It has been awhile since we talked about hydrogen cars. In fact, auto manufacturers the world over seem to have pushed hydrogen vehicles to the side of their plate (next to the spinach and garbanzo beans). There are of course exceptions, such as Mazda and Mercedes, but electric cars are all the rage right now, and hydrogen arguably has more infrastructure issues to overcome. The biggest issue; where does one get hydrogen?
A Connecticut company called SunHydro wants to deploy 11 solar-powered hydrogen fueling stations (SunHydro, get it?) along the East Coast, creating the area’s first hydrogen highway.
Using electrolysis technology from Proton Energy, based in Wallingford, CT, (one town over from me!) SunHydro wants to deploy stations from Portland, Maine to the southern tip of Florida. The stations will be small time, though completely self-contained, and will be able to fill just ten-to-fifteen cars per day. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for profit, but hydrogen cars are faced with the “chicken or egg” quandry.
What comes first? Hydrogen cars, or hydrogen filling stations? SunHydro seems to think the filling stations need to come first. Since the whole process uses just the sun to split hydrogen atoms, it is relatively cheap compared to other methods of building hydrogen fueling stations. Of course, “relatively” still means $3 million to install just one station.
Still, the East Coast does have an advantage over California in terms of building a hydrogen highway. 14 states touch the Atlantic, compared to three on the West Coast, which means getting public funding or assistance would likely be easier (though it might not). The hydrogen highway would also run through Washington D.C., though the closest station would be in Richmond, VA, giving the Feds a reason to pitch in.
But if you build it, they will come. Right?
Source: Wired | Image: Honda FCX Clarity Hydrogen Car