A fuel cell large enough to power a vehicle can cost $100,000 - the biggest reason the technology isn't ready for prime time.
That's why industry insiders paid heed when a California company said last week that it had developed a cheaper, hardier membrane for fuel cells. A fuel cell's membrane chemically strips the hydrogen atom's electron to generate electricity.
PolyFuel claims its membrane generates more power, costs half as much as today's materials and works well in cold weather. Honda has experimented with a similar membrane in its fuel cells.
Fuel cells may be 10 years from commercial use. But the announcement suggests that automakers are making progress.
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