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Chapter 49. Fuel Cell and Drive-By-Wire ... > Features and Considerations

Features and Considerations

One of the challenges for mass-market development for these types of vehicles is simply the development and general availability of an alternate fuel infrastructure. In the United States alone there are 180,000 filling stations with their associated refineries and distribution networks. Internal-combustion-engined vehicles and filling stations are readily available across North America, Europe, and Japan. Migration toward alternate fuels would require not only the new vehicles to be produced, but also the fuel distribution networks to be put into place, and associated codes, standards, and regulations to be issued to support the safe and reliable handling of these fuels and vehicles.

In terms of when such cars will be available, General Motors expects that affordable and profitable fuel-cell vehicles will be on the road by the end of the decade. The current challenges include the already-mentioned availability of an alternate fuel infrastructure plus the high costs of vehicle manufacture and the technical issues around hydrogen storage.


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