Fuel cell vehicles (FCV) will be introduced as consumer cars and trucks as early as 2015, leaving advocates scrambling to make them viable for use by the consumer in line with what they are used to with their gasoline-powered vehicles. California is on the forefront of advancing hydrogen power or FCV into a viable reality.
California embraces FCV
Hydrogen as come a long way, and with it comes hope for the future. Hydrogen fuel-celled vehicles emit water and heat rather than pollutants into the air. California is working on a network of fueling stations in hopes that consumers will warm up to hydrogen powered vehicles within a few years. Most consumers expect to drive no more than six miles for a fill-up, which causes the most problems with making hydrogen viable other than overall costs of the technology.
California hopes to have 68 hydrogen dispensing stations in operation by the year 2016. These stations would be in the most popular areas. These stations are expected to service the first drivers to embrace FCV instead of gasoline-powered vehicles that are now the norm. The stations must come first so that consumer know fuel is available before they purchase the FCV. Areas recommended for new stations include Irvine, southern Orange County, Torrance area communities, Santa Monica, West LA, San Francisco Bay area, and Berkeley.
Lingering Issues and Benefits
There are still some problems associated with FCV technologies. Safety is an issue but is also one of the main focuses of getting hydrogen cars ready for the market. Price is another concern, but prices are steadily decreasing not only for the automobile but also for storing and gathering the hydrogen. Consumers have to be made aware of the new technology and what it means for them and for the environment.
Hydrogen has come a long way and the journey is ongoing. FCV boasts the quiet purr of a refrigerator with comparable mileage per fill up to gasoline-powered cars. Interiors of hydrogen cars are room with plenty of storage space. These vehicles have smooth and quick acceleration and cruise comfortably on highways. Commercial markets in CA in the US and Korea, Japan, and Germany will likely see consumer vehicles for sale by the year 2015.