Kenn - I'm very happy to discuss further. I'm technology neutral (though perhaps don't sound it) and just hope that the best technology wins. Discussions like this one are a part of working out the properties of each technology.
It should probably be noted that the Top Gear episode is a good couple of years old and in the time since then the car manufacturers seem to have predominantly moved away from hydrogen and back to hybrids and batteries. Not solid proof that hydrogen is dead but perhaps some indication of their assessment of future technologies.
The energy intensity of hydrogen production may be able to be reduced through the use of catalysts and clever processes but these haven't been discovered yet. It may happen but I'm not massively optimistic. Given a highly energy intensive fuel production process that would almost inevitably involve the use of electricity, I suspect that future hydrogen production processes will still end up using more electricity than the equivalent use of batteries. This is speculation though and could prove to be wrong.
Refuelling time is definitely still an issue with electric cars (BEVs). Some of the newer chemistries seem to be able to handle much shorter charge times. Anything over an hour would seem to preclude a convenient long trip though so I think there is probably still a way to go on this front. In the interim, electric cars can start to be used for shorter trips using existing chemistries and existing electrical distribution.
Perhaps one area where I prefer the electric technology is that it could result in a better balance between private individuals and corporations. Electricity can be produced at home and this would mean that for some, independence from large corporations/foreign sources is viable. I think this would be a positive step for society. Because of the specialist infrastructure that hydrogen would require I think it would probably need large centralised production with distribution similar to the current oil industry. This isn't a major point but one worth a little thought perhaps.
By the way - an excellent article on the various emissions intensities of various fuel types/drive trains was produced a year or two ago. I may have put the link up here before but I'll include it below because I think it really deserves more public attention. The link is to an Autospeed article summarising the paper and there is a link to the actual paper underneath. It makes for fascinating reading:
Also have a look at this article for electric car optimism:
Posted Thursday 27 May 2010 @ 2:36:52 am from IP #