In the race for greenifying the auto industry, the electric batteries have a more reliable future over hydrogen fuel cells, Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche believes.
Toyota is trying to set a new trend on the green path to a cleaner environment by betting on the fuel-cell hydrogen-powered vehicles becoming the next big thing in this direction. However, there are many technological hurdles to pass before this approach becomes cost-friendly. It is also still debatable if the hydrogen solution is more environmentally friendly than electric batteries. Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche believes that the latter path has a slight edge. Nevertheless, even if the automaker is cooperating with partners in both areas, Zetsche said it was still unclear which of the two competing technologies would be more successful in playing a leading role in the sector.
But one thing is for sure, “batteries have become more attractive in recent years,” he told the German weekly Euro am Sonntag in an interview. “It has become more likely that they could prevail,” adding that batteries have shown progress in two key areas, range and charging time. The technology has rapidly advanced lately and “cars with electric driving ranges of 500 kilometers and fast charging times of 20 minutes are within reach,” Zetsche said. The biggest drawback for fuel cells is evidently the affordability issue and the distribution of hydrogen, two major challenges that have to be solved in the future.