While Honda and Toyota have raced ahead with hybrid cars, American manufacturers such as GM and Ford have tended to claim that they were working on something even better (even while grudgingly announcing hybrids to come out real soon now). General Motors' advanced hydrogen car efforts were profiled in Wired last year, and now Ken Novak points us to Ford's entry into the "wow, I wonder if this will ever come out?" motor rally: the Model U. I have to admit, it looks pretty nice. It would look even better on the road, and not just in a press release.
Mmm, not impressed. Obviously zero effort has been put into aerodynamics of the vehicle, which is the largest source of drag during use. And H2 ICE's are nice and all, but they have most of the disadvantages of fuel cells (space for on-board storage of H2 fuel, lack of infrastructure), without the main advantage (not burning a fuel). Any ICE will cause NOX (and, to a lesser extent, SOX) simply by burning air. ..But it'd be cheaper than a fuel cell car, so might help the chicken-and-egg problem.