Shell chief sees H2 difficulties

The outgoing President of Shell's U.S. operation has thrown some cold water on the latest GM and Toyota PR offensive for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Shell's John Hofmeister told a Sacramento, Calif., audience Monday at a conference on low-carbon fuels that widespread use of hydrogen as an automotive fuel remains one to three decades out.
GM's Larry Burns recently called on fuel providers (read oil companies) to make a greater effort to roll out hydrogen fueling stations. Hofmeister sees difficulty convincing service station owners to make the investment required to offer a fuel for which there is no near-term prospect of vehicles. The federal government has provided over $1 billion dollars for hydrogen and fuel cells to little practical effect. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's pet Hydrogen Highway project, to which he has devoted millions of taxpayer dollars, "is going to be a long, drawn-out process. These infrastructure issues are going to continue getting in the way."


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