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Automakers eye fuel cells

November 23, 2010
With the Bush administration 's pledge this month to support hydrogen-based fuel cell technology, the Big Three automakers are expected by 2004 to introduce so-called hybrid vehicles that use gasoline-electric engines.
Toyota and Honda, which did not share in subsidies of the Clinton-era's idea of high-mileage gasoline-fueled vehicles, already have hybrids getting at least 40 miles a gallon.
The auto industry has steadily resisted government-mandated increases in fuel economy, with some carmakers arguing that such requirements would divert investment from fuel-cell research.
None of the Big Three came close to commercial production of an 80-mile-agallon car. In fact, the average fuel economy of cars and trucks for sale in the United States has dropped steadily.
This year's fleet of cars and trucks, with its growing proportion of SUVs, got the worst gas mileage in 21 years, according to the government.