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.
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.
What is the hydrogen economy all about? For once, we're not talking about what sort of infrastructure will be required or at what price point H2 vehicles make sense. Nope, this time the discussion a little less specific and goes into the figurative aspects of what the hydrogen economy is all about. According to a scientific and popular literature review conducted by Drs. Benjamin Sovacool and Brent Brossmann at the National University of Singapore, promoters of a hydrogen economy commonly use fi
I'm starting to think that the "hydrogen advocate" Greg Blencoe (always an AutoblogGreen fave) might be working against the hydrogen industry. In a new post on his Hydrogen Car Revolution blog, he responds to five energy efficiency arguments against hydrogen fuel cell cars. The problem? His rebuttals are not convincing (sorry, Greg). One of his points is a real head scratcher: "Regarding renewable energy, there is far more high-quality wind and solar power available than could ever be used. Ther
A new project to create a nationwide Hydrogen fueling infrastructure in Great Britain had its kickoff meeting at Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE) in Bedfordshire. The project is called UK-HyNet and aims to create a complete infrastructure to support the hydrogen economy by 2015. According to Nissan, the network will help the widespread use of hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles (HFCVs), which are expected to become more common by 2015. The project is part of Great Britain's Hydrogen Roadma
Earlier this month, President Obama and DOE Secretary Chu announced big cuts to DOE hydrogen-powered car programs. The funding cut was hailed by many and panned by some in the larger argument about what the national priorities should be, but it will also have consequenses in local communities, especially those who had been making a go of it with hydrogen infrastructure. See: Columbia, South Carolina. City and state officials there can't be blamed for their hydrogen support; in fact, as late as m
If some governments proudly say that the way out of our economic problems is by investing in new technologies, here's a story that shows that they might not be right. One important player in the so-called "hydrogen economy," Air Products (previous posts), is dealing with the hard times by laying off 1,300 of its workers worldwide. Although the company spots minimal debt, the cuts were planned to lower structural costs and will save Air Products an estimated $50 million in 2009 and $110 million i
GM isn't the only one ready for a lot of hydrogen fuel cell cars. Daimler chairman Dieter "Dr. Z" Zetsche believes that the technology for fuel cell vehicles is here today and that vehicles using the hydrogen-for-energy system will be available in five to eight years time. Zetsche also believes that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will compare favorably with their competition, which we assume means other alternative powertrains like full-electrics and hybrids. One reason he cites as a fuel cell bene
During a keynote speech at the National Hydrogen Association conference in Sacramento, CA, GM's VP for Research and Development declared automotive fuel cell technology ready. However he said it can't move forward without a supply of hydrogen to feed mass quantities of cars. Between General Motors, Daimler, Toyota, Honda and Ford, automakers have demonstrated that the technology works and is reliable. GM and Honda in particular are working aggressively to create fuel cell designs that can be mas
The National Research Council (NRC) has finished conducting research into the possibility of powering vehicles using hydrogen fuel cells and other alternatives. Despite mixed reviews, the report suggests that even without ready solutions to quite a number of major issues, taxpayer-funded research into hydrogen "is justified by its potentially enormous benefits to the nation."
If you go to promotional events (like the public ride & drive that was part of the EDTA conference last year and pictured at right), you can drive hydrogen fuel cell vehicles around the block. If you're really lucky, you can go 300 miles in one. But if you can't make these event - and you're not a celebrity - the chances that you'll be cruising down the street in a car that emits nothing but water vapor are awfully slim. Chris Nelder, solar designer and writer, says over at Renewable Energy
Recently, Bibi van der Zee, a writer for the Guardian Unlimited, took a test drive in one of BMW's Hydrogen 7s. It's a damn comfortable ride, as I experienced at the AFVI conference a few months ago. Van der Zee calls the chance "irresistible," but quickly confronted the question (as we all must when hydrogen cars come up): "What's the point of making hydrogen-powered cars if there's no fuel for them?"
A Virginia company, H2Gen, makes a hydrogen-extraction device that basically (very basically) sucks the hydrogen right out of natural gas (see the graph for a (somewhat) more detailed explanation). An Orlando Chevron station has acquired one of their units and is currently testing the viability of using it for producing hydrogen right at the point of purchase. If the test works out, one more stumbling block, transportation of hydrogen, could be removed in some cases.
Greg Blencoe, CEO of Hydrogen Discoveries, asks us to "do the right thing" in his message urging us to begin our transition into the hydrogen economy now. He believes that the transition from fossil-fuels to hydrogen will cost $100 trillion, and can be done by the year 2020.