Fuel cell vehicles face many of the same challenges as electric cars, chief among them the high cost and lack of infrastructure. However, Daimler thinks fuel cells will be as affordable as diesels by 2015. So how ‘bout the infrastructure?
It can’t be argued that this technology isn’t expensive. Both electric and fuel cell vehicles employ some pretty cutting edge gadgets to do what they’re supposed to. Electric cars and fuel cell vehicles both employ batteries, but Daimler thinks the cost of batteries, as well as fuel cell technology, will continue to come down. Makes sense, right?
Herbert Kohler, head of Daimler’s e-drive and future mobility division, told Automotive News that “By 2015, we think a fuel cell car will not cost more than a four-cylinder diesel hybrid that meets the Euro 6 emissions standard.” That will make such vehicles much more affordable for the common man (right now a B-Class fuel cell vehicle leases for between $600 and $849 a month) and there’s no reason to doubt the truth of his words.
When horseless carriages first appeared, they were dismissed as a fad for rich people; then the Model T came along and made mobility affordable for the masses. The same can and will happen with technology like electric cars and fuel cell vehicles, so long as the major automakers stick to it. Daimler seems committed, and they’re even sending a B-Class F-cell (above) vehicle on a world tour, demonstrating how awesome their fuel cell technology is along the way. They’ve got competition though; Toyota plans to sell a $50,000 fuel cell vehicle by 2015 as well.
I could be wrong, but I don’t think at any point in the history of the world have some many different automakers been aligned with the same basic goal in common; make clean, energy efficient transportation affordable for the masses. Gives ya the warm ‘n fuzzies, don’t it?
Source: Automotive News
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.