Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk knows how to get his point across when things make him unhappy. For example, Musk’s take on hydrogen fuel cells: When asked by a reporter what his opinion was, Musk said fuel cells were “so bullshit,” a verbal spear aimed at Honda (NYSE:HMC) and Toyota (NYSE:TM), both of which have sunk sizable amounts of money into developing the technologies.
It’s taken some time, but Toyota’s Bob Carter, the company’s senior vice president for automative operations, is throwing the ball back in Musk’s court. It’s no secret that Toyota has ambitious plans to put a mass-market fuel cell vehicle on American roads by next year and build the needed infrastructure to support a population of hydrogen-powered cars.
“Personally I don’t really care what Elon and [Nissan CEO] Carlos [Ghosn] and [Volkswagen’s] Jonathan [Browning] have to say about fuel cells. It’s very reminiscent of 1998, 1999 when we first introduced the Prius,” Carter said at a conference held at the Detroit auto show, per Reuters. It’s a fair point. The Prius is the world’s best-selling hybrid, and Carter believes the hydrogen car could see similar fame.