Tesla Discourages Fuel Cells for Cars

Tesla CEO Elon Musk called the idea of HHO fuels cells in cars “fool cells” saying the engineering studies show hydrogen fuel cells in cars to be only one-third as efficient as the current electric models.


The Facts

The CEO’s comments were in response to finding out Apple has been seriously considering entry into the alternative powered automobile market. Tesla has seen more than average coverage of their line of futuristic electric cars, and there is nothing wrong with free advertising. That is a fact. Another fact is that the efficiency of a hydrogen fuel cell is about 33 percent lower than a comparable electric powered car. But perhaps the biggest concern of Tesla and CEO Elon Musk is that what has been a popular media news story is being supplanted by the competition between the two technology giants that have a far greater public presence – Apple and Google.

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Missing the Mark

Competition and money aside, Musk seems to miss the major point of HHO model cars. It is not so much a matter of maximum efficiency as it is one of environmental friendliness and a drastic reduction on oil and fossil fuel dependence. Climate change is a global concern as is the price of oil and its connection to the world economy. The issue for Tesla is that powering its cars still requires the use of fossil fuels to drive their cars. The electricity will come from coal-powered plants or nuclear power, both which present short and long-term environmental hazards.

At this point in time, consumers are not rushing out to buy Tesla cars. Apparently there is not enough incentive for consumers to commit to electric models at this point. Maybe it is because the price-benefit ratio is still too low. What does seem to be clear is that future drivers want futuristic cars – just like 30 years ago. Apple and Google are able to provide that vision, and it appears consumers are now taking a wait-and-see approach to see which of the two companies meets their expectations.

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