Ford scales back its focus on hydrogen fuel cellsMay 19, 2017
Ford is slowing its plans concerning hydrogen fuel cells
Many of the world’s leading automakers are placing a great deal of faith in hydrogen fuel cells, which they plan to use to power a new generation of clean vehicles. Ford, however, has announced that it will be scaling back its support of fuel cells. In 2013, the company formed an alliance with other automakers to develop new hydrogen fuel cells, planning to release a mass-market fuel cell vehicle by this year. Now, however, Ford has pushed back its plans to bring a fuel cell vehicle to the market.
Fuel cell technology is not progressing at a rapid enough pace for Ford
Ford believes that fuel cell technology has not progressed to the point where launching a fuel cell vehicle would be feasible. Raj Nair, Chief Technology Officer for Ford, suggests that the pace at which fuel cell technology is progressing is very disjointed. At times, Ford saw rapid progress in the advancement of fuel cells. At other times, this progress slowed to a crawl. This particular issue is just one of the challenges facing hydrogen fuel cells in the transportation space.
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Ford will focus on battery systems for clean vehicles
While Ford has scaled back its focus on hydrogen fuel cells, the automakers notes that these energy systems are still important to the future of clean transportation. Ford believes that fuel cells are a long-term solution that will allow the company to diversify its energy portfolio. Though Ford is moving away from hydrogen fuel cells, the company will still produce clean vehicles. These vehicles will be powered by battery systems.
Some automakers are becoming cautious concerning hydrogen fuel cells
Ford is not the only automaker that has expressed caution concerning hydrogen fuel cells. Several other companies, such as Daimler, believe that fuel cells could be valuable, but batteries may be a better solution to the current needs of clean transportation. Some automakers are focusing on using hydrogen fuel cells outside of the transportation space. Despite this, fuel cell vehicles are expected to become much more common in the coming years.