Elon Musk isn't what you might call quiet or reserved when he's got an opinion on something: he's definitely not afraid to put his mouth where his money is. What with Tesla expanding its line of electric vehicles (EVs) into Germany this month, it was all but inevitable that he'd drop a choice soundbite or two about the competition.
Last week, Musk strayed onto the topic of fuel cell technology. In typical Elon Musk fashion, his comments were nonchalant, brusque, and well-informed. He decried fuel cell technology as "so bulls**t" and then went on to drop a bit of knowledge on the crowd concerning why EVs spank fuel cell cars all across the board:
"If you took a fuel cell vehicle, and you took [the] best-case for the fuel cell vehicle in terms of the mass and volume required to go a particular range as well as the... cost of the fuel cell system... if you took the best case of that, it doesn't even equal the current state of the art in lithium-ion batteries. So there's no way for it to be a workable technology." — Elon Musk
Musk went on to explain that a hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure would also be trickier and more dangerous to establish than his planned network of super-charger and battery-swap stations. Of course, Musk is a fairly biased expert, with a lot riding on the adoption of EVs. Nonetheless, if fuel cell cars really are permanently impractical, Musk just did us all a favor by reminding us which path really leads to a better tomorrow.
To listen to Musk describe the status of the electric car in his own words, check out the videos below. He starts talking about half way through the first one, and if you want to hear the bit about fuel cell cars, it begins at about the 29 minute mark.