Daily VideoMay 21, 2014
Carmakers prepare to release hydrogen-powered vehicles
The next generation of zero-emission hydrogen-powered cars are hitting the road.
Instead of gasoline, hydrogen fuel cell cars use liquid hydrogen (the most abundant chemical element in the universe) to power the car’s electric motor. Oxygen from the air combines with the hydrogen, so the cars emit only water vapor instead of the harmful pollution produced by conventional vehicles.
Carmakers have spent more than a decade and invested billions of dollars to develop the technology, and are now hoping this investment pays off.
However, they must first overcome the obstacles preventing people from buying hydrogen vehicles, including the lack of hydrogen pumps needed to refuel the cars.
“I can’t go on a long trip,” said Bill Holloway, a resident of Alameda, California, who owns a hydrogen-powered car. “If they had more fueling stations, they would have more cars they could sell. If there were more cars, they would have more fueling stations. We have a chicken-and-egg problem.”
Despite this, carmakers still see fuel cell cars as the future, largely because they function similarly to current gasoline-powered cars. Filling up at a fuel station is the same process, costs are about the same and the cars don’t require drivers to change their current driving habits. This has been a complaint about electric battery-powered cars, which can only travel 80 miles or so before needing to be recharged for several hours.
“It really drives just like any other car, with a gas pedal and a brake,” said Tim Lipman of the University of California, Berkeley.
While driving these cars may be easy, both fuel cell advocates and automakers know that their success depends on building more refueling stations soon.
Warm up questions
- Name as many energy resources as you can. Which ones are used to power cars?
- How do gasoline-powered cars cause pollution?
- What are some advantages and disadvantages to driving a hydrogen-powered car?
- What happens to hydrogen when you light it on fire? What happens to gasoline if you light it on fire? Are cars powered by either of these energy sources safe to drive? Explain your answer.
Imagine that you just got a new job and your boss is giving you the money to buy a new car to commute to work. Briefly outline the pros and cons of gasoline and hydrogen-powered cars, choose which one you would purchase and explain your reasoning. Now imagine you own and run a gas station. How would you make the decision whether or not to invest in a hydrogen refilling stations?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met for what was likely their last public meeting before Nov. 8 on Wednesday in Las Vegas. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Ahead of the third and final debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, educators around the country have found themselves struggling to teach and discuss this turbulent election in the classroom. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Political columnists Mark Shields and David Brooks, who usually fall on different sides of the political spectrum, agreed on Friday that Donald Trump’s behavior in recent days has harmed his campaign. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Lead has been used in pipes and plumbing dating back to ancient times, but its role as a public health hazard only emerged in recent decades. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
DOWNLOAD VIDEO (Editor’s note: Note that this video includes references to inappropriate language and should…Arts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld