Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hydrogen Powered Cars

Sorry for the intermittent postings going on lately, midterms took up a lot of my time. But, I'm back now, full throttle and have got lots to talk about. First is a press release from GM and Toyota that came out at the Geneva Auto Show stating that both companies feel that fuel cell technology (hydrogen) to power cars is not going to happen at all in the recent future and both companies are steering away from R&D in that sector. Both executives feel that the current technology that allows fuel cells to be produced is way too expensive for consumers and would be cost prohibitive. Instead, GM and Toyota are focusing on flex-fuel vehicles and hybrids in the near term and PHEV (plug-in electric vehicles) as a possible long term option after more research is concluded. Interestingly, Toyota and the rest of the hybrid producing companies saw a dip in hybrid sales for the month of February to 22,000 units sold. This is a year-on-year drop but could be a result of a sluggish economy in the United States as light-duty vehicles as a whole dropped nearly 6%, while the hybrid drop is closer to 2%.
With Toyota and GM's announcement, I think automakers and researchers should move away from fuel-cell technology research and focus on integrating hybrid and flex-fuel technology as seen in the Saab turbocharge vehicle that was referenced in an earlier post.

No comments: