Riversimple, a small UK-based company, has designed a tiny, relatively cheap, and remarkably open-source hydrogen fuel cell car. The car will not be available for sale, but people will be able to lease it, with the lease agreement including maintenance, fuel, and the eventual recycling of the car. This unique business model allows for the company to manage sustainability for the life of the car. Check out the video below to see the car in action:
Hydrogen, of course is still hard to make, and there aren't many sustainable hydrogen production options. My lab is working on ways to make hydrogen using synthetic biology, which may some day be the key to renewable hydrogen fuel.
But in lieu of small, lightweight and high energy density batteries this will do in the meantime. It addresses the issue of "charge" time quite nicely. I wonder what the range per tank of hydrogen happens to be?
Fuel cells are the most likely outcome from the Hydrogen revolution. Running an auto on Hydrogen just keeps the dinosaurs rolling. Next it becomes how fast will my Hydrogen beast go! At least these reconfigured monsters will not be producing CO2.
Forget what the elite EV's such as the Tesla car costs. A realistic mass produced EV with a fuel cell will be cheap. It might not provide the sports performance of say a Tesla, but, it will get you there. Predicted costs for mass produced EV's using fuel cell technology are stupid telephone numbers. Companies with their snouts in the trough: just like a lot of overrated computer software. I would predict that within five years, there will be a solution that is going to turn the automobile industry on its head. Murpy's Law, technology doubles each year. Also, we might find out sooner than expected how little oil reserves the world has.
Another problem for the development of Fuel Cell cars is the state of technology. The fuel cell if a relatively simple process: especially the AFC. The fuel cell of choice if a car is to be filled with Hydrogen, as it is the most efficient under these conditions. This is technology that cannot be held as propriety IP, a drawback for large corporations wishing to monopolise technology.