GAM Market Intel digs into hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in its launch issue, Saying goodbye to automotive media pioneer Chuck Parker 

While clean transportation stakeholders have been leaning towards plug-in electric vehicles — whether that be through cars, SUVs, or medium-to-heavy-duty trucks — hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and hydrogen as a fuel/energy source have had quite an impressive year. Cleantech advocates who lean into EVs and renewable energy have been much more open to considering the technology to hit core targets. One element is how California has included fuel cell vehicles as the sister technilogy to EVs in its zero emission vehicle mandates. This edition of the new publication — GAM Market Intel — is the first of two parts on hydrogen and fuel cell technology with this one exploring fuel cell vehicles around the world, and how they’ve been doing in sales. The debate over which technology is better to hit the zero-emission vehicle target — plug-in electric or hydrogen fuel cell — still comes up occasionally. A decade ago, it was common to hear the arguments, when Elon Musk might have attacked fuel cell vehicles just a few years after the movie Who Killed the Electric Car? accused the California Air Resources Board of backing hydrogen fuel ceil vehicles over EVs. Several major car and truck makers have added fuel cell vehcles over to their offerings to hit these targets and becasue buyers are showing more interest in expanding their choices. 

The second GAM Market Intel report digs into the sometimes grandiose commitments governments had been making to hit lofty goals by 2030 — as if they could only make available in their countries electric vehicles that will be semi-to-fully autonomous and part of sharing networks. Not liketly of course, but what it is a more realsitic projection on where the technology stands today and a more realstic view of where it’s going in the near future? It ties into urban planning, development, and transportation strategies in place globally that assume EVs and mobility services will be leading the way in traffic- and smog-congested cities.

You can visit the order page for the two studies to learn more, or you can click the Market Intel link in the left column.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Goodby, Mr. Parker:  For those of you fortunate enough to have known Chuck Parker, I’m sure it was sad to hear about his passing away on Sept. 21 at the age of 88. I’ve appreciated reading about parts of his life that I’d forgotten about, or never knew. Special thanks to my colleagues Janice Sutton, CEO and Editor in Chief, Fleet Management Weekly, and Mike Antich, Editor and Associate Publisher, Automotive Fleet, for writing wonderful tributes to Chuck’s impressive professional career and fine qualities as a human being. It was also good to read about how much other professionals in automotive appreciated him, and the stories they had to tell in Sutton’s LinkedIn page. My heart goes out to Chuck’s family, including his wife Nancy Edwards, who was an honor to work with along with her husband. 

I’d like to acknowledge Chuck for creating the business and editorial platform that the industry’s first digital media company, Automotive Information Network (AIN). Automotive Digest served as the flagship publication website that AIN’s nine industry e-newsletters operated from; it all started up in 1998 and was the first of its kind in the industry. Those of us working with Chuck had to learn how to do video interviews, edit segments for viewing, write about significant news and events in the US auto industry, and sometimes globally, from a concise and focused format, and to look for the “big picture” significance of trends in the market. We were able to interview some of the most interesting and influential leaders in the auto industry, fleet management, remarketing, auto finance, digital marketing, advanced vehicle technology, and clean transportation. It was a digest for busy, thoughtful insightful professionals in the auto industry — and for others fascinated with what was going on. Fleet Management Weekly is continuing with this editorial model, and is a must-read and must-view for professionals in that discipline. Green Auto Market started out as part of the Automotive Digest media titles; and I thank Chuck and Nancy, and other colleagues, for supporting this publication.

And in other news………..

New OPEC embargo on the way?  Did you know that Russia joined OPEC in 2016, and that it was renamed OPEC Plus? This coalition, led by Russia and Saudi Arabia, announced Wednesday it will cut way back on oil production by 2 million barrels per day. It’s possible it may push up gas prices worldwide and play into the tension and chaos from Russia’s war in Ukraine. “The President is disappointed by the shortsighted decision by OPEC Plus to cut production quotas while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said in a statement.

German car rental company Sixt is following global competitor Hertz’ lead by announcing it will be bringing in 100,000 electric vehicles. That order will be fulfilled by Chinese automaker BYD between now and 2028. The first batch will be delivered this year to Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the U.K. during Q4 of this year. Hertz announced about two weeks ago that it will order up to 175,000 EVs from General Motors over the next five years. Other deals were made by Hertz to bring in thousands of electric cars built by Polestar and Tesla. The end goal is to covert 25% of its fleet over to EVs by 2024. It’s also very good news for BYD, which has been trying to build its global band presence. Its commercial vehicles are going in fairly small numbers all over the world, and it has a significant share of China’s EV market. Bringing in movie star Leonardo DiCaprio as brand ambassador for its new energy vehicles has been part of that strategy. 

Hydrogen and fuel cells have gained enough presence to earn an annual day of recognition. The U.S. Dept. of Energy says that October 8 was chosen to be designated as National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day by the number 1.008. That’s the atomic weight of hydrogen. The national day of recognition was set up to support efforts to celebrate hydrogen and its role to transition to “a cleaner and more equitable energy future.”

Jon LeSage, author of the two studies featured above and editor of Green Auto Market, is available for consulting services including being interviewed on clean transportation and related topics. He brings experience, expertise, and broad, global perspectives on the auto industry, alternative fuel vehicles, sustainability issues, government policies, and the future of automated mobility. Contact him at jlesage378@gmail.com.

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