Editor's note: In a two-part series, Robert Austin gives an update on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles – those on the road and those in the pipeline. He opines that the industry delivers solutions when presented with clear-cut problems. The first part deals with automobiles and the second with the aviation industry.
The governments of the world have found a few things they can agree on. But, on this, most do - the earth's atmosphere is getting way too full of greenhouse gasses, and we must, very quickly, break our dependence on fossil fuels! I believe there are very few people on the planet who would take issue with that statement. Still, we seem to get in trouble by putting together a timetable that will be almost impossible to meet and having the governments essentially demand battery-powered zero-emission vehicles.
I confess that I bristle when presented with binary choices because the industry can be so much more creative when you give them a well-defined problem and let them develop a variety of solutions. I suggested in an earlier essay that Hydrogen might play a very important role in the future of transportation, although most governments and public forums largely ignore it.