Long the next big advancement in green transportation, hydrogen may have missed its chance to become a major fuel for light vehicles.
Even as technology advances, battery-electric vehicles have quickly become the green vehicle of choice for most U.S. consumers.
Tesla, which offers only electric vehicles, sold nearly 187,000 cars in California last year, trailing only Toyota's gasoline autos in market share in the state. During that same period, Toyota sold just 2,094 of its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell cars nationally.
Automakers offer just two hydrogen fuel cell options, the Mirai and the Hyundai NEXO Fuel Cell. Honda said it will sell a hydrogen fuel cell CR-V crossover starting in 2024. It would replace the poorly selling hydrogen Honda Clarity discontinued in 2021.
Contrast that with more than 50 EV models Automotive News estimates are for sale or will come on the market this year. That represents a staggering gap in options — and a finite number of engineers and investment dollars to develop them.