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Fuel Cell Cars Not Too Distant

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Fuel cell cars are in the future. And the not too distant future. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The research has been going on for years. And automakers are starting to show prototypes of vehicles that will run on hydrogen fuel cells. General Motors chief technology officer Tony Scott says the days are numbered for gasoline powered cars... .

"You know we're making a transition in the auto industry from today's gasoline and diesel powered vehicles in the five year time from to hybrid vehicles and then ultimately, in the ten year frame, to the fuel cell vehicle. And that brings about phenomenal changes."

In many ways. At General Electric, senior VP for Global Research Scott Donnelly says just building the cars is only part of the story...

The automotive industry, at least my view is, they've made great investments, great strides... still a lot of work to do... but have made a lot of headway towards the ability to power a vehicle with the hydrogen fuel cell. The area where we're doing a lot of work and where I think a lot of work still needs to be done is preparing the infrastructure behind this thing. If you're going to have a hydrogen based fuel cell driven car, obviously you're going to need to pull into a fuel station someplace and replenish the hydrogen in your vehicle. So those are the areas we're interested in.

That doesn't mean, he adds, that GE plans to compete with Exxon Mobil on the street corners. But...

"I don't think it's a real stretch to think of GE as someone who would sell that kind of equipment into that industry."

Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.