Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hydrogen Implosion in California

The San Jose Mercury News reports on roadblocks appearing on Schwarzenegger's much ballyhooed Hydrogen Highway. Planned stations aren't opening and existing stations are closing. California utility giant PG&E has turned down $1.5 million in state funds to open a retail hydrogen station in San Carlos.
PG&E officials said they've shifted hydrogen to the back stage and now consider it a distant technology, with electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids moving to the front of the line.

"This is a significant change in attitude. People are simply refusing to participate, even if they get money from the state. If state officials don't step in, the hydrogen highway could collapse," said V. John White, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies.
This is very good news. The long term gamble on hydrogen and fuel cells made with public money by the Air Resources Board ought finally receive serious scrutiny. The ZEV program became an expensive research project. The ARB ought return the ZEV program to its original mission - commercialization of practical, economic zero emission vehicles. That means battery electric cars.