We’ve used hydrogen to power vehicles into the sky above, and now the fuel source is coming to help us move around the earth too.
Well, the price you’ll pay for it will still be astronomical, but the technology has well and truly made it into the mainstream.
You’ll soon be able to nip to your local Honda dealer and—at least if live in the US—pick up a hydrogen powered Honda Clarity for a mere $60,000. You do have to live in California, and you can’t legally drive it outside of the state, and don't forget you may need to be screened beforehand, but these factors doesn't seem to be stopping people.
With leasing providing more affordable options for drivers, and car manufacturers desperately trying to shift new models off the showroom floors, hydrogen stations in California are already experiencing large queues. And it turns out there are reasons aplenty.
Hydrogen Powered Vehicles in 2016
With the current low price of oil it would make sense to think there would be a drop of interest in alternative, more costly fuels. But as Hyundai spokesperson Derek Joyce says, the people who are applying for hydrogen powered vehicles are not interested in the cheapest option: they’re interested in the most environmentally friendly. And with zero-emissions, hydrogen power is up there with the greenest of the green vehicles.
With such ecological benefits, high prices and restrictive application processes seem to be blocking the way for widespread adoption. But the technology is still in its early stages, and manufacturers have to be careful promoting their vehicles to ensure the demand for hydrogen fuel doesn’t outstrip its supply.
According to Green Car Reports, even though there are very few hydrogen vehicles on the road at the moment, customers are already complaining of hydrogen shortages and closed stations,
Thankfully hydrogen fuel cells have a relatively short refuelling time in comparison to electric vehicles—around 3 to 5 minutes—but once you have a queue of a couple of cars the wait soon adds up.
This is just a temporary glitch that California hopes to eradicate with their plans to install another 51 stations by the end of 2016, reaching a total of 91 stations. This is a bold move and a huge bet on what the future holds for hydrogen powered vehicles.
What Does The Future Hold For Hydrogen Powered Vehicles?
When assessing the future of the automotive industry, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, is one of the best people you can learn from. However, Musk currently stands alone in his opposition to hydrogen power in a field of manufacturers who all have fuel cell vehicles firmly placed in their company’s roadmaps.
The majority back hydrogen vehicles due to their ability to offer something electric vehicles simply cannot. With electric vehicles, the bigger the car, the bigger, and heavier, the battery you need to power it. With hydrogen powered vehicles, no extra weight or space is needed to power larger vehicles, you simply need to add more fuel cells. That’s the amazing thing about fuel cell technology.
Honda and Hyundai will both have vehicles available to lease or buy this year, with Mercedes-Benz due to offer an SUV in 2018, BMW a luxury sedan in 2020, and Lexus with plans to release a vehicle, but with no dates as of yet.
Hydrogen powered vehicles are yet to come to the UK, but If you’d like to find out more about our other leasing options, leave us a comment, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us 01480 414541.