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Monday, January 20, 2014

Fuel Cell Future Unlikely or Inevitable? Part 10 - Tin Foil Hats

After the analysis of the previous 9 parts of this series, you may think that any rational person would understand that fuel cell vehicles, especially passenger vehicles, are a long way from a viable solution anytime soon.

And yet, the hydrogen hype continues. Why? The answers offered range from the reasonable to conspiratorial.

First, the sublime: Major auto companies cannot afford to miss out on a huge technology shift within the transportation industry. They have to spend at least a portion of their R&D budget on fuel cells so as not to be left behind should it actually come into being.

On the conspiratorial side of the coin, you have auto company boardrooms that are filled with big-oil fat-cats. As racecar driver, Leilani M√ľnter, put it "You drill for the oil, and we'll make the cars. Together, we'll make a fortune. Mawaa Haha!"

The conspiratorial story goes something like: Big oil's goal is to make sure that you keep buying fuel from them. Gas now, followed by H2, algae fuel, or whatever comes next (other than electricity). H2 requires a vast distribution and infrastructure system. Who best to manage this distribution network? Of course, the companies that manage (and profit from) the current fuel network.

Electric cars on-the-other-hand allow you to "fill-up" in your garage. They are a disruptive technology that could send Exxon & Shell the way of Kodak & Nokia.

I mockingly called this section the Tin Foil Hats, but the money and political influence of several of the world's most profitable multinational corporations, cannot be ignored. Ensuring their interests is not a conspiracy theory, it is just smart business to protect a cash cow. #oiligarchy

To the final step in this Fuel Cell journey:
Part 11 - Conclusion

Fuel Cells: More than you ever wanted to know in 11 parts:
Part 1 - Intro
Part 2 - H2 From Natural Gas
Part 3 - H2 from Water
Part 4 - Hydrogen Infrastructure
Part 5 - Storage
Part 6 - Fuel Cells
Part 7 - How Soon?
Part 8 - A Foot in the Door for H2
Part 9 - So Why the Hate?
Part 10 - Tin Foil Hats
Part 11 - Conclusion

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