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By AUTOWEEK

Pondering the arrival of fuel- cell vehicles? Probably not, but here’s fuel for thought: Take what you’ve heard, and tack on five years. While General Motors execs expect “a significant number of fuel-cell vehicles on the road by 2010,” the company that fabricates the membrane for the movement of gases such as hydrogen through fuel-cell stacks, begs to differ.

Richard Okine, technology director for DuPont’s fuel-cell R&D, says it probably won’t be until 2015—or longer—before fuel-cell vehicles can make a dent in the U.S. market. These days DuPont is trying to increase durability of fuel-cell stacks—where electricity is generated—while lowering the technology costs. Estimates now have stacks lasting only 1000 hours, while it costs about $5,000 per kilowatt of fuel-cell power.

The target is to lower that to $50. DuPont expects fuel-cell cars to catch on first in Asia, move to Europe and then make their way to the States, but not before demand increases. Practically speaking, fuel cells for laptops, in aerospace and portable generators are more immediate applications.

Prius grows up

Fuel cells may be four presidential elections away, but Toyota’s hybrid-electric Prius replacement should hit the streets before ’04 candidates square off. Toyota plans a bigger, more powerful replacement styled closer to a traditional car. The model year ’04 hybrid car will be followed by a Lexus RX 300 hybrid within two years.

Gabriel,
2001 CL Type S
2001 Lexus RX300 Silversport
 

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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by dejavu106

DO you think that fuel cell cars will be much slower??
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Probably like what Diesel cars are now. But that is 15 years away.

Gabriel,
2001 CL Type S
2001 Lexus RX300 Silversport
 
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