Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticizes the use of hydrogen for cars

Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticizes the use of hydrogen for cars

Elon Musk

Tesla Inc  CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday slammed the use of hydrogen as a fuel source for cars, terming it ‘silly.’

What Happened: “Hydrogen is silly for cars and only barely sensible for rockets, where payload is ~1000 times more valuable,” Musk wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

The CEO was responding to an enthusiast who flagged that over 100 scientists, academics, and engineers signed an open letter arguing that Toyota’s hydrogen vehicles shouldn’t be promoted at the Paris Olympics. Hydrogen vehicles, the experts said, hinder the transition to net-zero vehicle emissions.

“…green hydrogen-powered vehicles require 3 times more electricity than battery electric vehicles for equivalent duty. They therefore require 3 times more renewable electricity generating capacity and they generate 3 times higher well-to-wheel CO2 emissions,” Professor David Cebon of the University of Cambridge, one among the many signatories of the letter, said.

“Hydrogen used to power road transport is not aligned with the world’s net-zero goals and ultimately risks distracting and delaying from the real solutions we have available today,” the letter said while urging that the International Olympic Committee enforce that Toyota switches the official Olympics vehicle from its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle Mirai to a battery electric vehicle (BEV.)

Why It Matters: Musk has long expressed skepticism over hydrogen as an efficient fuel source.

“Fuel cells should be called fool sells! Such a silly choice for cars. Not great even for a rocket upper stage imo, but at least not absurd,” Musk said as long back as March 2021.

In May 2022, Musk said the world would overwhelmingly choose batteries over hydrogen for storing energy and termed the latter “the most dumb thing I could possibly imagine for energy storage.”

Musk’s Tesla, unlike Toyota, manufactures only BEVs.

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