Fuel cell cars and filling stations are slow to arrive – Los Angeles Times

Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2015

Several years after automotive experts began predicting hydrogen fuel cell technology would be the powertrain of the future, the future still isn’t here.

Car companies are building, leasing and even selling fuel cell cars. Hydrogen fuel providers are building filling stations. But both sides are moving slowly — caught in a chicken-and-egg dance that is preventing wannabe early adopters from getting into a fuel cell vehicle.

Toyota has already put its new Mirai hydro-car on the road. It joins the Hyundai Tucson, which has been out for more than a year. Coming soon are fuel cell vehicles from Honda, with offerings likely from Mercedes-Benz and GM just over the horizon, and Ford and Nissan following them.

But where will they fuel up? California is by far the country’s most advanced location for hydrogen fuel cell technology, but the infrastructure isn’t ready.

“Obviously we all have to work together, but the stations have to be available before the cars are there,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of fuel cell activities for General Motors.

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