Hydrogen carriers store hydrogen in some other chemical state rather than as free hydrogen molecules. Additional research and analyses are underway to investigate novel liquid or solid hydrogen carriers for use in delivery.

Carriers are a unique way to deliver hydrogen by hydriding a chemical compound at the site of production and then dehydriding it either at the point of delivery or once it is onboard the fuel cell vehicle. This method of hydrogen delivery is still in the early stages of research and development, and as of yet it has not been shown to be energy or cost efficient. Potential carriers include metal hydrides, carbon or other nanostructures, and reversible hydrocarbons or other liquids, among others in the early stages of research. Using such novel carriers would constitute a significant departure from the way transportation fuels are delivered today.

There are no hydrogen carrier projects currently funded by the hydrogen delivery sub-program, but the hydrogen storage sub-program is actively funding ongoing research in this area.