Automakers are lining up to invest in hydrogen-powered vehicles, even though the big bucks are still being spent on battery-powered cars.
From an infrastructure standpoint, purely electric vehicles make more sense. There are 15,959 electric charging stations in the United States, but only 35 hydrogen stations in the entire US, according to the US Department of Energy. Of those 35 hydrogen stations, only 3 can be found outside of California.
But car makers still see potential in hydrogen technology. Batteries are expensive, take a long time to charge, and have limitations when it comes to driving range. Hydrogen-powered vehicles, on the other hand, have longer ranges and offer short re-fill times.
Scroll down for a look at all the hydrogen-powered vehicles in the works:
1. We would be remiss to not start with the Honda Clarity, which Honda began leasing in California at the end of 2016.
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 and General Motors have invested $US85 million to mass produce hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles beginning in 2020. Honda is currently working with Northeast regulators to introduce the car in states like New York and Connecticut.
2. 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.
The car comes with 37-inch tires and stands at more than 198cm tall and 213cm wide. The US Army will test the car in extreme conditions this year to determine whether it's viable for missions.
3. 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.
The Mirai comes with a front radar sensor and camera that allows it to detect lane drift and alert the driver. It also comes with automatic emergency braking.
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 is also testing its fuel-cell technology in an 18-wheeler truck located in the Port of Los Angeles. What will come of the project is still unknown, but Toyota said it's interested in using hydrogen tech in everything from forklifts to SUVs.
Toyota is also releasing a fleet of 100 hydrogen-powered buses in Japan for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Like Honda, Toyota is also working with regulators in the Northeast to set up a hydrogen infrastructure.
Source: Business Insider
4. Lexus wants to unveil its hydrogen-powered car in 2020, but we have yet to hear details on its range or other specs.
It's worth noting that Lexus' parent company is Toyota.
5. 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.
The h-tron quattro comes with a 'virtual cockpit' that replaces the instrument panel and center console with digital screens. It also comes with a driver assist system that projects your surroundings in real-time so you can change lanes and merge easier.
It's still unclear if Audi will go through with making a production version of the hydrogen car, but the automaker has said it's exploring the technology.
BMW says its hydrogen car will have a range exceeding 480km and a refuel time of under five minutes.
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 and potentially release a mass-market vehicle in 2017.
Ford CTO Raj Nair, however, told Business Insider that the company will not release a hydrogen-powered car this year. Nair said the alliance still exists, but Ford's focus is on battery-powered vehicles as they have made more progress.
'On the passenger side, I'm probably more bullish on the battery electric side than on fuel cells,' he said. 'But we are still investing and we are still doing research, and it's still something that we are very interested in.'