PHOTO CAPTION: Toyota FCV Concept will debut at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Fuel Cells Versus Battery Electric Cars: The Race Is On

While fuel cell and battery-powered cars are both electrically-powered, they are perceived as competing technologies.

Published: 26-Dec-2013

In about 10 days from now, on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Toyota will show its fuel cell concept car FCV. Toyota and Honda are expected to launch fuel cell cars in 2015.

Hyundai Motors, on the other hand, is a bit ahead of the game, as it readies its Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle for launch by next spring in the US. As a lure to customers, Hyundai will also offer unlimited refueling and maintenance, along with the car, at a flat monthly fee combined with a down payment. This puts the fuel cell vehicle head to head with the electric car, which itself has seen a resurgence of late with the success of Tesla. Which one will win in the long run?

A fuel cell vehicle will carry hydrogen in a tank, and combine it with oxygen from the air to produce electricity. In this sense, it is another form of electric car, but there are no batteries in them. Instead, the energy is stored in the form of hydrogen, thus making refueling as easy as it is for a petrol or diesel car.


Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell fuel cell sedan production will now be delayed until 2017.

Speculation is that delay decision based on lack of hydrogen refueling infrastructure, though system costs are likely an equally important justification.

Ford Motor Co. 999 fuel cell sets speed record at Wendover, Utah of 207.279 mph.

The collaboration expected to lead the launch of world’s first affordable, mass market fuel cell electric vehicles as early as 2017.

Chevrolet Equinox, one of 100 powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Bob Lutz predicts that 'unless something close to magic happens,' fuel-cells vehicles will forever be expensive 'wall flowers.'


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