Much has already been written about the usefulness of fuel cells in automobiles, and enthusiasts never tire of spinning their (long since disproven) tale of environmental friendliness, but what do the owners and the manufacturers themselves say?
That mystery was solved after some California lease customers returned their Honda Clarity fuel cell cars when the lease term expired and tracked the current location of their vehicle on their smartphone app some time later. The vehicles were sitting in junkyards around Bakersfield apparently with the fuel cell stack removed, waiting to be scrapped. Demand for used fuel cell cars appears to be so low that it doesn’t pay for dealers to inspect and maintain the drive train, and instead they are scrapped.
The short refueling time that is always touted as an advantage also turns out to be wishful thinking, after owners reported long waits in front of gas stations because they need some time to build up the necessary pressure in the tank again when they see high customer demand. A car that has to be scrapped after only three years with an average mileage of just under 50,00 kilometers is certainly not the great environmental saver that is being touted.
This article was also published in German.