‘What’s next?’ and ‘How can I move beyond a hybrid?’ ”
Toyota, Honda and Hyundai investing big in hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars
POSTED: 04/14/14, 7:18 PM
California will be a major proving ground for hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars in the next several years, representatives from five auto manufacturers, including Toyota and Honda, said Monday at a panel discussion in Torrance.
The push for the new cars is connected to California regulations that require carmakers, by 2025, to make sure that 15 percent of all cars they sell are zero-emissions vehicles.
One of the earliest market hydrogen-powered entrants will be the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, which will be available for lease at some Southern California dealers later this spring. It can be leased for $499 a month for 36 months with $2,999 down. Toyota and Honda both plan to release similar cars next year.
But there are short-term drawbacks. At first, the cars will be more expensive than similar gas-powered models. And there are currently only nine hydrogen fueling stations in California, with another 19 now being designed or built. More are being planned.
But Stephen Ellis, Honda’s manager for fuel cell vehicle marketing, said California consumers, who have embraced the hybrid car, may react similarly to the new technology.
“What we have is this group of people already ... saying, ‘What’s next?’ and ‘How can I move beyond a hybrid?’ ” he said
"But there are short-term drawbacks. At first, the cars will be more expensive than similar gas-powered models. "
Yeah, I heard that back in late 90's early 2000's, and I lost a ton of money because I believed the hype. GM had plans to invest $1 billion in fuel cell research, so I figured they were on to something and I could ignore all the nay-sayers. I wonder if that had any effect on their bankruptcy filing several years later (Ford also researched it, but not as strongly). Hopefully they've learned something from the past 15 years, I know I have.