Obama Proposes $2-Billion Fund For Alternative Fuel Vehicles, No Mention Of Hydrogen

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
obama proposes 2 billion fund for alternative fuel vehicles no mention of hydrogen

“The only way to break this cycle of spiking gas prices — the only way to break that cycle for good — is to shift our cars entirely, our cars and trucks, off oil,”

So said President Obama during a speech in Illinois, where he outlined a plan to provide $200 million a year for 10 years to a fund that would promote the development of alternative fuel vehicles. The funds would be provided by royalties from oil drilling on the Out Continental Shelf.

One notable omission from his remarks was the absence of any mention of hydrogen vehicles. Using his noted flair for rhetoric, Obama laid out his vision petroleum-free future while ignoring the fact that multiple OEMs are gearing up for a big push into fuel-cell technology

We can support scientists who are designing new engines that are more energy efficient; support scientists that are developing cheaper batteries that can go farther on a single charge; support scientists and engineers that are devising new ways to fuel our cars and trucks with new sources of clean energy — like advanced biofuels and natural gas — so drivers can one day go coast to coast without using a drop of oil.

One insider suggested that the lack of love for hydrogen has been a result of “not invented here syndrome” that is a hold over of the Bush 43 administration. While Dubya was fond of hydrogen as an alternative fuel, Obama and former Energy Secretary Steven Chu are said to be unfriendly, bordering on hostile, to the idea of hydrogen fuel cells. Unfortunately, many feel that a government partnership with the private sector will be the key to a hydrogen infrastructure breakthrough – but those parties feel that this is more likely than a cost effective, right-sized battery pack capable for a 500 mile range.

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  • BrianL BrianL on Mar 18, 2013

    The problem here is gov't deciding what the market should do. Whether hydrogen is the solution for tomorrow, or further into the future shouldn't be for gov't to decide. It might be hydrogen, it might be natural gas, it might be something we haven't thought of yet. But gov't involvement will likely mean it is wrong.

  • Stuki Stuki on Mar 18, 2013

    "....We can support the over educated, under intelligent children of my most reliable supporters, who have their whole life been told that having the job title "scientist" justifies them fidding around with useless nonsense they barely understand. Otherwise, they would have to actually produce something of value to someone to be able to claim a paycheck. Which is infinitely less cool than being paid to preen around with a job title us half literate progressives have been indocrinated into holding in high esteem....." "...And also, we can make sure that any actually promising researchers cannot just go out and found a company based on their own research; but must first hire several of my very, very bestest and most reliable supporters, the lawyers, in order to figure out how to get my support money, lest their competitors get it and use it to out compete them. After all, the last thing we would ever want, was for someone to actually solve some scientific problem without half literate little me and my fully illiterate little meaningless supporters, being able to take a good share of the credit for it..."

  • Kcflyer on one hand it at least wont have dirty intake valves like Honda's entire lineup of direct injection ice vehicles. on the other hand a CRV offers more room, more range, faster fueling and lower price, hmm
  • Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
  • Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
  • Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
  • Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.