At least we know how Tesla CEO feels about hydrogen-powered cars, not mincing words or wasting any time with his thoughts. “Fuel cell is so bulls***,” says the executive.
“It’s a marketing thing,” continued Musk. “But the reality is if you took the best case for a fuel cell in terms of mass and volume required to go a particular range as well as the cost of the fuel-cell system it doesn’t even equal the current state of the art of lithium-ion batteries, so there’s no way for it to be a workable technology.”
Musks comments come after what has been a two-week publicity tour of hydrogen cars by way of Toyota’s experimental hydrogen car that will see a semi-production-ready version next month in Tokyo and come to the U.S. by 2015 and General Motors announcing that one hydrogen-powered Equinox crossover has crossed the 100,000-mile threshold. Musk, obviously, is putting his eggs into the electric basket with the knockout Model S sedan that’s been selling in droves.
Well, it’s been selling in droves unless you live in Germany. Tesla has sold just 98 Model S sedans in Deutschland in the first two months, meaning that the Nissan Leaf is even outselling the big sedan. There has been no reason explaining why thus far, but we’re going to go out on a limb and say that people who cross-shop it with similarly priced BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes are able to go 155 mph on the unrestricted sections of the Autobahn over there, whereas the Model S is limited to 130 mph. There’s also a question of range because the Model S can go an EPA-rated 265 miles per charge with the 85 kWh battery pack, but there’s no telling how that would deteriorate under much more stressful than normal driving.
As a result, Musk announced that Tesla is planning to expand Germany’s supercharger network and introduce 135-kWh stations–15 kWh more than the U.S. version, allowing for quicker charging. Musk has also said that he is unleashing engineers to conduct high-speed testing in Germany to better refine the system for an Autobahn package that will be available to every Model S owner.