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With the current world events the advent of the fuel cell vehicle research into the actual consumer market has reached a new level. With the introduction of the fuel cell technology to the American consumer aspects about the economic, social and political impacts must be addressed. Realistic views on hydrogen fuel production, storage and transportation as well as the mass fabrication issues for the fuel cell are being dealt with in earnest. In this paper we look at the existing technologies available for realistic consumer use and the next steps that must be achieved to wean the American public from the idea that fuel cells are only considered to be a 'liberal pipe dream'. This paper will consist of a necessary background focusing on the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The current barriers keeping the fuel cell from mass production are presented along with the near term solutions possible highlighted.