Hydrogen-powered vehicles may not be dead-on-arrivalJuly 10, 2012
Automakers work to prove critics are wrong about hydrogen-powered vehicles
Hydrogen-powered vehicles are becoming a staple in the auto industry as many of the world’s largest automakers have begun adopting fuel cells as their favored source of energy. Though fuel cells may be popular amongst automakers, they are much less so amongst consumers and those that believe fuel cells are not a viable energy system. Fuel cell opponents are keen to note the numerous shortcomings the auto industry has seen in producing hydrogen-powered vehicles, going so far as to proclaim fuel cell vehicles dead. Automakers, however, are eager to prove this notion false.
Companies show their commitment to commercializing fuel cells
At last month’s World Hydrogen Energy Conference in Canada, automakers from around the world gathered together to show off the latest developments in their hydrogen-powered vehicles. These companies, including Daimler, Toyota, and Honda, have shown that they are aware of the problems facing hydrogen-powered vehicles, especially in the commercial market. During the conference, they expressed their commitment to ensuring that they overcome these challenges and bring hydrogen-powered vehicles to the market by 2015.
Daimler and others to work on making fuel cells more affordable
During the conference, Daimler, makers of Mercedes-Benz, declared that the most problematic aspect of hydrogen fuel cells were their cost. The high cost of hydrogen fuel cells is linked to their use of platinum. Daimler is currently working on a way to remove or reduce the amount of platinum used in fuel cell manufacture in the hopes of making new vehicles more attractive to consumers. Other automakers share this ideology and have been working on ways to develop more efficient and affordable hydrogen fuel cells.
Infrastructure poses major challenge to auto industry
The lack of an expansive hydrogen fuel infrastructure is considered by automakers to be of the most challenging aspects of bringing hydrogen-powered vehicles to the commercial market. Toyota has already begun work on building an infrastructure in the Western U.S., while Daimler is hard at work emboldening Europe’s infrastructure. Despite the claims that hydrogen-powered vehicles are already dead, automakers are keen to prove that this is not the case.
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