Analysts say hydrogen fuel cells have major hurdles to overcome before U.S. consumers will accept the technology in their cars.
The fuel cells create electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen in a chemical reaction, with water and heat the only byproducts. While every major car company is exploring fuel-cell technology, most hydrogen-powered vehicles are still in testing or development, The Washington Times said Wednesday.
Taras Wankewycz, vice president of Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies in Singapore said hydrogen fuel cells are still considered "very futurist," the newspaper said. The technology remains mostly limited to industrial applications.
The biggest obstacles to the technology are the costs of both labor and materials. Plunkett Research of Houston said one 200-horsepower fuel-cell system costs about $75,000 to make. Companies must also overcome consumer concerns about safety.
California is the first state to embrace the vehicles, with more than 175 fuel-cell vehicles already on the road and 24 hydrogen refueling stations, the newspaper said.
Copyright 2008 by United Press International
Explore further: Scientists get set for simulated nuclear inspection