There have been a couple of big announcements lately regarding the increased range of BEV (battery electric vehicles). The new Tesla Model S is supposed to have a range of 315 miles and the new Chevy Bolt EV is said to have a range of 238 miles.
So, the question of the day is will the increased range of BEV’s kill off the hydrogen auto? For years, one of the selling points of hydrogen autos over BEV’s has been the range.
For instance the Hyundai Tucson FCEV, which is commercially available for lease in California has a range of 365 miles. And, the Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle, for sale and lease in California has a range of approximately 312 miles according to the EPA.
As BEV’s continue to hit this 300+ range goal are hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV’s) simply doomed to fade away?
Not so, for a couple of reasons! First, according to Geek.com and Nikkei, the driving range of the 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell (pictured above) is approximately 466 miles (take that, Tesla!).
And more importantly, the charge versus refueling times gives FCEV’s a distinct advantage. Most FCEV’s can refuel in as little as 3 – 5 minutes, whereas even the Tesla Model S, as stated on its website, has an average charging time of 1 hour and 21 minutes. And, now let’s look at the best-selling BEV, the Nissan Leaf, which has a measly 107 mile range and 4 – 6 hour recharging time at 220v.
So, don’t throw in the towel yet for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Until the BEV manufactures get the recharging times down to 3 – 5 minutes (if this ever happens), there will be plenty of room in the marketplace for FCEV’s to flourish.