JR DeShazo, director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, expressed doubts about the future of hydrogen-powered vehicles in an ABC News article. A small market exists for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, which convert hydrogen gas into electricity to power an electric motor. These “plug-less” vehicles can refuel in less than five minutes and have a long driving range. However, DeShazo noted that the infrastructure to support hydrogen fuel for transportation has never materialized. “If there were stations everywhere, hydrogen would be an obvious solution,” DeShazo explained. “Refueling stations are really expensive and require significant economies of scale to be cost effective and compete with gasoline and electricity.” There are currently 42 hydrogen fueling stations in California, and the average price of hydrogen is much higher than a gallon of gasoline. DeShazo also pointed out that the production of hydrogen causes greenhouse emissions, making it less environmentally sustainable.
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