Since hydrogen fuel will play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change, more and more governments are investing in technology and infrastructure designed to reduce the cost of hydrogen fuel. And if a California Energy Commission study (PDF) is weighty, hydrogen fuel to power fuel cell vehicles could cost about the same price as gasoline in just five years. Storage is still complicated, and for those who think it's hard to find a charging station for electric vehicles, try to find a hydrogen fueling station outside of California and Hawaii. While electric vehicles are definitely the favorites, hydrogen fuel cells have their own advantages, such as much longer ranges.
In other words, there's no way to know if automakers will have affordable vehicles with a hydrogen fuel cell drive system by 2025. In addition, automakers offer free fuel to drivers of fuel cell electric cars for three years, to reduce the time it takes for the market to become more competitive with other fuel options. The DOE Office of Fuel Cell Technology directs a multi-year R&D program that aims to reduce the cost of producing hydrogen, reduce hydrogen supply costs, and is also starting a project to analyze H2 at scale. Some federal funding is earmarked for hydrogen stations for fuel cell buses, and local air districts have pledged to fund heavy-duty hydrogen stations. With fuel cells and hydrogen, the federal government invests in R&D and in the validation of technology, and then supports deployment at the local level.
The reports, studies and white papers of the Hydrogen Council, NREL and Shell, among others, point to reductions in the price of fuel and fuel supply infrastructure for various reasons (expansion, standardization, etc.). The hydrogen scenario financial analysis tool provides a thorough and rapid financial analysis of hydrogen stations.