GetConnected TV gives you up to date tech news and reviews on products to help you at home and in the office,this video will focus on hydrogen fuel cells.
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Mike Agerbo: Well, as energy prices go sky, where I’m talking things like gas oil. We look at other energy sources and to understand one of them, we’ve got John Tak from Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Canada. Thanks for coming on the show. John Tak: Thanks Mike. Mike Agerbo: I think this is an important thing to look at right now. We think typically cars when we think hydrogen fuel cells, but there are other applications as well. John Tak: There are and those applications aren’t really coming into public. We have fuels sub-products going into fourth lists. We have been going to backup power systems for telecom and the residential applications in Japan and we’re using them in buses which you’ll see in Western BC operated by BC Transit. Mike Agerbo: It’s kind of an interesting thing. Why don’t we see it so much in cars? Let’s have a look up at this one here. John Tak: Yes. Well, cars are the long term target for hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology. The reason you’re not seeing them in cars right now is you need fueling stations everywhere to fuel the cars, so the automakers and the energy campaigns, they will have to come do an agreement of how they roll out both the cars and the fueling stations, but in the meantime we can do fleets like the buses, the fuel cell buses. Mike Agerbo: So, it’s easier for things like four clips and backup power like do hydrogen trucks come and fill them up. How that does work? John Tak: Well, that’s a good question. In fact, we use lots of hydrogen in North America and Canada is one of the largest producers of hydrogen on a per capita basis already for industrial uses. So you can order some hydrogen delivered in a cylinder to your warehouse and with the filling device you can fill four clips in under a minute and off it goes, it runs twice as long and you end up saving money over a period of time. Mike Agerbo: And so as far as the cost goes then, we’re not seeing that cost down low enough for it to be mass producing car engine. John Tak: Right, the cost for cars definitely has to come down and part of that of course is going to be volume and part of that is going to be incentives to help the automakers launch them. We see that with the Toyota Prius cars like that, there’s actually a purchase incentive to stimulate the sales and interesting, where we are selling now in the United States. The U.S. government actually has purchase and centers for fuel sub-products which we don’t have in Canada right now. Mike Agerbo: So, as far as the technology is concerned, you know when we’re looking at cars, are we there yet where we can go the distance like a gasoline powered one? John Tak: Well, the automakers have websites and a lot of that information is on their websites, but yeah, the Toyota I think announced two months ago that they can 800 kilometers on one fill of hydrogen. Well, that’s well beyond the 500 to 600 kilometers that you require, so we know that technology is there to get the range. We also need the durability and you need to get to cost down and that’s coming too. So, at the end of the day, we’re going to leave that decision up to the automakers and the energy companies. Mike Agerbo: But for other business applications right now, we’re seeing some of those cost savings you talk about the four cliff systems, so it’s coming. John Tak: Yeah, those are just trying to roll out and I think a lot of things that Canadians probably don’t know is that we have a large number of companies in B.C. and also in Ontario and across Canada that are developing Hydro Fuel Cell Technology. We’re one of the leaders in the world and the technology. Mike Agerbo: So, you’re with Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Canada Association that educates folks about hydrogen? John Tak: Right, we’re running a big trade show. A big trade and convention show in Vancouver the end of May and that’s www.HFC2009.COM. Come to that conference you’ll learn a lot about the technology. We do have a website with information on it and that’s www.H2FC