Jonathan Rauch on Fuel Cells

While I’m making reading recommendations, let me belatedly recommend this Reason Online article by Jonathan Rauch on fuel cells. He’s a fantastic writer (this article is very much in the same tone as his outstanding April 2002 Atlantic Monthly article on computer-generated artificial societies as a tool to understand migration and the demise of Anasazi settlements), and in this article he describes conversations he had in Japan with fuel-cell folks at Honda and Toyota. Honda and Toyota have started a fuel cell vehicle production and commercialization pilot, as I mentioned in this post. An excerpt from the article:

It would be a mistake to make too much of this. The Honda and Toyota cars are very, very expensive to manufacture. How expensive? “I can only say the expense is enormous,” said Shinichi Yamaguchi, of Toyota’s environmental-affairs division, during an interpreted interview in Japan’s Toyota City, near Nagoya. Each company plans to produce only one or so of these precious jalopies a month for the next year or two. Still, the problem of stuffing big fuel cells into little cars is now officially solved.

Again, read the whole thing.