ITM Power's managed to use electrolysis to boost hydrogen production efficiently enough to bring the refueling cost-per-mile cost of hydrogen down to about half of diesel fuel's refueling costs per mile. Yes, diesel in the UK, where ITM is based, is rather expensive (about $8 a gallon), but the company's gains remain impressive.
ITM, per reports from Green Car Congress, has boosted hydrogen-production efficiency to substantially bring down the cost of hydrogen production in this year alone. The chemistry behind electrolysis involves electrodes, water and currents and more stuff some reporters have a hard time grasping, but the bottom line is that ITM says its hydrogen-production cost is down 33 percent from a year ago before measuring amortization of the investment in the new technology, and down 23 percent when amortization's factored in.
With the Hyundai ix35 fuel-cell vehicle being used as a hydrogen-measurement test mule of sorts, ITM says that, factoring in the crossover's 370-mile driving range on a full tank of hydrogen, it costs about 23 cents a mile to refuel the vehicle, about half the per-mile diesel cost in the UK and with none of the exhaust.
Autoblog has been covering ITM's discoveries for quite a while now, reporting way back in 2007 that the UK company built a "low-cost electrolyser" that could convert wind, solar and other sources of renewable energy into hydrogen, which is kind of neat.