BMW Unsure Of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Future – Battery Advancements Could Render FCEVs Obsolete


Imagine A BMW i3 With 4 Times The Battery Capacity

Imagine A BMW i3 With 4 Times The Battery Capacity

BMW’s sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson told Autocar that the German automaker will begin testing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in earnest in the near future, but hydrogen may forever remain in the testing phase at BMW if battery advancements come along quickly enough to keep electric cars in the lead.

Roberston predict that advancements in battery technology will soon make range a non-issue for electric cars.  If true, then hydrogen fuel cell vehicle may never reach production status at BMW.

Quoting Roberston:

“We’ve said we’ll continue to invest in hydrogen and that will result in a small number of production test vehicles being made to prove technology works.  The real issues lie not around what we can do, though, but whether the infrastructure can be built up to supply hydrogen in the marketplace cost-effectively.”

Autocar adds:

“As a result of the issues of the cost of hydrogen production and distribution, Robertson suggested battery technology gains could instead accelerate sales of electric vehicles. Advances in lithium ion technology are set to be followed by a switch to lithium air and then solid state batteries. These advances over the next ten years could “see charging time and range worries disappear” according to Robertson.”

Robertson further predicts that he sees a time in the future when investment in internal combustion engine technology switches over to battery and electric motors.

“At some point in the future the technologies will switch over.  When the crossover comes and the focus becomes electricity, the rate of learning will accelerate even faster.  Relatively, that time is not far away.”

Source: Autocar

Category: BMW

Tags: , , ,

101 responses to "BMW Unsure Of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Future – Battery Advancements Could Render FCEVs Obsolete"
    1. Waiting says:

      For the passenger car and maybe light trucks, I think batteries are the only way to go. But for larger vehicles like 18-wheelers, I would think that FCEV technology might be an option, but then I don’t know if there is a significant difference between a full load of hydrogen and a battery pack large enough to power a large transport.

      1. Jouni Valkonen says:

        With heavy trucks, only thing that matters is what delivers cheaper power to the wheels. We have four alternatives for heavy trucks (60-80 tons):

        #0 Battery electric power.
        #1 Fossil Diesel fuel
        #2 Synthetic Diesel fuel
        #3 Hydrogen fuel cell technology

        Here they are put into order as of today’s costs. Excluding the battery power where we do not know exactly what will be the cost, because no one is trying and no one has not made a cost analysis on the technology. Only Tesla has demonstrated an EV battery technology that has sufficient energy density for heavy trucks.

        Therefore electric drive for truck is in position zero. Electricity is probably today close to parity with fossil Diesel, but I would guess that battery power will surpass fossil Diesel by 2020.

        There is interesting development with self-driving and self-charging trucks. With self-driving 60 ton truck may have just range about 100 km and then it can stop for fast charging break and continue. That is because robotic driver does not mind if the truck is sitting on autonomous charging station after every 40 or 60 minutes of driving!

        Therefore when self-driving trucks are coming to commercial operations, it almost immediately follows that heavy trucking will also be electrified. Because electricity is the cheapest energy source compared to fossil Diesel, synthetic Diesel and Hydrogen.

        1. Three Electrics says:

          That is not true. For heavy duty vehicles a huge factor is range. Electric busses, for example, can only go 20 miles. An 18 wheeler with that kind of range is a joke.

          1. The BYD electric bus or BYD ebus, called K9 in China, is an all-electric bus model manufactured by BYD powered with its self-developed Iron-phosphate battery, allegedly featuring the longest drive range of 250 km (155 miles) on one single charge under urban road conditions.
            BYD electric bus – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

          2. Three Electrics – “Joel Reikes, fleet sales manager for BYD, claimsthat the “bus drove 250 miles with 17 percent battery power to spare on a trip from Richland to Seattle“.” –


            “BYD, as usual, attached a description highlighting more than 20 million kilometers of “in revenue service” experience and more than 250 km (155 miles) of range.” –

            With Siamese Twin Motors – of the 8″ size, White Zombie could deliver over 700 pound feet of torque of the line, and over 1100 pound feet with his 9″ Siamese Twin – so torque is not an issue!

            And LiFePO4 is up to 1,000 Ah per cell and higher! Trucks have room, and fuel costs are an issue as well as range!

            Hope those notes and links give you something to chew on!

        2. Mikael says:

          #5 – Electrically wired highways

          Which is likely an option in countries where electricity is cheap and where public transport and infrastructure is part of the DNA. (so in other words not a solution for a country like the US where they can’t even build a decent railroad)

        3. Natural gas will replace diesel in the short term.

          Then, why would you increase the cost of energy by taking the same natural gas and turn it into H2?

          1. Spider-Dan says:

            Because an H2-powered vehicle can take H2 derived from many sources (including NG), while an NG-powered vehicle can only be powered by NG.

          2. Jouni Valkonen says:

            I guess that it is cheaper to make from that natural gas synthetic diesel than to use natural gas as transportation fuel. Not exactly sure about economics, but the difference is not very big.

        4. Justin W. says:

          Speed is a big issue. Time is money and transporters/long haulers can’t afford to have cargo sitting around charging. It would be a deal breaker if shipping times increased.

          1. Jouni Valkonen says:

            Human drivers need more “charging breaks” than electric trucks. Therefore if megawatt scale fast truck charging infrastructure is in its place, electric trucks can have charging breaks when driver has compulsory coffee breaks.

            1. Spider-Dan says:

              The problem is that human “charging breaks” are aligned with sleeping, eating, etc. which will not necessarily correspond to charging infrastructure availability.

              Furthermore, as a simple point of math, batteries cannot recharge at a mile-per-second speed remotely near petroleum or hydrogen, meaning that (best case) drivers would need to realign their sleep schedules around charging times.

  1. Brian says:

    First Nissan, now BMW state that soon batteries will improve to the point that they will eliminate the issue of range. Are they onto something or just blowing smoke? The cynics will say the former, but I tend to believe the latter. Both companies are aggressively positioning themselves as leaders in the EV market. When that battery gets here, they will be ready to use it.

    1. Fool Cells says:

      Batteries today are where computers where in the early 90’s. Just the tip of the iceberg….get ready for massive advances.

      1. Anthony says:

        Moore’s Law does not apply to batteries. The revolutionary increasing of computing power will not be mirrored by increasing capabilities of batteries.

        In the 90s, Moore’s Law was increasing transistor densities by 50% every 18 months. Now, in 2015, we’ve slowed down to 24-30 months.

        Batteries increase performance at about 8% per year. I don’t think we’re going to see dramatic improvements in the short term. If we’re lucky, we might get up to about 10%.

        In 2010, Panasonic declared they would have a 4000mAh 18650 cell out by March 2013. But they don’t. Almost two years later, it doesn’t exist. They don’t even have their 3600mAh cell available.

        Some of the solid state companies are promising 1000+ Wh/l and 500+ Wh/kg, but its still not to the small scale commercial level yet. If we get there by 2018 then we can look for gen 3 EVs (2020-2022) to have SSBs and great range, but for now we just wait.

        1. Mark says:

          Rate of capacity increase is only a problem for electronic gadgets – their power consumption increases faster than capacity of batteries.

          But for bootstrapping an EV market 8% per year (100% per 9 years) is more than enough. Tesla has shown you can get decent performance even with today’s batteries. We do need more batteries at lower cost though.

          Piggybacking gadgets industry is both blessing and curse. We’ve got high capacity cells but gadgets are pushing toward smaller self-contained form factors and suppressing price reduction. Once the EV market reaches a critical mass we may want to decouple from them and come up with something designed specifically for a car. That is when I would expect a substantial increase in performance/robustness.

        2. Mint says:

          You’re looking at 2025-2030 for 1000 Wh/L batteries in mass-market EVs.

          There’s already an enormous market for 1000 Wh/L batteries, even at a high price of $1000/kWh. CE devices are desperate for high density. Space systems need it even more. That nobody is producing them yet shows how expensive it is to make solid state batteries.

          This is what has to happen for SSB to compete for the EV battery market:
          1) First commercial availability
          2) SSBs take over the high-end cellphone battery market at $2000/kWh (Apple alone will buy $1-2B of these pricey batteries per year)
          3) They take over the tablet & laptop market at a selling price of $1000/kWh
          4) The chemistry and production secrets get figured out by competitors
          5) Cost gets halved
          6) Cost gets halved again
          7) Regular lithium ion batteries go on a fire-sale with nobody wanting them for CE devices, and companies selling with low gross margin
          8) Cost of SSBs get halved yet again

          Only then do we see SSBs priced low enough for EVs.

          1. FME III says:

            @Mint Whether you knew it or not when you drafted your post, this is exactly the path that Sakti3 is charting: First sell to the CE market, then scale up to automotive applications.

            1. Mint says:

              Yes, I know, but Sakti3 is also claiming that they’ll be in automotive cells a few years later.

              They’re not going to get a 10x cost reduction in a few years, and even when they do cut cost, they’re not going to underprice their product.

              EVs need cheap cells first and foremost, not energy density. Denser will be priced higher for the foreseeable future.

        3. Jouni Valkonen says:

          Anthony, batteries are not of course follow Moore’s Law, but they are following very closely Swanson’s Law.

  2. QCO says:

    Good to see they have come to the obvious conclusion. VW’s Winterkorn more or less said the same thing recently.

    So it is now socially acceptable to point out that the emperor has no clothes, even though everyone still has to go through the motions of actually showing a working prototype.

  3. Lou Grinzo says:

    Finally, companies are recognizing the painfully obvious: The TCO of EVs is declining rapidly, and will continue to do so, and most important of all, at a much steeper rate than the TCO of HFCVs. It’s a simple matter of drawing graphs and seeing where the lines are going.

    HFCVs will go the same route as H-ICE (remember the BMW H-ICE?): Interesting footnote in the modern history of motor vehicle technology that never had a substantial market impact. (And to provide a gauge, I consider EVs at their current sales level to still be just short of “substantial market impact”.)

    1. Mr. Electric says:

      Can you cite a source for these TCO estimates? From the popular press:

      “The cost of the Mirai’s fuel cell is about one-twentieth the cost of the system that Toyota used in the previous-generation fuel cell vehicle, which debuted in 2008.”

      1. Lensman says:

        Yes, the cost of the actual fuel cell in the FCV has decreased quite a bit over the past few years.

        Sadly for those interested in a “fool cell” car, this doesn’t help much, because the cost of hydrogen manufacture and distribution cannot -ever- come down far enough to be competitive, due to basic physics (thermodynamics) and basic economics (EROEI).

        We don’t need a detailed TCO analysis to demonstrate this is true, because a look at the underlying science shows this in a more fundamental way:

        1. Three Electrics says:

          A 10 kW residential solar installation easily produces enough electricity to make a year’s worth of hydrogen in the garage for the average driver. Solar will soon be practically free.

          Furthermore, in states where electricity comes primarily from coal, even hydrogen from steam reformation has a lower net CO2 impact than EVs.

          Finally, the economics of hydrogen infrastructure may yet pencil out. While the cost of a hydrogen filling station is high, a single station will eventually satisfy thousands of cars a week (try doing that with a supercharger). And those thousands of cars will cost less than EVs; the Mirai is already cheaper than a Tesla of equivalent range.

          1. Is this Andy?

            You might be careful about using “cost”. The Toyota H2 (or any H2 car) absolutely costs more than a Tesla Model S.

            It sells for less because nobody would buy it if it was priced at the same or higher.

            Cost has no bearing on price.

          2. Justin W. says:

            That’s a bit of a false argument because most EVs won’t need to use the supercharger. They will be charging at home.

          3. Knut Erik Ballestad says:

            Adding a 10kW solar power panel also adds a significant cost, as well as significant roof real estate.

          4. Jelloslug says:

            You are leaving out the compression and storage of the hydrogen. You don’t magically get 10,000 PSI hydrogen out of solar cells.

        2. jlmur says:

          Hey Lensman,
          Wish you were on Seeking Alpha.
          What happened?

      2. Chris O says:

        Toyota is still rumoured to lose up to $130K a pop though:

        Not that that’s anything to do with TCO for the consumer of course. They will get offered a deal sweet enough to move the metal in the numbers needed to comply with the current ZEV mandates.

        1. pete g says:

          GM Built 1000 Equinox FCEVs in 2009 at $100,000 each. They worked real well, but GM is still struggling to get the price of the fuel cells down. I think Toyotas losses will be closer to $40,000 per Vehicle.

          1. Mr. Electric says:

            It’s hard to come to a single number given all of the fixed costs involved. If you want to play that game, Tesla has lost $1.3 billion dollars since inception, which is $28K per Model S — a car that costs significantly more than Toyota’s latest fuel cell vehicle.

            Toyota’s own engineers tell a different story:

            “Toyota Motor Corp.’s top fuel cell engineer predicts the automaker will slash the cost of the next hydrogen-fueled powertrain to between one-third and one-fourth the cost of the current system, which debuted last week in the Mirai fuel cell sedan.”

  4. David Murray says:

    I think that current battery technology has already made fuel-cells obsolete. I can drive my Leaf further than a fuel cell vehicle thanks to QC infrastructure. Sure, one could make the argument that this is a problem with infrastructure and not with what is under the hood of the car.

    Honestly, even BMW’s i3-Rex is a far, far better solution for getting off fossil fuel than a fuel cell car. Even though it technically might use some gas every now and then.

    1. Mikael says:

      Such a small portion of gas is easily replaceable with biofuels anyway.

      So no problem going 100% fossil free in the future with REx solutions either.

      1. See Through says:

        The problem really is for large vehicles – buses, trucks, forklifts, contractor vehicles, pick up trucks, vans etc. etc. They are fewer in number but they run lot more miles everyday. And some, like city buses, operate on crowded streets.

        For passenger cars, Volt or i3 Rex already working pretty well.

        1. kdawg says:

          “buses, trucks, forklifts, contractor vehicles, pick up trucks, vans etc. etc”
          We already have electric busses, pickup trucks, forklifts, vans, etc…

          I’d say Semi-trucks hauling trailers is the only issue and they can run on CNG until we get a better solution. Or put more items on rail.

        2. Spec9 says:

          And that is all the more reason to switch light duty vehicles to electricity….it frees up more oil and biofuels for the long haul applications that need it.

        3. Mikael says:

          Those vehicles use a small portion of the total volume of gasoline/diesel. The very large part is light vehicles (often around 80%).

          Buses, forlifts etc. are already solved. For those batteries (+ fast charging if wanted/needed) is already the best and cheapest option.

          So the only real problem left is heavy trucks. But that was discussed above and there would be plenty of biofuels available today if all cars were 90+% electric.

    2. Jouni Valkonen says:

      David, you can use with BMW i3 REx synthetic fuel instead of fossil fuel. This is also good reminder how utterly ridiculous this Toyota’s venture into hydrogen cars is because if we ever discovered how to make hydrogen affordably, it would cost only pennies to continue and synthetize from that hydrogen first methane and then liquid fuel. Synthetic gasoline delivery is by far cheaper and safer than delivering hydrogen to the cars!

  5. Anon says:

    Anyone done TCOs for Hydrogen Vehicles 10-15 years out? How much (and how often) does the vehicle drivetrain need to be replaced after hydrogen and water have had their way with it?

    1. Spec9 says:

      No one has good data on maintenance costs, repair costs, or even H2 fuel costs.

  6. pjwood says:

    Happy New Year, DaveMart!?!

    Tesla did one of the most obvious things:

    (Longer range battery + Faster charge times) = less charging infrastructure.

    It won’t be long, “relatively”.

    1. Mike says:

      Exactly. A 400 mile range roadster may Never visit a public charging station, only on vacations.

    2. sven says:

      What happened to DaveMart? Was he banned?

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Nope, not at all. Only 3 bans total in 2014…pretty hard feat to accomplish around here, (=

  7. Anthony says:

    The big question we’re all waiting on is how fast these advanced technologies like Solid-State batteries and Li-Air comes into the commercialized space. Li-Air seems to be in the 2020-2025 time frame, and Solid State batteries are going to hit slightly before that.

    1. Sublime says:

      I think EVs will go to a solid state Li-S battery in the next 5 years. There seems to be a lot of companies converging on this same combination and I’m betting the big manufactures are seeing promising lab results.

      Even if Li-Air becomes a reality after that, I bet we don’t see it in many cars because the risk reward vs a mature solid state battery tech wouldn’t be favorable. Plus Li-Air would likely require a drastically different manufacturing process. If they can produce affordable 200-300 mile range cars with Li-S, they’ll be making/selling millions of EVs a year with battery plants to feed that production.

  8. ffbj says:

    This brings to mind a commercial campaign that has been running recently:

    1. Whatever says:

      How can trademark “Captain Obvious”? I’m pretty sure that phrase predates’s use of it.

      1. HVACman says:

        Then there is “Mr. Obvious”

      2. Nix says:

        They can put their trademark on whatever they want. Whether they can actually enforce it is a completely different story. They would likely lose in court in 99% of the cases.

  9. Rick Danger says:


  10. Ocean Railroader says:

    It’s kind of wild that EV’s got to vanquish steam powered cars in the 1900’s. Now in 2015 they are going to battle it out with hydrogen angst something that people in the 1900’s never thought would exist hydrogen fuel cells. So what they are really saying is that hydrogen fuel cells are like the steam powered cars of the 1900’s in that the steam cars need special infrastructure to keep them running. Such as the steam cars of the 1900’s required having oil and water stations every few miles on the road to keep them going. Also the steam cars where highly dangerous like the hydrogen cars.

    I personally think BMW is playing it smart by doing a little research in hydrogen and keeping the bulk of their funding in the EV department.

    The reality is BMW doesn’t really have far to go to make a good EV in that all they have to do is make a 150 mile range BMW i3 with a little back up gas engine.

    1. Fool Cells says:

      you got and most people don’t. The range ‘problem’ of BEV’s is already solved with todays technology. Teslas can do 268+ miles on a charge. The range of BEV is only going to increase as the technology improves and the costs are heading downward. Soon 150 miles will be the norm, then 200, 250, etc… we are talking all this within the next 10 years.

      The other ‘problem’ is charge times. For a large number of people, this is not even an issue today, as they plug in when they get home and have a full charge when they wake up. A Tesla can charge 170 miles in 30 minutes today. This is only going to improve.

    2. If “solving” the EV range issue can be done with a gasoline engine, then we should just eliminate the batteries and make a gasoline car!!!

      All rejoice. Range anxiety is “solved”. Gasoline was the answer all along.

      1. HVACman says:

        Thank you Tony. Glad you agree with we Volt owners about the utility of an extended-range EV. I’m excited to see how the gen 2 Volt will make unlimited range/fast fill EV’s even more affordable and with even a higher percent EV operation – maybe 75-80% of all miles all-electric for the whole fleet.

        1. Except, if we are to believe what has been let out of the bag, GM will not do much to increase the charging rate of the battery pack on the 2016 Volt, with a tiny 10% Bump up of the charge rate from 3.3 kW to (I’ve hear) a 3.6 kW Rate! They could have at least installed a charger equal to the Ford Focus EV, or the newer LEAF’s upper models at 6.6 kW or the BMW i3’s 7.2 kW charge rate if that was an issue they wanted to deal with, but apparently – not this time.

          If they wanted the VOLT to Compete even better with the LEAF, they could have added DC QC options to it: either the CCS (GM’s Preference), or (dare they even consider it) – a CHAdeMO charging option!

          Then – that 16-17 kWh Battery could be topped up in about 15 minutes from it’s low state ( since they only let about 10.4 kW of use from it anyway).

    3. Justin W. says:

      GM is doing the same thing but according to Mark Reuss, their fuel cell stacks will likely end up in something other than vehicles.

    4. Spider-Dan says:

      I find it amazing that EV proponents seem to think that EVs (which have ~1% of the market) have a competitor not in gas or diesel vehicles, but in FCVs (with 0.0000001% of the market).

      FCVs should not be competing with EVs. The competition is between FCVs and ICEs, because FCV is the only technology that can replace the ICE usage pattern.

      EVs can refuel slowly at home, but take a long time to refuel away from home. ICE vehicles cannot refuel at home, but refuel at blazing speed away from home. FCV is nothing like the former and everything like the latter.

  11. Mikael says:

    For me it’s not a Fuel cell vs. Battery battle. People won’t accept a fuel cell car that they can’t plug in.

    So you will have your basic PHEV/EREV anyway. So the only question is if the fuel cell can be a better range extender than an ICE.

    I’d definitely prefer the cheapest option which has spent most of the money on batteries. And then ICE-extenders are most likely going to rule the market.

    1. Sublime says:

      I think you’re correct. H2 tanks will likely require maintenance checks annually. I think that would be a wash vs oil changes on an ICE range extender. Given the existing infrastructure for gasoline, if H2 is relegated to range extension I just can’t see the infrastructure rolling out to support it.

      1. See Through says:

        OTOH, that will mean you only need a few hundred lower capacity H2 stations for long distance travel, just like Tesla super chargers.

        1. Sublime says:

          True, if they’re looking to build well under 100k. Tesla is by no means done with their network. They still don’t connect to a lot of the US and it’s capacity is able to serve the under 40k Model S Sedans on the road.

          A manufacturer could deploy an H2 infrastructure to support their model… but if it’s only for range extension, why not just keep making ICEs?

          1. See Through says:

            ZEV credits. “Green” stamp.
            Also, once setup, long haul trucks can use the same stations.

            1. JakeY says:

              Actually it won’t be able to serve long haul because these stations are designed only to serve 100-400kg per day.

              LNG stations for long haul are in the 10000+ gallon per day range.

        2. Spec9 says:

          That is only true if they put a large battery and a charger in a fuel cell car…and no one is doing that. (Probably because it makes an already expensive car even more expensive. PHEVs are much cheaper)

      2. HVACman says:

        Why use H2 for the range extender? Just take a Volt and add a small CNG tank. NG everywhere. engine technology already there. Compressed tank technology already there. Why deal with converting H2 to NG when you can use the NG directly?

    2. Nix says:

      Volt owners already typically use their range-extender gas motors so rarely, that the amount of gas burned by the gas motor is tiny. Trying to transition that small amount of gas burned by a car like the Volt, to H2 fuel cells is absurd.

      Building a car that would replace that cheap gas motor that can be filled anywhere, with a very expensive, very large fuel cell and fuel tank that doesn’t have an infrastructure to support it would be the most absurd thing I can imagine.

      Taking a Volt and using the money that would be wasted on a fuel cell, and plowing that money into more battery range would make for a way better Volt than any Volt with a fuel cell in place of the gas engine.

      Replacing one of the cheaper parts of the Volt drivetrain, with one of the most expensive drivetrains possible, just to save the tiny amount of gasoline burned by the typical Volt owner is a huge waste of money.

      1. Mikael says:


      2. gpmp says:

        So, what you’re saying is, why would anyone drive a Mirai when they can drive a Volt?

        1. A Volt with even just 60 miles Battery Electric Range, would reduce the fuel consumption by another order of magnitude, or at least another 50 – 75% Less fuel burn! Giving it a DC Quick Charge Port and Faster AC Charging (6.6 kW+) would increase the Battery user versatility by another order of magnitude, and reduce charging time anxiety, and increase charging versatility – nearly eliminating the primary need of the ‘Extended Range’ Rex!

        2. A Volt with even just 60 miles Battery Electric Range (~22 miles more, or ~50 Increase), would reduce the fuel consumption by another order of magnitude, or at least another 50 – 75% Less fuel burn! Giving it a DC Quick Charge Port and Faster AC Charging (6.6 kW+) would increase the Battery user versatility by another order of magnitude, and reduce charging time anxiety, and increase charging versatility – nearly eliminating the primary need of the ‘Extended Range’ Rex!

  12. Taser54 says:

    As BMW is hedging its bets on both EVs and FCEVs, the article could have easily been titled, “BMW unsure of Battery Future-rolls out FCEVs”

    The reality of FCEVs is that they will be larger commercial vehicles, not commuter cars.

    1. ggpa says:

      I think the article title should be “BMW is now realizing that Elon Musk was right about FCEVs”

    2. See Through says:

      Hard to conclude anythign right now. Depends on the relative progresses and economics of each down the road.

  13. Roy LeMeur says:

    Still amazed that it is taking so long for folks to figure out that it is _no contest_ between BEVs and fool cells. Betting that in ten years virtually _all_ offerings from BMW will be BEVs. Range extenders are an interim fix as battery technology improves. If you want a fuel burning engine it will be a special order 🙂

    1. See Through says:

      And in California, people are running out of charge using the heater and defroster in this mild winter!

    2. Spider-Dan says:

      Again, the contest is not “between” BEVs and FCVs, as they do different things. BEVs refuel cheaply at home, while FCVs refuel quickly on the road.

  14. neptronix says:

    This should have been readily apparent in the last 5 years..

  15. Tyl Young says:

    For automotive transportation: Solar charging at home and ‘Fast & Always Free’ supercharging when on the road is what killed off FCEV’s years ago! YES!!! YEARS AGO!!! It amazes me how some are stuck in the past. It is the “Free” component of using the sun that makes battery autos, Tesla in particular, a no brainer. Energy storage (now available) is the current big thing! …and growing big time! Bi-directional packs, storing energy during sunlit hours and using the sun’s energy as necessary is… where it is! Geez! Others need to get with the program or be left in the dust!

  16. Get Real says:

    I love it, Coyota is getting desperate now as their recent announcement to (temporarily-for 5 years) release some of their Fool Cell patents to anyone willing to share. Good job Coyota, trying to copy what Tesla already did (the right way) with its EV patents.

    1. Three Electrics says:

      Given that Tesla has already offered to license their EV patents for free, does that make Tesla even more desperate? Toyota was at least able to hold out for longer before caving.

      1. Get Real says:

        No, not at all. If you know anything about Elon Musk’s desire and plan to electrify transportation then you can put 2 and 2 together (hint an altruistic=4).

        Coyota on the other hand is only trying to subvert Elon’s plan.

        Nice try with the FUD though.

  17. Lensman says:

    DUH! indeed.

    Not everyone is buying into the wasteful, self-defeating marketing scheme by Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, promoting “fool cell” vehicles, which run on a fuel much too expensive to ever compete with either gas guzzlers or EVs.

    Or as has been said: “Hydrogen is the fuel of the future… and always will be!” (^_^)

    1. Justin W. says:

      The latest news shows Hyundai backing off FCVs and promoting a greatly expanding selection of hybrids, PHEVs and BEV.

  18. Whatever says:

    Yes, hydrogen tanks + fuel cells together effectively makes up a very complicated battery. Just skip the complexity and use proper batteries instead, it’s only a matter of time before battery technology surpasses whatever fuel cell technology can muster in terms of energy density and “refuelling” time.

    1. ggpa says:

      In addition to density and refueling time, one must also consider round trip efficiency, which is another area where the current Hydrogen technology is really bad.

  19. Hyundai seems to be devoting more resources to BEV (announced Dec 2014).

    Toyota seems downright desperate to open all their H2 patents for others to follow (through 2020, anyway).

    1. Rick Danger says:

      Yes, through 2020, when even Toyota will have to throw in the towel on fool cells.

  20. Spec9 says:

    Soo that Elon Musk guy may have been right. Shocking! 😉

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      It has been clear for everyone from the beginning that hydrogen cars are nothing more than Toyota’s ploy to boost their highly profitable Lexus sales. Electric cars are direct competitors for Toyota’s Lexus brand and about half of all profits that Toyota is generating, comes from the Lexus sales. Therefore it is very much in Toyota’s interests that they are going all out lobbying against electric cars. And their ridiculous hydrogen car project is just a tool to lobby against electric cars.

    2. Justin W. says:

      Honestly, I think Elon is making his own luck. The success of the Leaf is partially due to the mainstream appeal of the Model S. Since most folks can’t afford one they look to the BEV they can afford. With so many Leafs on the road and the generally positive customer satisfaction, EVs are quickly becoming a big deal. Tesla Model S was in the top 10 most Google’d cars for 2014. One way to be right is to change the industry and ensure your opinion prevails.

  21. Nix says:

    Fuel cell vehicles will be the car of the future, right up until it becomes the outdated technology of the past — left behind by next gen batteries.

    Unfortunately the right wing rage machine will try to paint the failure of fuel cell vehicles as a waste of tax payer dollars, and somehow proof that everybody should just keep driving gas cars forever. They will use it against all green energy technology, and try to hang the failure on the shoulders of all environmentalists, lumping everything together. Just like they did when one thin-film solar panel producer lost out when traditional solar panels beat out their thin-film panels in the market due to quickly dropping prices making the more efficient standard solar panels the clear winner over thin-film. (Solyndra)

    I’m not looking forward to having to defend against a bunch of azz-hats trying to throw everything green under the bus just because cars with batteries that are better than fuel cells beats out H2 vehicles in the market. Can we just stop the natural-gas fueled fuel cell madness now?

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      Hydrogen fuel cell technology can never ever compete even present day batteries EVER. No need for “next gen batteries”.

      Batteries are already cheap enough for electric car revolution. If affordable electric car cost today 35 000 dollars, then with these “next gen batteries” it would cost something like 33 000 dollars. 2000 dollars is hardly a deal breaker.

  22. Djoni says:

    And the next one to get off the wagon is….

  23. Three Electrics says:

    If the regulatory environment changes as anticipated and there is a tax placed upon carbon, hydrogen may well beat electric in the short term, economically. In most US states electricity comes from coal. Coal -> BEV produces more carbon than steam reformed hydrogen -> FCEV. Until those states replace their coal with an alternative BEVs may not be the greenest solution. And long term, solar may make energy so cheap that everyone may be producing hydrogen from electrolysis simply as a dirt cheap way to store it all.

    1. I think coal is about 30-ish percent of the U.S. electric grid.

      In places where EV’s are actually sold, like the west coast of the U.S., coal is very scarce, indeed.

      It will ALWAYS be more efficient to use those west coast renewable electricity from hydro, wind, solar, etc to go directly into batteries that power cars.

  24. John MB says:

    Imagine A BMW i3 With 4 Times The Battery Capacity…A DREAM COME TRUE!