Thirteen car and energy industry giants have gathered together to form the "Hydrogen Council" to push hydrogen as the world's next leading major fuel source. The Hydrogen Council includes major auto manufacturers such as Daimler, Honda, BMW, Hyundai and Toyota. It also includes oil, energy and mining powerhouses such as Linde, Anglo American, Total, Engie and shell. All these companies are involved in either the supply or transport of carbon-based fuels, and in some cases both. The rise of Elon Musk's electric car company Tesla has many established auto and oil companies are in fear of the future if other companies copy his business model. This formed council is their solution to transfer one form of energy to another.
They announced their existence at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos in Switzerland. The World Economic Forum is an annual event where the politicians, business leaders and the extremely wealthy get together to discuss what they feel would be the best for the world. They stated that Hydrogen should be a fuel of choice as it does not release any carbon dioxide at the point of use. Their combined goal is to convince other governments, regulators, markets and the public that Hydrogen can be the true path ahead. They also hope that governments will approve appropriate subsidies for companies investing in Hydrogen fuel just like the electric vehicles are getting subsidies. The members of the Hydrogen Council make these statements because they fear they will soon be irrelevant without catching up to the technology available today. Auto manufacturing companies are years away from making vehicles with technology similar to Tesla and Tesla is on its way in providing autonomous driving vehicles. In addition, the high satisfaction rate of a low maintenance Tesla is starting to get them worried.
At the meeting the Council said they plan to work with and provide recommendations to key stakeholders, such as politicians. The members have shown their commitment to accelerating growth of Hydrogen as the main form of fuel by a combined investment of $10.7 billion over the next five years. Hydrogen is a very tempting alternative to fossil fuels for auto manufacturing companies. They currently have the incentive of having a much larger travel range than electric vehicles and takes a very short amount of time to refuel in comparison to an electric vehicle which may take a full day to charge at a regular outlet. The biggest obstacle of Hydrogen fuel is the infrastructure required to support it. Elon Musk last year criticized Hydrogen as a poor alternative to electric last year. He was quoted "I just think that they're extremely silly ... it's just very difficult to make hydrogen and store it and use it in a car." Canad itself only has 20 hydrogen-fueling stations across the country and only a few of them are actually operating.