Many of us might not know it, but there’s a heated race going on behind closed doors. A race to determine the fabric of the future of human transportation.
Most of us are familiar with electric cars, and some are maybe even in the know about the pros and cons of driving electric.
Slightly less well-known is that hydrogen powered cars are speeding quickly into the fast lane, and many predict that a clear winner will soon emerge from dueling technologies– just like Betamax and VHS, the struggle to be the dominant technology is on . . . . which route will you take?
What is The Difference Between Hydrogen and Electric?
In 2015, personal transportation, like many luxuries, must be weighed as much by comfort, ease, and affordability as it is by the environmental footprint.
While both hydrogen and electric cars offer many advantages to our dependence on oil, they still have their ups and downs. Although battery-powered, electric cars win the prize for “lowest carbon footprint,” they offer many inconveniences. In fact, electric cars are not yet optimized for driving distances more than 200 miles, and they require significant charging time to make the next trek, notes “Green Care Reports.”
The thought of frantically phoning your car accident attorney after being rear-ended with a dead battery sounds terrible, but green mover-and-shaker Elon Musk invites drivers to think of the long-term, or lack thereof, viability of hydrogen fuel cells.
Musk, for Tesla, recently turned his nose up at the viability of mass-producing hydrogen cell-fueled cars. Musk remarks that, no matter what type of fuel a car uses- be it hydrogen or gasoline– that fuel requires stable upkeep and storage.
Storage and transportation will suck up tremendous hydrogen resources, and the energy spent compressing or liquefying hydrogen is a major loss of resources, Musk laments. Although both camps of alternative energy may make sound environmental and comfort-based arguments, the road gets bumpier when major brand backing becomes a major factor in tech domination.
Who is Placing the Bets and What Do They Mean for Us?
Green Car Reports surmises that the true test of car tech popularity will probably end up being in the hands of the consumer via open road tests. This, however, doesn’t stop major manufacturers from placing their bets with their checkbooks. Toyota, in the wake of the success of their RAV4 EV, a hydrogen crossover that meets EPA requirements, has perhaps been the most openly pro-hydrogen manufacturer in the market.
Kia, Hyundai and Volkswagen, on the other hand, have put time and funds behind both electric and hydrogen-powered cars. Mercedes, Nissan and Ford have either delayed or shown less interest in steering their future efforts toward alternative fuel sources, leaving many to speculate that the first fuel-cell powered cars will be widely available in 2020 courtesy of Toyota. Although the Hyundai Tucson is anticipating fierce competition with the Prius as a ubiquitous crossover car.
Although there’s no clear winner yet, there is an unavoidable and monumental shift in how we move from point A to point B on the horizon. No matter which side of the argument you or your wallet is situated on, getting into gear and behind the wheels of change begins with an open, environmentally conscious mind before we can leave gas in the dust.