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Fuel cell cars getting closer

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Posted: 3 am ET

Talk of hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars has been going on for decades without any increase in the number of cars being produced, but several recent announcements indicate alternative fuel technology is in America's future.

This past week, Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said the automaker is moving forward with its commitment to produce a fuel cell electric sedan for sale in the United States in 2015. He made the comment to reporters after a speech at the Economic Club of Washington D.C., according to the industry publication Automotive News.

It's not just Toyota

General Motors also recently announced it is expanding its collaboration with the U.S. Army to develop hydrogen fuel cell technology. The two will jointly test new hydrogen fuel-cell-related materials and designs before using them to build full-scale fuel cell propulsion systems. In July, GM and Honda announced a partnership to develop a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies by about 2020. General Motors has been working on fuel cell technology since 1964.

The latest push for fuel cell technology is part of a larger plan at the federal level to reduce the nation's dependence on oil and to reduce the environmental impact of emissions from gasoline-powered cars. Some states are putting weight behind similar efforts, particularly to build an infrastructure to refuel these cars. Earlier this week, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that extends programs accelerating the turnover of older cars and invests in the development and deployment of advanced technologies. The bill includes up to a $20 million annual commitment to fund at least 100 hydrogen fuel stations.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter: @SheDrives.

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October 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Hydrogen in quantity and purity is hard to get, the distrubition adds to the problem. I would suggest a natural gas fuel cell such the type used in the "Bloom Box". Although natural gas is currently a fossal fuel, it can be generated from many carbon neutral sources. Storage and safety for vehicels has already been addressed and should be as safe as hydrogen. All in all a good article. Thank you

October 09, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Has it occurred to anyone that this could have come about years ago? Do you think the oil industry and all those billionaires that are invested in oil will let this happen? Our US citizens are so immature and dense. Europe and the Orient is way ahead of us. Take a look at their railroad system, which they have had for years. Our railroad system is pathetic.

October 09, 2013 at 10:13 pm

It seems like if it were to be hydrogen powered it might pose a danger to mechanics. Will it be a threat to mechanics?

Walter Burnette
October 09, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Hydrogen is the way to is the very best energy,and I predict that hydrogen is our future and will come about real soon.

clean 44
October 09, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Big Oil To Big to let this happen? Which really SUCKS!

October 09, 2013 at 7:51 pm


October 09, 2013 at 7:46 pm

A related post that seemed well - you make the call..
•Is hydrogen a better bet than electric for tomorrow’s car?

Fuel Cells convert Hydrogen to Electricity case you want to know. This is where we should have been investing plenty of dollars in Fuel Cell research - they are efficient but are costly and degrade over time - however one company claims to have over come these obstacles - lets see how it pans out.

Hank Hilltopper
October 09, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Hydrogen-powered vehicles were suggested to the US Army several times over the past 30-40 years. Why the interest by the US Army now? Was Eisenhower correct?