Hawaii is in the process of building its first public hydrogen vehicle fuelling station. Hydrogen cars will be sold in the US-state by 2018. Toyota will be the first car manufacturer supplying hydrogen-vehicles to Hawaii.
Hawaii is only the second US-state to break ground with hydrogen-fuelled cars. Given the remoteness of the islands, the state’s efforts are immense.
Cars will be supplied by Toyota with Servco Pacific selling the vehicles via its dealerships in Hawaii and offering the hydrogen. When the construction of the fuelling station will be finalised, the station will be able to supply hydrogen to five cars each day. Due to Hawaii’s remote location in the Pacific Ocean all the station’s hydrogen will be produced on-site through electrolysis.
The cars are Toyota Mirais, Toyota’s hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, which convert hydrogen to electricity, leaving water as its only by-product, which is extracted through the car’s tailpipe.
“When you pump hydrogen into the vehicle, it travels to carbon-fibre reinforced fuel tanks where it’s stored,” Toyota explains the details behind the technology on its website.
Front intake grills deliver outside air to the fuel cell stack whilst hydrogen travels from the tanks to the fuel cell stack. There it goes through a chemical reaction involving the oxygen in the air, creating electricity to power the vehicle.
Mark Fukunaga, Chairman and CEO of Servco Pacific Inc. told the website ClimateActionProgramme.com: “Hydrogen vehicles offer zero carbon emissions and zero compromise on fast refuelling and driving range.
“Sometimes you have to bet on the future and we all know that staying purely with a fossil fuel environment is not something that’s responsible or sustainable.”
Hawaii aims to fulfil 100 per cent of its electricity needs with renewable energy by 2045.
Apart from Toyota other hydrogen vehicles available in the US are the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell and the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.
Image credit: Dennis Schroeder / National Renewable Energy Lab