EF­FI­CIENCY’S IM­POR­TANT BE­CAUSE EN­ERGY SUP­PLY LOOKS LIKE IT’S GO­ING TO RUN SHORT OF EN­ERGY DE­MAND AND WE THINK THE SUP­PLY OF PE­TRO­LEUM IS PLATEAU­ING

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Special Report -

quar­ter of the cars in the world that could be fu­elled by hy­dro­gen.

‘‘What’s all that hy­dro­gen be­ing used for? It’s used to make fer­tiliser — one half of it — the other half is used as in­put to mak­ing gaso­line.

‘‘By 2012 we’re es­ti­mat­ing that just the hy­dro­gen used at re­finer­ies could fuel 175 mil­lion ve­hi­cles with hy­dro­gen fuel cells. The point is, the in­fra­struc­ture is not a show­stop­per and the ve­hi­cle has proven to be real.’’

HY­DRO­GEN STA­TIONS

‘‘YOU don’t need as many hy­dro­gen sta­tions as we have gaso­line sta­tions.

‘‘In the US there are 170,000 gaso­line sta­tions. We es­ti­mated that if you never wanted to be more than two miles from a hy­dro­gen sta­tion and never more than 25 miles from one on the free­way and you wanted that in all 100 larger cities in the US— which is 70 per cent of our pop­u­la­tion — you need 12,000 sta­tions.

‘‘Those 12,000 sta­tions, even at $2 mil­lion each, that’s $24 bil­lion. And you ask ‘Is there a hy­dro­gen in­fra­struc­ture prob­lem?’ Come on, guys.

‘‘And you could make that hy­dro­gen from nat­u­ral gas.’’

FUEL V WA­TER

‘‘AS YOU study en­ergy sys­tems, you find higher en­ergy de­pen­den­cies be­tween wa­ter and en­ergy.

‘‘You re­alise it takes 2-3 litres of wa­ter to make a litre of gaso­line.’’

FU­TURE FU­ELS

‘‘THE time frame on LPG is right now . . . the biomass time frame is three to five years.

‘‘The good news on biomass-based tech­nol­ogy is it’s al­ready very in­ex­pen­sive to make your car ca­pa­ble of run­ning on E85 and we’ll find clever ways with LPG and com­pressed nat­u­ral gas to get more cost out as well. I want to em­pha­sise that this is not food-based biomass, it’s garbage.’’

FU­TURE CARS

‘‘WE THINK the tip­ping point for fuel cell ve­hi­cles is where we have suf­fi­cient scale and suf­fi­cient cost and mar­ket learn­ing. That could be 2018 to 2020 and you might ask, ‘Can the world wait that long?’

‘‘Well, we’re not wait­ing. We’re play­ing hard on ethanol, we’re play­ing hard on plug-in electrics, we have eight hy­brids in the mar­ket now, and we’ll have eight more in the next two years. We’re push­ing so­lu­tions like CNG and LPG.’’

A MAGIC WAND FOR AUS­TRALIA?

‘‘I DEF­I­NITELY would fo­cus on en­ergy di­ver­sity, I would ask, ‘Do I need to be im­port­ing any pe­tro­leum at all into this coun­try’.

‘‘I would look at LPG. That’s an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity you have here al­ready, and there’s dis­tri­bu­tion for that al­ready. And nat­u­ral gas is rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive and clean.

‘‘I would an­tic­i­pate com­pressed nat­u­ral gas down the road and, longer term, I would go af­ter so­lar big time. I think it’s go­ing to be eco­nom­i­cally vi­able. Then I would look at biomass.’’

‘‘Then I would an­tic­i­pate that fu­el­cell ve­hi­cles and plug-in electrics are go­ing to be very real so­lu­tions, and set my­self up for that.’’

A MAGIC WAND FOR THE US?

‘‘I KNOW nu­clear is not nec­es­sar­ily the right thing here in Aus­tralia — I re­spect that — but in the US I would build one nu­clear plant on a closed mil­i­tary base, so it’s se­cure.

‘‘I would ded­i­cate that nu­clear power to cre­at­ing hy­dro­gen. And I’d hoard it, be­cause you can make a lot from a nu­clear plant.

‘‘I would in­tro­duce hy­dro­gen fu­el­cell ve­hi­cles be­cause they’re an ex­cit­ing ve­hi­cle cus­tomers like. Then I would say to OPEC, ‘Do you want to talk?’

‘‘We’ve shown we can cre­ate an al­ter­na­tive to pe­tro­leum that goes into a ve­hi­cle cus­tomers like and we don’t have to rely on pe­tro­leum any more.’’

Elec­tric dream: Gen­eral Mo­tors’ hy­brid en­gine.

Greener pas­tures: GM vice-pres­i­dent Tom Stephens plugs in the Saturn Vue Green Line hy­brid at the 2008 North Amer­i­can Mo­tor Show.

Op­tions: GM is al­ready us­ing al­ter­na­tive fu­els.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.