When the subject came up during a discussion with reporters at the 2015 Automotive News World Congress, Musk said “it’s just very difficult … to make hydrogen and store it and use it in a car,” according to CNBC. “The best-case hydrogen fuel cell doesn’t win against the current case batteries, so then, obviously … it doesn’t make sense,” he added later.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are similar to electric vehicles (EVs) in that they use an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine to power the wheels. However, while EVs run on batteries that must be plugged in to recharge, FCVs generate their electricity onboard. In a fuel cell, hydrogen gas from the vehicle’s fuel tank combines with oxygen from the air to generate electricity — with only water and heat being byproducts of the process, the EPA explains.