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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 published 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.

Source: Auto News



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RE: Hope
By inperfectdarkness on 3/22/2013 3:36:11 PM , Rating: 2
No. The biggest problem is that Hydrogen fuel-cells require a high pressurization in order to provide acceptable fuel economy. This spells a huge problem for vehicles in an accident, where you can generate a HUGE explosion from a 35mph head on collision.

No fuel-cell ever designed is impervious to rupturing.


RE: Hope
By Odysseus145 on 3/24/2013 1:53:22 PM , Rating: 2
You're absolutely right. That's why considerable research is going into ways to store the hydrogen within a solid framework, which eliminates the need for high pressure tanks.


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