It's Electric! The Electric Car Show with Afeez Kay - Bursting the Hydrogen Bubble with Paul Martin
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1T 39M • 6/0 2018

Bursting the Hydrogen Bubble with Paul Martin

Afeez welcomes Paul Martin as a guest on this episode of It's Electric! Paul is passionate and extremely knowledgeable about electric vehicles, and electrification in general, and doesn't even work within the EV industry! He's a chemical engineer from Toronto, Canada. He's been passionate about the need to transition away from fossil fuels since before graduating university. Paul's experience has brought him to work within the environmental industry as well as the technology development industry in a more broad sense. He's always looking for ways to help his clients reduce waste and energy consumption and make products more efficiently. Afeez takes full advantage of having such a knowledgeable guest on the show and asks him some hard hitting questions in order to delve deeper into the possibilities and potential of electric cars becoming a much more viable mainstream vehicle. He starts off by asking Paul what structures need to be in place before electric cars can come to the forefront of the automotive industry. Paul is more than happy to share his thoughts on the topic and break down what he feels needs to occur to give EV's more of a foothold on a global scale. Paul describes the three frames of mind that he's trying to puncture, and dispel some of the hype within. He explains that hype isn't at all helpful, and there are a long of people thinking in certain directions that need a much more informed approach. He shares that if done right, EV's address two major concerns: emissions that create the greenhouse gas effect, as well as the toxic emissions which are killing people in urban areas. Paul shares some context and insights about the way electricity works in Ontario Canada, both renewable and nuclear, as well as the statistics on how it breaks down. He addresses cost for electricity as well as how the future looks as far as where power will be generated from. He also tells Afeez that he actually converted an old Spitfire into a fully electric vehicle! He discusses the fun aspect and drive-ability of the converted car as opposed to his Prius, as well as the satisfying feeling he gets when he sees energy going back into his reserves when his car slows down. He also talks about how many pictures he sees being taken of his car when he takes it to work! He also laughs about a few different cars that wanted to race him, and how he was blown out of the water by a Tesla Model S. The guys compare different things they've seen in the EV world and share a good laugh in the process. The gents revisit the initial question and begin to discuss the cost of owning electric vehicles as well. They share information regarding different models, as well as a car in China that sells for $5,000 after incentives! They also hypothesize about when EV sales will become a much bigger piece of the automotive puzzle. Paul and Afeez talk about Tesla for a hot minute. They discuss some of the great things Tesla has managed to do, but also some of the early adoption errors Paul feels they are making from a production point of view. He also talks about how Tesla made a smart move in keeping the distribution network out of the equation. Paul also breaks down an issue in Canada that drives the cost of EV's up because of currency changes and government incentives being swallowed by dealerships. He describes a few simple changes that could be made in order to drive the cost of EV's down even more rapidly than they currently are. Paul talks about some of the misconceptions that come with the vehicle to grid mentality. He starts off by explaining what that is, and then speaks on some of the disadvantages and misguided ideologies that surround the topic. Things like loss of energy, loss of capacity and cycling the battery. He also talks about charging versus supercharging and explains his own understanding of the downside of supercharging. Paul also talks about the oil industry, and how beating up on the oil industry is not the correct approach, whereas allowing things to continue the way they are politically and environmentally because it is the less expensive option is also an awful approach. He references a book called Without Hot Air that breaks down the use of energy without factoring in fossil fuels and economics. He also takes this opportunity to discuss which of Elon Musk's statements is wrong be a long shot. Paul also talks about how and under which circumstances electric cars would be a terrible idea. He explains why hydrogen is just not viable, and is in fact a bad idea. He shares that the problem with hydrogen is that it's hydrogen and that just can't be fixed. He shares how inefficient, costly and ineffective the process of not only creating the fuel, but the distributing the fuel would be, only to have it be half as useful as a battery powered vehicle. Afeez expresses his confusion surrounding why people are actually pushing this. Paul shares his insights on why certain communities, including oil, and the Japanese would be in favor of hydrogen, as well as some of the challenges that are faced by people who produce hydrogen for reasons outside of transportation. The guys also talk about the Tesla truck, batteries in use elsewhere such as ships and aircraft and what would have to happen in order for that to be a reality, as well as speculating when EV's will take 51% of market share. They also stretch an analogy as far as they can to play with the concept of how long it would take. Paul feels it would take decades before it becomes a reality. Quotes “First and foremost we have to realize that there are 2 million electric vehicles on the world's roads already” “I don't think hype is helpful” “There's no hydrogen economy in our future. I can say that with absolute confidence” “I love only going to gasoline stations to get coffee” “EV grin is the silly look you get on your face when you step on the accelerator and the car just takes off” “The fastest your car will ever accelerate in on a trailer behind a Tesla” “I think it's just totally amazing that 300,000 people are willing to put down a deposit on a car that doesn't exist” “How can you ever expect for the right decisions to be made when the economics push you in the exact opposite direction” “Hydrogen is a devil to transport” “The trouble with myths is that they always have a grain of truth with them which gives them credibility that sometimes extends further than they deserve”

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