Sunday, September 27, 2009

Assuming the battery enigma isn't solved, hydrogen is the way to go

The problem with switching to a new alternative fuel infrastructure is that there's still debate over whether electric will win over hydrogen fuel cell as the preferred option, or maybe both will come out victorious. The confusion will not help car manufacturers woo consumers to their side easily.

In the meantime, Germany has decided to embrace the hydrogen economy and is preparing to outfit the country with a hydrogen infrastructure by 2015. This coincides with a revelation that most auto makers will have hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road by 2015 as well.

My take on this is that technology is changing too rapidly for wholesale infrastructure changes to keep up. Assume we do embrace the hydrogen solution like the Germans are doing, then battery technology sees a leap in technology - what then? I think the 'energy delivery' system of the future will need to be flexible enough to delivery energy in whatever form we need. Fill up stations of the future might even be the recycle point for bio-diesel, where restaurants dumps their old cooking oil and an on-site processing system filters out the food so that diesel cars can fill up with fuel that smells like fish n' chips.

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