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The Advantages of Liquid Hydrogen

At Gemini Motor, we plan to revolutionize the sustainable transport industry with our zero-emission, autonomous trucks. One of the most important elements of our innovative technology is leveraging liquid hydrogen. Rather than powering our trucks with gaseous hydrogen or a lithium ion battery, we will fuel them with liquid hydrogen. There are many reasons for this, but essentially, liquid hydrogen overcomes certain obstacles in sustainable transportation that gaseous hydrogen cannot. 

Gemini will be the first motor company to bring liquid hydrogen on board at a commercial scale. Up until now, liquid hydrogen tech hasn’t been ready for use at a commercial scale in the automotive industry. However, it has been used for decades to power spaceships for NASA—who we have roots to. Because we know that liquid hydrogen can be deployed safely and easily, and with its many benefits as a sustainable fuel option, it is Gemini’s fuel of choice. We recently partnered with a company that deals with liquid hydrogen tanks; this puts us even closer to accomplishing our unique goal.

Even in the hydrogen industry, most aren’t aware that liquid hydrogen is an option for fuel cell trucks. Right now, these trucks are powered by gaseous hydrogen, and while gaseous hydrogen is a decent option for sustainable fueling, its liquid counterpart has more to offer. Because liquid hydrogen has a higher energy density than its gaseous form, it can be packed much easier into our specially designed trucks. Liquid hydrogen also makes for a safer option than gaseous because the cryogenic tanks storing it operate at atmospheric pressure. Its higher energy density also allows for a much longer range—enabling an exciting disruption in the clean-tech trucking industry. While a fuel cell truck powered by gaseous hydrogen can travel up to 400 miles with one fueling, our liquid hydrogen-powered truck can go for a consecutive 1,000. And, if you want to throw electric battery-powered trucks into the equation, they only have the capacity to go 300 miles before stopping.

Another factor to consider when it comes to fuel is the stations dispensing it. You probably could have guessed this, but liquid hydrogen stations win out over their gaseous hydrogen counterparts. Unlike gaseous stations, liquid hydrogen ones don’t need compression. By eliminating this need, liquid stations streamline the dispensing process and require much less electricity. And, in using less electricity, they save on cost and have a better environmental footprint. Because, at scale, hydrogen has to be delivered as a liquid, dispensing it in the same form also cuts on costs.

Even though liquefaction at source is energy consuming, based on our life cycle analysis (LCA) at Gemini, it’s clear to us that liquid hydrogen is more sustainable, and cost-effective solution in comparison to gaseous hydrogen. Its properties allow for many benefits, but perhaps the most astonishing is its range breakthrough, with trucks traveling 1,000 consecutive miles. Because liquid hydrogen-based trucks can travel at such an impressive distance after one filling, operating costs will be dramatically reduced, price parity will be within reach, scalability accelerates—all of which makes for a remarkable advancement in the clean, long-haul transport industry to attain to our climate goals.

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