With the advent of fuel cells and hydrogen powered engines, there has always been questions as to the availability of a hydrogen fueling structure to accommodate the demand. Hawaii is set to be a real life case study for fuel cell vehicles, now that The Gas Company (TGC) and General Motors have teamed up to lay down the foundations on the beautiful island.
TGC, Hawaii’s biggest gas company, has a 1,000 mile pipeline service running through the country and aims to tap into this particular line to provide people with hydrogen through filling stations. TGC’s pipes flow with synthetic natural gas and hydrogen and the latter, which at present comprises 5% of the mix, can be extracted at stations using a “pressure swing absorption system”.
This development is beneficial for GM as it has invested more than US$1.5 billion in fuel cell tech over the last 15 years. GM’s Project Driveway is the world’s largest initiative involving fuel cell vehicles which has so far amassed 1.4 million miles by thousands of people since 2007. GM is looking to redeploy some of the Chevy Equinox SUVs used in Project Driveway (119 units in service) to Hawaii. The General is currently working on a mass market fuel cell system, targeted for 2015 release.
Click here for our driving experience of the Honda FCX, a fuel cell vehicle.