The Debut of Hydrogenby Tim Manni
California unveiled the first retail hydrogen fuel station in the United States yesterday. Hydrogen, an eco-friendly alternative to gasoline, emits no carbon dioxide, only water vapor. There are very few hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles on US roads. The nearly 100 hydrogen vehicles in California, produced by Chevy and BMW, are all part of demonstration and promotional programs; Honda is set to release their hydrogen model very soon. Auto Manufacturers will not be able to mass-produce hydrogen vehicles at a reasonable cost, until there are more hydrogen fuel stations.
With oil prices reaching over $142 a barrel today, a 40% increase this year alone, many vehicle companies are investing in alternate-fuel models, as well as phasing out larger-size models that are not selling well. General Motors, the world’s largest auto maker, has witnessed their shares drop to $12, their lowest level since 1955. GM shares peaked at $94.62 in 2000.
Full-size pickup truck sales have dropped by over 21% in May. Despite those dismal numbers, Chrysler/Dodge is optimistic about their new 2009 Dodge Ram model, that executives says will compete well with the competition. Although Ram sales have slumped by 27% through May, Chrysler defends their continued production of pickups saying there still are a lot of people that use and depend upon trucks.