November 22, 2015
Here’s Why the Hype About Hydrogen Cars Won’t Last
Hydrogen cars promise clean, green driving – but several factors could stop their mainstream adoption.
Firstly, a quick explanation of hydrogen cars.
They are sometimes referred to as Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV), and are cars powered exclusively by oxygen from the air and compressed hydrogen.
People tend to be amazed when they hear that hydrogen cars only emit water and heat from their tailpipes. And this is true – these cars emit no nasty pollutants whatsoever.
Sounds good so far?
Unfortunately, despite the hype from some car manufacturers, hydrogen cars have been slow to come to market due to some significant downsides.
I’m sure you don’t have time to read a whole thesis on this, so I’ll summarize the issues for you below:
- Hydrogen cars are inefficient compared with battery-powered cars
- Hydrogen cars are more expensive than battery-powered cars
- The infrastructure for hydrogen fueling stations will take years to build
- There are safety concerns, as hydrogen has a low-ignition point
The question you need to ask yourself is, do we actually need hydrogen cars?
We’re already seeing widespread global adoption of battery-powered cars, which are low-maintenance, zero-emissions vehicles. And as battery prices continue to fall, these cars are getting cheaper – and their driving range is getting longer.
Hydrogen cars initially sound impressive, but quickly lose their gloss when compared directly with battery-powered cars.
For me, I see hydrogen cars as a backward and unnecessary step.
Craig J Todd – Freelance writer with a passion for tech, trends and simplicity.
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Good article. I heard hydrogen cars were generally panned years when compared to EVs and I haven’t changed my mind. Do we need them indeed?!
Thanks for your comment Robert! There’s some talk of big oil companies wanting to see hydrogen cars instead of battery-powered cars. The theory goes that these companies will try to offset oil (gasoline) losses by moving over to hydrogen. Consumers should say NO to hydrogen – and YES to batteries!