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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RE: The Real Problem is..
3/22/2013 1:13:59 PM
Perhaps you should read what I said. I did not say, leave it open and throw a match on it some time later. Nor was I referring to a leaky tank.
If you open a gas barrel and immediately throw a match on it it will burn but be extremely unlikely to explode. Do the same with an equivalent hydrogen barrel and the only way it is likely not to explode is if the rush of hydrogen coming out blows out the match before it can ignite the hydrogen.
So as I said, comparatively speaking, gasoline is not highly flamable when compared to hydrogen.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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