From the summary paragraphs of my hydrogen page:
The Sanders Research Institute sums it up this way:
Even at the current level of activity, road traffic would consume more than 3 times all the electricity we generate to produce a hydrogen equivalent. With the end of North Sea gas looming and as the de-commissioning of nuclear power gets under way, electricity will be at a premium and only rail can make use of the limited amount of renewable electricity efficiently.
This is in stark contrast to reports that 70% of America’s cars could be charged from overnight off-peak electricity from today’s grid if America used full electric vehicles.
Based on research conducted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, this idle capacity in the U.S. grid could supply the equivalent energy needs of over 70% of the cars, trucks and SUVs that are on U.S. roads today – with no new utility system investment required! That’s approximately 175 million electric vehicles that today’s U.S. grid could support. However, achieving this requires the charging of EVs to be managed in a centralized fashion to ensure that charging takes place during “valley” (or “off-peak”) periods.
Via Better Place
So America can either build out 3 times the electricity infrastructure and then still have to build an expensive hydrogen economy infrastructure, OR it can just build about 30% to 40% more electricity supply and a few extra charging boxes at people’s work and homes. I would gladly pay the $500 to $1000 to have a charging box at home if it meant I was going to get all my transport energy for half the price of oil!