Anyone who's been paying attention already knows that Bob Carter, Toyota Motor Sales' senior vice president of automotive operations, is confident of the hydrogen future. Very confident, even eight years ago. So his speech today at the 2014 J.P. Morgan Auto Conference was not surprising for its bullish content but for the mention of a few vague specifics. Most important, Toyota is going to make an announcement about hydrogen cars on the east coast of the US before too long.
Hydrogen vehicles hold out a future hope where our cars, trucks and motorcycles won't be emitting harmful toxins and carbon dioxide from their tailpipes (and yes, we know generating the hydrogen fuel will mean emissions from other sources). But before any of us can trade in our fossil fuel-burner for a new hydrogen car, we need someplace convenient to refuel them.
Before moving off Volkswagen of America's Auburn Hills campus entirely, Audi will first take a smaller step. Without doing something as drastic as moving to the East Coast, Audi will physically create its own environment by moving about 200 employees into two buildings of their own on VW's campus. Audi bosses say that they're still working on figuring out where to transplant to -- many cities out east are good candidates for Audi, making an East Coast landing a solid bet.