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Hydrogen Cars: Are They Real Hope Or Just Hype?

BMW Hydrogen 7
BMW Hydrogen 7

With this being the start of "Green Week"here on the networks of NBC, it's only natural the guy who covers the one industry responsible for a good chunk of the world's pollution, look at the great hope for reducing emissions in automobiles: Hydrogen.

They emit little more than water vapor, run on a fuel in abundant supply, and, if you listen to the automakers, are coming down the road in the not too distant future.

Not to be a party pooper, but before you buy the hydrogen hype, consider this. The automakers are at least 10 years from truly making a hydrogen powered car or truck someone can buy. And some, like Joe Weisenfelder at Cars.comthink we're 25 years from seeing mass market hydrogen cars you and I can buy. Why?

The technology is still ways off, aside from a handful of stations in California and on the East Coast, there is no infrastructure for refueling on Hydrogen, and it will cost billions for automakers to convert their plants to make hydrogen powered vehicles.

So, for all the press conferences, and stories automakers push where stars or regular folks drive hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, there's the reality we seldom here about. Sure, politicians can climb in hydrogen Hummers to promote the need for cleaner burning cars, but those special edition models are the hope, not the reality.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

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