Hydrogen vehicles are on the road today, because they are safe. Here is some information from several car companies about the safety of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
The following excerpt from a SearchChicago article published in January 2008 discusses GM’s effort to make their high-pressure hydrogen tanks safe:
“The idea is to make the tanks virtually indestructible. During testing, the tanks have been shot and dropped out of airplanes among other things to ensure overall safety.”
Furthermore, Toyota mentions on page 6 of the Toyota FCHV book that:
“Crash testing of the Toyota FCHV was particularly rigorous, with the addition of new safety confirmation tests for high voltage components and for protection against hydrogen leakage. If a collision occurs, sensors in the Toyota FCHV’s front, rear and sides detect impact and instantly shut the valves on the high-pressure hydrogen tanks. For additional safety, the valves are also closed if leakage is detected by any of the hydrogen sensors placed at multiple locations within the vehicle, namely, on the Toyota FC (fuel cell) Stack, the upper end of the hood, the high-pressure hydrogen tanks and the cabin ceiling. The high-pressure hydrogen tanks are designed for maximum safety to avoid rupture even if the vehicle suffers a rear-end collision.”
Steve Ellis, Honda manager of alternative fuel vehicles, made the following comment about the safety of hydrogen cars in a HybridCars interview in January 2007:
“People need to understand that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are safe. We wouldn’t have handed the keys to the hydrogen car to an ordinary family if we didn’t think it was safe.”
And here is some information on Honda’s website about the safety of the Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell car which includes the following excerpt:
“We believe high safety standards can apply to all vehicles—even the groundbreaking ones. And the FCX Clarity passed the same tests—those required by NHTSA and U.S. federal safety standards—as other Honda models have endured. So you can drive the FCX Clarity with confidence.”
Moreover, here is an excerpt from a Galway Independent (Ireland) article that was published in July that discusses the safety of Kia hydrogen fuel cell vehicles:
“Kia has successfully completed front, side and rear crash-safety tests with fuel cell versions of the Sportage and Borrego. It has also satisfactorily tested cars for fire safety.”
Furthermore, the following link (you will need to scroll down a little) has pictures of a gasoline car and a hydrogen car on fire. You can decide for yourself which one is safer.
by Greg Blencoe, October 27, 2009