What are hydrogen cars and will we ever get there

How close are we to seeing hydrogen cars on our roads? We might not be there yet, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t get there soon. They have had the press buzzing for the last few years, so where are they?

When will we be driving hydrogen cars?

On paper, hydrogen cars have plenty of benefits, with zero emissions and a reliable decent range, what’s not to love about them? We could all have one before you know it. Hydrogen is the long-term solution to weaning the nation off the traditional carbon fuels. The ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars is on the way and according to Boris Johnson, this could come as soon as 2032 if we’re pushing it.

Without a doubt, hydrogen cars are the greener option and have been making a strong case for changing the world and the way that we travel since they were first introduced back in 2014. Who knows, you could be the fine owner of a hydrogen car sooner than you think!

How does a hydrogen car work?

Right now, the majority of hydrogen cars use natural gases, however, we all know the Government are in favour of investing in a greener and cleaner environment.

The way it works though is that hydrogen cars are powered by electricity that they produce internally through chemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen. It all sounds very fancy, doesn’t it?

Electrolysis, what’s that I hear you say? That’s the official name for this process, the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen and is also considered to be the more eco-friendly option when we’re talking about renewable electricity.

The only emissions you’ll find puffing out this machine is water. That’s as exciting as these hydrogen bad boys get. The clue is in the name. Just a bit of heat and water is all that it needs for the electricity to be generated. Once it’s the electricity has been generated it can do one of two things; power the car directly or charge a battery which stores the energy until later when it’s needed.

It was only last year that the Government made plans for the first large scale low-carbon hydrogen plants! This would be epic and would really help towards the move away from natural-gas based hydrogen. It looks as though the only hurdle is the cost. It always comes down to the cost of things like this. Sadly, creating hydrogen is quite expensive, which you could say is then reflected in the price when you look at the market, but hey ho, what can you do?

Which current cars already use hydrogen?

Manufacturers are planning on releasing more and more hydrogen models in the future so you can expect them to come thick and fast when they do.

Currently, you’re quite limited as to what you can choose if you're looking for a hydrogen car in the UK. You’ve got a choice from either the Toyota Mirai, the Honda Clarity or the Hyundai Nexo. It won’t come as a surprise to you either that these don’t come cheap with the Toyota coming in at around £66,0000! Yes, we know what you’re thinking. All of them have a range and performance that is standard when compared to your average family hatchback, so nothing worth reporting home about to be fair.

How do they compare to electric cars?

Electric cars are the talk of the town, however, hydrogen cars are more restricted when it comes to the whole refuelling infrastructure, which isn’t massive. You’re looking at getting a range of around 400 miles with your standard hydrogen, so it’s not like you can just roll up and plug it anywhere like you can with electrics.

If we’re talking environmental wise, then hydrogen is ticking a lot of boxes as some hydrogen filling stations create their own gas on-site, compared to your electric cars that are charging their batteries using electricity generated by fossil fuels. The only downside to hydrogen is when they're having it delivered by whopping tankers, which is a no-no.

We couldn’t talk about electric cars without talking about their charging. It’s not new news that they can take forever to charge, which can be a pain. At least with your hydrogen, you can just pop to the filling station and fill it up just like you would with your standard diesel and petrol.

So, if/when hydrogen cars become mainstream and you're itching to buy one, come back to us and let us help you sell your old car at Jamjar. It's free and easy, all you need to do to get started is enter your reg.

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