[Note: The statements below are intended solely to stimulate discussion among the Expert community, and do not represent the position of OurEnergyPolicy.org. Text in italics indicates clarification or expansion.]
An analysis of the current status shows that hydrogen powered cars, generation infrastructure and delivery infrastructure; all at competitive prices to other solutions are 20 years away under the best of circumstances. In any case, an affordable and efficient electric battery car will be available at least 10 years ahead of that and it will not require infrastructure changes. The hydrogen (fuel cell) car simply lost the race to the market. We are not arguing here the pros and cons of hydrogen propulsion. We are simply stating a fact. The race has been won by the electric battery car and that is the only thing that matters.
Any government programs supporting/preferring hydrogen should be eliminated (see also research priorities). There is no reason for the government to prefer a sure loser.
Since currently the energy balance and global warming effects of generating hydrogen are extremely negative, hydrogen vehicles should not receive any subsidy. We are many years away from a positive energy balance. We should invest our dollars where it is critical.
Given were we are right now, the only transportation market where hydrogen might be competitive is long range trucking. Bio-diesel is by far a better alternative at this point. Train use should rise as well. Let the market forces compete â€“ there is absolutely no reason for preferential treatment of hydrogen.