Hydrogen car: keep moving

Four years have passed, but the hydrogen future is still not here, but somewhere near: at the current level of technology, more energy is spent on hydrogen production than can be extracted from it, and the infrastructure for such cars remains in its infancy (for example, There are so far less than 40 gas stations throughout the country). But fuel cell car manufacturers are updating their models and continuing to believe in their future. And not only them. Prince Alberta of Monaco, a big fan of motorsport and ecology, preceding the start of the Formula 1 Grand Prix this year, made a circle of honor on the city race track at the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell. Popular Mechanics reporters drove a Honda Clarity and Toyota Mirai to evaluate how they behave on regular roads.

Honda clarity

To protect against punctures, the rear hydrogen tanks are coated with carbon fiber and aluminum.


Power, l p.: 174 Torque, Nm: 300 Cruising range, km: 589

Roof contours like a crossover or hatchback, vertical landing of the driver, seats for five people - in general, this is a comfortable and elegant car. The feel of the steering and brakes is pretty much the same as when riding the best Honda gasoline models. But with a mass of more than 1800 kg and with an acceleration time of up to 100 km / h, close to double digits, the car is difficult to compete with gasoline counterparts. Clarity is equipped with automatic braking and lane change warning technology. The digital dashboard is finished with a material similar to suede, but made from recycled plastic. While the dynamics are not in the priority of the model, but for all other parameters, solid amenities.

Toyota Mirai


Power, l p.: 153 Torque, Nm: 335 Cruising range, km: 502

Leaving Los Angeles, I notice that the battery indicator has shifted down a few bars, and I feel a familiar alarm. Then the indicator does a trick that I have never seen in electric cars - it rises up almost to the end. The car has charged itself. Cool. In fact, Mirai fuel cells gave some electricity to recharge a nickel-metal hydride battery that powers a 153-horsepower engine. Having freed myself from worrying about the rest of the run before refueling, I direct the little Toyota to the brake lane, and the fuel cells build up power with a sound, as if someone is mowing the lawn two blocks from here. Acceleration like a small diesel engine with excellent torque. But Mirai is a modest aggregate. (Toyota demonstrates the powerful capabilities of a heavy truck: its two fuel cells give out 670 hp and 1800 Nˑm of torque.) After several tens of kilometers, I look in the rearview mirror and see ... another Mirai. Has the future come yet?

The fuel cell is located under the hood, and the 245-volt battery is located under the seats so that the center of gravity is lower.

How a fuel cell works

Chemistry Charging an Electric Vehicle Battery


1. Hydrogen from car tanks and oxygen from the air are found on fuel cells - thin membranes that separate two substances. 2. Hydrogen, dissociating on the membrane into protons and electrons, is attracted to oxygen on the other hand, but only a proton can pass through the membrane to oxygen. 3. The electron does not penetrate through the membrane and goes around it into the external circuit, producing an electric current to charge the battery that supplies the engine.

Article “Hydrogen car. Continuing the movement ”was published in the magazine“ Popular Mechanics ”(No. 9, September 2017). Everything for cars ...

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