The current typical automobile in the world is the gasoline car, which has dominated the automobile industry since the late 19th century. However, as the earth’s fossil fuels continue to deplete at an increasing rate, it would be ignorant to assume that gasoline cars will eternally be the dominant design. This would mean that if Man were to continue using automobiles as a form of transport, alternatives would have to be implemented. We are proposing that hydrogen cars will be the future for the automobile industry.
The benefits of hydrogen cars are plentiful. It has zero carbon emission, which would address issues such as pollution and global warming. It also takes advantage of the earth’s most abundant and renewable resource, water, to substitute the declining production of oil. Currently, only the electric car offers these characteristics. However, the hours of ...view middle of the document...
This results in a chicken and egg problem for hydrogen cars. Without the necessary infrastructure, costs of production remain high. Without the benefits of consumer demands, firms see no incentive to invest in the infrastructure. Automobile firms are therefore unwilling to allocate the necessary resources towards the production of hydrogen cars. This is where government intervention is required.
The Hynor Project in Norway is an insight into how a world where hydrogen cars are the dominant design of the automobile industry is possible with positive government intervention. It is a matter of perspective for the respective governments. The Norwegian government anticipated the decline of fuel production in the future and built hydrogen stations from Olso to Stavenger to encourage the use of hydrogen cars as an alternative. In contrast, the United States of America (USA) President Obama recently cut US$100 million from the hydrogen fuel cell program budget to concentrate on more immediate solutions.
However, this is not a typical disruptive technology that meets a desire yet unforeseen by existing incumbents. Besides that fact that green technology does address consumers’ increasing desire to reduce pollution, the future decline of oil production does depict a foreseeable end for the current technology – gasoline cars. It becomes a matter of when we will switch to an alternative, rather than whether we actually will. Major incumbent firms such as Toyota and BMW are already taking steps to commercialise hydrogen cars, and with government intervention, this process could be expedited.
It would not be an easy transition from gasoline cars to hydrogen cars. After all, there are approximately 800 million cars in the world currently. The general consensus amongst researchers is that a complete transition would not happen within the next 15 years. However, considering the need for an alternative fuel, and the environmental benefits of hydrogen cars, we feel that it would be the future car, either sooner or later.