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Several statements by members of US President Barack Obama's administration are the first hints that the US government might be broadening support for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The Obama administration had backed electric and hybrid vehicles as the future of sustainable motoring over fuel cells.
Previously, the Energy Secretary cut funding to fuel cell research, and President Obama made a goal of having 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015.
"There's been a dramatic turnaround in the past six to nine months of the need for this in the future. What has not yet occurred is the action that will be needed to meet the needs by 2015," said an Energy Department spokesman a conference sponsored by the Hydrogen Education Foundation in regards to the future of hydrogen vehicles.
Then at the same conference, President Obama's aide on energy and climate change said that the US needs to compete better with Japan and Germany on fuel cell research and production.
"Fuel cells are truly an integral part of our portfolio and part of our all-in approach," said David Danielson, Energy Department assistant secretary.
ToyotaToyotaJapan, 1937 > present and MercedesMercedes-BenzGermany, 1924 > present both think they will have hydrogen cars ready for sale by 2015, and Honda already technically has a vehicle done, the FCX ClarityHonda FCX ClarityJapan, 2010 > present, but there is no where to fuel it. Mercedes will open a fuel cell factory in Burnaby, Canada, on Thursday, June 21.
Hydrogen fuel cells can use the same electric motors and transmissions as hybrids and pure electric cars. The difference is that the energy to power them comes from hydrogen creating electricity in fuel cells.
The problem is how to fuel them. Without hydrogen fueling stations, or even the available hydrogen, these vehicles are useless. The US government is not is a position to fund the infrastructure, and the automakers do not want to get into the fueling industry. There are 56 hydrogen fueling stations in the US, and 23 are in California.
Source: Automotive News