Will this battery technology kill Elon Musk and Tesla?

Will this battery technology kill Elon Musk and Tesla?

A Tesla car and Tesla Powerwall battery. (TESLA)

Elon Musk and Tesla Inc. continue to lead the electric vehicle revolution.

In addition to a growing lineup of vehicles, the company owns and operates more than 50,000 Superchargers throughout the country.

While Tesla is on solid footing, there’s a competitor lurking. That competitor is known as the unitized regenerative fuel cell system (URFC).

The use of batteries for a better future isn’t exclusive to the auto industry. For example, single-use batteries are being phased out by sustainable, rechargeable batteries, such as those from Paleblue.

Paleblue has raised nearly $800,000 through crowdfunding for its rechargeable lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries.

When Will This Technology Arrive?

Automakers are working on implementing this technology, with Honda Motor Co. Ltd. appearing to have the early lead.

Honda unveiled plans for its next-generation fuel cell vehicle (FCV) that is equipped with a plug-in feature for at-home charging and backup power provision.

Slated for a release next year, this innovative FCV will be an evolution of Honda’s current self-charging CR-V SUV model.

The 2024 model’s plug-in function will recharge the vehicle’s modest battery without refilling its hydrogen tank. But the real game-changer lies in the imminent reversible fuel cell technology in the works by Honda and other auto giants for space applications.

The revolutionary technology will initially recharge the battery and then generate hydrogen by electrolyzing the water produced when the vehicle is operational, essentially refilling the hydrogen tank.

Just as electric vehicles are changing the auto industry today, this could be the newest wave of technology that turns it upside down. And should that happen, it’s easy to wonder what type of impact it will have on traditional battery-powered vehicles from Tesla and other manufacturers.

What You Get With a URFC-Powered Vehicle

A URFC-equipped car has the potential to overshadow battery-only electric vehicles by offering quicker refueling during long trips while maintaining the convenience of home recharging.

This technology also hints at a financially savvy choice for consumers because of its use of low-priced, off-peak electricity paired with the lightweight and cost-effective nature of hydrogen storage compared to traditional large batteries.

Unlike present-day hydrogen vehicles that convert hydrogen into electricity, emitting only water vapor, a URFC-enabled vehicle could substantially cut down on refueling station visits and running costs.

This is achievable by refilling the hydrogen tank using cheap overnight electricity, offering a more affordable operational cost compared to conventional vehicles.

It’s safe to say that URFC-powered vehicles are still a few years out, at the earliest, but they’re coming. When they arrive, automakers like Tesla will have increased competition.

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