The U. S. automotive bailout is not popular with everyone. Some people say that we should let the North American car companies fail and then let the foreign automakers take over. Others say the U. S. automakers are too big to fail, citing that not only will companies like GM and Chrysler workers be affected but thousands of peripheral small businesses will also fail as a result.
No matter which side of the political debate you’re on, one thing is clear: the bailout money is intended to help the automakers develop clean cars that are relevant. Congresswoman from New York, Louise M. Slaughter believes that hydrogen cars are relevant.
She believes this so much, she wants General Motors to commit to building a plant in Rochester, New York that focuses on building hydrogen fuel cells for automobiles. She cites New York State’s other successful GM facility at Honeoye Falls as an example of what is needed at Rochester.
Slaughter says GM can apply for some of the $25 billion in loan funds from the government to help pay for the new plant. This in turn will help speed up the process of bringing production level hydrogen cars to market.
This may not be the most politically popular move for sure, but with EV enthusiasts making their grab for the federal cash right now, hydrogen advocates have to be just as aggressive in making sure we get a fair shake in R&D dollars that will help rollout hydrogen cars sooner rather than later.
Like it or not, the automotive industry as we know it will make a drastic turn in the next one to three years towards greener cars and vehicles in order to survive these rocky economic times. The time to get behind hydrogen is now so that we may push for bluer skies and less fossil fuels tomorrow.