The Department of Energy’s latest estimate for the beginning of the
fuel cell vehicle era is just 4 years away. According to the just
released Roadmap on
Manufacturing R&D for the Hydrogen Economy (PDF), the challenges in streamlining the production of fuel cell membranes and storing hydrogen can be met soon.

Here’s the timeline:

2010 – Initial market penetration

2015 – Commercial availability

2025 – Realization of hydrogen economy

The projection is based on a workshop held last June that included
the leading hydrogen and fuel cell researchers from the public and
private sector. The major hurdles include integrating the components
that make up a fuel cell into a single manufacturing process, and
reducing the cost of hydrogen storage tanks by 60 percent. The report
said that hydrogen would come from natural gas, ethanol, bio-oils and
water electrolysis.

By John Gartner

More here.