program different from most other government-sponsored programs: (1) many of the technical activities are continuations of activities that began under the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) program (or, in some cases, even before the PNGV) and (2) the program is envisioned to be a multidecade program involving not only many technologies but technological challenges ranging from those that will probably be solved soon to those that may never be solved. Even so, there are many noteworthy achievements, both technical and nontechnical, that should be acknowledged.
Nontechnical achievements are extremely important, because they provide the mechanisms for pursuing hopefully successful outcomes to the technical challenges. Among the more significant of the nontechnical achievements are these:
The overall strategy and implementation plan. The plan is well thought out and well executed.
Active and continuing participation by both energy companies and automobile manufacturers. Such participation is essential for any hope of identifying and solving the most critical problems and, ultimately, reaching the long-term goals.
The formation of numerous expert technical groups (technical teams). Experts from government and industry are working together to identify the needed research and help advance specific technologies.
The creation of a priority activity to minimize the potential negative impact of inconsistent, or nonexistent, codes and standards. This often-neglected activity is essential for the success of any pathway to the widespread production, transportation, storage, and utilization of hydrogen as a transportation fuel.
sive plan. The plan includes short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals as well as roadmaps—some complete, some still in draft form—for pursuing these goals.
The emergence of more comprehensive cost models. Cost is a barrier to the widespread acceptance of virtually every new technology being pursued, so realistic, viable cost models are extremely important.
The decision to create hydrogen storage centers of excellence that are expected to be working this year (2005).
The establishment of the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy. This partnership is a worldwide collaboration on hydrogen technologies involving 15 countries and the European Commission.
The convening of workshops to address essentially all of the more challenging technologies in the program.