Nissan CEO echoes Tesla’s Elon Musk, says market is not ready for fuel cell vehicles

Article by Anita Panait, on November 23, 2013

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Nissan Motor Co., echoed the same view as that of Tesla CEO Elon Musk that the market would not be ready for fuel cell vehicles before the end of the decade. Ghosn remarked that such vehicles are not yet feasible due to the lack of refueling locations and the required infrastructure.

Nissan is into electric vehicles while Tesla is into plug-in sports car. Ghosn said that Nissan is pushing back plans for hydrogen-powered vehicles since they might encounter the same issues that have pestered electric vehicles.

He said that he is “very curious and interested” to see Nissan’s rivals who say they will be able to mass market fuel cell vehicles in 2015. “Where is the infrastructure? Who's going to build it?” he asked. He may be referring to carmakers like Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., who have announced plans to sell hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2015.

Toyota is currently working on fuel cell vehicle research with BMW while Honda and GM have inked a deal this year to work on the technology.

The carmaker is showcasing a concept version of a hydrogen-powered car at the Tokyo motor show. Satoshi Ogiso, a managing officer at Toyota, remarked five years on, there would not be any dominant technology but various green technologies.

He remarked that Toyota will try to be prepared for “any kind of demand that's expected to arise." Despite Ghosn’s statement, Renault and Nissan are still partnering with Daimler and Ford Motor Co. to develop hydrogen-powered cars.

Carmakers are investing in fuel cell technology to serve as an alternative to electric vehicles, which have been hounded by issues like limited range, cost, safety, and lack of recharging facilities. Musk remarked last month that there is "no way" that fuel cell vehicles will be a workable technology.

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