High Hopes — And Hurdles — For Hydrogen Cars
By 2020, he expects electric plug-in cars to account for 10 percent of car sales and 2 percent to 2.5 percent of all cars on the road.
Hydrogen-fueled vehicles, meanwhile, would probably only get to a half-percent of car sales, but demand could get a boost starting in 2020, particularly with significant technological breakthroughs, he says.
Automakers and industry observers say the road has room for both technologies, but that hydrogen-powered cars offer some key advantages, including speedy refueling times, as well as the ability to go longer distances and power SUV-sized vehicles.
John DeCicco, a faculty fellow at the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute, isn’t optimistic that sales for either type of vehicle will take off.
“I don’t think there’s a way to short circuit this other than legislation that sets a legal limit on carbon emissions,” he says. “There has to be a consequence. Then automakers and oil companies will figure it out.”