Senate Panel OKs Hydrogen Research

April 16, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

A US Senate committee endorsed a five-year, nearly $3 billion research program to develop hydrogen fuel cells and a hydrogen supply system with the goal of making hydrogen-powered cars competitive in showrooms by 2020.

The provision, nearly twice as expensive as a hydrogen initiative urged by President Bush earlier this year, is included in a broad energy bill that the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hopes to complete by the end of April. The proposal calls for increased research into developing hydrogen fuel cells that would both power automobiles and provide electric power, as well as develop technology to produce hydrogen and begin developing a hydrogen distribution system.

The legislation also would require the government to purchase, if possible, a certain number of hydrogen-powered vehicles and electricity from hydrogen sources once they become available.