Hydrogen and "Fuel cell cars won’t save the world" VW, GM

Posted on November 26, 2007. Filed under: BioFoolsGold, greenwashing, HybridHype, told ya so |

Filed under “I told you so”

Looks like the beginning of a trend toward realism: By Joe on Solutions climateprogress.org

One of the most senior forward-thinkers at Europe’s bigger car-maker … Volkswagen’s head of research Dr Jurgen Leohold told Autocar that he thinks fuel cell cars like VW’s own HyMotion Touran research car are not the future of alternative power, and are only really being developed as a sop to ever-tightening emissions laws in places such as California.

Describing them as a “marketing exercise,” he said their inherent problem lies with producing
the hydrogen fuel to power them, and in establishing an infrastructure of hydrogen filling stations. “Because hydrogen has to be produced using existing power, CO2 emissions are still an issue,” he said.


Also see: Dream of hydrogen car goes down in flames

Ballard — the Canadian fuel-cell company that once hoped to be the “Intel Inside of the hydrogen car revolution — has sold off its automotive fuel-cell business to Daimler and Ford.

The story has a keen interpretation of the sale’s meaning from Research Capital analyst Jon Hykawy:

[Ballard] would never contemplate such as move if it thought it had any chance of making good on the millions it has poured into that research — and the vast financing it has been able to raise with promises of the hydrogen highway, a route to the future that has never materialized, but seduced investors with visions of cars that spewed only water from their tailpipes.

“If you knew, talking to your automotive partners, that they had a commercialization timeline that was three to five years out, I suspect you would be holding tight,” said Mr. Hykawy.

Hykaway, like most independent observers of the automobile industry, is far more realistic about hydrogen than most advocates:

In my view, the hydrogen car was never alive. The problem was never could you build a fuel cell that would consume hydrogen, produce electricity, and fit in a car. The problem was always, can you make hydrogen fuel at a price point that makes any sense to anybody. And the answer to that to date has been no.

Ballard’s talks with potential buyers is admission that dream of hydrogen fuel car is dead: analyst The story has a keen interpretation of the sale’s meaning from Research Capital analyst Jon Hykawy:(more…)

— but if I’ve said it once ..


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