What’s the future for fuel cell vehicles

A fuel cell vehicle (FCV) runs by using hydrogen gas instead of traditional gasoline so our environment benefits because no dangerous emissions flow out of the tailpipe, only steam. Considered to be an electric vehicle (they are totally energized by electricity) they still must be refueled like our traditional vehicles. FCVs sound perfect however the cost of producing them is astronomical so it is questionable if these vehicles can ever be reasonably priced and available at our neighborhood car dealerships.

Cosmetically from the outside, a FCV resembles a traditional vehicle very much but from the inside it is a different story. The inside of these vehicles brim beyond simple “state-of-the-art” design technology, primarily due to its fuel cell stack that has the capability to transform hydrogen gas with oxygen from our air (hydrogen fuel originated in the 1800s and has been used for space-crafts, cells phones and more). This conversion process then creates electricity which makes it possible to turn on its electric motor to drive this vehicle. The FCV also provides wonderful acceleration and offers an engine that is nearly silent.

More benefits of the FCV is that it will greatly lesson dependency on obtaining foreign oil, since hydrogen is a plentiful element it appears to be a renewable resource for the future and since the FCV successfully creates its own electricity, owners will not have to worry about where they can plug its battery in or how long it must charge.

So far the FCV sounds great however the cost for purchasing one and its general maintenance is more expensive than traditional vehicles and hybrids, in addition to the cost of its fuel. However the cost of manufacturing FCVs is gradually seeing a reduction so they should show up in dealerships in the not too distant future. Obviously the FCV manufacturers must focus to lower their overall cost, particularly its fuel cell stack and unit that stores the hydrogen, in order for them to be competitive with traditional vehicles.

At the present time, FCVs are not currently for sale commercially however Hyundai, Honda and Toyota plan to introduce one this year (2015) or in 2016. The cost for their standard model will run from $50,000 to $100,000. Since FCVs are slowly arriving in the United States, individuals who are considering making a purchase should first be sure that they reside close to a hydrogen refueling station.