Will the Fuel Cell Powertrain Arrive Too Late?
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The fuel cell is seen as the great hope for long-distance electric mobility. Not only the lack of infrastructure but also progress with lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and the fact that R&D efforts have been concentrated on purely battery-electric powertrains are delaying the universal deployment of fuel cells. This alternative powertrain is likely to arrive too late.
The Hydrogen Alternative
The fuel cell powertrain is not a disruptive technology. The fuel cell will in many respects not bring about any fundamental change to future mobility. It will arrive too late for that. Admittedly, if Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel had invented it, and Mercedes-Benz had installed it as the power unit in its first vehicles, the process, in which hydrogen is converted into electrical energy, would have had the potential to make a lasting impact on mobility. However, Diesel's patent for the "New, rational heat engine" and the world's first diesel sedan, the 260D, presented at the Berlin Motor...