Chicken and egg debate dogs hydrogen powered cars

Which came first? Hydrogen fuel-cell cars or hydrogen filling stations? The answer depends on who you ask.

Shall we call the fuel-cell version of Chevy's Equinox the chicken?

General Motors last week called for a "collective resolve" to address the problem of infrastructure to support fuel-cell powered cars. Speaking at the National Hydrogen Association's annual meeting, GM's R&D honcho Larry Burns said that the situation with regard to fuel-cell cars had "now reached a point where the energy industry and governments must pick up their pace so we can continue to advance in a timely manner".

The other problem -- which Burns failed to mention -- is the lack of actual vehicles to make use of said infrastructure. While GM and Honda have committed to putting a handful of fuel-cell vehicles on U.S. roads this year, it hardly constitutes justification for the US$12 billion investment that GM and Shell anticipate it will cost to bring hydrogen access to 70 percent of the American population.

And without the economies of scale that comes from mass production, hydrogen cars such as the Honda Clarity and the Chevy Equinox will continue to be expensive showpieces. Expect the holdups on the hydrogen highway to continue as the automakers, energy companies, and the public sector work out who is going to come up with the necessary investment for making the technology a widespread reality.

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Vic posted a comment   

I would love to see this technology progress faster than it is, it is definitely the way forward.

All this talk about climate change. With one swoop we could cut most of our pollution down using this technology

Governments getting actively involved in the discussion and putting new policy's is place. I for one will be looking to them get this ball rolling, Unfortunately i don't they really bothered.


Dean posted a comment   

I think just give it time... Obviously there weren't petrol stations at every street corner when petrol-engined cars came out but that doesn't mean we stuck with horse-and-cart forever.

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