VW CEO Says That Hydrogen Fuel Cells Have Failed to Live up to Promises
March 22, 2013 9:36 AM
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No fuel cell vehicles from VW on the horizon
A few years ago there were a number of automotive manufacturers putting serious money into
hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles
. These vehicles promised to have a driving range similar to a conventional gasoline-powered automobile, but produce no emissions to pollute the atmosphere.
However, the vehicles faced several daunting challenges, including the lack of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure and the fact that hydrogen is highly flammable and difficult to store.
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn stated this week that hydrogen fuel cells have failed to live up to promises and are unlikely to become an efficient and cost-effective way to power cars in the near future.
Winterkorn said, "I do not see the infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles, and I do not see how hydrogen can be produced on large scale at reasonable cost. I do not currently see a situation where we can offer fuel cell vehicles at a reasonable cost that consumers would also be willing to pay."
While Volkswagen doesn't see a near-term future with hydrogen vehicles, other manufacturers continue to move forward with the technology. Mercedes-Benz reached a deal with Ford and Nissan-Renault with a goal of selling the first production fuel-cell vehicle starting in 2017.
Back in 2010, a study was
predicting 670,000 fuel cell powered vehicles would be sold annually within a decade. So far, that prediction doesn't seem likely to come true.
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At least they're realistic
3/22/2013 9:53:12 AM
US car companies would always add "unless the government gave us huge subsidies and afforded buyers a $10,000 tax credit."
RE: At least they're realistic
3/22/2013 11:10:30 AM
They don't say that because the German government would never give them such a ridiculous subsidy.
Imagine if a country paid their people to buy a car that only the richest people could afford anyway. That would be borderline insane, the people would rise up against the oppressive regime and demand reform.
Or perhaps they would be too busy with the bread and circuses.
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