Tesla’s Model S battery operated luxury electric sedan has been selling sparingly around the world – better in areas where Musk’s company had the interest to build its Supercharger network.
That’s because having to cope with early adopter issues (such as glitches or high prices) – consumers wanting to have in their garage the most futuristic cars also face a huge conundrum. Their powertrain systems are different than those using internal combustion engines – which are now ubiquitous. But having a car that uses electricity from batteries or converted from hydrogen comes with the disadvantage of having scarce power sources. Let’s say battery cars will mitigate that by using a built-in refueling post at home or at the office – but people do use cars on long distances. Meanwhile, hydrogen fuel cell cars won’t be able to have their own power source at home and entirely depend on the existence of a commercial refueling network.
And the construction of hydrogen refueling stations is behind schedule around the world, impacting efforts from automakers such as Toyota and Hyundai (both already offering hydrogen cars) or Honda and GM – who plan their own fuel cells – to convince people to adopt the new technologies. The situation is grim even in Japan, where Toyota and Honda and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wishfully describe a “hydrogen society.” Even as the Japanese government and local authorities offer the biggest subsidies for the acquisition of Toyota’s Mirai, above countries such as China or the United States, the country missed its own target to have 100 refueling stations this year.