The Advanced Power Technology Dilemma: from Hydrocarbons to Hydrogen
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Imagine that you’re an average consumer with limited knowledge of automotive technology, and you’re concerned about reports of global warming and America’s over dependence on foreign oil. You’ve probably read stories that the car manufacturers could use different technologies to improve fuel economy by producing hybrid-electric vehicles or making fuel cell powered cars that use hydrogen, not petroleum, and emit only water from their tailpipes. What’s your reaction?

You’d probably be very excited that there are ways to make cars that will “save the planet” or give the United States energy independence. As you read farther down in these stories, however, you notice that numerous improvements are needed in terms of the cost and performance of these vehicles, especially with the fuel cell powered vehicles. You’re left with many doubts and perhaps distrust of what “Detroit” or “big oil” is telling you about the challenges they face to comply with the ever increasing environmental and fuel mileage standards.

This study was prepared by the Center for Automotive Research with generous support fromt the Robert Bosch Corporation.

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