If you're interested in how automobile technology may change to reduce energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, don't miss The Car of the Future on NOVA Tuesday, April 22 on PBS. It is hosted by NPR's "Car Guys," and they did extensive interviews with Joe Romm who really knows what he's talking about. Even better advice, if you're interested in these issues, follow Joe Romm's blog.
PBS has posted on its website 30 clips of "Romminations" about this. His bottom line seems to be this: Hydrogen fuel cell cars commercially viable? Not in your lifetime and probably never. Plug-in hybrids? Definitely, while I'm still young enough to drive. Oh, and you could review my early post showing one reason why the hydrogen car can't pass the plug-in hybrid.
Now I'm going back to trying to understand if corn-to-ethanol is a good thing or a bad thing. (I'm already pretty sure it's not an absolutely terrible thing, which was my hypothesis when I started that project.)
Joe Romm writes an obituary for hydrogen as a transportation fuel. An excerpt on its fatal illness:
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs) require multiple technological (and other) miracles to succeed as practical, affordable, carbon-reducing consumer vehicles — and they require every plausible competitor, including electric vehicles, to fail first (see “Hydrogen fuel cell cars are a dead end from a technological, practical, and climate perspective” and “The car of the perpetual future” — The Economist agrees with Climate Progress on hydrogen).
. . . .
Running HFCVs on natural gas makes no sense at all since the full life-cycle GHG emissions (including methane leakage) are merely comparable to the best gasoline hybrids. Also, building an expensive hydrogen fueling infrastructure over the next two decades around a fossil fuel would vastly increase the total long-term cost since that infrastructure would have to be replaced in the two decades after that by carbon-free hydrogen fueling stations.