"The technology has absolutely matured enough to go into production. We still have a slight cost problem on hydrogen storage, but the rest of the vehicle is basically cheaper. You've got no automatic transmission and so forth. The hydrogen stack, or fuel cell, is basically like an automobile battery in reverse. It's just stamped steel plates and separators and membranes in a box," he said.
GM has been spending about $100 million a year for the past five years to get the fuel cell technology working, and the company expects hydrogen production vehicles in 2010. One of the first major hydrogen markets could be China, Lutz said, where many nuclear plants could produce the fuel cheaply and cleanly.