Battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids may be the hot commodity in the green automotive game right now, but if you ask many of the engineers and executives in the auto industry about the best long-term solution for eliminating vehicle pollution, their answer is likely to be an electric vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.
The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit), which services the east San Francisco Bay area, is now operating a fleet of fuel cell buses and Linde North America is installing two new hydrogen fueling stations to fill them up. The hydrogen stations are being installed at AC Transit's Emeryville and Oakland depots and will use Linde's Ionic compression technology.
When hydrogen cars become available to the general public, they will start in California. This is pretty much an accepted truth among people who follow the green car scene today, but SunHydro/Proton Energy thinks that truth needs to be changed to include the east coast.
Hawaii is set to get the first hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the United States thanks to a pilot project announced today by General Motors and The Gas Company. The Gas Company is the local natural gas and propane utility on the island state. Hawaii makes an ideal location for testing new transportation technologies as a result of its isolation, and the relatively small size of the islands means that you can never get all that far from the fueling network.
Just a few days ago, we told you about Germany's commitment of $2 billion for the construction of at least 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations. A month ago, we learned about London's decision to build a network of hydrogen filling stations in time for the 2012 Olympics. But, outside of California's Hydrogen Highway, we don't hear too much about the progress of hydrogen infrastructure and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles here in the U.S. Don't worry; this story is no different.
Not too long ago we learned that BMW was secretly working on a hydrogen hybrid powertrain. Then, just days ago, we brought spy shots of the real deal caught in action. Yep, that's a modified front-wheel drive 1 Series pictured sporting both hydrogen and electric components. Now there's even more to this developing story.
The lunch keynote speaker at Toyota's Sustainable Mobility Seminar today was Scott Samuelsen, director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center at University of California, Irvine. When he was talking about the on-campus hydrogen fueling station, he said that the facility was overtaxed by the 15 or so vehicles it refuels on an average day. We asked why so few cars are putting this big a strain on the station, since that's not exactly high traffic. Samuelsen told AutoblogGreen that the station w
The jury is still out on whether hydrogen-fueled cars will be a competitive alternative in the future. BMW still seems to think it will be. Honda hasn't given up on its FCX Clarity hydrogen car either. Cities like London are laying the preliminary groundwork for a network of hydrogen filling stations. And then there's Ahhhnold and his hydrogen highway.
If General Motors succeeds in bringing a fuel cell vehicle to market by 2015, it is going to have to figure out how to build it. In recent years, GM has released a raft of new products, many of which have received critical acclaim but only limited commercial success. Much of the blame for the disappointing sales has been attributed to mediocre marketing. Over the past year, vice chairman has taken the lead on revamping GM's marketing efforts. He is retiring at the end of this month.
The Big Japanese Three automakers are all working on fuel cell vehicles. This is no surprise, especially to anyone who remembers that, between 1998 and 2004, two out of every three fuel cell patent applications were filed by Japanese companies. What might be a surprise is how big the domestic fuel cell market there might be in fifteen years.