Elon Musk believes that hydrogen fuel cells are extremely silly

January 16, 2015 0 By Stephen Vagus

Musk has little faith in hydrogen fuel cell technology

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk believes that using hydrogen fuel cells to power vehicles is irrational. Tesla has been making electric vehicles for some time now, suggesting that batteries are the best alternatives to conventional engines in transportation. The company has also been developing new battery technology in order to make electric vehicles of all kinds more efficient and attractive to consumers. When speaking at the Automotive News World Congress, Musk suggested that hydrogen fuel cells are “extremely silly.”

Hydrogen may be a sufficient energy storage medium, but now when compared to batteries

Musk noted that hydrogen is an effective storage medium for energy, which makes it less viable as an energy source. Hydrogen can be used as a form of chemical storage to great effect. When the electricity that a solar and wind energy system produces is not needed, it can be used to generate hydrogen, which can be stored somewhat more efficiently than electrical power. When electricity is needed, the hydrogen can be used to produce this energy. Musk also noted that deriving hydrogen fuel from water is an extremely inefficient process.

Batteries may be better than fuel cells

Hydrogen Fuel - Elon MuskDespite the energy storage potential of hydrogen fuel, Musk suggests that using hydrogen as a storage medium is unwise. Musk claims that the best hydrogen fuel cells currently available on the market cannot compare with mid-range battery systems. Musk notes that this will become more obvious in the coming years, as better battery technology is introduced to the commercial market and consumers gain access to new electric vehicles from Tesla.

Automakers still have plans to develop and release hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

Elon Musk’s reservations about hydrogen fuel cells have had little impact on the overall auto industry. Most of the world’s leading automakers still have plans to develop and release fuel cell vehicles in the coming years. Whether or not these vehicles will be successful among consumers, however, is not yet known. Currently, there are only two fuel cell vehicle models being offered in the United States, one from Honda, and one from Hyundai.