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Any problems with fuel cell cars?

  • Hydrogen-powered cars planned
  • Zero emissions
  • On sale to public by 2015
Words ByWhat Car? Staff

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Any problems with fuel cell cars?
Initially there was cold starting, because if there is any water left in the fuel stack on a freezing night it can cause problems, but Kia has conducted successful tests at temperatures from minus 40 degrees up to 70 degrees.

There were also safety issues, but front, side and rear impact tests have been completed without problems. Kia has even done a vehicle fire test.

Are there any isues left to be solved?
The main one is cost. Kia estimates that even if it were producing 50,000 fuel cell vehicles a year, they would cost $50,000 (35,000) each, because the fuel stacks are so expensive.

Kia will probably lease its fuel cell cars at first, and not sell them until they cost no more than double the price of a petrol car.

Kia admits that getting insurance would currently be 'impossible' because of misunderstandings about hydrogen, but it is working to prove that the technology is safe. It also says that maintenance costs must be the same as those for a conventional car if fuel cell vehicles are ever going to be successful.