It’s an exciting time in the automotive industry. That excitement is doubled for those of us in the hydrogen and fuel cell industry. Word has gotten out that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will soon launch a campaign called H2USA that will give hydrogen and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) a well-deserved boost.
Those who have been following the progress of FCEV adoption know that there have been some bumps in the road. Hydrogen fuel cells, encouraged by President George W. Bush, lost favor to battery electric vehicles after President Obama took office in 2009. Energy Secretary Steven Chu questioned the merits of hydrogen-powered cars and cut funding for fuel cell research, while President Obama was setting a goal of having 1 million battery electric vehicles on the road by 2015.
In 2012, Secretary Chu made headlines when he announced he had changed his view on hydrogen as a transportation fuel. According to the Secretary, the economics behind hydrogen and fuel cells had changed dramatically in the last few years. The abundance and low cost of natural gas, as well as technological developments in fuel cell technology, were the major causes for his change of perspective. Secretary Chu also cited the faster fueling time of fuel cell electric vehicles.
The government’s support of our industry helped make 2012 an important year for Nuvera Fuel Cells and other hydrogen fuel cell companies. And with the announcement from DOE about H2USA, 2013 is about to make an even larger impact. Stay tuned!