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Does anyone know what's going on with the "hydrogen" Prius plan?
There was an article in LA Times with a comment that it is like putting a "mustache on Mona Lisa", to which I agreed.
Does that mean they are going to change all Prius or just introduce new line of hydrogen cars?
 

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Any consumer hydrogren car is not less then 10 years away. If Toyota decides to keep the "Prius" brand as their flagship for new fuel efficient technology, it will have nothing to do with hydrogen power for some time.

By the time hydrogen power is ready, the name "Prius" no more symbolic to the market then any other car name.
 

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RE

If you're old enough to remember when OPEC boycotted us and fuel was hard to come by, our government and energy companies began a program to explore and develop new energy sources. The sources were many and varied and ranged from shale based oil to solar. But, OPEC could see the handwriting on the wall. If America had succeeded in developing an alternative source, they (OPEC) would, in effect, be out of business so they opted to "reinstate" oil delivery. In my opinion, they are flirting with a dangerous situation at the moment by reducing production to a level that has brought on high fuel cost with no justification except higher profits. This could bring on a consumer demand that our government and the energy companies increase their focus on alternative fuels.

And, let us not forget that the government receives a hefty fuel tax on each gallon sold which drastically increases our cost.
 

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And, let us not forget that the government receives a hefty fuel tax on each gallon sold which drastically increases our cost.
For your information, in France one (US) gallon of gasoline costs roughly US$ 5. We're still alive.
 

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I am extremely skeptical of hydrogen. For one thing, if Bush is supporting it, it is because he knows it will never happen. He is an oil man and does not want to reduce our dependance on the product he sells. For another thing, hydrogen is highly inflammable. Remember the Hindenberg?

However, if hydrogen has its advantages, why is it always linked with fuel cells, which are expensive and many many years away? An ICE can run on hydrogen with only trivial modifications (assuming you had some way to deliver it and then store it in the car). Even better, a Stirling-cycle engine can run on hydrogen.

You don't need fuel cells to run a car on hydrogen. Any fuel-burning engine will do just fine.

You do need an infrastructure to deliver it, a fuel tank to hold it, and a way to produce it, because there are no hydrogen wells: it requires energy to produce.
 

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Daniel, I believe that Hydrogen could very well be the fuel of the future. I know it's explosive but so is Propane, Natural Gas and as far as that goes everything else that will fuel a combustible engine. As you mentioned, I think the main problem would be the gradual transfer of technologies, i.e., there would be a period when both fossil fuels and hydrogen fuels would be available.

As far as Bush, being an oil man makes no difference. The energy companies have a lock on demand for fuel, whatever the source. If you own stock in the oil companies, you will own stock in whatever fuels our government and industry provides. If we develop an alternative fuel source I believe the Mideast will be a trivial factor in our national interests.



 

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RE Frenchie

Frenchie, I don't know exactly how large France is but I would guess it to be somewhere in between the size of Texas and Alaska, or reasonably close. My point is, in the USA we have tremendous distances to be transversed in order to distribute our comsumer goods. We have tremendous refining abilities that are conducive to mass production of a fuel supply.

Also, France pays the same on the world market for crude as any other country. Maybe even a little less. I would imagine the cost of gasoline in France could be substantially attributed to a government levy placed on the sale of same. France is a very socialistic country and the government provides a lot of services for its citizenry and the costs have to be paid for these. My sister in law is French and still visits family there and they aren't very happy about their fuel costs. Especially when they hear about our fuel cost in this country. But, they sure do like having all the services that are available to them.

We pay less fuel cost. We pay more for services such as schools, health care, etc... It all comes out to about the same.

Stan

2004 Millennium Silver #7
 

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Low fuel prices are an incentive to waste energy. Urban sprawl, Gargantuan vehicles used to transport one person, centralized manufacture of goods, requiring long-distance hauling, personal cars instead of mass transit, are just a few examples of how a cheap-energy policy leads us to waste energy needlessly. Our grandchildren (or maybe even our children) will curse us.

We have the technology to use energy more efficiently, but a cheap-energy policy makes conservation too expensive!

Sure, a tax on fuel would force truckers to raise their prices, and the cost of the goods they transport would go up. That would create financial incentives to manufacture goods closer to the consumers and waste less fuel transporting them. It would make SUV's less appealing to people who have no need for them. It would generate political pressure on politicians to revive mass transit infrastructure. It would, in short, make conservation profitable.
 
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