GM and Hawaii team up for hydrogen infrastructure pilot

New Pilot Program to Create Fuel Cell Stations in Hawaii

General Motors said today that it is working with The Gas Company (TGC), Hawaii”s major gas energy provider, to power a ramp up of fuel-cell vehicles on the island of Oabhi where there is an abundance of hydrogen.

TGC produces hydrogen along with synthetic natural gas and delivers it in its utility gas stream. Through its proprietary separation process, TGC plans to tap into its 1,000-mile utility pipeline system at key locations and separate the hydrogen for use by local fueling stations for fuel cell vehicle owners.

“This is the type of enabler that a hydrogen transportation infrastructure needs because it addresses both the source of the hydrogen and a feasible way to deliver it for fuel cell vehicle use,” said Charles Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Activities. “The Hawaii infrastructure could eventually support tens of thousands of fuel cell vehicles.

“Hawaii is uniquely positioned and motivated to make hydrogen-powered fuel cell transportation a reality because it depends on imported petroleum for 90 percent of its energy,” he said.

Hawaii is committed to reducing petroleum use by 70 percent through the use of renewable energy resources, conservation and efficiency. The use of hydrogen as a transportation fuel could be a key contributor.

GM has invested more than $1.5 billion in fuel-cell transportation in the last 15 years and is developing a production-intent fuel cell system that could be ready for use in vehicles by 2015. The company’s Chevrolet Fuel Cell vehicles are part of its Project Driveway, the world”s largest demonstration of fuel cell vehicles. The project has gathered nearly 1.4 million miles of real-world driving by thousands of people since 2007.

– By: Omar Rana