As the U.S. Energy Department announced a 60% budget cut on May 7, 2009   for hydrogen-related projects to $68.2 million for the next fiscal year, the EU together with 68 industries and top EU research insitutes in hydrogen and fuel cell system development are stepping up their efforts  in a 7 year, € 94o mln Joint Undertaking for fuel cells and hydrogen that will see its second call for proposals of around € 70 mln this summer. This united effort in combination with the recent  developments in the US therefore seem to give Europe anopportunity  to become market leader in  hydrogen transport development that can not be missed.
Despite US funding cuts  for hydrogen transport applications, several car makers  expressed their ongoing  commitment to the commercialisation of fuel cells vehicles.  Honda Motor Co., General Motors Corp. as well as  Toyota Motor Corp. all confirmed their intention to continue their development of hydrogen-powered cars  after the announcement of US Enerery Secretary Steven Chu that the Obama administration will concentrate  more on more near term biofuel and battery development, forgetting that  fuel cells significantly extend the short range of battery powered vehicles.
“Honda has a significant commitment to fuel cells and we’re going to pursue it,” said Ed Cohen, vice president of U.S. government and industry affairs for the Tokyo-based automaker, in an interview. “We have a limited number of options to achieve transportation objectives which include less use of petroleum and reducing greenhouse gases. Hydrogen is one of them.”
The US National Hydrogen Association, NHA and U. S. Fuel Cell Council published  a joint statement saying, “The cuts proposed in the DOE hydrogen and fuel cell program threaten to disrupt commercialization of a family of technologies that are showing exceptional promise and beginning to gain market traction.”Fuel cell vehicles are not a science experiment. These are real vehicles with real marketability and real benefits. Hundreds of fuel cell vehicles have collectively logged millions of miles.
“Both the National Academy of Sciences and NHA’s recent Energy Evolution report conclude that a portfolio of vehicle technologies is needed to achieve the nation’s energy and environmental security goals and that hydrogen is essential to success. Hydrogen also advances the Obama Administration’s goals of greener power generation and a smarter power grid.” Read more.