they all are at first. A dvd player use to cost 1000 bucks, now its 19.99.
Yeah one difference is that good technologies do not need Federal funding in order to be successful. DVDs never needed a government subsidy. The reason is because those in the market new it would be successful and profitable without them.
However, Hydrogen as fuel, is similar to Ethanol as a fuel, in that no one produces Ethanol without a government subsidy, because without it, Ethanol is economically bankrupt. Hydrogen as a fuel is the same.
Currently, I only know of 3 specific way to create Hydrogen. Which, that in itself is an issue. Hydrogen is not a fuel. Hydrogen must be created. Wood is a fuel, you can go chop down a tree and use it. Oil is a fuel, you pump it and use it. Hydrogen... is not found in nature in pure consistent quantities.
Hydrogen must be created, and whatever energy source you use to create it, is the 'fuel'. If you burn coal to make electricity to turn water into Hydrogen... the coal is the actual fuel.
But back to the 3 ways of making Hydrogen.
CHEMICAL: First and least known, is a chemical break down of water. This involves putting water into a solution with fuel rods that are reactive and cause the break down of the water into Hydrogen and Oxygen. Problem: The fuel rods are very expensive and use precious metals, and the containment system is expensive, plus the cost of a fuel cell system to covert the newly created Hydrogen back into electricity to move the car. So very expensive. The fuel rod would need replaced about twice a year for around $300-$500 per rod. This system holds the most promise, but is extremely cost prohibitive. So a major break through would have to happen.
ELECTROLYSIS: The second and most known, is the break down of water using a electrical current through dissimilar plates submerged in water. The key here is the amount of electrical power to do this is incredibly high.
This leads to a situation where the amount of power (and thus money) needed to create hydrogen using this method, is many times greater than that needed to charge a battery. Thus it would be cheaper to simply charge an electric car, than power a hydrogen generator with electricity and fuel the car with that. Plus the cost of an electric car is a fraction of that of a fuel cell. So, more expensive to build and buy, and more expensive to fuel. Better to stick with batteries.
REFINING: The final, lesser known, yet most used method, is breaking down of high hydrogen content material into hydrogen gas. The high hydrogen content material being, namely, oil.
This is the dirty truth of governments push for hydrogen. This is why the oil companies push for hydrogen instead of fight it. It's this: The largest source of pure hydrogen comes from breaking down oil (hydro-carbons). The oil companies know this, and that's why they push for "The Freedom Car" which will free us from Oil, by using hydrogen.... which is produced from Oil, which we'll then be free of.... huh?
The other methods are far too expensive and too limited, and do not produces enough consistent clean pure hydrogen as this method. Yet this method will be just as dependent on Oil, as we currently are already. Thus we will spend billions in government subsidies, thousands to buy expensive small cars with this system on it, and all this cost passed on to us the consumer, in order to never reach the goal claimed... being oil independence. Meanwhile, the oil companies will charge us more for hydrogen than oil (because it's more expensive to do), and at the same time will receive tax payer funding to do it. (we pay them to make it, then pay them to buy it. Isn't government great?)
In conclusion... IT IS A SCAM.
Also, as a side note, the DVD comparison is a bit off base. The reason why DVDs cost $1K when they first came out... had nothing to do with the cost of materials and production. It had to do with low supply and high demand. DVD players didn't get any cheaper to build, the market became more saturated and the supply became more prevalent.
However none of that is at issue here. The problem here is the extensive precious metals that must be used (they won't be coming down in price, and in fact using them may jack the price up like Hybrids have done to Nickel). Unless there is a major scientific break through, the cost of hydrogen fuel cell cars will always be incredibly high.
One may hold out hope for such a break through, but consider the all the research of NASA (where fuel cell technology came from) has been mulling this over for since the 1960s, and the technology was invented in 1845. My guess is, if they have not made some great leaps in 160 years, and in 50 years of subsidized government research... Ah... don't hold your breath.