Car Tech forum

General discussion

What do you think of hydrogen fuel cell cars?

by wcunning CNET staff / April 12, 2007 7:04 AM PDT
Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: What do you think of hydrogen fuel cell cars?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: What do you think of hydrogen fuel cell cars?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
It was the 100 or so miles to a tank that kills it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 13, 2007 12:57 AM PDT

The mileage on a tank is currently very short. In fact with most electric cars beating out the range of the hydrogen car on one tank you wonder why not all EV?

EV means no new infrastructure or new fueling stations. But hydrogen and car fueling is REQUIRED to keep the flow of taxes going to "gov" as well as the other usual companies in business.

Watch "Who killed the electric car?" for more clues.

Bob

Collapse -
They were about the same
by Andy77e / June 2, 2007 8:57 AM PDT

H2 got about 100 miles, the EV got about 90. I'd still go with the EV over the H2. H2 is a scam. I don't like the EV either, but it's still better to be able to recharge at home and not have to drive 50 miles to fill up H2.

Taxes isn't really relevent since we all know the instant EVs become popular (if that ever happens), the government will simply start taxing electricity more.

Collapse -
The next step is Plug-in Hybrids. Hydrogen is way later
by dilchien / April 13, 2007 4:17 AM PDT

While I agree with you that gasoline needs to be replaced AND that hydrogen will be the answer some day, I believe you need to mention that "some day" is still very far off in the future. It's like how today we're being told by the car companies that hydrogen is about 15 years away... but we've been told that by them 10 years ago.
One thing you didn't mention - infrastructure. Just that one point will require at least 15 years. Another drawback to hydrogen is efficiency. You briefly glossed over this in your "Hydrogen Production" bullet. But if memory serves me correct, the overall "well" to wheel efficiency is even less efficient than a internal combustion engine. Currently, the majority of hydrogen is created by converting natural gas and that is creating even more green-house gasses than gasoline. Yes, someday we will be able to create hydrogen from sunlight and water directly and so efficiency won't affect the amount of green-house gasses. But that is still a long time off (after the 15 years of infrastructure setup).
As I've said, I'm all for replacing gasoline combustion engines. But the answer is not YET hydrogen. Hybrids like the Prius are already a good first step. The next one should be plug-in hybrids like the upcoming Chevy Volt (a series hybrid - meaning the wheels are only driven by electric motors). It uses battery energy for the first 40 miles driven (after a night's charge via the plug). Afterwards, the battery is charged with an on-board generator while being driven. With a car like that, 95% of driving (most people's daily commutes) will not be using any gasoline. It also doesn't suffer from the range issues of current pure electric cars. Plus, it's much much more efficient than hydrogen (meaning less cost for the energy). Finally, plug-in hybrids will be available at a VERY comparable price to current cars in the next couple of years. Heck, you can even get one today if you want (buy a Prius and get Calcars to convert it to a plug-in for you for $10k extra).
The hydrogen revoultion might not ever happen. Even if it does, it'll be a long time in the future. Most environmentalists and electric car enthusiasts refer to the possible Hydrogen future as the "Hydrogen Hype". It's like parents (car and oil companies)promising their 3-year old (us) he'll get a bike in 15 years. But by the time he's 18, he'll be able to drive a car.

Collapse -
Hydrogen is useless
by a20052006 / April 13, 2007 4:44 AM PDT

Both fuel cell cars and battery powered cars have one thing in common and it is that they use electricity and electric motors to move. The question is which is a better medium for energy and if you know conservation of energy any conversion from electrical to chemical and back to electrical will cause at least two rather large drops in energy effiency. On the other hand, electric cars use batteries or possibly a flow battery or future supercapacitors which just retain a difference of electrical charge either through chemical or electromagnetic properties. The point is that storing electrical energy in hydrogen atoms is like having a super inefficient rechargeable flow battery. The hydrolysis process for water requires significantly more energy than simply recharging a battery. Although both are chemical based a battery is a proven and developing technology while fuel cells are extremely expensive due to their use of rare metals and their sensitivity to environmental conditions and impurities. I basically don't see the point to hydrogen cars as its just a poor alternative to other methods of storing electricity. I would like to know that if hydrogen is the future of our energy economy then would it be practical to produce all our power with it.

Collapse -
Email exchange with the author
by Marc1000 / April 13, 2007 4:47 AM PDT

Hello, I missed that there was a forum connected to this column. I'll reprint an email exchange I had this morning with the author.


---------------------------------------------------------------------

Mr. Cunningham,

You might look at MIT's magazine: http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/18301/ Clearly one article is only one view. However, MIT's Technology Review has a whole section on hyrdogen, and virtually all of it is negative. Contrast the views of true scientists and technologists with those of the PR/wishful thinking crowd.

Saying that researchers are looking into different ways to make hydrogen is like saying researchers are looking into a perpetual motion machine. Hydrogen does not occur naturally. It has to be manufacured. The immutable laws of thermodynamics result in the process consuming more energy than it produces. Today, tomorrow, forever. End of story. If scientists manage to make hydrogen by using some sort of molecule-cracking device that changes that, then we won't be using hydrogen. Cold fusion will then be a reality and we will have more power than we will ever need.

I'll repeat: Hydrogen is a battery, nothing more. Where is the energy coming from?


---------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Wayne Cunningham [mailto:Wayne.Cunningham@cnet.com]
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2007 10:52 AM
To:
Subject: RE: Driving It: Why hydrogen will fuel future cars

I invite you to make your arguments in our forum:
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7811_102-0.html?forumID=78&threadID=242811&messageID=2457992

And I stand by my statements in the column that 1) researchers are looking into different ways to make hydrogen, and 2) hydrogen fuel cells have been shown to give cars more range than current battery technology.

Thanks for reading CNET Car Tech,
Wayne

________________________________________
Wayne Cunningham
Senior Editor
CNET Car Tech
http://cars.cnet.com


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Mr. Cunningham,

Your article is spot on in one respect: "Critics point out that it takes more electricity to create the hydrogen then it will generate in a fuel cell." This is why hydrogen is not an energy source. The energy still has to come from somewhere. Where?

There has been much written about hydrogen as an "energy source" recently. Virtually none of the articles give any consideration to this fundamental question. Take a look at Wired Magazine's breathless cover story on hydrogen last year. Pages written on the wonders of hydrogen, but like your article not a word on the source of the energy.

Hydrogen does not exist in nature. It must be manufactured. It is the equivalent of a battery, merely a means to store energy temporarily. The only reason to consider it would be if creating, transporting and pumping hydrogen would be more efficient than the alternative means of temporarily storing energy, such as batteries. Is it? Your column says nothing.

Hydrogen cars are the current darling-child of those who don't think very deeply, such as automakers PR departments and politicians. There are few serious scientists who think hydrogen is the answer, except those on the payroll of the above.

You can do better than this.

Collapse -
Hydrogen is not a source
by MarkLatarnik / April 18, 2007 2:39 PM PDT

It is a carrier of energy. Until we have enough nuclear, tide, geothermal or hot air coming out of washed out politicians like Al Gore, we are stuck to gasoline

Collapse -
Hydrogen source
by Savile Burdett / April 18, 2007 5:59 PM PDT

There is lots of methane hydrate lying around at the bottom of many seas. Professor Rice (see Journal of Energy Resources Technology Dec 2003 and a further paper elsewhere) has shown that this can yield hydrogen and sequestered carbon dioxide returned to the bottom of the sea. Why a fuel cell is needed instead of using it like a conventional gas engine I do not know.

Collapse -
H2 in IC Engines?
by albizzia / April 20, 2007 5:06 PM PDT
In reply to: Hydrogen source

While suitably modified IC engines will run on H2, they are much less efficient than fuel cells - a serious consideration for an expensive fuel like H2.
Hydrogen is a very bulky fuel. When compressed to 10,000 psi (yes, 5 tons per sq. inch!) H2 has only 1/5 the energy of gasoline, per gallon. Liquified H2 has only 1/4 the energy of gasoline.
BMW built the "Hydrogen 7" with a 30 gallon liquid H2 tank, but it only goes 120 miles on one tank (yes, 4 mpg!). A 16.7 gallon gas tank is included to give a reasonable range, but there is almost no trunk space in the BMW Hydrogen 7.
Quantum tried modifying a Toyota Prius by replacing the gas tank with a compressed H2 tank, but even in a high efficiency hybrid, the range on one tank of H2 was only 80 miles.
Running a car directly on compressed natural gas is more efficient, less expensive and gives better range than running a IC engine car on H2.

Collapse -
How do you keep that 10,000 PSI H2 from leaking?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 21, 2007 12:33 AM PDT
In reply to: H2 in IC Engines?

The last report I read was the tank runs dry in about a week.

Storage appears to be an issue in some tanks.

Bob

Collapse -
Liquid H2 evaporates
by albizzia / April 22, 2007 5:42 PM PDT

The BMW Hydrogen 7 uses liquified H2 stored in an insulated 30 gallon dewar flask, not a pressure tank. Although it is very well insulated, the entire 30 gallons will evaporate in less than 2 weeks. It's like having a petrol tank that leaks 2 quarts fuel every day!.
GM is the one using the 10,000 psi carbon fiber tank, it doesn't leak as much, but H2 molecules are so tiny and the pressure is so high, leaks are still a big problem.

Collapse -
A couple nits and a lot of potential
by Renegade Knight / April 13, 2007 7:08 AM PDT

First the energy cost to make hydrogen isn't negated by solar power. That's a clean power source but it still has a cost that has to be factored into the bigger picture.

CFCs. The key probelm with those was that they were stable. They did not react with air and dust etc. at the lower levels of the atmosphere. When they got high enough to interact with Ozone UV light broke the molecule apart relasing the chlorine. That free Chlorine then becomes a problem. If Hydrogen did react at lower levels like CFC's dont'. It's not so much a problem.

Lastly, I like the concept of a closed system. Water to Hydrogen/Oxygen, to Water all in the car. Plug it in and let the system cycle. Stick a solar panel on the roof of a car if you don't need to travel much and you would never even need to plug the car in at all. If it ever leaks...fix the leak pour in water and you are back in business.

I think the real future will be a mix of things. We will probably always have frenchfry grease to recycle. We will always have electricity to plug in a car. Fuel cells are viable. Then the real issue becomes the right car for the job. Commuting may be one kind of car. Long back country trips another. The Work Truck another still and so on.

Collapse -
In theory.
by Andy77e / June 2, 2007 9:59 AM PDT

They claim the chlorine became a problem. I have yet to read any real documented proof of this. However it doesn't matter, the companies got the money, the politicians got the votes and donations from the companies, and the consumer got the bill and a warm fuzzy feeling. So everyone got what they wanted and CFCs are banned. Well, other than me and like minded who didn't want the bill and didn't get any warm fuzzy feelings.

Anyway... the closed system concept won't happen in our life time. I sort of like it, but I'll be long dead before that comes around. The issues are: The tank containing the hydrogen would have to be presure sealed, unless the system pumped the hydrogen out of the tank.

If the tank is presure sealed, it can't be plastic because it would have to handle presure in the 10K psi area. However salt water plus electricity is very bad for metal, which means a high breakage possiblity. Water has to have salt in it because pure water doesn't conduct electricity. It's actually the salt that conducts it.

The only way to avoid this is to pump the hydrogen out of the tank into a temporay storge tank. This means the car would need 2 seperate tanks, adding a lot of expense, and weight which reduces mileage.

So the tank alone is a problem. Further, the amount of time and electricity to do this on a small scale is excessive. Converting water to hydrogen is a very very in-efficient system as we know it now. The shear amount of power needed would be far more than what energy is needed for oil fuels. Imagine doubling or tripleing your electric bill. Plus, if the hydrogen is pumped into a high presure tank, that pump will also add much to the electrical demand.

Solar panels to do this is a joke. You'd need a solar panel large enough to cover a hummer, and it would still take a week or more to make enough power to go 100 miles on hydrogen.

Even using the power grid, the amount of time needed to do it is also high. Simply plugging in your car for the night may not be enough time.

Then after all this, the amount of water in the electrolysis tank would have to be significant, and more than needed. The reason is that during the seperation process if all the water was used, the salt would crystalize on the metal conductors and the tank itself. This is bad. Causes corrosion, can damage. So the water must never be used up to the point it causes that. Further the amount of hydrogen would have to be significant to go anywhere. So the tank would also have to hold that much water as well. That's vast amount of weight which will harm mileage again.

All in all, great concept, not going to happen any time soon. Technology will have to advance a lot to get over those issues.

Collapse -
Salt?
by Renegade Knight / June 4, 2007 3:42 AM PDT
In reply to: In theory.

All you need are ions, any Ion would do (including H+ and OH-) ...Salt is merely one source. However a lot of good points.

Collapse -
Why Hydrogen Fuel Car Still Expensive?
by greenthinker / March 10, 2010 10:18 AM PST
In reply to: Salt?

In my point of view maybe nowaday people or consumer still don't know how to fight against this matter. Actually if we think logically this technology should be cheaper than what we use today (organic fuel). If all of the major car companies can sit down and make it a good decision to make this technology can become economical for people to use... I don't know also maybe government have their hidden agenda about this matter... maybe they have to finish their oil first then become to use hydrogen.. hahahah quite funny is't it?
Come on world lets fight this price...
I found 1 blog if all of you like to join it...

http://hidrogen-fuel.blogspot.com/

Collapse -
Fresh Water (minus salt) doesn't conduct Electricity???
by Cyberfool / March 18, 2010 9:39 AM PDT
In reply to: In theory.

Tell that to anyone thinking of using an appliance while Bathing...

Collapse -
Free From Arab Oil
by gapman59 / April 13, 2007 9:28 AM PDT

I support hydrogne for three very positives reasons:
- It frees us from Arab oil.
- Hydrogen will jump start a whole new industry that will leave
much of the world stuck in old technology. Socialists systems
do not adapt as quickly as a capitlaist system.
- Nuclear (France generates 75% and Europe generates 38% of the
electricity used from nuclear reactors) can be used to generate
hydrogen.
- Gore's CO2 trading company will not make much once the U.S.
switches over to hydrogen and nuclear.
- The crazies that thought they were going to freeze technology will
end up living in a super tech world which will, maybe,drive them
sane.

The ozone hole may end having to do more with cosmic conditions than some girls using hair spray in the 60s. Computer sims aren't matchine what is happening. So, I am not losing sleep that hydrogen is going to destroy anything.

The Gorite Global Wamring Machine that is preaching man made CO2 is causing the world to sizzle ignoring the little factg that the earth did not sizzle during the Roman Warm Period which was warmer than it is today) is not even a factor. Note: (Coldest April in last 100 years).

Collapse -
Arab Oil? Try Canadian!
by mrpresident1776 / April 18, 2007 11:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Free From Arab Oil

"AMTR"

This is a commonly screwed up fact but America does not rely on Arab oil as much as we are lead to believe by our great leaders such **** and George. We only get about 15% of our oil from the Middle East. Our largest source of foreign oil is Canada, our second largest, Mexico and our third largest is Venezuela. And we're also pretty good at producing it ourselves. So when you say "free from Arab oil," it sounds as if it had a rope around our neck and it was just cut. That's just not the case.

Collapse -
Put blame where it is due.
by Andy77e / June 2, 2007 10:14 AM PDT

If anyone is ignorant about where we buy our oil from, it's not **** and Georges fault. It is simply people not knowing how things work. You are right, we only get 15% of our oil from there.

The issue isn't the specific location we get oil from, it's the imported oil market itself. Whether you like it or not, the largest suppliers in the world, have the largest effect on "Supply and Demand" which governs every product in the world.

OPEC, of the middle east, supplies more oil than anyone anywhere on this planet. Regardless of where we buy our specific oil, the price we pay is greatly effected by OPEC. For example, if OPEC cuts production, the supply will drop, causing prices to increase. Even if we are just buying from Canada, a Crude Oil seller in Canada isn't going to sell for $30 a barrol if he can sell it to russia for $75 a barrol. This is how a world market works.

In fact there are independent crude oil sellers in the US, and it's no different for them either. Why would they sell for too much less than the world market price?

This is why OPEC is an issue at all. It's not that we buy imported oil exclusively from them, it's that regardless of where we buy, they have the most control over prices.

This is the reason I support getting oil here in America. It has little to do with "where" or "who" we buy from. It's about getting out of the market as much as possible. The only way to prevent our oil prices from being effected so much by imported oil, is to produce more ourselves.

The largest untapped known supplie of oil, is in our land. We know it's there, we know how to get it, but our government prevents us from doing so. Further, there's tons of places we haven't even looked, because our government won't let our oil companies even look for oil. Plus, many companies don't even bother looking now, after all, if we know there's oil here and you won't let us get it, why bother exploring?

It's amazing to me the number of people who complain the oil companies make so much profit.... well of course they do. You prevent them from exploring, your prevent them from drilling... what else do they have to invest in with the money? Nothing. It's all profit now.

Who knows how much oil might be directly under our feet every day we walk around, yet instead we import it and complain about high prices. Americans can sure be plain stupid sometimes.

Collapse -
Not exactly
by Andy77e / May 26, 2007 9:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Free From Arab Oil

It will not free us from Arab oil.
Hydrogen will not jump start a new industry, it will just be another product for energy/oil companies to sell.
It will require less power to run an electric car from nuclear power, than to make hydrogen with the power and run the car on hydrogen. Why bother? Just drive an electric car then. Save you some money and use less power.

Collapse -
Electric .. but how
by plcard / May 26, 2007 11:48 PM PDT
In reply to: Not exactly

I agree electric probably is the answer. However, the technology I am able to find, means if we want to take a trip of over 250 or more, we will spend the majority of the vacation recharging the vehicle.

The challenged faced is to make a vehicle, semi, cars, lite trucks, so they can recharge on the super highways, much like the hybrids of today that charge when the breaks are applied.

It will happen, but after being chewed out the last time I said it, NOTHING is going to occur until "Big Oil" says it will. Their pockets are too deep; they own too many politicians; and probably more patents for high mileage engines than you know.

It is going to take someone, say a Ted Turner, with more money than they know what to do with and a vision as a Henry Ford to produce a car that will save us from the middle east. Nothing would make me happier than to see them drown in that black stuff. Come on Ted... you can do it!!

Collapse -
Agreed, but forget Ted.
by Andy77e / May 27, 2007 4:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Electric .. but how

Electric has some huge issue. I would never buy one with a max distance of 80 to, if I'm lucky, 100 miles. Forget that. My statement wasn't that I thought Electric is the way to go, I just pointed out that it would be vastly better than Hydrogen. Why make hydrogen with electricity, when you could just as easy use the electricity to start with.

Big oil has nothing to do with it. Even with tons of money, if I make a 100 mpg engine and choose to make cars with it, they can't do jack. Government can though. And politicians have invested interest in keeping oil a problem. They can't set themselves up as the solution to a problem, unless there's a problem to be a solution to. How would congress pass millions of tax payer money out to hydrogen political supporters, if imported oil isn't a problem? Government is the ultimate evil, yet most see it as the solution which is what they want. So they pass laws that prevent oil exploration and prevents drilling where we know oil is, so that there is an oil import problem and they say "vote for me, I'll fix this!" Even though they caused it.

Ted Turner is not going to help you. Ted Turner paid off dozens of Democrats (and I'd bet some Republicans too) in order to get them to re-enact subsidies. One of the biggest of these government hand outs of our tax money, is the Ethanol subsidizing. Ted rakes in millions every year to grow corn for Ethanol. Oil is needed to make Ethanol. He's not going to shoot his own foot off by supporting something that would kills his government hand outs, and tick off his partners in the auto industry.

Collapse -
Just Kidding About Ted
by plcard / May 27, 2007 11:43 PM PDT

I obviously was kidding about Ted. I was just using him as an example. I don't suppose we can get a consensus on this, but Big Oil has the blessing of Big Government. It is a hand in hand situation.

We the people, are being screwed no matter where you put the blame. Oil has dropped, what, $7 a barrel in the last few weeks and yet, we have gone from $2.60 to well over $3 here in Pensacola. Yes, we are some that have fought to protect our beaches. Tourism is strong here and just one problem and it is over... or so they think.

Anyway, I just have to feel that hydrogen is the answer. I just looked up an MIT study on alternative fuels. I understood about every 10th word and IF I understood it correctly, they to feel that hydrogen is the way to go. I guess time will tell.

Collapse -
Ted is your friend :)
by Andy77e / June 2, 2007 10:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Just Kidding About Ted

I had hoped you were joking, but you never know on this forum. I don't know that we're being screwed really. But clearly in every situation, companies take advantage of governmental stupidity.

Oil dropping $7 dollars a barrel doesn't mean much. You have to realize that the price curves, take a while to reach the consumer. If the price drops $10 right now, it takes how long for a boat full of oil to get here? It takes how long to transport it across the country? It takes how long for it to be refined into gas? It takes how long for the truck to fill up at the refinery and distribute it to all the gas stations?

In other words, do not ever expect gas prices to fall the next day after the price on a barrel drops a little today. It could take 2 weeks to a month before you see it. Also remember that little station you buy gas from, most of them are all independent from the company.

Lot of people don't know this, but the store manager at the store you buy from has more say over the price than the company does. I worked at one, and pretty much, the manager walked in and said raise the price or lower the price depending on how much the other stores were charging. Marathon never called us up and told us how much to charge, it was literally the managers progative.

So if you see a station in the boonies charging 50 cents more a gallon, it's not BPs fault, it's just the manager knows he's the only station for 10 miles and wants to make some extra cash.

Collapse -
Not Necessarily
by plcard / June 2, 2007 9:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Ted is your friend :)

You mentioned that oil dropping $10 a barrel would take a long time to show up at the pumps. I will take exception to that. The gas being delivered today, at least here in Pensacola, is immediately re-priced at a new and lovely higher price. They are paying for the oil to come. So consequently, I'm afraid your argument isn't quite right. Close but no cigar.

Isn't it amazing to you, that when OPEC announces a $10 a barrel increase, you almost immediately see an increase at the pumps, but when there is a decrease, it takes forever.

I still cannot believe, in this day and age of Internet access, news, and other sources, people cannot see that this is the rape of the American people by a handful of businesses who have bought and paid for politicians who refuse to do anything about it.

I called my Congressman's office Friday and spoke with a young man by the name of Barry. I could not believe my ... well I'll call him my representative when truly he is a representative of Big Oil ... voted against a bill outlawing gouging. Barry danced around and around until he finally agreed that perhaps a vote for the bill might have had it's merits.

Congress was to have had hearings sometime ago. Big Oil was to open up their books, don't know which set, so they could be examined. I asked about those hearings and amazingly enough, even with the other party in power, these hearings are on the back burner.

The only answer to this is to bust up the monopoly of oil companies, and then let the power of supply and demand work. Look at who owns these companies. Check them out and see where your money is going.

Patrick

Collapse -
Amazing.
by Andy77e / December 25, 2007 12:51 PM PST
In reply to: Not Necessarily

Ok, let's think this through real quick. Why would prices go up fast and drop slowly? Try the switch places method, where you put yourself in the place of a gas station owner.

Three quick illustrations, 2 with prices going up, 1 going down. You own a gas station on a street corner, and there's another station across the street.

First situation, gas prices slowly rise over the last 2 days: What are you going to do? If you raise your price first, you'll lose customers to the station across the street. So you hold out and hope they raise their prices first. They are doing the same thing. Eventually you snap realizing you are going to lose to much money, and jump the price up. The other station does the same after you. So even though it seems like a sudden jump in price, it actually happened over several days.

Second situation, a spike in gas prices. Now you have a 10K gallon tank under your shop. You filled it for $2 a gallon and sold half of it. So you spent $20K and have $10K back. You just heard on the news crude oil jumped in price. You call up you gas broker who informs you the next shipment will cost $2.50/per gallon.

So the next shipment will cost $25K and you only have $10K. Are you going to just raise the price to $2.50 a gallon? Heck no, you only have 5000 gallons left. You'd only get $12,500 from it, plus the $10,000 you already got. Now you only have $22,500 when the next shipment costs $25K... where do you get the extra $2,500 from? Your pocket, you own the station, you get to pick up the short fall. Are you going to do that? Not a chance. Instead you are going to jack the price up as high as you can without losing too many customers, to make up for that short fall.

Third situation, prices of oil have gone down. You are selling for $2.50/per gallon. The station across the street is selling for $2.48/pg. You call up your broker who informs you the next shipment will only be $2.20 per gallon. So what do you do? Drop to $2.20 a gallon? What for? You only need to be cheaper than the station across the street. Then you can still be the cheapest, still get all the customers and extra business, plus make a tidy profit to make up for the money you lost in the first 2 situations.

This is why prices at the pump tend to rise quickly, and drop slowly.

Finely, let us discuss 'price gouging'. It's amazing to me how people who have not even the slightest clue how the free market, and the oil market works, still think that know exactly what's going on.

You own something somewhere that you treasure. Let's say it's a '56 Chevy. You put time, maybe money, effort, into it. Fix it up, make it pretty, not billion dollar makeover, but a decent car again. Let us say one day you choose to sell it. Because you are a capitalist, you put capital (aka: time, money, effort) into that Chevy, you want extra money for it.

I come along, and I want your Chevy. But I don't want to pay extra for it. So I go running to government, cry about how you are charging so much more for your thing, than I want to pay, demand a law against gouging, and force you to sell your Chevy for how much I want you to. Do you have freedom? Not really, even though you thought you owned that Chevy, I forced you do what I wanted with it.

This is American, a land that's supposed to have freedom. Freedom to bring products to market, and charge as much as you want for your product. Remember it's supposed to be yours... you own it. So if it's your product, you own it, you can charge as much as you want for it. This is the founding fathers of our country... life, liberty, and property.

The only time and place where 'gouging' can really occur is when you are in a life and death situation, and the supplier knowing you will die without their product, charges insane prices. Like oil heaters in the middle of a level three blizzard where people don't have heat.

And worse yet, we have cheaper fuel here than most of the world. UK people pay 4 times as much for a single gallon. Almost $14 dollars a gallon. Why people are crying here in America where we have it so good, is beyond me.

Last of all, if you want to blame someone for high gas prices, blame yourself. We allowed our government to mandate fuel formulations ($) mandate expensive Ethanol ($$) and one full dollar per gallon is taxes ($$$) and better still, by preventing oil companies from drilling, from exploring, from building refineries, we have forced them to import oil ($$$$) So with all due respect... stop calling your representative about 'price gouging'... the person doing the gouging is the one in the mirror.

Collapse -
Hydrogen is not an energy source......
by cole169 / December 20, 2007 11:11 PM PST
In reply to: Free From Arab Oil

it is a method of energy transport, and a VERY inefficient one at that. Hydrogen does not exist freely in nature, it has to be made, and that takes lots of energy. After that there are problems with storage, infrastructure, fuel cell tech and safety (10,000 psi car fuel tanks!!) No thanks, better to work on EV or biodiesel or a combo.

Collapse -
HHO works?
by hydrocars / November 13, 2008 12:48 PM PST
In reply to: Free From Arab Oil

I just want to inform you that HHO can really be used by our cars, actually we can convert our car so that it can run with water, there are hydro kits and manuals sold through the net, with just proper information and knowledge we can build our own DIY version of <a href="http://gaspricerelief.net">hydrogen cars</a>.
you might also wanna check this out..
http://gaspricerelief.net

Collapse -
Did they really think this through completely?
by Miko34 / April 13, 2007 10:21 AM PDT

I've often wondered about what would happen if Hydrogen fueled cars became the mainstream car. In all the videos I've seen about the subject, I've seen the little droplets of water coming out of the tailpipe and they highlight the fact that it is good enough to drink.

My question is... what happens when there are a hundred plus million of these cars out there? Is it going to make the streets and highways wet constantly? Sure, a few cars here and there wouldn't make much of a difference, but when it is the majority... a little turns into a lot.

Also, what about the Northern parts of the world during the winter? Are the tailpipes going to freeze? I'm sure these issues have come up, but I have seen more than a couple of future car shows and whenever they mention the Hydrogen cars... this does not get mentioned.

Now, I'm completely against Ethanol. I'm glad farmers are getting rich off it... but the price of corn is now going up and the people in Mexico (and other regions who use corn for tortillas as one example) are getting upset because that is there livelihood. We shouldn't feed our cars with food when there are starving people in the world.

Hydrogen is just another way for companies to charge more money for something we have an abundance of in this universe. There are so many different technologies (including using plain compressed air) that whoever gets the most funding and support is the one who is going to win. The Hydrogen people aren't going to look at someone else's idea and admit that another way is better... even if it is. They spent too much time and effort into it. We need all these people to get together and make it together. I don't care how many lobbyists are against it. Aren't they rich enough?

Sorry if this is venting... but I guess I'm just upset at the $3.50/gallon out there. We had electric cars... we can still make them. Hybrids can do a lot more performance than the car companies are allowing. It's been proven (100+ mpg). No wonder Ford is closing down plants.

The New Zealanders at Massey University got it right with their new type of solar panels that get 10 times the power of current solar panels using their green photosynthesis what-have-yous. If we can use that solar energy and wind power... then I think we have something.

I say no more gas/fuel stations. I want a car that can cross the country on one tankful... if there are still tanks in the future. Is that too much to ask? Charging your car at home is the Future.

Collapse -
Yes you are asking too much.
by Andy77e / May 26, 2007 9:24 AM PDT

This is fruit cakeish. It takes X amount of energy, to move Y amount of weight, Z amount of distance. You can't get a car the drives 3 thousand miles, with 5 people and 2 dogs with 4 suit cases full of clothes, on one drop of "whatever". It's not going to happen. There are laws of physics that do not change just because you want it to.

Hybrids only get 100 MPG when you modify them in unhealthy ways and drive like an idiot. Car companies do not support "plug-in mods" because it harms the batteries. You will void your warranty, and at $3000 a battery pack, you better hope luck is on your side.

A battery powered car will never go as far on one charge as a gas car will go on one tank. We can make electric cars, but not enough people want them to mass produce, which means the cost will be high. And no one is going to buy a car for $30,000 that can only carry 2 people with minimal cargo space, and can only go 80 miles before needing a recharge, and if you go on a trip there will not be any place to charge it.

It's amazing how whiny Americans are. Here we used to walk across the country with mules and horses and covered wagons that acted like a greenhouse in the summer sun, and had no heat in the winter. Yet our ancestor made do and moved forward to create the greatest country in the world. Now, in our AC cooled, power windowed, power seats, power locks, heated side mirror cars, we complain and whine because our Honda Civic with the Bose 6 speaker sound system blasting music out our tinted windows, only gets 35 mile per gallon... awwwwwww poor little American... how sad.

Some of you all need to shut up, and grow up.

Collapse -
Andy likes to play with Mules.
by Miko34 / July 9, 2008 11:36 AM PDT

Wow, I would've replied sooner if I actually cared that much about the subject to check if someone responded.

Has anyone else noticed how much this Andy77 guy complains? Check out all his posts. It's like he has nothing better to do. He likes to talk about the times of mules and horses, but we live in the 21st Century now. He obviously uses the internet ... a lot. I'm sure he'd complain if his internet went down or if his cell phone ran out of battery power, so hypocrisy at it's best.

We have to move into the future, not just do what makes the most money. Yes, I know they had tough times 150 years ago and I'm sure they complained too, but what about the cavemen? They had tough times too.

Cars help us survive longer, as do cell phones and the internet, so why can't we ask for the best? And look at what has happened in the past year, more hybrids and less SUVs... It would seem that if the car companies tried to make more hybrids sooner, they wouldn't be in a mess as they are in right now trying to play catch up. And companies wouldn't be shutting down or laying off employees. Well, that's it. I'm off for another year. When gas will be $10/gallon.

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Help 47,885 discussions
icon
Computer Newbies 10,322 discussions
icon
iPhones, iPods, & iPads 3,188 discussions
icon
Security 30,333 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 20,177 discussions
icon
HDTV Picture Setting 1,932 discussions
icon
Phones 15,713 discussions
icon
Windows 7 6,210 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 14,510 discussions

Big stars on small screens

Smosh tells CNET what it took to make it big online

Internet sensations Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla discuss how YouTube has changed and why among all their goals, "real TV" isn't an ambition.