Fuel cell vehicles or electric vehicles – they both have one thing in common. An electric motor or multiple motors are at the core of the propulsion and the only difference is how the motors get their power.
At the beginning we could see different manufacturers head down different paths with their alternative fuel cars but today there has been an interesting development – a joint announcement from a few carmakers backing fuel cell electric vehicles.
A group of companies comprising of Daimler, Ford, GM/Opel, Renault, Nissan, Hyundai-Kia, Honda and Toyota have announced they’ve signed a Letter of Understanding regarding the development and market introduction of electric vehicles with fuel cells. These car companies strongly anticipate that from 2015 onwards, a significant amount of electric vehicles with fuel cells can be commercialised – a few hundred thousand units is the aim.
These manufacturers jointly call for countries to setup hydrogen infrastructures and in a way what I think they are doing is trying to convince the people responsible for the refueling infrastructure that once the network is set up, there will be cars to use them and make them viable. Yes, the idea of refueling your car from a wall socket is nice but currently it takes too long, even with a wall charger.
Refueling your car with hydrogen can potentially be as quick as refueling the various liquids we currently pump into our cars, but as it is refueling time would depend on how the hydrogen is stored on-board the car, and even that varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and even car to car.