Fuel cells are the future and the future is now -- sort of. As the most likely alternative to fossil fuels, fuel cells power all sorts of prototype vehicles, as well as the space shuttles and various power cogeneration facilities around the world. But it's going to be awhile before consumers are able to purchase fuel cell cars from their local dealerships, and even longer before gasoline fades into history, according to a Detroit Free press story by John Gallagher and Alejandro Bodipo-Memba. "We don't expect to see them in commercial use or mass production for 10 to 20 years," said John Wallace, Ford Motor Co.'s director of fuel cell programs. "But we're doing this work in anticipation of something happening that would require us to replace our existing motor vehicle technologies." The gulf between promise and fulfillment -- and how to bridge it -- was a key topic May 2 during the G8 Energy Ministers conference at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center Hotel, according to the Free Press.