Ask some automakers what the future of fuel is, and they’ll tell you hydrogen fuel cells offer the best hope for clean cars. That may be so, but the future is still very, very far away. Worldwide, only 27 hydrogen refueling stations were installed last year, possibly due to the rarity of fuel cell cars, and a lack of enthusiasm for the hydrogen economy that many once hoped for.
In all of America, there are only 58 hydrogen refueling stations. In 2012 North America added eight of those stations, while Europe installed an additional 16. The remaining three stations were installed in Asia, which is home to about half the world’s population. In other words, hydrogen as an automotive fuel is still a long ways off.
Even so, automobile manufacturers such as Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and Hyundai are still going to release fuel-cell vehicles in 2015. While the cost of building hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is going down, the cost of installing a hydrogen fueling station has not. Automakers promise of an “affordable” hydrogen car is all well and good, but if there is nowhere to fill these vehicles up, what’s the point?
The Obama Administration cut fuel cell funding from what the Bush Administration set it to, but funding for hydrogen fuel cell technology may once again increase due to a project called H2USA. The government’s motivation for hydrogen is shared by Daimler, Ford, and Nissan, which said they would collaboratively work on hydrogen technology.
But when you read stats like this, it makes you realize how far off we really are from adopting hydrogen as a major source of fuel. In some ways the future still seems very far away.
Source: Green Car Reports
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