honda Clarity.

One of the leaders in hybrid technology believes hydrogen-fuelled vehicles are the best solution to our energy needs.

Electric vehicles will only ever provide a partial solution to the problem of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the car industry, a leading Honda engineer says.

Thomas Brachmann, a senior engineer in advanced technology research for Honda in Europe, says fuel cell vehicles, which generate their own electricity on-board from a chemical reaction with hydrogen, are superior to electric vehicles and will be the “ultimate solution” to the industry’s energy needs.

He says that plug-in electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and range-extender hybrids - where a petrol engine kicks in to recharge an electric motor – are all stop-gap measures, while diesel and petrol vehicles will no longer be offered for sale by 2040.

Brachmann says electric vehicles haven’t progressed much in more than a century, despite repeated efforts by the car industry to popularise the technology.

“We have an EV that is 12 years old and it’s as good as the new electric vehicles out there,” he says.

He says the range, performance and recharging times for electric vehicles haven’t improved markedly and he doesn’t expect them to make huge strides in the future.

“So why the hell should we do this again just because of the hype around electric vehicles at the moment,” he says.

Fuel cell vehicles provided a more complete solution because they could achieve the range of a normal petrol vehicle and were true zero-emission vehicles, unlike plug-ins which often relied on a coal-fed electricity grid.

They could also be refuelled in two to three minutes compared with up to eight hours for an EV. Mr Brachmann also questions the wisdom of electric car battery swap stations.

He is sceptical that batteries can be swapped quickly, especially on hot days when the batteries will need time to cool before they are swapped.

He says electric vehicles are not well suited to Australian conditions, where travel distances are big and battery range can be significantly restricted by hot weather.

“If you want to cross Australia, you’ll need a different car,” he says.

He claims trials of electric vehicles have uncovered big differences in range depending on the driving habits of owners.

“On one specific electric vehicle, the range varied from 37km to 120km depending on the driver attitude and behaviour,” he says.

Electric vehicles would have a place as small commuter vehicles around cities, but bigger vehicles, including four-wheel-drives and sedans, would have to be fuel-cell driven.

He admits there are still big barriers to acceptance of fuel cell vehicles, including the exorbitant costs and lack of fuelling infrastructure.

But he says rapid progress is being made in both bringing down the cost of fuel cell vehicles and reducing the weight and size of storage tanks and fuel cells.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets


  • Create New...