GM, Toyota. Hydrogen fuel cells not viable

Instead, they will focus on improving EV batteries so a car can go 300 miles without recharging. Among the reasons, fuel cells remain too expensive for mass transport and there is no infrastructure in place to distribute hydrogen.

However fuel cells still have applications in stationary power generation, etc.

  • Let me be very clear, Toyota’s position is the same today as it was yesterday. Fuel Cell vehicle require significant effort in the reaserch and development arena to reduce the cost of manufacturing and it will require the concerted effort of many organizations, private, publis and governmental to create the infrastructure necessary to support a new energy source. We have been saying for the past 6 years that this will not happen overnight. Hydrogen is viable, BUT it will not be commercially ready for 15-20 years. IN THE MEAN TIME, we will continue to work on the hybridization of our fleet and Plug in opportunities. There is no single solution to the energy situation. As a result we will continue our research in a multitude of promising projects.

  • The Hydrogen Education Foundation is surprised by the inaccurate elements in the article published in the Wall Street Journal about General Motors and Toyota abandoning their support to develop hydrogen cars on March 5, 2008. At about the same time the Wall Street Journal published their story about General Motors and Toyota, CNN published a story how BP and General Motors believe hydrogen is part of the future: Plus, GM and Shell recently released a white paper which says “We have thought through many complex issues around sustainable transportation and our confidence in the future of hydrogen remains high.” The fact remains that Toyota and General Motors, plus other major autos like Honda and BMW, are continuing with their endeavors to develop hydrogen cars. All are sponsors of the Hydrogen Education Foundation’s new education initiative: H2 and You. The hub of the program is

    Separate from the frequent emphasis on hydrogen cars, the reality is hydrogen can be used to power many applications. The next cell phone call you make could be powered by hydrogen since fuel cell power supplies support cell phone towers. In addition, the next time you shop at Wal-Mart the box of Oreo cookies and the new Blue Ray movie you purchase could be transported with a fuel cell forklift.

    While the transition to hydrogen may appear to be complicated and far into the future, organizations such as Shell, Chevron, and BP are working with the Department of Energy now to establish a hydrogen fueling infrastructure. An initial $10 to $15 billion investment, equivalent to about one month of military spending in Iraq, would establish an initial refueling infrastructure within 2 miles anywhere within the top 100 metro areas and along all US highways. Furthermore, more than 40 billion kg of hydrogen are produced globally each year with production plants located near or within every major metropolitan city in the US – enough to fuel 130 million fuel cell-electric vehicles annually. Since hydrogen is also used to produce gasoline, switching from gas to hydrogen is simpler than it appears.

    The Hydrogen Education Foundation appreciates the complexity of transitioning to using new fuels. We invite everyone to learn about what is fact and fiction about hydrogen as an alternative fuel.

  • Peter R

    I have long been what one might call a “hydrogen buff”. I read about it whenerver I can. The benefits of the hydrogen based economy are obvious whether one approachs the problem from the point of view of the global economy or from the ecological concerns that trouble so many of us. Our policial positions are dominated by our national need for energy and the oil fields of the Middle East have factored prominently in the decision to go to war in each decade that I’ve been on this earth (six in all). Dying for energy is no longer an opition and yet there is no end in sight. Well… perhaps there is an end. Could hydrogen be an answer?

    I became almost giddy as I watched on YouTube the BBC show featuring the GM/Vauxall vehicle called “Hy Wire” whiz about a courtyard in Germany. BMW has made an internal combustion engine that will switch from gasoline to hydrogen with relative ease. Honda has cars for lease (not sale) which will be used on a strip of highway in CA called the hydrogen highway. The problem is not the car. How do we get the hydrogen in an energy efficient way? As I have been made to understand it, to get a tennis ball sized amount of hydrogen one must exert a bowling ball sized energy source of some other type. There is a net loss of energy in that trade off. This cannot sustain us. I have looked for articles dealing with this issue but I find none. Perhaps you can direct me.

  • the biggest problem about hydrogen is that it is very difficult to transport and store. Hybrid batteries cost a fortune to replace and ethanol requires twice the required energy to produce a single useable gallon compared to gasoline.

    what I dont understand is why people have not put any emphasis on other kinds of natural biodiesels. diesel does not burn as cleanly as gasoline but is easier to convert single acres of vegetable products or animal fats.

    the most important thing though is that once low cost cars are released in india, fuel prices will sky rocket even further once a market of over a billion begins demanding gas. It is a strange time to own a car. One should look for something fuel efficient, light and clean when it comes to a new or used car.

  • Fuel cells for cars is still a long way to go. The equipment a car needs to lug around is too much weight. Hydrogen Fuel Cells are more suited to stationary applications where weight does not matter.

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