Fuel Cell Powered Automobiles: Real or Hype? A Round-table Discussion
(Moderated by: Henry L. Stadler, Participating Guest, EETD, LBNL) Fuel cell discussants: Elton Cairns, John Kerr, Kim Kinoshita, (all from LBNL), and Phil Ross (from Envair,Inc.)Automobile discussants: Bob Sawyer (from UCB), Jason Mark (from Union of Concerned Scientist), + others A variety of technologies have been suggested as alternatives to the gasoline/diesel powered internal combustion engine for vehicles. These have been motivated by the need to reduce or eliminate motor vehicles as a major source of urban air pollution or by a perceived need to reduce U.S. dependence on petroleum-based fuels. In an apparent attempt to comply with the California Air Resources Boards Zero Emission Vehicle requirement, several major automobile manufacturers have announced plans for selling both battery powered and fuel cell powered electric cars. There have also been announcements of a reformer for supplying hydrogen to the fuel cell. These events have generated some curiosity about how realistic these announcements are. This round-table will discuss the probability of the emergence of commercially viable fuel cell powered automobiles in the near future and some of the barriers to use of the technology.