10 hydrogen-powered cars in the works right now

It may seem odd that so many automakers are developing hydrogen-powered cars.

Not many people have heard of the technology, and from an infrastructure standpoint, purely electric vehicles make more sense. For example, there are 14,618 electric stations in the United States, and hydrogen stations are really only available in California.

But a lot of work is being done behind the scenes to make hydrogen-powered cars a reality.

Here’s a look at all the hydrogen-powered cars we can expect to see in the near future:

1. Toyota has been working on hydrogen-powered cars the longest, having put 23 years into the technology. Here we see its hydrogen car, the Toyota Mirai.

Toyota

The automaker has been selling the Toyota Mirai in Japan since December 2014, but began sales in California in October 2015 -- marking the first time hydrogen-powered vehicles were sold in the United States.

The automaker has sold 836 Toyota Mirais in California since its launch, a Toyota spokesperson told Business Insider. Toyota plans to sell 30,000 a year worldwide by 2020.

The Toyota Mirai can drive for 502km before needing a refuel and reaches a top speed of 178km/h.

The Mirai has a frontal radar system so it can detect potential collisions and automatically employ the brakes.

Toyota

The car is also equipped with a camera so it can detect lane drift. If the car detects the driver is drifting out of his lane, a noise will go off as an alert.

Toyota

The car comes with two touchscreens. The top one can be used for music selection and navigation, while the one on the bottom controls the temperature and audio output.

Toyota

2. Honda will begin leasing its fuel-cell car, the Honda Clarity, in California by the end of 2016.

Honda

The EPA recently gave the car an estimated range of 589km -- the longest range of any zero-emissions vehicle. Honda says the Clarity has a refuel time of just three to five minutes.

Honda

The Honda Clarity will cost around $US60,000 and has a targeted monthly lease of $US500.

3. Lexus wants to unveil its hydrogen-powered car in 2020, but we have yet to hear details on its range or other specs.

Lexus

It's worth noting that Lexus' parent company is Toyota.

The car comes with high-tech perks like a display that can be controlled with simple hand gestures.

Lexus

4. Audi unveiled a concept car, the h-tron quattro, at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show that the automaker says can drive 598km on hydrogen alone.

Audi

Audi says the mustard yellow, fuel cell car can go from 0 to 100km/h in under 7.1 seconds.

Audi

The h-tron quattro comes with a 'virtual cockpit' that replaces the instrument panel and center console with digital screens.

Audi

The Audi h-tron quattro also comes with a driver assist system that projects your surroundings in real-time so you can change lanes and merge easier.

Audi

And the interior of the car offers plenty of legroom and comes with television screens for passengers in the back seat.

Audi

It's still unclear if Audi will go through with making a production version of the hydrogen car, but the automaker is exploring the technology.

5. BMW is working on a hydrogen car starting in 2020.

BMW

BMW will collaborate with Toyota to build the hydrogen drivetrains in its 2020 car.

BMW says its hydrogen car will have a range exceeding 480km and a refuel time of under five minutes.

BMW

6. Ford is aiming to launch the first affordable, mass-market vehicle by 2017.

Ford

In January 2013, Ford announced it was teaming up with Mercedes-Benz's parent company Daimler and Nissan to accelerate the creation of fuel cell technology. There's no word yet on how the car will perform.

Source: Ford

7. Mercedes-Benz is making a plug-in hydrogen car called the GLC F-Cell. The automaker says it will have an all-electric range of 50km, and a collective range of 500km with the hydrogen fuel cell.

Mercedes-Benz

The hydrogen tank can be refilled in just three minutes. The car will be released in 2017, but there's no word on price yet.

Mercedes-Benz

8. Welsh start-up Riversimple will let UK drivers lease its hydrogen-powered car, the Rasa, in 2017. Riversimple will offer three-month and six-month leases for 60 to 80 UK residents.

Riversimple

The car boasts a 500km range and is super lightweight, coming in under 590kg. There's no word yet on the car's speed.

Riversimple

But we're a big fan of the interior. The steering wheel is wrapped in a material called alcantara, giving it a velvety, luxurious feel.

Riversimple

9. Italian design house Pininfarina is doing a limited production run of its hydrogen-powered car, the H2 Speed. It can accelerate to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds.

Getty/Harold Cunningham

The car can reach a top speed of 300km/h and refuels in just three minutes. Pininfarina has yet to release the car's range.

Pininfarina

The design house is building 10 versions of the H2 Speed, with production models hitting the roads in 12 to 14 months. But it will cost a whopping $US2.5 million.

Getty/Harold Cunningham

10. General Motors revealed its monster of a hydrogen-powered car at the at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army in October.

General Motors

The car comes with 37-inch tires and stands 2 metres tall and 2.1 metres wide. The US Army will test the car in extreme conditions in 2017 to determine whether it's viable for missions.

General Motors

GM says it has achieved 5 million kilometres of hydrogen fuel cell testing, but there's no word on the specs of this particular hydrogen powered car.

General Motors

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