About the Technology
Hydrogen has the potential to revolutionize transportation. It addresses the two major challenges facing automobiles today – cutting both petroleum imports and carbon dioxide emissions.
The simplest and most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen can be extracted from fossil fuels and biomass or produced with the help of electricity generated by wind, solar or other renewable sources of power. In Hawaii, The Gas Company is transforming locally produced, sustainable non-food-grade oils and fats into renewable hydrogen.
A fuel cell electric vehicle uses hydrogen stored in its fuel tank to generate electricity that drives the vehicle. It consumes no petroleum, produces zero harmful tailpipe emissions, and provides for fast refueling and long-range operation.
Fuel cell vehicles can be refueled safely in less than three minutes. An air-tight connection is made between the fuel source and the vehicle. If any hydrogen should escape, since it is literally “lighter than air,” it quickly rises and disperses in the atmosphere.
Fuel cells have made significant steps toward automotive competitiveness:
- Simplified architecture
- Reduced precious metal content
- Significantly improved power density
- Scalability (compact sedans to cross-over vehicles)