In May 2010, Toyota declared that they will be able to build and sell a fuel cell vehicle (FCV) for $50,000 by 2015. This remark was met with a lot of criticism and disbelief.
Now, Daimler has also jumped on the bandwagon saying that they will be able to build and sell their FCVs for about the same price as their diesel-powered cars by 2015. According to Daimler’s Herbert Kohler, head of e-drive and future mobility, “By 2015, we think a fuel cell car will not cost more than a four-cylinder diesel hybrid that meets the Euro 6 emissions standard.”
Kohler goes on to say about the builders of hydrogen fueling stations and their compressed H2 gas suppliers, “For gas-producers in general, fuel-cells are a very profitable business-case. I expect that there will be a network of 1,000 fuel-stations in Germany alone in the mid-term. This means that you will find a fuel-station for your fuel cell within 30 kilometers.”
So, besides Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, GM and Ford, Daimler is also betting that the European Hydrogen Highway will also be in place by 2015. Right now, Germany and a handful of other nations in the EU are going full steam ahead building hydrogen fueling stations like there is no tomorrow (and yet ironically building them for tomorrow).
And this “if you build it, they will come” philosophy will work if the fuel cell cars are inexpensive enough for the middle class to buy and if they will have easy access to multiple fueling stations in the area.