It’s pretty likely that electric motors will eventually replace internal combustion engines as the means to power personal transportation – cars and trucks – but the optimal means for the care and feeding of those electric motors is still up in the air. Tesla is all about the battery, while Toyota and others are betting heavily on hydrogen as the energy source for future cars and trucks.
Right now we’re in a transition phase – can you feel it? – where electric motors are now becoming a viable alternative to the traditional ICE infrastructure, and cars like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S get as much attention as a new Mustang GT. All of these cars – in fact ALL cars – require some sort of energy source, either a battery in physical form, in the form of a container of potential BTUs that is liquid fuel. The other option is an onboard generation system. The Hydrogen Fuel Cell is slightly different in that the chemical reaction creating electricity isn’t combustive but through the combination of hydrogen with an oxygenator with the waste product being water. That sounds awesome in theory, but the logistics and expense in manufacturing and storing the hydrogen have so far stymied this being a cost-efficient option.
It looks like Toyota thinks that will changes, and just like they did with gas/electric hybrids they are taking an early stab at hydrogen fuel cells with the Mirai production car. Other companies have taken serious steps toward a hydrogen future, including Honda, Hyundai, BMW, and Mercedes Benz. Do you think that those efforts will be the road to the future? Or, is hydrogen way a dead end? What do you think will be the automotive fuel of the future?