Major Automakers Jump on Fuel Cell Bandwagon

fuel_cells_hydrogen2a

J.D. Power and Associates - February 11, 2013

Several automakers have chosen to form partnerships and alliances to speed up development of affordable vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Find out what’s driving these collaborations.

In the past few weeks, a number of major automakers have upped the ante on fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) research by forming new partnerships and alliances to speed up the development of affordable vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Combining research will shorten the time it will take to develop fuel cell cars and should also help reduce the costs, which currently are very high.

Ford Motor Co., Renault-Nissan and Daimler Groups recently announced an alliance to share in developing affordable cars that can run on hydrogen by 2017. The plan is to develop a common fuel cell system that will reduce costs through scalability.

[Mike Van Nieuwkuyk, executive director J.D. Power and Associates Global Automotive]: “From my perspective, FCVs will encounter many of the same issues that confront Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), specifically issues with price, infrastructure (availability) and range.”

However, Van Nieuwkuyk also points out, “I do think that FCVs seem to have a clearer line of sight on achieving driving range and possibly even pricing that is comparable to ICE vehicles based on the claims of progress that are being discussed. A disadvantage that I see is that consumer trust will be an issue for the FCV, an area where the BEV is gaining greater acceptance.”

Read more on the benefits and challenges of hydrogen fuel cells.