Tuesday, March 11, 2008

GM, Toyota Cool on Fuel Cells. Honda silent.

Earlier this week at the Geneva Motor Show, GM and Toyota executives independently expressed that their optimism about hydrogen fuel cells as a power source for mass-market cars had cooled. The revelations are especially significant coming from two of the three companies that have been most bullish on fuel cells over the past decade. (Honda, maker of the FCX fuel-cell prototype of which 100 will soon be tested around the country, is the mum third.)

From Cars.com:

It seems GM vice chairman Bob Lutz reached the same conclusion when he said, "If we get lithium-ion [batteries] to 300 miles, then you need to ask yourself, Why do you need fuel cells?" as reported by the Wall Street Journal. I’d even argue that you don’t need to get to a 300-mile battery. The ability to recharge conveniently at home overnight and/or at work — along with the prospect of onboard generators like those in GM’s experimental E-Flex system — greatly diminish the need for such long ranges. In the same article, Toyota president Katusaki Watanabe cited fuel cell and infrastructure costs as obstacles to “the spread of fuel cells in 10 years’ time.”

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