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Famous car designer Henrik Fisker has a bold prediction about hydrogen cars

Famous car designer Henrik Fisker has a bold prediction about hydrogen cars

Toyota Mirai


Toyota's hydrogen car, the Mirai.

Legendary car designer Henrik Fisker, a pioneer in the electric car movement, sees potential in hydrogen cars.

"When you look at it in theory, it's a great technology - possibly better than electric," Fisker said.

Fisker has been involved in the auto industry for more than two decades. He's held stints at BMW and Aston Martin, and he was involved in the initial design process of the Tesla Model S before breaking away to make his own luxury hybrid, the Fisker Karma.

When asked if he saw hydrogen-powered cars as a phase, Fisker noted the technology is good enough to be considered better than battery power.

And that's a viewpoint an increasing number of automakers are buying into.

Toyota, Audi, and Honda are all working on hydrogen cars, and less well-known automakers like Welsh startup Rinspeed are even getting in the hydrogen game.

But not everyone is a believer when it comes to hydrogen cars. Hydrogen cars have an advantage when it comes to range and charge time - their range can exceed 300 miles and the cars can be refueled in as little as three minutes.

But where the push for hydrogen-powered cars gets dicey is when you consider the major lack of infrastructure to support them. There are only 49 hydrogen stations throughout California that are either already open or are slated to open in the future. Outside of California, only a handful of hydrogen stations exist.

Riversimple Rasa hydrogen car


Riversimple's hydrogen car.

It's for this reason major players in the auto industry are resistant to the trend. For example, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sees no point in investing in hydrogen cars, stating bluntly that the technology is "incredibly dumb."

"I just think that they're extremely silly... it's just very difficult to make hydrogen and store it and use it in a car," Musk said at the time.

But Fisker has a different perspective on the matter. He doesn't see the technology as incredibly dumb, but admits that it's "more than 10 years" out.

"It comes back to the same issues with electric cars, which is infrastructure and cost," he said.

Automakers are making strides in correcting that issue.

Honda is also working on a "Smart Hydrogen Station" that would allow you to produce hydrogen at home, but there's no timeline on when that will be ready yet. The automaker also entered an agreement with General Motors in 2013 to develop next-generation fuel cell systems and hydrogen storage technology by 2020.

But until hydrogen stations become a more regular sight outside of California, it's hard to disagree with Musk.

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