In many communities, electric buses have been the latest innovation to grab the attention of passengers and mayors alike. While passengers are just thrilled about the quiet and smooth ride, mass transit companies are looking for businesses that can deliver these types of vehicles, especially fuel cell ones, as quickly as possible. However, few options are for sale, despite a boost in demand.
I’ve been following the hydrogen and fuel cell industry for 20 years. In 1997, you couldn’t even call it a niche market. Back then, many engineers didn’t know the term “fuel cell” existed at all and hydrogen was just another element of the periodic table. Only a handful of companies were tinkering with metal hydride storage or phosphoric acid fuel cells. Within a few years, the technology became the latest development everyone in the automotive and heating industry was pinning their hopes on. But nothing came of the ambitious plans businesses were announcing. Even years later, the situation hadn’t changed.