Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Kevin Bullis

A View from Kevin Bullis

Challenging Chu on Hydrogen Fuel Cells

The chairman of the California Air Resources Board responds to the energy secretary’s anti-hydrogen-fuel-cell stance.

  • June 19, 2009

Our recent interview with Steven Chu, the U.S. secretary of energy, seems to have raised the hackles of hydrogen-fuel-cell supporters. In the interview, Chu said that there are four “miracles” that need to happen before hydrogen fuel cells can be practical. Basically, he says, we need better ways to produce, distribute, and store hydrogen, and we need better, cheaper fuel cells. “If you need four miracles, that’s unlikely: saints only need three miracles,” he said.

Mary Nichols, the chairman of the California Air Resources Board, noticed his remarks and has sent a letter in response, as Green Car Congress reports:

In her letter to Secretary Chu, Nichols attached a summary response from ARB technical staff responding to each of the Four Miracles.

All promising low-carbon non-petroleum transportation options, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, battery electric vehicles, and advanced liquid biofuels in combustion engines, face significant technical, resource, and market challenges. Hydrogen and fuel cells show great potential and have met or exceeded nearly all of the technical milestones set out by US DOE. Several major automakers are pursuing early market testing with consumers beginning this year and are expected to ramp up production to nearly 50,000 vehicles in california by 2017. Ultimately the market will decide which technologies are the winners, but given the critical importance to our long term climate and energy security goals, the best approach is to pursue and invest in a portfolio of the most promising options.

See more details of Nichols’s response to Chu here.

Keep up with the latest in sustainable energy at EmTech MIT.
Discover where tech, business, and culture converge.

September 17-19, 2019
MIT Media Lab

Register now
More from Sustainable Energy

Can we sustainably provide food, water, and energy to a growing population during a climate crisis?

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Print Subscription.
  • Print Subscription {! insider.prices.print_only !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six print issues per year plus The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Print magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    The Download: newsletter delivery each weekday to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.