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Fuel Cell or Electric?

You want to reduce your environmental footprint, so you decide to get an electric car. You look at the 100% electric models that you plug in to recharge, but then someone mentioned the idea of a fuel cell car. Should you consider one? “Yes, if you are patient, because cars with fuel cells are not yet available. It is only a matter of time however” said the technical director at Orleans Honda. As a matter of fact, fuel cell cars are also 100% electric cars.

fuel cell or electric cars

The most significant nuance comes from the ability to store energy. Whereas in a traditional electric car, energy is simply transmitted to the battery with a cord where it is stored, in the case of the fuel cell, the technology is somewhat more complex.

Fuel cell or hydrogen cars, are vehicles which require hydrogen that is then used to power an electric motor. The process by which this happens is fairly simple. As the hydrogen atoms flow from the tank, they are seperated into a proton and an electron. The electron powers the engine, and then joins the hydrogen ion (proton) once more before combining with oxygen to form water which is the only byproduct of a hydrogen vehicle.

Obviously, this technology has its advantages and disadvantages. Among the biggest advantages, the fact that it only takes a few minutes to fill the tank, and once the tank is full you have a range of almost 500 kilometers. This is certainly appealing given that a traditional electric car requires a lot more time to charge for a lot less range.

However, even the production of hydrogen is very demanding on the environment. As for the charging stations, they are completely absent for the moment for the Canadian landscape, with the exception of a few stations out west, and it will be some time before there is a network able to supply the demand.


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