The U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) announced a major milestone in the development of fuel-cell technology.
Delphi Corp. has reached a power density level in its fuel-cell program that will greatly reduce the cost of the technology and make fuel cells competitive in the commercial market.
The breakthrough means fuel cells can now conceivably meet the government's energy-production target of $400 per kilowatt hour -- about one tenth of the cost of energy produced by current fuel cell models.
The auto industry has committed itself to commercially developing fuel cells as an alternative to gasoline engines; however, the carmakers insist quality and cost goals must first be met before fuel cells can gain the large market share needed to have an actual impact on smog levels.