Toyota comes to the defense of hydrogen fuel cells

November 26, 2013 0 By Erin Kilgore

Hydrogen fuel cells continue receiving criticism

Hydrogen Fuel Cells compete with lithium ion batteriesThe auto industry has become quite interested in the future of hydrogen fuel and clean transportation, but not all automakers within the industry are convinced that fuel cells are a worthwhile investment. Recently, both Tesla Motors and Nissan have decried fuel cells, issuing some harsh criticism against the technology. Some automakers believe that fuel cells are nothing more than science fiction and too expensive to ever be viable in the near future. Others, however, believe that hydrogen fuel cells are well suited to overcome the challenges facing the transportation sector today.

Toyota shows faith in fuel cells

Toyota has taken exception to the criticisms being issued against hydrogen fuel cells. The Japanese automakers has invested heavily in the development of its own hydrogen-powered vehicle, which is plans to launch worldwide beginning in 2015. The automaker claims that hydrogen fuel cells are just as powerful, if not moreso, than the lithium-ion batteries that have been developed by Tesla.

Batteries have a strong advocate in Tesla

Tesla batteries feature the highest energy density in the auto industry. These batteries have allowed Tesla vehicles to perform on par with more conventional models, but they do not produce any harmful emissions. Hydrogen fuel cells also boast of powerful performance and Toyota believes that fuel cells could eventually become a replacement for lithium-ion batteries. Toyota is not alone in this belief, of course, as both Honda and Hyundai also have strong faith in fuel cells.

Both technologies may be needed in the future

A great deal of competition has erupted between hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries, but it is difficult to adequately compare the two technologies. While both do produce electricity, they do so in very different ways. For this reason, much of the competition between these two technologies may be unnecessary. Fuel cells may not be prepared for the mass market due to the lack of a fuel infrastructure, but batteries are also falling short of consumer standards due to lack of performance. Both technologies experience their own challenges and one technology is not likely to address the issues facing the auto industry effectively on its own.

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