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Why Electric Cars Aren't a Done Deal

Toyota showed this fuel-cell powered sedan concept, called the FCV-R, in 2011. A similar car is expected to go into production by 2015. Fuel cell vehicles are emerging as a rival technology to battery-electric cars. Photo credit: Toyota

To hear fans of Tesla Motors  (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) tell it, our battery-operated automotive future is inevitable. But ask experts in the auto business, and they'll tell you that battery-electric systems like the one in Tesla's Model S are just one of several technologies that could eventually replace gasoline engines in our cars of the future.

For instance, Toyota  (NYSE: TM  ) -- the world's hybrid-car leader -- has made a big bet on fuel cells, which enable electric cars to run on hydrogen rather than batteries. Toyota is far from alone -- automakers from Ford  (NYSE: F  ) and General Motors  (NYSE: GM  ) to Honda  (NYSE: HMC  ) and Hyundai (NASDAQOTH: HYMTF  ) are putting big bucks behind fuel-cell development as well.

As Motley Fool contributor John Rosevear explains in this video, the future of the automobile is still an open question -- but hydrogen fuel cells could end up having some major advantages over batteries, and that is driving some very big investments.

The "no choice fuel revolution" is coming -- are you ready?
An under-the-radar auto company has giants like Ford, GM, and Toyota clamoring for access to its revolutionary technology. Many forward-thinking car enthusiasts are plowing money into this little-known stock... because they know it holds a key to the explosive profit power of the coming "no choice fuel revolution." Luckily, there's still time for you to get on board if you act quickly. All the details are inside an exclusive report from The Motley Fool. Click here for the full story!

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  • Report this Comment On October 22, 2013, at 4:03 PM, mowensmd wrote:


    HFCV require hydrogen be created from natural gas, emitting CO2. Currently, the only places HFCV would be a better choice than EV are places coal fired electric is the predominate generation. This is quickly changing. In fact, natural gas is the biggest disruptor of coal plants. HFCV also have many more moving parts than EV's.

    So use NG to make hydrogen, get the hydrogen to hundreds of thousands of new filling stations to drive your HFCV to OR plug in at home and 98% of the time that's it. The electricity can be NG for now in coal predominate locaitons, but is also 75% renewable in other places already. And solar can be leased for nothing at your home TODAY. EV charging stations are cheap to build and don't require filling station locations; they can be put anywhere. The reason Toyota and others pursue Hydrogen is to recoup their investments. I drive a tesla, I'd never drive hydrogen. I don't want to have to go fill it up all the time. I wouldn't put NG powered hydrogen generator in my home either, solar is cheaper and cleaner.

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