Toyota Hydrogen Boss Explains How Fuel Cells Can Achieve Corolla Costs

Katsuhiko Hirose after the interview. (c) Bertel Schmitt

I am following Ed Niedermeyer to the rebooted mobility tech part of TheDrive.com. Here is my first contribution. There will be more, 

If you want to bring the wrath of Twitter upon you, suggest that electric vehicles could be powered by something other than batteries. Only the utterly naïve seem to think that any technology bringing zero emission transportation should be worth the consideration. Mention fuel cells, and you will swiftly be denounced as an idiot, an agent of Big Oil, or worse. Tesla’s Elon Musk routinely piles invective on fuel cells, calling them “mind-bogglingly stupid,” “incredibly dumb” and “fool cells”—schoolyard taunts that resonate especially well with battery-bullies.

The other side of the holy war for the most part quietly turns the other cheek. Well, until this morning, as I sit down in a coffee shop in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Station for an exclusive interview with one of the central figures of Toyota’s fuel cell project. Professor Katsuhiko Hirose has been in charge of Toyota’s Fuel Cell system development, and he tells me why Musk is rightfully afraid of the fuel cell: Hydrogen Fuel cell vehicles will eventually be cheaper than gasoline-powered cars, opening the door to zero-emission transportation around the world, and not just in rich pockets that can afford battery-electric vehicles that are dependent on scarce natural resources and government support.  More in TheDrive.