So I'm not surprised to see this kind of work come out of China:
Water electrolysis for large scale hydrogen production is unattractive because of its high electricity consumption. But hydrogen produced by electrolysis of methanol as proposed by Prof. Shen, from Advanced Energy Materials Research laboratory of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China uses only 1/3 electricity consumption of water electrolysis.One caveat seems to be that methanol production also requires a hydrogen source, which in conventional production comes from the fossil-fuel input. It could also (in theory) come from a gasified biomass source.
Efficient methanol synthesis and electrolysis could make fuel cells more useful than I've given them credit for recently. I've been betting on batteries (in electric cars and plug-in hybrids) the win the market first, but the neat thing is that the plug-in hybrid concept isn't an either-or: so long as grid electricity is cheaper, per-mile, than a liquid fuel it's going to make most sense for a consumer to do their day-to-day driving with a plug handy. You can have a plug-in fuel cell hybrid (indeed, this makes at least as much sense as an internal-combustion/battery hybrid.)