Cleantechnica Painted Into Corner with Years of Anti-Hydrogen Bias

CleanTechnica has been biased against hydrogen so long, they’re struggling to pivot back to common sense. Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica’s Chief Editor, has spent his career slandering hydrogen fuel cells for one reason: to support Tesla. There is only one reason CleanTechnica & its fans bash hydrogen: because Elon Musk said fuel cell cars were foolish so many years ago. Because one of CleanTechnica’s primary purposes is to promote Tesla, they are running into the problem of how practical hydrogen is for industry and transportation.

This post is inspired by a recent Steve Hanley article here published June 18, 2019. Steve is a long time contributor to CleanTechnica & has also written for Teslarati & Green Car Reports. I have followed Steve’s work for about 10 years & subscribe to his various blogs. In this post Steve makes a pivot to say to CleanTechnica’s loyal anti-hydrogen supporters that maybe hydrogen makes sense for some applications (but obviously not for cars because that might threaten beloved Tesla). Of course hydrogen makes sense for many applications, this is the conundrum that CleanTechnica faces as groups like the IEA recently made a plea to integrate hydrogen into the world’s energy mix. Please read the CleanTechnica article linked in this paragraph to see all the great quotes.

The dilemma CleanTechnica faces is similar to the dilemma many BEV only advocates face that have ignored the science & economics of the Hydrogen Economy: it just makes too much sense for everything! Hydrogen is so ubiquitous that as it proliferates it becomes cheaper & cheaper. So if CleanTechnica supports hydrogen for fertilizer, steel making, ocean freight, & air travel it means hydrogen proliferates and gets so cheap and so ubiquitous that people would ultimately think… “why not just fill up my car or truck as long as there are hydrogen dispensers everywhere”. This is a major problem to CleanTechnica because it threatens their beloved Tesla.

Here’s how the saying goes from most anti-hydrogen folks: most all hydrogen is made from natural gas and therefore it’s no good because natural gas is a fossil fuel. RMP has been writing about the 100s of shades of how misleading that statement is and we will continue to do so. Here’s what never gets said by the same folks:

  • Most BEVs are charged with electricity made from fossil fuels.
  • There are zero off-grid renewable charging points for BEVs because fast charging & renewable energy are not economically feasible
  • Hydrogen can be just as easily made from water & renewable energy than from natural gas.
  • Natural gas from sewage treatment plants, landfills, & farm wastes can be made into hydrogen too and that natural gas will always need to be managed as long as we shall live on this planet.

To understand CleanTechnica’s bias, you only need to read a few of their articles. You only need to look a the Tesla logo assigned to anonymous commenters on every comment on every post. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has created a false dichotomy amongst his loyal followers that says you can either choose battery or fuel cell. This is not true, both work very well together. The truth is we need both. When Elon makes dumb statements, he has to own them. This is the same with Elon calling out LiDAR as not necessary because Tesla uses camera & radar. The same false dichotomy applies in that you can use both LiDAR & cameras which is what most automotive companies will do as autonomous driving evolves.

There are several hydrogen fueling stations that are 100% renewable off-grid stations because hydrogen works very well for fast refueling using renewable energy. There are zero off-grid renewable fast chargers for BEVs because electric charging does not marry well with renewable energy in a cost effective way. To say otherwise is pure fantasy. If anyone knows of an off-grid renewable fast charger powered by wind or solar, please leave some info about it in the comment section. It has been just over two years since Elon Musk said all Super Chargers will disconnect from the grid but still there are none. Here is a website showing all of Elon Musk’s false promises:

Hydrogen is smart for the economy & the environment and time is on the side of people who support both technologies to help our planet. People who lie or don’t understand science are condemned to get taught this lesson the hard way. RMP supports BEV technology and vehicles because they’re smart to add to the mix of clean energy technologies. RMP also supports hydrogen fuel cells because they have the potential to work for everybody & are a very smart long term solution to reduce pollution & greenhouse gas emissions. The only thing that is stupid is saying we have to choose one or the other thus creating a false dichotomy. CleanTechnica must lie down in the bed they have made and it will get harder and harder for them going forward.


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9 Replies to “Cleantechnica Painted Into Corner with Years of Anti-Hydrogen Bias”

  1. Great article, and it’s spot on. About time somebody pulled the curtain back on CleanTechnica (GreenCarReports isn’t much better btw…)

  2. So glad to see someone was taking notes on clean technica.

    Their bias-in-a-bottle is overwhelming.

  3. It is very evident after reading a few articles (advertisements?) on Cleantechnica that it is totally biased. It reads like Elon Musk sends the copy directly from his desk. Most of the arguments they make don’t stand up to real scrutiny. Check the backgrounds of the contributors to see if any have published any proper information or research. Mostly Tesla biased personal opinions.

  4. CleanTechnica seems populated by ‘experts’ with English degrees, who feel somehow qualified to judge on engineering matters but with an obvious devotion to St. Elon de LiON, Patron Saint of Lithium.

    These acolytes must follow their master and diss anything real that might injure unicorns.

    Got to keep that fairytale going guys!

  5. Hydrogen fuel cells need to compete against battery on a life cycle basis which is challenging as battery passes 120 dollars per kWh so the question becomes does hydrogen have a viable niche in the world of cheap battery? All the other arguments are irrelevant.

    1. Hydrogen & batteries work together to compete against coal, oil, and natural gas. Large scale storage of hydrogen is an order of magnitude cheaper than battery storage. Also, that hydrogen can be made from surplus renewable energy. Then, the hydrogen can be used to fast charge a BEV instead of using coal. Hydrogen & batteries work together.

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