Nissan and Hyundai are among automakers willing to putting fuel-cell vehicles into production.
There’s an ‘up-side’ and a ‘down-side’ to the venture.
The good news:
The energy produced by a fuel cell stack, meanwhile, could be used to run the same sort of motor drive system found in today’s electric vehicles. But, since a tank of hydrogen could readily be refilled in a matter of minutes – rather than the hours it takes to charge up an electric vehicle – proponents often referred to the fuel cell as a “refillable battery.”
The primary problems:
- While hydrogen is abundant, it is always found in a chemical form, such as the hydrocarbons that make up gasoline, requiring lots of energy to free up the gas;
- Distributing hydrogen is technically complex and there’s no mass infrastructure in place to rival today’s gasoline station network;
- Storing hydrogen onboard a vehicle is costly and difficult; and
- Fuel cells remain expensive and difficult to mass produce.