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Why Toyota's Move to Fuel Cells Won't Affect Electric Vehicle Sales

There is also the issue of transport. One of the main advantages of EV is that electricity is easily transported through the power grid and does not have to be physically shipped to exact points of distribution. This is why charging an EV is so cheap. Hydrogen, though, does have to be physically transported, just like gasoline. While electric power for EVs can come from any source ultimately (including fossil fuels), hydrogen must come fossil fuels. The only other possible source is water, because nobody is going to figure out how to extract hydrogen from the upper atmosphere any time soon.

There are companies that could benefit from Toyota leaving the EV space, because those customers are not going to move en masse to FCV. Maybe some will for novelty's sake, but not in great numbers and not long term.

The first is Nissan, as the Leaf will pick up some Prius plug-in slack. The General Motors' (GM) Chevy Spark should also benefit somewhat as it is in a similar price range as the Prius. Tesla (TSLA) will probably remain unaffected as Tesla buyers are more high end and the new Toyota Fuel Cell is not selling to the same market, less novelty seekers. Also unaffected will be the charging company CarCharging Group, the largest EV charging provider in the US, which just made a move to include Tesla charging ports in its stations after Tesla's now famous patent sharing move.

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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