Fill 'er Up With Hydrogen

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It’s small. It’s sassy. It comes with air conditioning and cruise control. It’s clean and it’s green. And it can be yours for just $1.6 million. It’s the Freedom Car. It runs on hydrogen and doesn’t leave exhaust fumes, just drops of water. And it should be coming to a showroom near you in decade or two, give or take a few years

You could buy one now, but then you’d also need your own portable lab just to produce the fuel. Because even though hydrogen abounds in the air and water, no one’s figured out a cost-effective way to extract it without using that old bugaboo: fossil fuel. President Bush says he wants the first car driven by a child born today to be powered by hydrogen and pollution-free. Yet some greens are still seeing red over his proposal. A clash over the elements.


Sheila Lynch, Executive Director, Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium

Csaba Csere, Editor in Chief, Car and Driver

Ashok Gupta, Director, Clean Air and Energy Program, Natural Resources Defense Council

Ray Magliozzi, co-host of NPR’s Car Talk.