Fuel-Cell Madness...SLAP!...Thanks I Needed That!
EDITOR'S NOTE: This opinion piece was originally published on January 21 2016. With the recent announcement of an actual lease offering for the 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle, I thought it important to bring some reality to America's growing "fuel-cell-is-the answer" fever. As you will read below, we do believe that fuel-cell ev's are the answer but not for another 40-50 years or so, until then we believe that ETHANOL IS THE ANSWER!
By Bob Gordon
President and Co-founder
The Auto Channel
As a reality check I decided I needed a healthy dose of "alt fuel truth" that I found in The Auto Channel's archive, and the truth came like a SLAP! waking me from my euphoric dreamlike state which found me buying into the fairy tale that caused my "Fuel-Cell Madness". I recognized that if I was being flamboozled, then I had to share some sobering "Fuel-Cell Madness" and alt fuel thoughts with you:
Hmm, Big Oil wins again...because no actual alternative fuel means 50 more years of gasoline use and bad guy profits from American's using gasoline.
By the time (if ever) H2 fuel cell vehicles replace enough ICE vehicles to make a dent in the ecological and political problems caused by 200 years of gasoline it may be too late to save our country and our planet.
Ethanol is today's and tomorrow's only alt fuel solution, fuel cell EV's might be, Hydrogen ICE could be, Bio-this and Bio that may be but the result of the "wait and see" is way too onerous for our country.
So here we go again...
Warning! There is growing Big Oil paid for propaganda and claque-ish media momentum building, this time not just for EV's but for hydrogen Fuel-Cell EV's as the replacement for our gasoline powered vehicles. But media reports never reveal that EV's were rejected and that fuel-cell flavored EV's will take at least 50-100 years to become economically competitive, and infrastructurally realistic. This new version of the EV "Tulip Frenzy" is energizing the diversion of America's share of mind away from the practical drop-in alternative fuel by the obfuscation of the truth with EV fairy tales.
As an example, after 3 days and 30 press conferences at the Detroit Auto Show there was absolutely no mention of Flex-Fuel by any manufacturer, none. I can't understand why car makers instead of championing flex-fuel ethanol, the existing domestically produced and uber-scalable alternative fuel, they continue to facilitate Big Oil 's status-quo vision of the future by offering an unrealistic impossible rocket science solution for our ecological, political and economic horror that gasoline has caused these past 100+ years.
Don't get me wrong the owner's of The Auto Channel LOVE H2 fuel cells, in-fact we were/are the ONLY automotive publication to seriously cover the fuel cell world starting in the 70's, 80's,90's and continuing to this day. You can see what we have had to say in our 21 year old Hydrogen Fuel-Cell News Archive.
During the majority of the past 20 years only The Auto Channel seriously covered the fuel-cell evolution and continue so to this day. The Auto Channel management believes that we must all help get America off gasoline and to that end will continue to support any quickly implementable, realistically ubiquitous, fuel alternative.
But let us understand what is going on here.
No matter the hype and media bla-bla, hydrogen will not become a meaningful alternative to gasoline for at least 50-100 years or ever, remember that there are 2-300 million cars on American roads today and NONE, ZERO, NADA of which can ever use hydrogen fuel cells for their power NONE. So what kind of alternative will motorists who can't afford or choose not to get rid of their trusty steed and replace it with an electric car...none, no alternative, meaning that virtually all of us will continue to have no choice but to use gasoline and all of the evils that come with it...until and if America wises up and demands the substitution of gasoline by flex-fuel.
I can imagine the execs at Big Oil this morning, smirking every time they read a headline about the soon to be here "hydrogen revolution"...because folks, all of the the noise coming from the car makers and their media sycophants about the bright H2 future will never actually happen, not in my lifetime or my children's or grand-children's or in the lifetime of any person alive today...NEVER.
So unless we collectively demand that our nation's politicians and bureaucrats honestly and forthrightly support an increased use of Ethanol, which we believe is the only immediate, practical drop-in alternative to gasoline, America will continue its slavery to monopolistic Big Oil.
For the past 100 years highly subsidized Big Oil has been in control...is in control...and is doing everything it can do to make sure it stays in control, forever. When the boys in OPEC's back room want the price of oil to go up, it goes up, when they want to drop its price in order to delay or destroy any alternative fuel, or cripple America's domestic oil industry, the price goes way down...remember the cost for OPEC nations to pump a barrel of oil is less that 5 bucks, so even at $20 a barrel there are still massive profits, some of which are used to support the Islamic Radicals, the sworn enemies of modernity, democracy and America.
As much as The Auto Channel LOVES and supports the evolution of H2 Fuel-Cell as the key that can make the EV's viable, we sadly recognize that this new round of obfuscation is just the latest offering in a series of "never gonna happen" gasoline alternatives that have no actual chance to ubiquitously replace gasoline...too bad, but it sure seems that way to us.