There are many, many sites that offer information and forecasts on hydrogen as the fuel of the future. Here are just a few:
Iceland's government is aiming for total ‘hydrogenisation' by 2050.
Some dream of eventually exporting the hydrogen to create a booming industry: Arnason has even inspired his countrymen to imagine Iceland as the ‘Kuwait of the North'.
Governments and the auto industry are pouring billions into hydrogen vehicle research and development. Internal combustion engines are only 14% efficient, while hydrogen fuel cells are 42% efficient, and autos consume 26% of all energy. Finding a supply of hydrogen is problematic, but a variety of methods is being developed that could prove commercially feasible. Fuel cell autos are considered long-range alternatives to electric cars, and they are also similar to hybrids. These cars all use electric motors to drive wheels, batteries to store energy, regenerative braking to conserve it, and may in time use composite bodies that are lighter. TechCast estimates fuel cell cars will enter the commercial market by 2015, eventually creating global demand that may reach several $ trillion. (Also see Hydrogen Economy)
Selected Adoption & Forecast Data
Expected to be on the market about 2015
• Toyota expects to have fuel-cell cars on the market by 2015 (Washington Post 4/16/11).
• Daimler Chrysler thinks competitive fuel cell cars will be on the road by 2012-2015. (News.com 5/18/07)
• The US National Research Council said "Lower-cost fuel cell [cars] are likely to be available by 2015. 2 million hydrogen powered cars could be operating in the US in 2020 and 25 million by 2030." (NRC Committee on Fuel Cell Technologies)
• The Fuel Cell Council says use of fuel cells is growing 75%/year, with total sales of $46 B expected in '11. (Kelly Carnes, TechVision21)
That's Energy Secretary Steven Chu three years ago explaining to senators why the Obama administration had decided not to place its bets -- and taxpayers' money -- on hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Chu: There are real issues. The most problematic, in my opinion, is we still have not figured out how to store hydrogen in a compact form. The other is the infrastructure: We would have to create a totally new infrastructure for hydrogen vehicles to be fueled.
That didn't stop foreign car companies including Toyota, Daimler and Honda from pushing ahead. Hydrogen cars are coming.
Craig Scott: Certainly the goal is to commercialize the vehicle in a big way.
That's Craig Scott, manager of advanced technologies at Toyota. Toyota has already developed tanks to store hydrogen in a compact form. He says its car will be three times more efficient than a Prius. It'll debut in 2015 at an estimated starting price of $50,000 that he says will drop sharply after that.
Scott: The plan is to roll them out into select markets that have infrastructure that can support the car.
That is basically code for Germany and Japan, where hundreds of hydrogen fueling stations will be built in the next few years.