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Obama and DOE Slash Hydrogen Car Budget by 60-percent

Just when I talked about how things weren’t as bad as they seemed a few days ago in regard to the federal hydrogen car budget, things have indeed gotten worse. On April 27, I talked about how the Department of Energy’s published budget in 2009, went down to $177.7 million from $211.9 million in 2008.

But, now in the past week, those numbers have changed on the DOE website. According to the current DOE site the numbers for 2009 are now up to $200,600 million for 2009. Now, the bad news.

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), President Obama has asked the DOE to cut the hydrogen car budget for 2010 by 60-percent or roughly $100 million. According to the WSJ, the President sees hybrids, plug-ins and full electric cars as a better near term solutions than hydrogen cars.

The New York Times (NYT) seconds this sentiment saying that Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the government “preferred to focus on projects that would bear fruit more quickly.” The Wall Street Journal however blames the highball figure given by the National Research Council who said it would take $200 billion to build an adequate hydrogen refueling infrastructure (this figure is disputed in many of my past posts).

The WSJ also says, “A spokesman for the National Hydrogen Association in Washington said his group was still being briefed on the Obama proposal and had no immediate comment.”

Well, this is no longer the case as the National Hydrogen Association (NHA) has spoken out strongly against the hydrogen car budget cuts. In fact, the NHA and U. S. Fuel Cell Council offered a joint statement saying, “The cuts proposed in the DOE hydrogen and fuel cell program threaten to disrupt commercialization of a family of technologies that are showing exceptional promise and beginning to gain market traction.

“Fuel cell vehicles are not a science experiment. These are real vehicles with real marketability and real benefits. Hundreds of fuel cell vehicles have collectively logged millions of miles.

“Both the National Academy of Sciences and NHA’s recent Energy Evolution report conclude that a portfolio of vehicle technologies is needed to achieve the nation’s energy and environmental security goals and that hydrogen is essential to success. Hydrogen also advances the Obama Administration’s goals of greener power generation and a smarter power grid.”

Well, so much for reaching across the aisle when it comes to hydrogen car technology. With this kind of deep budget cut looming for hydrogen cars, the delayers and deniers (and we’re not talking about climate change – or are we?) have taken over in the new administration. Let’s hope a more rational approach takes over in the months to come in regard to clean car technology and energy independence for this country. And let’s also hope this is not simply a political move to undo more of the Bush policies of the past.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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2 comments

  1. CaliforniaView

    GOOD Move Obama!
    Hydrogen Research Grants was just another Bush boondoggle for his cronies. There is no need to create Hydrogen Storage Tanks and Pipelines to replace the Gasoline infrastructure.

    Hydrogen can be made from water and electricity ON BOARD THE vehicle, or with a home generator.
    You can see hundreds of home hydrogen generators on youtube.com.
    Obama needs to cut the red tape that Oil Companies sponsored which prevents GE and Ballard Power from selling small home hydrogen units.
    The Electric grid will do the distribution. And many folks will generate power locally with Solar.
    Obama needs to lift the Prohibition on the Sale of Hydrogen Vehicles!!
    UC Davis and UC Irvine have had Toyota Hydrogen Hylanders on campus for FIVE Years.
    LET THE PUBLIC BUY THEM NOW!

    http://www.My-Representative.org

    Your Article fails to Mention the Number One Hydrogen Fuel Cell Auto Manufacturer with 200 cars Leased to the Public
    http://automobiles.honda.com/fcx-clarity/drive-fcx-clarity.aspx

    Hydrogen Production and Delivery R&D
    Research and develop advanced technologies for producing and delivering hydrogen. Feedstocks include natural gas and renewables; technology areas include processes and techniques such as reforming, separating, purifying, compressing, and delivering hydrogen.
    FY2006: $8,391; FY2007: $33,702; FY2008: $38,607; FY2009: $10,000

    Hydrogen Storage R&D
    Develop and demonstrate compressed hydrogen tanks for near-term storage of hydrogen and advanced materials for long-term hydrogen storage systems.
    FY2006: $26,040; FY2007: $33,728; FY2008: $42,371; FY2009: $59,200

    Fuel Cell Stack Components R&D
    In collaboration with partners, research and develop technologies to overcome the most critical technical hurdles for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack components for both stationary and transportation applications. Critical technical hurdles include cost, durability, efficiency and overall performance of components such as the polymer electrolyte membranes, oxygen reduction electrodes, advanced catalysts, bipolar plates, etc.
    FY2006: $30,710; FY2007: $37,100; FY2008: $42,344; FY2009: $62,700
    http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/budget.html

    Technology Validation
    Validate component R&D in a systems context under real-world operating conditions to quantify the performance and reliability, document any problem areas, and provide valuable information to researchers to help refine and direct future R&D activities related to fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen infrastructure.
    FY2006: $33,301; FY2007: $39,413; FY2008: $29,612; FY2009 (in Vehicle Technologies Program): $15,000

  2. gell redox flow battery at this moment can meet the targets of being as good as petrol and there for hydrogen still needs to replenish and can be done in minuts a electric car, hydrogen to needs refueling to .too same places as” and can store like hydrogen on small and larger scales from solar or not why.they are density equations, and delivery. profile and tax.

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