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​Hydrogen Fuel Cells May Be Tesla's Biggest Future Sales Threat

​Hydrogen Fuel Cells May Be Tesla's Biggest Future Sales Threat


Competition from other manufacturers with BEVs could equal the impact fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) could bring to Tesla from now until 2020.

FCEV cars from Toyota and Honda available in California are incredible bargains measured against the Model 3.

Elon Musk likes to disparage hydrogen fuel cells but they are getting serious support from unlikely sources.

Hydrogen is a growing factor not only in cars but in long-distance trucking as well.

The only thing restricting FCEV growth are fueling station networks. A position similar to Tesla five years ago before its "Supercharger" network, which today only has just over 1,000 global locations.

First, let's clarify something I often find asked on the internet. Hydrogen gas is NOT a fuel, not often used with internal combustion engines mainly due to cost. Gasoline is much cheaper, about two-thirds cheaper. Hydrogen gas is used in transportation as the "fuel" in fuel cells that gets converted into electricity to power electric motors. Gasoline and diesel fuel cannot be used in fuel cells. So the two most common ways to power electric motors in cars and trucks today are batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. Batteries have been getting the most press and have enjoyed a big head start. But quietly, behind the scenes, the landscape is shifting and hydrogen is on the move.


Batteries for use in cars and trucks are heavy and expensive. Tesla (TSLA) will not disclose the cost of a replacement battery pack or electric motors for its vehicles. Any Tesla replacements required up until now have been done under warranty. In reviewing Tesla invoices posted to the internet they never disclose the costs attributable to any repairs done under warranty. GM (GM) quotes the battery pack replacement for the Chevy Bolt at $15,734.29.

Part of the high costs of batteries are the materials that go into them which are on the rise. The linked New York Times article from last week quotes the following:


Up 115 percent this year

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