Hydrogen-fueled Vehicles Face Many Obstacles, Many Political

While rising gasoline prices are giving momentum to hydrogen cars, experts say the costs of creating the car and infrastructure, plus Congress' own actions, could create steep speed bumps.

Published: 27-Mar-2005

WASHINGTON - The soaring price of gasoline is giving new momentum to President Bush's dream of a nonpolluting "FreedomCAR" powered by hydrogen, the most common element in the universe.

Twenty years from now, if scientists and engineers can make the dream come true, motorists should be able to drive to a nearby hydrogen service station, fill their tanks and travel as far as 300 miles without a refill, creating no global-warming exhaust.

But the cost of delivering a hydrogen-powered car to market is a major obstacle, as is the cost of converting tens of thousands of service stations from gasoline to hydrogen. Despite its abundance in nature, producing hydrogen in a usable form costs three to four times more than refining crude oil into gasoline.

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