The NAS recommended Washington pony up $55 billion for hydrogen-power development through 2023. The rest of the funding would come from industry, the Detroit News reported Friday.
With that much spent there could be as many as 2 million hydrogen-powered cars on U.S. roads, the report said.
That would only be a start to a switch to hydrogen-based fuels for U.S. drivers. Currently, there are about 300 million vehicles registered in the United States, the News reported.
"Any serious plan to supplant petroleum is going to require serious investment from the public and private sector," said General Motors Corp. spokesman Greg Martin.
One of the principle obstacles to hydrogen power is the lack of a distribution system.
But, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are touted as practically pollution-free. The only byproduct of a hydrogen powered engine is water vapor.