With the success of tech genius and billionaire Elon Musk’s electric car company Tesla, established car companies and oil companies are feeling afraid of this giving rise to many other companies that copy his business model. In order to fight this, auto majors like Daimler, Honda, BMW, Hyundai and Toyota and oil, energy and mining majors like Linde, Anglo American, Total, Engie and Shell have come together to form the Hydrogen Council to promote hydrogen as a fuel of the future and as a solution for transitioning from one form of energy to another.
This was announced at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos in Switzerland. The statement further said that Hydrogen should be a fuel of choice as it does not release any carbon dioxide at the point of use. They aim to convince other governments, regulators, markets and public that Hydrogen can truly be the way ahead. They also want appropriate subsidies for companies investing in Hydrogen fuels just like electric vehicles are getting subsidies.
The main reasons for these companies to make these statements is because without the appropriate technology, they would soon become irrelevant. Automobile companies are currently decades away from making cars with technology similar to that of Tesla. Tesla is now able to provide self driving autonomous cars. It already has some very happy customers with a low maintenance Tesla.
Catching up to such electric vehicles by developing this technology is going to be very very difficult and may take at least a few decades. Another challenge that automobile manufacturers see is the relatively low cost of setting up a company and factory that produces electric vehicles. The cost of R&D and setting up a hydrogen cell car factory is relatively very steep.
Oil companies are also worried about the number of orders Tesla is getting for its cars. Electric vehicles are not perfect today, but even in their present shape, they are good enough to beat existing automobile companies and once that happens, oil companies will see a fall in their revenues.