In Vancouver, Canada, we’ve had the longest-running gonna-be-a-success-any-day fuel cell company in history, Ballard Power Systems, which has been touting the advantages of fuel-cell powered cars and buses for decades.
Literally. Since I was in high school.
So it was interesting to see Elon Musk come out and just say it: “Fuel cells are so bullshit.”
(Start the video at about 29 minutes in.)
Fuel cells, Musk says, are essentially a marketing thing that even the companies building them don’t really believe in.
“If you take best case of [fuel cells], it doesn’t even equal the current state of the art in lithium-ion batteries,” Musk said at a Tesla event in Germany. “So there’s no way for it to be a workable technology.”
And, of course, fuel cells require a massive hydrogen distribution system, which Musk mentioned — in Germany, home of the infamous Hindenburg blimp — is quite a dangerous gas.
“It’s suitable for the upper stage of rockets,” he joked. “But not for cars.
Of course, electric has done very well for Musk. His electric car company, Tesla, has built what Consumer Reports calls the “best car” it has ever reviewed, and has seen its stock jump to a significant fraction of the much larger and older General Motors after recent successful quarters.
The next step for Tesla is an electric vehicle we can all afford — which Musk says he’s working on.
Hat tip: Wired