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The major automakers have made presentations before the U.S. Congress highlighting a need for support for ongoing fuel cell research. Sadly, support will probably not be forthcoming from Steven Chu who cut the DOE fuel cell research budget from $168 million down to $68 million.

I want to highlight Daimler's view that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles alone are appropriate for both short and long trips. None of the presentations claim that batteries are a silver bullet with GM going so far as to present the excessive weight that long range BEV's have to carry in batteries alone. This is surprising on the verge of the Volt hitting the market, the first car that will be commercially sold which depends on a 350-450 pound battery. Honda has an interesting table in their presentation that points out how appealing BEV's are until one looks at the cost. The Honda FCX Clarity almost gets perfect ratings for both social concerns and marketability where the lack of H2 infrastructure is highlighted. Toyota probably has the most advanced fuel cell vehicle on the road and it's an SUV to boot, but Toyota disappoints me with their insistence that BEVs have a role to play as well.

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