Ask AI 004: Is Hydrogen or EV, Which is Better?
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Ask AI 004: Is Hydrogen or EV, Which is Better?

As Kuromon Market in Osaka was about to close for the evening I sampled some delicious king crab and did a final lap of the market when I stumbled upon one of the most Japanese scenes I could possibly imagine, a little girl, making friends with a robot.

In this column, we ask an advanced AI about one of the most pressing issues facing the auto business: is hydrogen better than EV?

Even as the automotive world moves towards widespread electrification in the form of more widely available hybrids, PHEVs, and BEVs, a number of companies are still quietly investing in hydrogen technology. Some, like Toyota, are adapting internal combustion engines to run on the stuff — while others, like Honda, Hyundai, Nikola, and even Hyperion are actively developing fuel cells and charging solutions for their H-powered rides.

Are these brands on the right track? Could a hydrogen fuel cell EV (FCEV) – dare we say it? – actually be better than battery powered EV? In this edition of “Ask AI,” we asked an advanced AI whether hydrogen or EVs were the superior technology … and this is what we got:

It depends on the specific context and what criteria are being considered. Both hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and electric vehicles (EVs) have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles include longer range, faster refueling times, and the ability to generate electricity on-board the vehicle through the fuel cell, allowing it to act as a mobile power source. On the other hand, EVs have a significantly more developed charging infrastructure and can be charged more easily, especially at home. They also typically have lower operating costs and produce no tailpipe emissions.

Ultimately, the best choice between hydrogen and EVs will depend on factors such as personal driving needs, the availability of refueling/charging infrastructure, and personal preferences.

Ok, so it seems like the AI’s answer essentially boils down to “it depends,” which is true … but that’s not good enough for us. We want an answer, and we won’t stop bothering this multibillion dollar AI until it gives us one (right or wrong).

Besides, the ultimate goal is to get the most people to hop on board the electrification/hydrogen train, right? Maybe the better question isn’t which tech is better, but which tech option the AI thinks will help encourage the most widespread adoption?

It’s difficult to say which technology will encourage the most widespread adoption as it is likely to be influenced by a variety of factors, including governmental policies and incentives, technological advancements, and consumer preferences. However, electric vehicles (EVs) currently have a significant advantage in terms of the infrastructure and technology already in place, as well as the increasing awareness of the environmental benefits of EVs. This, along with decreasing costs, has already led to growing popularity of EVs.

On the other hand, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have the potential to offer some advantages over EVs, such as longer range and faster refueling times. However, the development of hydrogen infrastructure has been slower, and the technology is still relatively expensive.

Overall, both hydrogen and EVs have the potential to play a role in the transition to sustainable transportation, and the technology that becomes more widely adopted may depend on various factors, including economic considerations, technological advancements, and governmental policies.

Ok, that’s better. The AI is still a little hesitant on picking one of the options outright, but it does seem to favor EVs in terms of which tech it thinks will catch on quicker. EVs already have a way better footing in the market for sustainable transportation over hydrogen, and the AI seems to pick up on that. It does make some good points in favor of hydrogen however, such as longer range and faster refuel times, which are concerns for a ton of people hesitant to adopt EVs. 

What do you think? Is the 2019-trained AI missing new info that shows a significant benefit of one option over the other? Let us know, in the comments!


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