Fuel-cell vehicle


“Water is the coal of the future. The energy of tomorrow will be water that has been broken down into its constituent elements by electrical current.” These were the words chosen by science-fiction author Jules Verne as early as 1875 to celebrate the possibilities offered by the fuel cell. Although the concept was later forgotten, the fuel-cell vehicle is now being seen as a possible complement or alter­native to the electric car. The advantage of the techno­logy is this: The fuel cell generates electricity from hydrogen with­out emitting green­house gases, is not exhausted as quickly as an accumulator battery and can be refuelled as fast as a petrol car. Because fuel cells are lighter than batteries, they could also be used in trucks or long-distance coaches where purely battery-powered vehicles have thus far run up against their limits. The availability of the necessary infra­structure is, however, patchy.