Do hydrogen electrics represent the next emerging wave of vehicles in answer to the demand for green?
Neil Chambers thinks so. Chambers is founder/CEO of Chambers Design, New York, N.Y. His company consults in green building design, but Chambers says that has given him the perfect vantage point for analyzing a variety of alternative energies.
What he sees is a trend toward plug-in electrics that he says don't contribute to a more sustainable future. He has other issues with plug-in electrics as well. "In terms of economics, if the plug-ins can start to be mass produced in the hundreds of thousands or millions each year, they will be affordable by lots of people. But they are not as flexible for long and short distances like a gasoline-powered car or hydrogen cars."
It's the latter category that Chambers believes to be the future of electric-powered vehilces. "I've test-driven the Mercedes F-Cell and it is really incredible," he says. "Mercedes is starting a leasing program in California and Germany of around 50 cars. This is a big step forward, plus other companies like Honda have already had hydrogen cars on the road." Chambers says their advantage is they drive like gasoline cars and they have the same range.
If smaller fuel cells are mass produced for hydrogen cars, it will revolutionize the energy market," he predicts. "And we could no longer need massive infrastructure to supply electricity."