Letter to the Editor: Hydrogen car naysayers sound like battery EV critics 20 years ago

August 23, 2021

To the editor: As The Times notes in its reports on hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles, California is the only state that has supported this technology in such a robust way. I have driven a fuel cell car made by Toyota for almost six years, and I have seen the same types of issues — like offline pumps and long lines at stations — that other drivers have.

However, mine has been a fascinating and positive experience. I accept the inconveniences I knew about in advance, knowing I am helping further a technology and business that helps our state, country and world reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

Throughout my adult life, I’ve watched California support technologies and systems that improve our environment. Thirty years ago, the costs and complexities of solar energy seemed to make it unworkable. Twenty years ago, the costs and complexities of battery electric vehicles seemed to make them unable to scale. Now, we have complex infrastructure issues to work out for fuel-cell electric vehicles to be able to scale.

For those who want to find problems and complexities, the hydrogen economy is filled with them. For those looking for a way to provide fast refueling, scalable electric propulsion and a potential to step away from fossil fuels, this is an incredible and very plausible pathway that we are perfecting in California like the pioneers we are destined to be.

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