Hydrogen fuel once seemed like a promising alternative to oil, but years of broken promises and false hopes has put hydrogen technology on the back burner for many car companies. So is it any surprise that the Obama Administration withdrew much of its support for fuel cells, and instead backed electric cars?
Yet with EV’s also proving a hard sell, U.S. policy makers are reviving interest in hydrogen fuel cells. This includes a bipartisan committee of U.S. Senators who have revived the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus.
A Second Chance For Fuel Cells?
Two Democrats, Richard Blumenthal of CT and Chris Coons of Delaware, joined Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Hoeven of North Dakota in reviving the caucus, which has 40 members and the support of GM to boot. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has also recently made remarks regarding his renewed support for fuel cell technology.
This is a remarkable about-face for the Obama Administration, which threw all of its weight behind putting 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015. That goal now seems all but impossible to achieve, with more realistic estimates somewhere in the 300,000 vehicle range. However, Obama’s “All-Of-The-Above” energy strategy could see hydrogen fuel cell development recieve some much-needed government aid.
Maybe, Maybe Not
Of course, depending on how the Presidential elections go, this could be but a flash in the pan. GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has pledged to repeal tax credits and government funding for all green energy initiatives, though the $40 billion or so in annual oil and gas subsidies will go untouched. Because screw you, that’s why.
So in short, this renewed interest in hydrogen fuel cells is good, but only so long as it lasts.
Source: Autoblog Green