The Truth about Hydrogen

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Genre: Science & Technology

Family friendly? Yes

Wilson score: 0.9312

Rating: 4.7324 / 5

Engagement: 1.99%

Real Engineering

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Shared July 27, 2018

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Errors: I made an off hand comment about adding efficiencies in the video without thinking. This is obviously incorrect, but the final calculation does in fact multiply the efficiencies.


Director: Stephanie Sammann (
Narrator/Co-Director: Brian McManus
Animations: Mike Ridolfi (
Sound: Graham Haerther (

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Cars in general just aren't efficient forms of transport because your moving a 2 ton hunk of metal when all you need to move is a ~150 lb human

1 year ago | [YT] | 3,245

Logan Cane

Sounds like hydrogen would be the new “diesel” and batteries the new “petrol” in regard to their use cases

4 weeks ago | [YT] | 196


11:47 idiot driving his car with high beam on

1 week ago | [YT] | 24

Ole Stilling

You are forgetting the cost and lifetime of batteries and fuelcells.

2 months ago | [YT] | 199

Anthony Correa

The lithium mining process is one that also has a counterintuitive effect in heavily polluting our earth.

2 months ago | [YT] | 124

Bernhard Jordan

What about the cost to produce and acquire batteries and the fuel cell?

1 year ago | [YT] | 2,687

The Real Captain James T. Kirk

Y'all just need matter/anti-matter reactors.

4 months ago | [YT] | 118

Scott GuitarMan

You fail to account for all the energy of the finding the location, land appropriation and mining and processing of lithium for the batteries and then - all the fuel those machines use (mining and fabrication) in doing that. Plus what about all the waste of the lithium batteries when they're all spent? Hydrogen has a smaller overall 'creation' footprint although possibly, yes... less efficient at this current time.

3 months ago | [YT] | 144


Mid air hydrogen refuel from the atmosphere to power extension to flying hydrogen SUVs flying long distances

2 months ago | [YT] | 7

Damian Butterworth

Oh I was always told batteries were 80% and that is when they are new.

3 weeks ago | [YT] | 4

Ruben Foerster

You can't add percentages like that!
It's not: 100% - 20% - 13% = 66%
It's: 80% * 87% = 69%
You have to multiple what is left.

1 year ago | [YT] | 566

Silverback Gorrilla

3:58 Everyone knows hydrogen is stored in the balls

2 months ago | [YT] | 29

Muhammad Mubashir

Are you familiar the with term "Economies of scale"

3 months ago | [YT] | 34

shubhra sinha

While this is a good introductory video for a lot of people who would like to know these technologies work and have an economic impact, I believe it is not a fair comparison and skewed towards battery energy source. The hydrogen source analysis is quite comprehensive in that you have covered the complete well-to-wheel cycle and it paints a (almost) full picture. The battery part, however, I'm afraid is not a thorough analysis. The efficiencies considered in your analysis assumes battery energy source is already available - this is not a complete well-to-wheel analysis. Strip back the hydrogen production efficiencies and you have an apples-to-apples comparison. As many have already pointed out, battery production and its end state cycle are toxic, and extremely complex. Now I'm not a proponent of any technology in particular, but I'm pretty sure that bunch of Japanese engineers and scientists aren't cuckoo to adopt it across the nation. Actually, it is extremely smart because hydrogen as an energy source is readily available in nature and Japan can become completely (well almost) self sufficient in terms of source of motive power - they won't rely on oil, and this could be massively disruptive for world economy and geopolitics. Battery tech on the other hand is still growing and massive research efforts are underway. The moment someone figures out a chemistry not dependent on expensive and/or toxic elements and hit the energy density/power mark, that could be equally disruptive (think graphene). May I suggest a follow up video to analyse these aspects in further depth, or a video related to battery lifecycle?

4 months ago | [YT] | 69

Kevin Canuckster

So it looks like gas cars are still the most viable option for those who want to drive distances during Canadian winters...more research and testing required...

3 weeks ago | [YT] | 9


2:22 really weird combining dumb system with international system

5 days ago | [YT] | 6

Akash Goel

Cars -> self-driving cars -> Skillshare


2 months ago | [YT] | 16


the hydrogen "cer"

1 week ago | [YT] | 2

Kholwani Ndlovu

The manufacturing of the batt is not included in the energy loss and pollution or mining the rear minerals

1 month ago | [YT] | 9


Hey great video, but how about the cost of production of a battery cell and the cost of liquidation of that same battery cell once it runs out of juice?
Also what are the impacts to the environment?

8 months ago | [YT] | 775