Toyota’s Bob Carter Takes Shots at Tesla’s Elon Musk, Nissan and Volkswagen in Fuel-Cell Versus EV War of Words

JAN 16 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 69

Toyota RAV4 EV - Powered by Tesla

Toyota RAV4 EV – Powered by Tesla

Oh Toyota…aren’t you even aware of the fact that you have the Scion iQ EV, Prius Plug-In Hybrid and RAV4 EV on the road?

Is it possible you’ve forgotten your deal with Tesla Motors too?

Tesla's Influence Can Clearly Be Seen In The Toyota RAV4 EV

Tesla’s Influence Can Clearly Be Seen In The Toyota RAV4 EV

Toyota’s Bob Carter made some statements at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show that I’m certain he already regrets.

Bob Carter is Toyota’s senior vice president for automotive operations.  Carter was Toyota’s talking head at a press conference held in conjunction with the 2014 NAIAS.

As Reuters reports:

“Carter said “naysayers” who have spoken out against the [FCEV] technology would be proven wrong and referred to Elon Musk, founder of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan Motor Co, and former Volkswagen executive Jonathan Browning by name.”

Why in the world is Carter attempting to strike up a battle with the heads of 2 of the world’s largest automakers and Elon Musk, America’s most beloved CEO?

Here’s what Carter stated:

“Personally I don’t really care what Elon and Carlos and Jonathan have to say about fuel cells. It’s very reminiscent of 1998, 1999 when we first introduced the Prius.”

If Carter doesn’t really care, then why even mention those fuel cell “naysayers?”

Truth is, Carter does care and so does Toyota.

Toyota has a lot riding on the success of its fuel-cell program.  Billions of dollars are involved too, so Toyota has a lot to lose if fuel-cell vehicles again flop.

Toyota's Advanced Tech Vehicles

Toyota’s Advanced Tech Vehicles

Reuters states:

We're Certain This Station Wasn't Cheap

We’re Certain This Station Wasn’t Cheap

“Toyota’s Carter addressed the [FCEV] infrastructure issue on Tuesday, arguing that the number of hydrogen fueling stations would grow in time, helped by private-public partnerships such as the one established in the state of California.”

“By placing stations in better locations, Carter estimated that if all cars in California were running on hydrogen that the state’s fueling needs could be met with 15 percent of the nearly 10,000 gasoline stations currently in operation.”

But electric sockets are everywhere folks and installing a public chargers costs a mere fraction of the hundreds of thousands of dollars each hydrogen fueling station does.

Quoting Carter:

“Ten years from now, I have a hunch our fuel cell vehicle will be viewed in similar terms. We truly believe it has the same potential as the first Prius.”

Ten year from now plug-in vehicles will be so mainstream that we hope the fuel-cell vehicle dies off forever – at least for passenger vehicles.

Source: Reuters

Categories: Nissan, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

69 Comments on "Toyota’s Bob Carter Takes Shots at Tesla’s Elon Musk, Nissan and Volkswagen in Fuel-Cell Versus EV War of Words"

newest oldest most voted

Goes to show, any moron can become a vp.

He is not a moron. What he is doing is intentional and persistent trash-talking to justify Toyota’s position. “Morons” are those listening and agreeing with him.

I don’t think it shows anything. I’m with Elon in believing that fuel cells are just a marketing ploy to make it look like you’re doing something green.

If you can make fuel cells anywhere near $0.50/watt, which is still way too expensive to compete with EVs or PHEVs, then why aren’t you revolutionizing the electricity generation market? You can pair the cell with steam reformers to deal a deathblow to Bloom Energy and create distributed power for everyone. You can use a solar array to electrolyze water, store the H2, and feed it into a fuel cell during the evening peak or whenever else it’s needed, turning intermittent solar power (less than $1/watt for raw panels) into valuable dispatchable power (which would more than make up for the electrolysis and fuel cell conversion losses).

Why would that be cheaper than direct storage in a battery? Electolyzing water to store energy has been a looser for every driving source except perhaps nuclear power, and even then it’s debatable.

What a Moron, everyone can see that EV’s are the way to go. What’s worse is that he has clearly forgotten his company’s large share holding in Tesla and the fact that Toyota has an increasing lineup of plugin vehicles just waiting to be purchased, what a fool! He’s made headlines across the world, lined the US government up to build hydrogen refueling stations (and probably fund R&D into their next power train), reinforced the “Americanism” of the Tesla brand, highlighted the enormous scale of the gasoline network whilst making it sound outdated, badly planned and obsolete. Wow all that in three short paragraphs, I am sooooo glad I am not as stupid as him, if you need me I’ll be purchasing an “all” American Tesla that is made mostly of Japanese components to a German design. I’m not even thinking about a Volt, i3 or i8 right now, in fact I am so angry I have completely forgotten about all plugin vehicles with range extenders. I don’t actually think any of the cars discussed here (BEV, PHEV, FCEV, Rex) are bad I like all of them and they will all suit different peoples needs, improve the economy and generally… Read more »

15% of 10,000 gas stations is still 1500 hydrogen fueling stations. How many exist currently? 10? 15? Until the hydrogen infrastructure exists, it ain’t happening, baby.

Additionally, the hydrogen fueling stations are EXPENSIVE. They must have cryogenic storage for the hydrogen on-site. Storing hydrogen at near absolute zero temperatures ain’t cheap.

Electricity already has an infrastructure. You’re using it now. It’s available almost everywhere. Electricity doesn’t need to be stored at near absolute zero temperatures and doesn’t suffer the tremendous energy losses hydrogen has for extraction, transport, and storage.

And why would we need less Hydrogen stations than Gas, when Hydrogen cars have close to the same range as Gas cars. Seems to me, if the Gas station model has been working, then Hydrogen would need to match up, unless the those cars can do 5 times the distance on a fill up. Battery Electric, Hydrogen extended EV anyone?

There’s already a Renault Kangoo Z.E. in France with a fuel cell extender. 20kW cell, a $1 per Watt. … Added on top of a Kangoo Z.E.? They’re better off putting a Chameleon charge on it.

+1 for you, man. I completely forgot that the Hydrogen must be liquefied and/or pressurised at high pressure and low temps. The energy needed to keep Hydrogen below its -259 Celsius melting point? Either that or maintaining over 10,000 psi. Ain’t sounding cheap it definitely is!

I’ve heard of cases like this before where people try to do stupid things at work to try and get fired because they don’t like resigning. 🙂

NPNS!
Volt#671

What a waste. Toyota was prescient with the Prius (priuscient?) and they were told fool cells were the next step by somebody. Fuel cells aren’t the next step after half-electrification. The next step after half-electrification is full-electrification. Fuel cells are the step after that…maybe, some people guess. Fuel cells are a long off probability. Electrification is a certainty.

Fuel cells are a step backwards.

+1

O’ yes. I’d hate to see this from Toyota. But, what did we expect? We knew well for a while that even Ford loved their Focus EV more than Toyota’s RAV4 EV, or its neglected bastard-child iQ EV. Makes me question has anyone told Carter about Toyota’s cooperation with Tesla in 2010.

As we’ve learnt from GM’s EV1, public appearance is all too important to loose and I think that’s what got quite a lot of people to shun GM and adopt the Prius, becoming Toyota customers.

Why FCEVs will lose to EVs: Economics. FCEVs have the endlessly mentioned infrastructure build out costs, and EVs are only getting better as battery prices continue to plunge and more companies start making the vehicles.

Why this is good news: Environmental. We have no choice but to dramatically clean up our electricity supply, which makes on-the-road EVs instantly cleaner, without the owners doing anything or even knowing it happened. FCEVs will only get mass amounts of H2 from one of two sources:

– Electrolysis, which consumes a huge amount of electricity and will put a much greater demand on our clean electricity capacity.

– Reforming of natural gas, which produces (surprise!) CO2 as a byproduct.

I’m convinced that car companies are pursuing FCEVs to [1] get grant money and other gov’t goodies, [2] greenwash, and [3] hedge their bets in case the wildly unlikely happens and EV batteries suddenly stop dropping in price. Once EVs drop enough in price, FCEVs will disappear from these conversations just as the compressed air cars did.

Also produces methane as a byproduct which is even worse than CO2.

As a Gen II Rav4 EV owner I can’t stand Toyota, the reason I purchased the car (used so Toyota did not get the Zev credit) was because of the “Tesla inside” tech until they change their ways/views on EVs I will never purchase another Toyota.

That’s the harsh reaction I was afraid of from drivers. If you’re leasing your RAV4 EV, tell us what happens when the lease ends after 3 years. You’d be the first to tell us. I’m rather grimly expecting that the RAV4 will be confiscated like what infamously happened a decade ago and Toyota would then offer the FCEV on a similar lease. It’s likely because Toyota still has to comply with the whole Californian Compliance Car law.
If so, hopefully you’ll be able to keep it, like the Gen I RAV4 EV, as another reminder to Toyota of what actually could’ve worked.

Toyota doesn’t care about the RAV4 EV. They are building exactly 2,400 of them just for ZEV credits, and will halt production the moment they hit that number (some time this spring). They didn’t even bother moving to the new chassis when the gas car version of the RAV4 was updated.

The RAV4 EV is treated like Toyota’s red-headed stepchild. They don’t care if they trash their own Tesla-powered car by bashing Tesla. They are already counting the days until they can cut the cord on selling their 2,400 units and walk away from it.

Should we say it’s just what happened to the 1997 RAV4 EV? The Chinese proverb, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me” is really taking into effect!

I believe that battery technology will out pace fuel cell technology leading to 200-400 AER EVs long before Fuel Cell Inforstructure can be built out. That said, fuel cell technology may be the answer for long haul truckers.

The trucks are already using CNG, and there is a CNG superhighway. Most likely they would get the hydrogen from CNG, so why create another step and lose efficiency. Just burn the CNG. Only other option is to make a fuel cell that runs off CNG directly.

It’s the electric charging infrastructure that’s also outpacing Hydrogen infrastructure! As kdawg, there’s already more appropriate alternatives for them. I personally suggest that electrified rail freight is a better alternative, or like the current locomotives, a parallel hybrid with a powerful engine on CNG at low revs for those large articulated lorries.

For a possible zero emissions transport Hydrogen does seem to fit if electrification isn’t possible. That includes the if electrification isn’t possible on road, rail and obviously sea. Hydrogen should’ve been used for cargo ships a while ago where compact tanks and expensive, compact cells aren’t so important for something like a compact car for commuting.

“As kdawg said”…

A good use for Hydrogen would be for dirigibles, but unlike the Hindenburg, this time in EXd configuration. That is anti-deflagration with triple lining and Helium in between, adapted materials, specific protections and of course incombustible outer skin.
The Hydrogen gives the best possible lift, the lowest cost and can be used as fuel on board as well.
One of the interesting possibilities is to serve as a bulk energy transporter in the form of a combined gas form, liquid form flying hydrogen tanker. The gas form hydrogen gives the lift and the liquid form hydrogen provides the gross of the energy transported.
This would allow access to the energy produced by giant wind generators in Antarctica for example, something that is close to impossible otherwise.
In the same time that kind of huge crafts would be able to transport containers over land in straight line faster that see bound ships.

I don’t see any thing wrong in his statement. He is betting on his horse, just stating he will prove others wrong as , elon. They might have limited development in EV, looking for different technology.This article is squeezing more juice out of nothing. Personally I see Hydrogen will have very limited success.

It’s a perfectly legit article. Very relevant topic.
The problem with his statements is that he is wrong. He’s in his right to say it but he’s also allowed to be wrong.
Toyota’s, Hyundai’s and Honda’s stance on fuel cells is inexplicably stupid.
If if we said we snapped our fingers and created as many hydrogen stations as there are gas stations right now in the world, how would you overcome the additional cost element of the complexity or the 3x lower efficiency compared to battery drive.

It’s pretty amazing how little they have thought it through.
Even Carlos Ghosn has hedged his bets with some bullshit fuel cell agreement with a german automaker. It just goes to show that they are stupid humans like everybody else 🙂
What a world.
Welcome to costco. I love you.

Why Eric hopes “the fuel-cell vehicles dies off forever” is beyond me. Healthy competition between FCEC and battery powered cars will drive development. Everybody wins, irrespective who is the winner.

EV’s competition is the ICE. Fuel cells are nothing but a diversion for transportation.

Fuel cells will revolutionize electricity generation long before they find their way into cars. $1-2 per watt is low enough for industry (or even neighborhoods) to get baseload electricity using natural gas at 5c/kWh (maybe a little higher if it needs to be converted to hydrogen first). The 30kW fuel cell needed for a car, however, will cost $30k-60k at that price.

But also remember that hydrogen is competing with electric by way of fueling stations, especially in California. A great deal will be diverted from public EV charging stations in California to satisfy the whining Toyota’s of the world so as to appear alternative fuel neutral. The sooner these FCEC manufacturers accept reality, the sooner we can concentrate on pure EV batteries and infrastructure.

They are really stubborn, aren’t they? FCEV guys, they all think this means they can run their cars off hydrogen and move away from electric vehicles. The whole majority of these supporters don’t know where these FCEVs will fit in, unaware of what a “compliance car” is. We know they’ll be compliance cars, they’ll just replace the RAV4 EV and Honda Fit EV when their 3 year leases are finished with. They’ll be confiscated away, from their owners (this again) and Toyota and Honda will say to the owners that they can lease their wonderful FCEVs. That is the best scenario, considering that no driver would be disheartened and go else where (any bells ringing), only this time they would be able lease another plug in like a Volt. The fueling infrastructure of more than 60 stations are only planned for the Golden State, built over the years up till 2020, all clustered around the cities (“6 minutes from home”). I love the damn Prius (’04-’09) to the death of me, it is the iconic car that started it all, introduced the whole idea of mass produced alt vehicles to the public, and now in the space of 10 years… Read more »

Fuel cell cars ARE electric cars.
Since you don’t know even that, I couldn’t be bothered reading the rest.

Too bad you can’t fill them up with electricity in your garage every night, like a real battery-electric car. Then you could leave every morning with a full tank.

FCVs are about as electric as a Civic hybrid, you still have to take them to the filling station. The only difference is there are practically no stations, and hydrogen costs more than gas or diesel.

GSP

“Why in the world is Carter attempting to strike up a battle with the heads of 2 of the world’s largest automakers and Elon Musk, America’s most beloved CEO?”
—————–

He’s probably taking a cue from Elon. Controversy = free advertising.

“Toyota’s Carter addressed the [FCEV] infrastructure issue on Tuesday, arguing that the number of hydrogen fueling stations would grow in time, helped by private-public partnerships such as the one established in the state of California.”
——–

This is BS. Build your own stations Toyota.

Eric, You state “hundreds of thousands of dollars each” above. California’s AB 8 approved 220 million dollars, for 100 filling stations. Please correct to “millions of dollars each” 😉

I’d be happier about FCEV if each station didn’t displace what could have been half a dozen Level 3 installs, and if hydrogen itself stood to be competitive on price. Let Toyota, with a bit more cash than Musk, build them on their own. It’s preposterous that FCEV gets this subsidy for stations, while much more versatile L3 electricity infrastructure doesn’t.

I thought it was 68 stations! So its $2.2 mil each for construction.

Well said.

DC fast charging stations are much, much, more useful than hydrogen stations, and way less expensive. As a nice bonus, you can stop for 20-30 minutes and relax or grab a bite, instead of being rushed out in 10 minutes! 🙂

GSP

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

So, Toyota’s got their fuel cell down to 10 cents per Watt?

Otherwise, they’re living in fantasy land.

Also, H2 fuel cells are a joke, solid-oxide fuel cells that take hydrocarbons directly make more sense, as long as they’re at least 60% efficient overall.

Yup, and SOFCs have a multi-trillion dollar world electricity market to serve at $1 per watt first before wasting their time in a car running at 1-2% duty cycle over 15 years.

You would have thought they would have learnt from the utter failure they had seeking to introduce hybrids when everyone told them it couldn’t be done, wouldn’t you?

No doubt the 500 engineers, some of them the same guys who brought us the Prius, can’t in fact add up and missed the important information you have.

Fuel cells are the technology of the future.

Fuel cells will always be the technology of the future.

Meanwhile, why not buy a new Prius while you wait for your future fuel cell vehicle (or for your flying car they promised back in the 1950’s — whichever comes first)?

/sarc

And if any FCVs are ever sold, the market will show us if they are more popular than BEVs or ICE cars, or not. I would bet my 401k…NOT.

GSP

The thing that is wrong with this is that they have officially said that hydrogen fuel even when it’s in full swing will cost a few dollars a gallon more then gasloin which means you are looking at something that will be $5.00 to $6.00 a gallon or litter depending how they are going to try and sell it to everyone. Along with that they are going to want hundreds if not billions of dollars to build this hydrogen fueling system in California along with large refineries and special tanks along with pipes. What is the 900 pound Gorilla is that already you can plug in a EV for a 1/3 of the cost of getting fuel at a existing gas station and they expect this thing which is far more expensive to compete ageist something that is already cheaper and tearing about the oil system? When the EV’s start taking off they are going to take out billions of dollars of tax payer funded hydrogen with them along with the tens of billions all ready pored into the hydrogen project. I as the tax payer would at least ask that none of our money is pored into the hydrogen… Read more »

In other words, Toyota is saying “Don’t buy any EV’s or PHEV’s from anyone else. Buy a Prius while we continue to drag out fuel cells as long as we possibly can.”

So remember kids, Don’t buy an EV or PHEV. Buy a Prius, because Toyota still wants to keep making lots of money off of them for as long as they possibly can.

/sarc

Yes, in ten years time your fuel cell vehicle may be viewed like the first Prius . . . an obscure new technology vehicle that sells a mere few hundred. Yes . . . a few hundred sold tens years from now. Sounds about right.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

The first Priuses didn’t cost >$100,000 to buy (or were lease-only)..

Toyota is mad because they miscalculated so badly and now they are way, way behind in the EV game. Without massive government investment, hydrogen infrastructure simply will not materialize, unless Toyota plans a Tesla-style Supercharger refueling scheme, and that is way, way more difficult than pouring a slab, running some high voltage lines, and planting a few expensive charging stations in the ground.

Toyota has a fantastic vehicle in the RAV4 EV, but their love and support of the car is appalling. The VP’s statement just solidifies the suspicions I have as a Toyota EV owner: it’s an ugly stepchild. I plan to sell it as soon as another 150-mile car comes along, and this will absolutely be my last Toyota.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Shoulda spring for the 40kWh Model S before that option went away :/

When someone uses a lot of words to say very little it makes me think they are trying to convince themselves about what they’re saying, when actually they have doubts.

Let’s count the time from the introduction of the Tesla Model S to the time that you are able to drive across the country using only SuperChargers. Then, let’s count the time from the introduction of the Toyota FCEV to the time that you can drive across the country with only permanent hydrogen fueling stations. I’d bet that it will take Bob’s “private-public partnerships” at least 5X longer than Tesla to accomplish that. So far all the hydrogen long distance drives have required “chase trucks” carrying the hydrogen.

They’ve been pushing, or should I say, forcing Hydrogen powered cars on us since I was a kid. So If they are so compelling, how come I still can’t buy any? Since Natural Gas is so much more expensive in other parts of the world other than Russia, USA, and Canada, where is there going to be the world-wide market to reformulate methane into hydrogen, since making H2 here would involved excessive shipping costs to the rest of the world? With Fukushima Daiichi basically in the process of killing the entire Pacific Ocean (!!!), I don’t see any enthusiasm for ultra-modern Nuclear Power Plants, the only way to really get dissociated Hydrogen directly without going through a methane or electric stage. So dreams of low cost hydrogen are exactly that at this point: Dreams. Unless there is never ending largess from major governments MAKING hydrogen work (granted, if they shovel enough money toward anything they can force it to work), but I just don’t see John Q. Public clamoring for hydrogen cars. At least electricity is usually cheaper than Gasoline. Usually by several times. I’m afraid I can’t see Hydrogen ever being able to make the same statement. If companies… Read more »

Perhaps for similar reasons to those that meant that for 100 years there were limited numbers of battery electric cars?

The technology has to reach a state of readiness to market.
Neither battery cars nor fuel cell cars had the industrial chemistry, and computer assisted production engineering needed to make them practical until recently.

Fuel cell cars are a bit behind battery cars in the technological curve, but improving faster.

I guess what I was asking for, DaveMart, is a bit of ‘green eyeshade’ accounting information as to the current, and realistic market price of hydrogen.

I don’t see it as getting cheap anytime soon without a huge gov’t subsidy. Can you provide some hard numbers here?

Too much conversion processes just to get the final output of electricity.

No thanks on the Fools Cell.

By the end of this year 2014, Tesla’s supercharger network will be be enabling EV travel accross the country, free and zero emissions. In real life people will still be recharging at their hotel etc, but that won’t change the reality that the US will be open for EV travel. Perhaps the last time 4 wheel vehicles traversed the country without using oil products for fuel was the time of the covered wagons.

Hydrogen fuel vehicles, street lights never went to hydrogen, neither will cars, both will be electric.

Uh, more like pretty much in the next couple of weeks you will be able to drive from LA to NYC on SCs alone. You can do it right now with hypermiling techniques for a couple of stretches.

It’s like the old guy sitting around the pickle barrel telling everyone who will listen how good his dog old blue is. “He can hunt with the best of ’em”, old blue moans and raises his head slightly, and sets it back down. Meanwhile the loud baying from out side continues, the real hunting dogs are about their business. The dwindling audience seems unmoved. The old man grunts and spits a wad of tobacco into the spittoon and says: “Just you wait, you will see.. dadburnit!’!

The only point where hydrogen fuel cells really start to make sense, is when there is soooooo much solar and wind power being generated, that we need to store the excess energy somewhere. Then the excess electricity can be used to generate hydrogen.

Wake me from my grave when that happens, and I’ll gladly buy a fuel cell vehicle.

Yes, but on the way to that point, there will be intermittent excess electricity. The question is, will anybody run an electrolyzer part-time only when there is “excess” green power? I think the capital cost is so high that it would be better to make hydrogen constantly and just try to get your electricity cost down as much as you can.

I don’t see that anybody else here mentioned the solar catalytic systems that researchers are working on now. Basically, you make a solar panel that takes in water and lets out 02 and H2. It works, but the lifetime of the catalytic material is too short. As soon as they make one that lasts 5-10 years without touching it, the cost could be quite high and still be feasible. It doesn’t really matter what the solar conversion efficiency is, it just has to have a reasonable capital cost relative to its kg/month output and just keep working.

As many know, you can directly refuel an EV by charging from solar panels. Come up with a way to provide compressed hydrogen by direct electrolysis from solar panels and I’ll buy one. But, don’t try to sell me on using reforming OIL or NatGas to create H2 and then distribution via tanker trucks or pipe lines . That’s not an advancement, that’s just more of what we have now using gasoline instead of H2. And, it stays under the control of the Big Oil.

I just read through the whole list and am amazed to learn that not one of the respondents remembers THE HINDENBERG! Google it, and you’ll have yet another argument against “fool cells”.
Another point not made is the maintenance for these complicated machines. Maybe Toyota is anxious about losing the after market, as the populace abandons ICE cars, and so a good replacement might be fuel cells.

What a ludicrous attack on Toyota in this article!

Perhaps the author did not notice that Musk has persistently trash-talked fuel cells, and VW have that as their latest target for negativity, after trashing battery electric cars for years?

What goes around comes around, and battery only fan boys should stop whining.

Toyota has a rather good record in introducing revolutionary technology into the car industry, when others said what they were attempting was impossible and would never work.

When Musk speaks out against FCEVs, he always backs up his points by stating technical reasons about efficiency and performance. I can’t imagine him dismissing FCEVs without having researched them extensively. So he must have a good reason for doing so, other than the fact that he is running a BEV company. He’s running a BEV company not because it’s easy, but because that’s the best solution he knows of. I’m sure that if he knew a way to make FCEVs work efficiently and economically, he would do it.

Do you always believe what someone who has one product to offer you and not another one says?
Toyota can build both, and think that fuel cells are more practical.
They continue to invest heavily in battery research, but it is proving difficult to obtain the hoped for increases in energy density and reductions in cost.
The cheap car Musk was promising now seems to be for 2017, which I believe is something of a delay.
I am not one to crow over that, unlike some who welcome any setback real or fancied for fuel cell cars, as I support progress in both fields and ALL types of electric cars.
Just the same it is proving more difficult than hoped to provide good range at reasonable cost with BEVs.
That is why Nissan are selling a fifth as many as they projected.

Do I always… No. But in this case I trust Musk more than someone from Toyota.

Fuel Cells could have some interest as a range extender because they run silently, but the Hydrogen fuel should be replaced by bioethanol in a direct ethanol fuel cell. That at least would combine renewability, convenient liquid fuel, lower cost and really long range. Unfortunately, except perhaps Acta, no one has really been working on those cells. Some did on methanol fuel cells but that is a toxic fuel even if it has some advantages like reversibility. In the mean time Aluminum air range extender batteries are now more likely to fill the gap.

Mr Eric Loveday, I can see you are an pure electric car aficionado! But I have news for you…Hydrogen powered FCVs will be the future! It takes 3-5 minutes to fuel up a hydrogen car (with the same range or exceeding range of current gasoline cars), while it takes 8 hours to re-charge an electric vehicle with a smaller range number!

I do not see why FCVs will not be a success…They only need to figure out the best and cheapest way to produce hydrogen!