Advantages of Fuel Cells

Fuel cells have some big advantages over other technologies. These are weighed by some disadvantages, of course, but compared to many alternative fuels, fuel cell technologies are very advantageous.

The most common fuel cell is the hydrogen fuel cell, though it is not the only option for automotive use. HFCs are, however, the option that nearly all vehicle manufacturers are looking towards for production-ready fuel cell vehicles.

Some advantages of HFCs include:

No pollution - a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle emits no pollution at the tailpipe because no fossil fuels are being used by the vehicle in combustion. The only emission is water.

Zero Pollution for Full Lifecycle - is possible if the hydrogen comes from a renewable source (of which there are many currently available in in development) and the vehicles can be offset or made entirely from renewable/recyclable resources just as any other vehicle can be.

No oil required - in any of the components of a fuel cell vehicle. Being an electric vehicle at its core, an HFCV requires no petroleum oil for lubrication or operation. Lubricants that are needed for chassis needs (steering, joints) can be sourced from organic renewables.

Distributed fuel production - is possible since hydrogen can be manufactured relatively easily and much more economically than can gasoline. This means less transportation and more regional/local options for fuel sourcing are possible.

Higher efficiency - than either gasoline or diesel is possible with a hydrogen fuel cell in vehicles.

Silent operation - means one more type of pollution that fuel cells don't emit: noise. Like any electric vehicle without a combustion generator, HFCVs make little or no sound when in operation. They do not "idle" or otherwise waste fuel either.

Low heat options - for fuel cells are being explored by the military for sensitive operations and stealth applications.

Longer range than batteries - in pound-for-pound, cost-for-cost comparisons, fuel cells have a much longer range for the dollar and weight than do current and anticipated battery technologies.

Near-Zero Maintenance - is required for most fuel cell setups. While the occasional failure of a cell within a cell stack may happen, fuels cells are built as generally modular units with no moving parts and thus little to cause failure.

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