In the US, the FTA is at the forefront of the research, development, and demonstration of fuel cell transit buses. In Europe a transnational committment by the European Commission under the FCH JU supports fuel cell bus research and deployment. On a national level, Japan and Germany have implemented significant publically funded efforts to progress zero emission technology.
Fuel cell commercialization is within reach and businesses are making the necessary investments to bring fuel cell powered products to market. However, the industry is at a crucial point where public investment is still needed to best leverage these private investments. Public support will help mature the markets and aid in creating a competitive landscape.
Whether it be for environmental protection or energy supply security, public investment is required in order to bring to market alternative technologies that have the best interests of future generations at heart. The mainstream fossil fuel culture discounts many of the adverse affects that will occur in the future. Current transportation costs do not include all of the health, climate and political externalities that our populations eventually bear. As discussed by former US Senate energy aide and former President of H2Innovations C.E. Thomas, “Sustainability requires the intervention of governments. Governments alone have the responsibility of protecting the commons.”1
1 Hoffman, Tomorrow’s Energy, 2012