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DOE to Offer $52.5 Million for Hydrogen Research

April 6, 2006

Photo of a couple and their two young daughters posing in front of a Honda fuel cell vehicle.

Honda leased its fuel cell vehicle to this California family last year, but President Bush wants fuel cell vehicles to be an option for all of today's children by the time they are ready to drive.
Credit: Honda

Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman announced on April 6th a three-year, $52.5-million solicitation to support basic research in hydrogen storage materials, catalysts, and membranes. The solicitation, to be released later in April, will help overcome the scientific challenges associated with the production, use, and storage of hydrogen. It will also address the challenges identified in the report "Basic Research Needs for the Hydrogen Economy," released by DOE last year. The solicitation supports President Bush's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, which aims to develop hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that meet consumer requirements by 2015, thereby allowing a mass-market penetration of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2020. See the DOE press release, the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, and the DOE report (PDF 7.2 MB). Download Adobe Reader.

Secretary Bodman made the announcement while speaking to the 2006 World Congress of the Society of Automotive Engineers. During his speech, Secretary Bodman implored all automakers to make vehicles that run on clean burning E85 fuel, a mixture of 85 percent ethanol with 15 percent gasoline. The Secretary announced that DOE will soon solicit proposals for public-private partnerships to make E85 more widely available. Secretary Bodman also expressed his desire to see automakers expand their hybrid-electric vehicle line and noted that DOE is requesting more funding for advanced batteries to allow hybrid vehicles to achieve higher fuel efficiencies and travel farther on all-electric power. See Secretary Bodman's speech on the DOE Web site.