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Chu and the US government back fuel-cell vehicles again.

Back in 2009, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu stated during an interview that light-duty fuel cell-powered vehicles were in need of "a few miracles" to make them viable. Fast forward a few years and Chu has now completely turned around on his opinion of fuel cell vehicles thanks to abundant natural gas supplies in the United States. While the U.S. seemed to turn away from fuel cell vehicles, other countries continued forward. 
 
In the years between Chu turning his back on fuel-cell vehicles and his about-face, Germany, the UK, and Japan all made significant strides towards an infrastructure for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Now the American government is officially back on the fuel-cell vehicle and wagon.
 
The challenge now is to commercialize the technology as government funding for research and development of fuel-cell vehicles is reduced.
 
In July of 2012, the US Department of Energy announced a two-year program that would monitor and evaluate performance data on hydrogen infrastructure within the country. The earliest the program could kickoff would be 2013 with results likely not available until 2016. Pike Research reports that by 2016, car companies should have fleets of fuel-cell vehicles on the road, particularly in Europe and Asia Pacific.
 
Pike Research analyst Kerry-Ann Adamson writes that she fears Chu's about-face may actually delay the rollout of fuel-cell vehicles in the U.S. by focusing on research and development rather than commercialization. 
 
Adamson wrote, "Four years from now. By that time all the car companies should have fleets of fuel cell vehicles on the road, probably in Europe and Asia Pacific."
 
"So unless this about-face includes a realistic roadmap to commercialization that focuses on the market and not R&D, the Energy Secretary’s support could actually delay the roll-out of FCVs in the U.S."

Source: Pike Research





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