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There are those who are unhappy with the creeping pace of electric vehicle battery improvements and believe that hydrogen is the answer. One prominent example is the guys on Top Gear, who are no fans of electric cars and have placed their bets on hydrogen fuel cells as the solution for future power storage. However, a new report from Pike Research indicates that the hydrogen future may be more distant than anticipated.

Previous studies by Pike had expected hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric vehicles to take a central role by the end of this decade, with cumulative sales of 2.8 million FCEVs bringing with them $28.9 billion in revenues. Now, Pike has cut those predictions sharply. The newest forecast for 2020 is for one million hydrogen FCEVs with revenues trimmed to $16.9 billion.

The biggest reason for the change in the forecast is that the global economic downtown has slowed government investments in fuel cell technology. Pike estimates that getting these systems to consumers will take longer without that injection of funds, and the vehicles will remain more expensive for a longer period.