Hondas, Nissans, Mazdas and Subarus all already drive themselves here in Japan. Government just finalising legal requirements and insurance requirements. Hydrogen is also going to be big here. All buses for 2020 Olympics will be hydrogen powered hybrids. Also they are utilising so much of the patches of grass next to railroads and putting solar panels in. Passing the other day there were kms of panels.
Hydrogen will lose the post-petrol war in the same way steam (and ironically electric) lost the war the first time around ~ 100 years ago
The biggest issue with hydrogen is it has a low energy density. It doesn't liquify under pressure, so to store a lot of it you need to hold it at a massive pressure. Higher the pressure the more steel you need in the tank, which means more weight, wiping out the gain from holding the extra fuel.
There's a few clever research concepts that could help. Bond hydrogen temporarily into a solid or absorb it into a nanoscale lattice. Either could do the job of the science works.
Then you get into production. Hydrogen currently is a byproduct of oil refining. Not the green fuel you'd be hoping for. To turn water into hydrogen at an industrial scale will require a lot of electricity. There are solar cells that create hydrogen from water rather than producing electricity, but they are a ways off being scaled up.
Hydrogen could theoretically replace petrol, but it's got a lot of catching up to do.
Your info is a bit out of date Benny. It can be made on site. So imagine every petrol station producing it's own fuel from solar or wind power. Also saves on tankers moving the stuff around.
Hydrogen just isn't 'sexy' enough and doesn't have a spokesperson like Musk promoting it.
First 'zero-emissions' hydrogen filling station opens
17 September 2015
From the section Sheffield & South Yorkshire
A zero-emissions refuelling station for hydrogen-powered cars - claimed to be the first of its kind in the country - has opened. ITM Power created the site at the Advanced Manufacturing Park near the M1 in Rotherham. It uses electricity generated by a wind turbine to split water into its constituent parts: hydrogen and oxygen. A hydrogen car could now fill up with enough fuel for it to reach London from South Yorkshire, the company said.
Rebecca Markillie, of Sheffield based ITM, said: "It's the perfect solution. It's a clean fuel utilising wind power, we start with water and end with water".
A hydrogen-powered car only emits water vapour as it runs. The oxygen produced at the site is released into the atmosphere and the hydrogen is stored before being used to refuel fuel cell vehicles. As fossil fuels are not used in the production process, the station is the first carbon-neutral with zero emissions, the company said. Refuelling fuel cell vehicles takes a few minutes and a full tank gives a range of 250-300 miles.
Ms Markillie said the site was a small start but the company "can scale up the technology".
The company also is planning to open two more refuelling stations in London. Currently there are only around 20 hydrogen-powered cars on the UK roads but new models are being launched by major manufacturers. The Rotherham station generates enough hydrogen to refuel around 18 cars a day, the company said. ITM Power employs about 70 people in South Yorkshire.