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Only tangentially related, but it really bugs me how these vehicles are being marketed as "zero-emissions" and being "invisible to the environment". Clearly the energy is being generated, and hence negatively impacting the environment, somewhere. It's just outright dishonest.

Not true. If the hydrogen is generated with renewable energies, driving a car such as the B-Class (Mercedes-Benz W245) shown in this video is in fact emission-free. A solar-powered hydrogen station was opened this week in Freiburg, relatively near to Mercedes-Benz's headquarters in Stuttgart:

http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/de/presse-und-medien/presseinfo... (in German -- sorry, no English translation available yet)

Honda R&D Americas has such a gas station in Torrence CA since 2001. I don't know if it's open to the public though. The one in Freiburg is public.

Fair enough but my point is that these vehicles are not "environmentally invisible". There is still significant environmental impact in the manufacturing, materials, transportation, supporting infrastructure and disposal of the car.

As a matter of fact, the vehicle itself is "zero-emissions" and "invisible to the environment".

I see your point, but first of all, it would be a very big step ahead if all the vehicles in cities wouldn't have toxic emissions.

And second, shifting the "dirty" part from the vehicles to big factories possibly makes the process more optimizable.

I agree that other form of energy should be researched, but any step in this direction is better than nothing.

It uses hydrogen, which is pretty hard to make and transport. If they actually wanted to be environmentally friendly (instead of just having the PR) they would use natural gas which already has a good transportation network.

Hydrogen is better PR since at the car there are no emissions. So which to choose? Better PR or better for the environment?

Natural gas is already really big in Europe, with a lot of cars driving on natural gas, so I am not so sure that adding Hydrogen to the mix would be that much more expensive.

Hydrogen would definitely be much more expensive. Hydrogen leaks, a LOT, it's really hard to contain and ship.

You would need a built a whole new infrastructure, and existing one for natural gas would not work.

That’s not even it. Natural gas is boring. Those cars are everywhere, they are nothing new or special.

You certainly can make cars with close to zero emissions. Solar energy via bio-fuel is one way, though there are some energy inputs required to make the fuel. A steam powered car that burns wood could possibly be more efficient in that sense however.

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