It’s difficult to read an article titled “Hydrogen Cars Won’t Make a Difference for 40 Years” that ran in Wired.com yesterday and not respond. I passed on responding on this inaccurate assessment yesterday, but not today.
Overall the article outlines some points pro and con that I agree with and ends on a note that we must continue to work on both hydrogen autos and electric vehicles for the future sake of our environment and energy independence.
Besides the title of the article, one of the most pessimistic and inflammatory lines for hydrogen advocates such as myself must be this one, “But few people expect to see fuel cell vehicles in showrooms before 2020, and we won’t see any large-scale benefit from them until 30 years after that.”
From my perspective and from many of the readers I hear from, many people expect hydrogen autos to be here yesterday. They want relief from high gasoline prices. They want to combat global warming and greenhouse gases. They want energy independence and to get off this nation’s addiction to oil. And, they want it now.
The reason that 2050 is such a pessimistic timeframe is that it denies the will and urgency of the people. If consumers demand hydrogen autos now from business and industry and especially their politicians, thy will be done. Each of the current political candidates is now talking about alternative energy as a high priority from the next President.
Depending upon whom is elected, the political will for energy independence could actually match the will of the people. Some have likened getting hydrogen autos and fueling stations across the country to the Manhattan Project and others have likened it to President Kennedy’s Space Race.
Both of these projects were completed in a relatively short time because of the urgency of the people and the political will of the President. To say that it will take 40 years for the sense of urgency and political will to come to fruition about hydrogen autos is a long-term view that is very short-sighted.