Just How Revolutionary is the New Toyota Hydrogen Car?

Some are saying that Toyota’s FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) Concept car is the automobile that will change the world when it hits dealership floors in two more years. This buzz is due to from where it gets its power:  a hydrogen fuel cell.  Specifically, a pair of 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen tanks.

Being powered by a hydrogen fuel cell means that the electric car will not need a heavy, potentially dangerous, and ever costly battery pack, because it will use hydrogen to generate electricity. If it works, this new technology will indeed be revolutionary since a hydrogen fuel cell system’s emissions are only water vapor. The water vapor is created when the energy within the hydrogen oxidizes it to make electricity. Hydrogen is made from natural gas, a resource that is both abundant and cheap.

Additionally, and unlike a pure EV’s like the Nissan Leaf, range anxiety should not be an issue.  Toyota is claiming it will have a range of 300 miles.  Of course, you’ll have to pay a pretty penny for this piece of automotive futurism: $50,000 to $100,000. That sounds like a lot, but it puts it right in competition with the Tesla Model S, which has been outselling all other cars among America’s wealthiest citizens.

Are Fuel Cells “Fool” Cells?

There are big skeptics, however. Perhaps the most vocal has been Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has stated:

“Fuel cells should be renamed ‘fool cells,’ they are so stupid.  You could take best case of a fuel cell, theoretically the best case, and it does not compete with lithium-ion cells today. And lithium-ion cells are far from their optimum”

Mr. Musk certainly knows his science, captaining our nation’s first successful new automaker in decades, but as this Bloomberg article points out, Toyota’s 1997 decision to produce the world’s first mass-market hybrid was written off as foolish endeavor by many. Of course, Toyota showed the critics by selling nearly 4 million Priuses.

South Leading the Way in Auto Industry Recovery

It appears that the southern region of the country has been leading the nation when it comes to owing money on their cars and trucks. Eight out of the top ten metropolitan areas with the most auto loan debt per household are in the southern portion of the United States. According to a recent study conducted by Manilla.com, Shreveport Louisiana was found to have, on average, $18,603 in auto debt per household. Shreveport is in good company:  New Orleans (LA), Houston (TX), Little Rock-Pinebuff (AR), San Antonio (TX), Lafayette (LA), New York (NY), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (FL), Las Vegas (NV), and Wilkes Barre-Scranton (PA) have rounded out the top ten cities. With such a large number of cities in the Heart of Dixie accumulating auto debt, the south has taken the reins in leading the country through the economic recovery of the auto industry.

Why has the southern US been accumulating more debt on their autos compared to the rest of the country? The reason, to a great degree, is due to simple economics. According to government figures obtained by Manilla.com, the southern half of the United States has weathered the economic crisis better than the rest of the country. The south has had the advantage of a relatively steady employment rate throughout the national recession. These employment rates have continued to increase throughout the recent summer months. Louisiana in particular has added jobs at a higher rate compared to the rest of the nation. Steady employment and relatively stable household income means that the South now has a little extra spending money.

In addition to increased volume in auto loans, delinquencies on existing loans have been decreasing over the past few months. Lower default rates and increased auto loan balances is considered welcome news for the auto industry. The US auto industry took a hard hit during the recent financial recession. Banks were unwilling or unable to loan out large amounts of money to the public for the financing of auto purchases. Auto companies in turn were unable to sell their vehicles which led to a backlog of auto inventory. With banks now loosening credit restrictions and lending money more often, people have started to take advantage of the current low interest rates and started purchasing new vehicles. The Heart of Dixie has become a shining example of how the American spirit will always prevail in challenging times.

Of course, if you live in the #2 city of Houston and need to finance a car, be sure to check out our Houston page for more information.

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Fort Worth Resident? Check These Low Rates…

GoBankingRates.com, drawing from the interest rate database maintained by Informa Research Services, has identified 10 of the lowest auto loans interest rates in the Fort Worth area. While average rates in the city range from 5.14% to 4.16% APR, these rates range from 3.49% to 1.99% APR. Lenders include Bank of America, Chase, Prosperity Bank, Tarrant County Credit Union, and Fort Worth CCU. Of course, the majority of these rates can only be had with 36-48 month loans, though there are a couple of 60-month loans are on the list. Also, as you may guess, these are largely “OAC” rates, meaning you’ll need quite good credit to qualify.

Go here to learn more:  http://www.gobankingrates.com/auto-loans/new-report-identifies-10-lowest-fort-worth-auto-loan-rates/