fleetdigest October / November 2017
The October / November 2017 issue of fleetdigest is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Associate Publisher of fleetdigest, Jack Kazmierski.
Chicken & Egg
It’s time for the big players to invest in our future.
If you had a chance to take a closer look at the kind of vehicles that were recently unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it’s impressive just how many manufacturers are working on electric vehicles, as well as fuel cell technology. It’s clear that this is the direction the market is going in, both in Europe and to a degree in North America as well.
And it doesn’t seem as though manufacturers are merely dabbling in electrification and fuel cell technologies. They’re diving in headfirst, many promising to bring many new models to market within the next few years.
So if they’re eager to harness the power of these technologies, and consumers are increasingly accepting, then what’s the hold-up? Why aren’t we seeing Level 2 and Level 3 charging stations popping up on every corner (like gas stations)? And why aren’t some of the bigger players in the market, with equally deep pockets, investing in hydrogen fuelling stations?
Which comes first
The easy answer is the old chicken and egg scenario. The argument is that corporations aren’t investing in electric charging stations and hydrogen fuelling stations because there’s not enough demand to make the business venture viable.
On the other hand, without enough charging and fuelling stations around, consumers are hesitant to invest in EVs, let alone fuel cell vehicles, because they prefer the convenience of gas or diesel.
So where do we go from here? It seems like we’ve got a standoff and no one is willing to make the first move.
Personally, I don’t think it’s up to the little guy to make the first move. We can’t have average consumers investing in these vehicles with the hope that they’ll be able to fuel or charge them as needed. It has to be the big players, with the deep pockets, and the historically huge profits, who step up to the plate to move things along.
I was speaking with a fellow journalist recently, and both she and I agreed that if we had the money, we’d build our own hydrogen fuelling stations and charging stations. It’s the future, and it would be great to get in on the proverbial ground floor.
But alas, neither she nor I have the deep pockets mentioned above, so we have no choice but to sit on the sidelines and hope that someone in some boardroom somewhere feels as strongly about the matter as we do. That someone has a chance to make a big difference, but will he… or she?