It’s becoming old hat now. Gas prices continue to creep ever higher, and the public continues to demand a resolution. One prospective solution is fuel cell electric vehicles, and some automakers have already hitched its wagon to these FCEVs. The downside to FCEVs is that not much is known about them and they’re not readily available yet. That may change; in Europe anyway, as Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai have all signed on to participate in the European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012.
The tour, which is slated to kick-off tomorrow in Hamburg, Germany, will stop in nine other European cities including Hannover, Bolzano, Paris, Cardiff, Bristol, Swindon, London, and Copenhagen. The goal of the tour is to raise awareness of FCEVs and to gauge consumers’ interest in the vehicles as a whole. In particular, politicians, industry experts, media, and the general public are expected to participate and give feedback. As part of the “H2moves Scandinavia” project, the European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012 is the first project of its kind to focus strictly on hydrogen.
Testing has already begun is Oslo, Norway, to study FCEV infrastructure and to see how reliable the vehicles can be in harsh winters like those that blanket Oslo. Of the four automakers participating in the tour, Mercedes-Benz is one automaker that already has a FCEV that’s slowly been making its rounds in the media. Mass production is still a ways out, however that doesn’t mean each automaker isn’t close to making a breakthrough.
“On our way to zero-emission mobility fuel cell electric vehicles – with their great range while at the same time short refueling times – will play a central role for the future,” said Dr. Christian Mohrdieck, director of drive development fuel cell system for Daimler AG. “However, the success of this technology depends crucially on certain conditions being in place, such as the availability of a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure.”
Do you think fuel cell electric vehicles are the future or does the solution lie elsewhere? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.