In a reversal from the Bush administration, President Obama on Monday drastically cut federal funding for fuel-cell vehicles. President Obama eliminated President Bush's $1.2 billion fuel-cell initiative, saving $100 million a year from the government's bottom line.

The death of the program comes as quite a shock, especially considering most within the industry view fuel-cells as the technology of the future. The Obama administration cited the lack of immediate implementation as the reason for the fuel-cell cuts.

"We're going to be moving away from hydrogen-fuel cells for vehicles," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said. "We asked ourselves, is it likely in the next 10 or 15, or even 20 years that we will convert to a hydrogen car economy? The answer, we felt, was no."

Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are probably about 20 years away from viability - largely due to a lack of infrastructure - but it remains to be seen if President Obam's decision will push that timeframe back even further. Funds reserved for fuel-cell research will now be funneled into biofuel and battery research, according to Bloomberg.

Despite the 60 percent cutback in overall hydrogen fuel-cell funding, Honda, Toyota and General Motors say they are committed to the development of fuel-cell vehicles. Honda is currently leasing its FCX fuel-cell vehicle in Los Angeles and General Motors has placed 115 examples of its hydrogen-power Chevrolet Equinox in fleets on both coasts. Toyota says it will sell its first hydrogen-powered vehicle by 2015.

"Our program will continue unaffected by this," John Hanson, a Toyota spokesman, told Bloomberg. Hanson added: "The vehicles have been invented. The issues are infrastructure and how do we reduce cost."

Some experts believe that with proper funding, a hydrogen infrastructure could be in place within the next 10 to 15 years.