TOKYO: Hyundai is going to release a zero-emission fuel cell vehicle (FCV) this year, and Toyota is slated to release one in 2015.
Alas, it will take more than stickers to get today’s FCVs the much ballyhooed hydrogen cars up to road ready shape. But the good news is that this Car of the Future has been making big strides over the past few years as researchers figure out ways to solve its biggest roadblocks. General consensus seems to be that FCVs aren’t quite ready to revolutionize the nation’s fleet, but it’s looking better every day.
FCVs run on an electric motor, like a battery electric car, but the motor is powered by the chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen in an onboard fuel cell (really, a series of cells called a stack). The only thing spewing out of the tailpipe is innocent water vapour, making them zero-emissions vehicles, and the hydrogen reaction itself produces no greenhouse gases. FCVs are also at least twice as efficient as gas guzzlers.