PHOTO CAPTION: Refueling Mercedes-Benz hydrogen B-Class sedan.

Are We Ready for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars?

Hopes are high, but so is skepticism on the future of hydrogen fuel cell automobiles, reports the Washington Post.

Published: 27-Jan-2014

It sounds like science fiction — a car that runs on hydrogen gas, spits nothing but water vapor out the tailpipe, and can take you from Washington to New York City on a single tank.

But after a long and bumpy road from futuristic concept car to real-world production vehicle, the first mass-produced hydrogen-powered cars will hit dealerships this spring in the United States, and they are on display this week at the Washington Auto Show.

How soon you’ll see them on the roads in our region remains to be seen, as auto manufacturers, fueling companies and policymakers look for ways to tackle serious challenges that now stand in the way — not the least of which is where do you refuel with hydrogen.


General Motors Equinox SUV fuel cell demonstrator, one of several in operation in Hawaii.

While fuel cells powered by very pure hydrogen gas can solve some of the problems of battery electric cars, they also bring challenges of their own.

General Motors Hy-Wire fuel cell concept car circa 2002 was powered by hydrogen fuel cell.

Proposed program would mark a reversal of US Energy Departments previous scaling back of hydrogen research during President Obama's first term, though it will lack the same level of resources as the FreedomCAR program under George W. Bush.

Sunline Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus similar to that to be deployed in Connecticut.

Ballard, BAE Systems and ElDorado National collaborate on hydrogen fuel cell transit buses that will be deployed by CTTransit, as well as in Palm Springs, Ca.


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