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F-Cell Program in Stuttgart Germany Weak on U. S. Input

Now, one might expect that a Fuel Cell Conference held in Europe may have a European focus and neglect other parts of the world. The F-Cell Program held in Stuttgart Germany, September 27 – 28, 2010 does this a little more.

The conference focuses on Europe first (many Germany, see my earlier post about the H2 Mobility plan), and Asia second and puts the U. S. squarely in third place when it comes to fuel cell development.

To give some examples of how much emphasis is placed upon Europe and Asia (and not the U. S.) here are some of the titles of some of the speeches to be given at this conference:

• Towards a hydrogen-fuelled economy in Europe
• R&D activities and plans of hydrogen fuel cells in Korea
• Hydrogen and fuel cell industry in China
• Hydrogen and fuel cell industry in India
• HyRaMP: The European network for the hydrogen and fuel cell economy – policy and activities
• Next steps for hydrogen stations and fuel cell vehicles in Scandinavia and Denmark
• Hydrogen and fuel cells activities in Italy: national and regional perspectives
• The fuel cell industry in Germany is growing strongly – status and prospects on units, sales volume and employment
• Hydrogen refuelling station roll-out in Germany an industry perspective
• R&D activities on hydrogen storage and transportation technologies in JX Nippon Oil & Energy Co. (Japan)
• Current status of TOTAL activities for hydrogen (Germany)
• H2moves Scandinavia – the first European Lighthouse Project for hydrogen fuel cell autos in Oslo
• US fuel cell and hydrogen policy trends and challenges

That’s it. The just another indicator of how the U. S. is lagging behind both Europe and Asia in fuel cell development. My question is if energy independence is so important to the U. S. do we really want to be dependent upon buying our future technology from other nations rather than building our own?

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen auto blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen autos, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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  1. Avatar
    Michael C. Robinson

    With at least 270 million registered vehicles in the U.S. and the massive gulf Oil spill, the U.S. needs to develop it’s own hydrogen based transportation.

    If the cost of fuel cells and fueling systems comes down enough that hydrogen
    autos can be sold for $25k or less a piece new, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be undebatably practical.

    The problem whether it is Plasma Kinetics hydride technology or 700 bar H2 gas tank systems is that very little information on energy cost, possible losses, etcetera is available. People can’t see that hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen storage technology is practical for: autos,
    trucks, and SUVs.

    Never mind that refueling could mean putting in a disk the way you load a compact disc player if Plasma Kinetic’s technology is adopted.

    I am hearing that dry oil wells, wastewater treatment plants, etcetera can be leveraged to produce hydrogen and not just small amounts. There isn’t enough information available for the public to see that hydrogen is reasonably pursuable as a transport fuel. I want to see fully drawn up plans that involve government entities and private industry. I wanty to know how much energy it takes to microwave hydrogen onto a hydride disk. I want to know how much it costs energy wise to support 700 bar compressed hydrogen gas systems.

    Why is Toyota predicting $50k for a fuel cell SUV in 2015? Surely Toyota can do better than that if mass production kicks in. Maybe Toyota is predicting a high price with every intention of undercutting it, which is good business.

    I think it is past time to pull back in the war on terror and rebuild the nation’s energy infrastructure starting with the military. The military’s vehicles should use hydrogen fuel cells so that the U.S. cannot be blackmailed by OIL rich nations. Just a thought.

    Steven Chu is the greatest nuisance this nation has had in decades when it comes to energy policy.

  2. admin

    I’m not sure why a lot of people are getting hung up on the $50,000 price tag. Right now a Toyota Sequoia SUV costs $50,000- depending upon the options. Sure Toyota has some cheaper model SUVs as well, but the price tag is not out of line with some of the current gasoline powered SUV’s.

  3. Avatar
    Michael C. Robinson

    $50k is more than the gas/electric Volt will cost which is coming out this year supposedly. To be more expensive than the Volt even 5 years from now, Toyota is going to have a hard time convincing people that fuel cell/electric is a more sensible way to go. The gas/electric Volt needs to be undercut or the Joseph Romms and Steven Chus of the world will claim victory. The reality that hasn’t sunk in is that hybrids even are too dirty and they still depend on expensive foreign fuel. How much of that $50k price tag is the fuel system? Well, if that’s the major cost component, I say scrap compressed H2 gas in favor of laser hydride technology. It is a shame that Plasma Kinetics is still looking for support and that the auto companies aren’t stepping forward to help. With laser hydride technology, fuel stations as we know them could be bypassed entirely in favor of something both cheaper and safer.

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