PHOTO CAPTION: Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche presents Pope Francis with smart electric bicycle.

Daimler Chief Sees Fuel Cell Cars A Decade Away

CEO Dieter Zetsche sees more promise in early deployment of autonomous driving vehicles than fuel cell cars.

Published: 16-Jan-2014

Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said during a round table meeting with reporters at the North American International Auto Show that drivers looking to jump into their fuel cell-powered car or truck to run errands are going to have to live with disappointment for at least a decade.

Last year, Ford, Nissan and Daimler established a three-way partnership to accelerate the development of fuel cell electric vehicle technology, with the ultimate goal of releasing a ready for market fuel cell vehicle by 2017.

“There are cost problems with the industrial process for making fuel cells,” he told reporters during the session. “That’s why we are working with Ford and Nissan to take out the cost. But it’s a (chicken) and egg question. You need volume to drive down the costs. There are also issues with the infrastructure,” he said, noting that the hydrogen fueling stations necessary for fuel cells are still few and a far between.


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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