Why Hydrogen Cars will die

They are too expensive. The numbers speak a clear language.

Martin Thoma
8 min readApr 28, 2021


Image by Dylan Calluy (left) and Axel Antas-Bergkvist (right), created by Martin Thoma

The car market is changing. While we were improving cars powered by Gasoline and Diesel for a long time, Tesla made the industry move. Electric vehicles (EV) and hydrogen cars were seen as two equally valid options for a long time, this changed in the past few years. Let me explain why I think that the hydrogen car will die.

Infrastructure Cost: Charging Stations

Photo by Sophie Jonas on Unsplash

The cost of building a hydrogen fueling station is estimated to be between $1 million USD and $2 million USD, whereas the cost of a 350 kWh electric vehicle station is estimated to be around $200,000 USD (source).

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It’s important to notice that the charging stations differ. While your home power outlet can charge with about 2.3 kW (source), the Tesla Superchargers V3 supports up to 250 kW (source). Looking at the data of the official German regulating agency (Bundesnetzagentur, source from April 2021), Germany has 19,658 charging stations for electric vehicles:

There are 19,658 charging stations in total in Germany in April 2021. 44% of them are 44 kW stations, 21% are 22 kW stations, and 6% support at least 100 kW. Image created by Martin Thoma, Data from Bundesnetzagentur.

The situation for hydrogen cars is simpler. There are only 92 hydrogen stations in Germany (source, April 2021). In February 2020, there were 177 hydrogen stations in all of Europe (source), while there were 285,796 electric charging stations in Europe (source). And don’t forget that you can use a household power outlet for electric cars as well.

The situation looks similar across the world:

The lack of hydrogen fueling stations brings me to the flawed range argument for hydrogen cars: While you might…



Martin Thoma

I’m a Software Engineer with over 10 years of Python experience (Backend/ML/AI). Support me via https://martinthoma.medium.com/membership