Jul 16, 2019 | Updated: 10:46 AM EDT

Making Sense of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs)

Dec 23, 2014 09:17 PM EST

Toyota's FCV -- the Miari
(Photo : DailyTech)

In the next few years, we'll see makers such as Toyota, Honda and BMW release their own hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).The idea behind FCVs is an even more green, more energy efficient vehicle though many felt that EVs (electric vehicles) were the pinnacle of this.  Lots of precious R&D time and money has gone into expanding the FCV market in the hope of creating the cleanest form of travel we can manage while not inconveniencing the traveler.

If you've heard the word that FCVs are here to stay and they are the next best thing; if you were once/are currently a member of the EV fan club; or if you just love a good clean living environment, here are some benefits and associated costs you may want to take note of before decide to change your allegiance.

As stated by the California Fuel Cell Partnership, the primary benefits of operating an FCV are that they provide, "provide customers with a no-compromise electric-drive vehicle with longer range, quick refill, high performance and comfort along with zero emissions and a low-carbon and potentially renewable fuel."

One of the drawbacks of EVs is that re-changing the battery takes up a good chunk of time and a 20-30 minute charge is nowhere near equivalent to a full tank of gas as far as range goes. FCVs bridge this gap by providing a quick refueling process. When put side by side, EVs and FCVs are on par with each other in performance and eco-friendliness. FCVs only real standout quality is its convenience.

Here's where the push for FCVs gets a little murky.

Owning an FCV, especially when considering that Congress rejected the proposal for an $8,000 tax break, will cost more both to purchase and to operate than the typical EV. That's just the cost to the owner outright.

According to an article on engadget.com that more thoroughly covers the benefits and downfalls of FCVs, making the hydrogen for use in FCV uses more electricity than charging an EV. And, installing the fueling stations costs about triple what it takes to install charging stations, amounting to over $1 million each.

Perhaps there is not much sense to be made when it comes to explaining the purpose and benefits of Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. It seems that in most ways FCVs can't yet measure up to EVs. This isn't to say that technology won't be able to change this in the future but, for now, I wouldn't suggest making any $57,000 vehicle decisions.

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