Will Fuel Cell Vehicles Succeed in the Market? Of Course Not

I’ll be 75 years old in 2030, so it’s likely that I’ll still be around to validate what I’m about to say: the idea, expressed in this article, that fuel cell vehicles will grow to $73.8 billion in sales (not $74 billion mind you) by that date – or any other — is preposterous.

The world will not be retrofitting its fuel delivery infrastructure (3.5 million square miles in the continental U.S. alone) to serve up hydrogen, nor will we be generating vast amounts of hydrogen by electrolyzing water or reforming methane.  Why not?  Because electricity is already ubiquitous, battery prices are coming down, and electric vehicles represent the capability to integrate more renewable energy (wind in particular) into our grid mix.

Add on top of that the concept of consumer acceptance, or, in this case, let’s call it “consumer repulsion.”  The auto market is just now, after several years, realizing that EVs make sense – and here’s a case where the driver can unplug his toaster and plug in his car.   How comfortable do you think the car-buying public is going to be with a fuel that exists only in a few places?  I know people who think propane-based cars will become popular.  That’s equally preposterous.

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