Depending on whom you ask, the future of fuel could still go many different ways. Our favorite EV entrepreneur Elon Musk is obviously strongly in favor of battery electric vehicles, though that’s not enough for Silicon Valley’s favorite son. No, he’s gone on record as saying hydrogen fuel cells are “bullshit”, and he has since elaborated why he has a problem with fuel cells.
Business Insider quotes Musk as saying;
“Even the best theoretical fuel cell doesn’t compete with batteries. It doesn’t seem like the right move.”
Bold words indeed, though they aren’t without weight. Recent analysis of hydrogen fuel cell technology revealed that it takes just as much energy to produce a gallon-equivalent of hydrogen as it does gasoline.Think about it; you’re using electricity to produce hydrogen, whereas electric vehicles just use said electricity; no energy-intensive conversion process necessary.
Yes, there has been talk about building solar-powered hydrogen fueling stations that are fully self-contained, but the technology is years, perhaps even decades away from being ready. Also, the infrastructure to transport hydrogen simply doesn’t exist yet, whereas just about every building in America is connected to the electrical grid.
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles don’t make sense on any level, except that they offer a comparable refill time to a gasoline vehicles. But Tesla’s Superchargers could bring the recharge time down to just 5 minutes in the not-too-distant future. What do fuel cell vehicles have going for them then?
A whole lotta nothin’, that’s what.