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UN predicts 5-10 million fuel cell vehicles by 2020
 
The UN is predicting a massive take-up in fuel cell technology over the next 15 years.
According to speakers at an international conference on fuel cells held this November at the United Nations University Institute for New Technologies, China India and Brazil have already embarked on active programmes to develop hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
China, already acutely conscious of the economic contraints imposed on it by its lack of oil reserves is carrying out fuel cell vehicles and refuelling station demonstrations in Shanghai and Beijing.It aims to develop advanced hybrid-electric and fuel cell vehicles via a large number of universities, public sector research institutes and private firms. It was confirmed at the conference that India is also to roll out hydrogen fuelled two and three wheeled vehicles while also exploring the potential of hydrogen to power buildings, while Brazil has a well established alternative energy programme based on ethanol and bio-diesels.
But Professor Lynn Mytelka, senior research fellow at UNU-INTECH and one of the co-ordinators of the conference warned that for fuel cells to work countries need to take urgent action.
“If the future is still hydrogen, countries will need to take some tough decisions now.”