This paper considers the practical feasibilty of an overall vehicle power system and the likelihood of developing a fuel-cell electric car at an acceptable price in the next decade. High-temperature fuel cells are discounted because of long start-up time and the weight of the individual units.
The most feasible direct-fueled fuel battery is the methanol/air and hydrazine/air systems. The advantages of this type fuel cell are simplicity, instantaneous start-up capability, instantaneous availability of reactants, and a simple control for maintaining the proper concentration of fuel. Methanol is the preferred soluble fuel since it is relatively inexpensive; whereas hydrazine is toxic and mildly corrosive.
The fuel cell will be acceptable only when it is economically justified in the environment in which it is introduced. The sole criteria of reduced levels of atmospheric pollution will not be sufficient justification for development of a fuel-cell car.