Fuel-Cell Frenzy Looks to Convert Obama

by Angela Greiling Keane and Alan Ohnsman
Bloomberg News
June 20, 2012

Remarks by two aides to President Barack Obama yesterday calling fuel cells part of the solution for improving automobile efficiency gave boosters some optimism the U.S. will help create a market for the technology.

Hydrogen fuel cells, encouraged by President George W. Bush, lost favor to plug-in electric vehicles after Obama took office in 2009. Energy Secretary Steven Chu questioned the merits of hydrogen-powered cars and cut funding for fuel-cell research, as Obama set a goal of having 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

“There’s been a dramatic turnaround in the past six to nine months of the need for this in the future” by the Energy Department, Scott Samuelsen, National Fuel Cell Research Center director, said in an interview at a conference in Washington sponsored by the Hydrogen Education Foundation. “What has not yet occurred is the action that will be needed to meet the needs by 2015.”

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