This past week BMW announced a partnership agreement with Toyota to conduct joint research and development on fuel cell vehicles. Late in 2011, Mercedes shipped a limited number of Mercedes-Benz B-class cars to consumers. In fact, Mercedes seems to be putting most of their eggs in the fuel cell basket ,as opposed to the lithium-ion battery basket. The thinking seems to be that only fuel cells will allow them to continue to produce a car with the traditional characteristics of a Mercedes. Again, this brings up the debate of fuel cell vs. lithium-ion battery. It seems to me that there is room for both as power sources for future electric cars. This is not either/or , this is a both situation. Lithium-ion batteries or some derivative will prove to be ideal as power sources in cars used for short and medium distances, while fuel cells will hold the upper hand in cars used for long distance travel. The use of hydrogen fuel cells solves another problem too – how to store the excess electricity produced by a solar or wind power plant. Why not use any excess electricity generated by these renewable power sources to produce hydrogen?
Whether fuel cells or lithium-ion batteries are used, the driving power of future cars and trucks will be an electric motor.