Sarah Mahan
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The Future of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

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GM and Honda work together to make futuristic hydrogen power a reality.

GM Fuel Cell Car

GM Fuel Cell Car (Photo: Siemans)

You may remember about a decade ago when fuel cell technology was all the rage and automakers were touting it as the fuel of the future. Then, the economy came to a stop and so did the fuel cell cars—at least most of us thought it had.

Now that the auto industry is getting back on track, alternative fuel technology is on the rise once again, sparking the future of the hydrogen fuel cell car. General Motors and Honda have even teamed up to work on fuel cell technology together. Can you believe that? The auto giants even say they never actually stopped working on the technology. In fact, together the two companies have filed over 1,200 fuel cell patents between 2002 and 2012.

In a press release, Dan Akerson, GM chairman and CEO, said, “This collaboration builds upon Honda and GM’s strengths as leaders in hydrogen fuel cell technology. We are convinced this is the best way to develop this important technology, which has the potential to help reduce the dependence on petroleum and establish sustainable mobility.”

Fuel cell technology has two major issues: cost involved in storing Hydrogen on board and lack of hydrogen refueling infrastructure. Together, GM and Honda aim to overcome these challenges with the goals of improving the infrastructure and introducing the new fuel cell technology in a car by 2020—only 7 years away!

Both companies actually already have fuel cell vehicles on the road. Honda has the FCX Clarity and GM has a fuel-cell version of the Chevrolet Equinox. Both vehicles are only available in strictly limited quantities and in highly-specific markets where the infrastructure already exists, i.e. Southern California.

With other alternative fuel sources like natural gas and even simply plug-in electric cars, do you think hydrogen fuel cell cars stand a chance? Tell us which alternative fuel source you would choose in the comments below.