Obama Administration Cuts Hydrogen Fuel Cell Funding

Obama Administration Cuts Hydrogen Fuel Cell Funding

While the Obama Administration is definitely behind green initiatives and reducing vehicular carbon emissions, they have officially started cutting ties with hydrogen fuel-cell technology in favor of plug-in electric vehicles.

The DOE secretary Steven Chu stated yesterday that hydrogen vehicles are still 10 to 20 years from being practical and consequently the federal government will be dropping millions of dollars of hydrogen fuel cell funding from next year’s budget.

This announcement was in stark contrast to what Chu stated several weeks ago when he announced that $41.9 million for hydrogen projects.

Obviously the latest announcement has ruffled some feathers. The National Hydrogen Association immediately fired off a statement that decries the cuts as stifling to hydrogen fuel cell technology development, which they claim is showing “exceptional promise and beginning to gain market traction.”

A sentiment reflected in the fact that this year’s New York Auto Show named the hydrogen fuel cell powered Honda FCX Clarity (pictured above) was named the World Green Car of the Year.

What do you think? Is hydrogen technology worth investing in or is the Obama Administration right to just focus on electric cars?

View Comments (7)


  1. RP

    May 8, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    This is really bad. What I feel is that hydrogen is the only viable alternative to gas. Battery is good but not the solution if you want the range and quick refilling.

  2. Imall Wright

    May 8, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    NASA has spent billions on fuel cells and many more billions have been spent by researchers globally. The result – nothing, not even one break-through. However, this doesn’t mean hydrogen isn’t the best “fuel”, it just means an engine which fully utilizes the power of hydrogen isn’t generally know. That includes internal combustion by the way. The real technical break-through though may have just been made by the ZED engine research team. Their CEO was on national radio last Sunday. Its still under the radar, but what is known is that Greenberg Traurig of Washington, D.C. just finished the patents, and the #1 person of the Top 50 in the world “who can change the world” (Guardian newspaper – London) named Terry Tamminen (former head of California EPA)just met with the zedpower executive in Canada. Apparently the ZED engine packs 2.5-3.0 horsepower per cubic inch displacement which beats gasoline performance, and its fully scalable to any size vehicle, something electric will never do. For those in the know, apparently the best is yet to come.

  3. Devin Smith

    May 9, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I am writing this in response to the fact that the presidential administration has decided to cut funding for hydrogen fuel cells and go with electric technology. This is a bad decision in my opinion. Look at the amount of resources it takes to create electricity. You have to mine and process coal, which then has to be burned to create the energy needed, then you have our hydro-electric, constantly changing the way our rivers and oceans. This also requires large amounts of resources to achieve.

    Now I have done some research on the Honda CFX and I have written a paper for college praising the innovations of this car. Not only can hydrogen technology take society way into the future but this is such a new concept that if we continue to research the hydrogen resources that we may find many many more uses for this type of resource.

    What next, the government going to pull funding from the autonomous car research that Stanford won with their car Stanley. I just don’t think we as a society can afford to limit research for one alternative fuel just so that we can advance another faster. All we will do is reach the end result of a big OOPS! faster. We might as well just put blinders on and try and convince ourselves that fossil fuels will last forever and life will be a bowl of cherries.

  4. Tammy

    May 11, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Thanks Obama (I am (was) a HUGE supporter) for the nail in the coffin. GM was banking on the program and the DOE funding FOR OUR FUTURE!!!!!!! Now my husband and I will become a homeowner in foreclosure, unemployed etc, etc, etc………

  5. Ken Mauritz

    May 13, 2009 at 7:22 am

    I am a researcher in the area of fuel cell science and technology and know more than a little about this topic. If all we do is to say that the technology is 10 years away it will always be 10 years away. I have been assessing this area since the aftermath of the oil crunch in the 1970s and the first determined fuel cell effort for mass consumer use begun. But when the price of oil plunged in 1982 the R&D was dropped because our country does not have the will to invest in something that won’t happen next year. This is a complex thing to explain and involves industry, investors and the government. If we had continued research and development then, a viable technology would not be 10+ years away. The automotive and chemical industries, including large and small technology driven companies, have invested much money in developing viable fuel cells and now they get a kick in the teeth for their efforts. This is an administration that is apparently ignorant of technology and is listening to the wrong advisors. Moreover, Obama’s alternative technologies are neither economical nor environmentally sound.

  6. home made wind generators

    June 27, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Intelligent stuff =) Will definitely visit again

  7. bowlan

    January 11, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    its all just a big smoke screen.
    battery cars will never take off.
    hydrogen would be better for creatin new home heat systems such as what we have developed.
    saltwater is cheaper than heating oil.

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