President Obama Eliminates $1.2 Billion in Hydrogen Fuel Cell Research Funding

Joshua Duval

On Thursday, President Barack Obama eliminated a $1.2-billion plan instituted by the previous administration that focused on researching hydrogen fuel cell passenger cars, a movethat reportedly will save taxpayers up to $100 million a year.

The cut shows just how serious Obama is about steering the direction of the "green energy" movement.

"The probability of deploying hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the next 10 to 20 years is low," said Energy Department spokesman Tom Welch last week. He revealed that the immense cost of developing the needed infrastructure of hyrogen pipelines and filling stations, along with the technical issues of producing and storing hydrogen, make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles an unlikely reality.

Obama's new budget will appropriate about $68.2 million for hydrogen fuel cell technologies in the 2010 fiscal year, a decrease of more than $100 million compared with 2009 fiscal year, Welch said. The Energy Department will continue to fund research of non-automotive applications of the technology.

Former President George Bush revealed the $1.2-billion plan in his 2003 State of the Union address, and his administration spent more than $500 million producing and distributing hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles.

It looks like Honda is going to have a hard time bringing the FCX Clarity to the mainstream with an administration heavily favoring hybrids and electric vehicles.

Source: Automotive News

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