AUTOMOTIVE INSIGHT: Engineering Shortage Hurts Fuel Cells

April 21st, 2008 at 11:16am

As heard on
WWJ Newsradio 950

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Two years ago I would have said the future looks bright for fuel cells. Now, I’m not so sure.

There was a lot of great information that came out of last week’s SAE show at Cobo Hall. And no doubt about it, green issues dominated the discussions. The auto industry is fixated on boosting fuel economy and cutting CO2 emissions.

But interestingly, there seems to be a growing consensus that hydrogen and fuel cell cars are slipping down the priority list for most automakers; at least for the short-term. The problem is an acute shortage of engineers.

In fact, I’m told there are not enough engineers to work on all the hybrids the car companies plan to come out with in the next decade. So that means they’ll have to cut back on their hydrogen programs to free up engineering talent. And so fuel cells look like they’re being relegated to somewhere farther into the future.

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