Hydrogen fuel gets going with road tour

The National Hydrogen Road Tour from 11 August to 23 August in the US will showcase clean, efficient, hydrogen-powered vehicles and focus on hydrogen's potential as a commercial fuel. Writes Tanmoy Mitra

The US Department of Transportation (DOT), in association with the National Hydrogen Association and other federal agencies is organising the National Hydrogen Road Tour from 11 August to 23 August.The two-week road tour will feature hydrogen-powered passenger vehicles and transit buses, making 31 stops in 18 states across the US to promote fuel cell technology, and help address future energy and environmental issues.

Honda FCXThe tour will focus on hydrogen's potential as a fuel and to see what the future holds for hydrogen in the United States and also give the American public an unique opportunity to witness  these concept vehicles in real world driving conditions

Leading auto manufacturers including Daimler, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes Benz, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Nissan will showcase their hydrogen vehicles during the event. Air Products and Chemicals, Inc and Linde are providing mobile refueling stations and hydrogen fuel. (List of participants)

The Department of Transportation is working closely with research institutions, industry and universities  to make the hydrogen fuel cell technology more viable.

Current research focuses on the development of reliable, low-cost but high-performance fuel cell system components for transportation and buildings applications. With continued progress the technology will be ready for the market in the coming years.

However, commercial success of hydrogen-powered vehicles will depend on the performance and costing of hydrogen as a fuel. To create consumer interest, the fuel cell technology will have to be cheaper than petroleum fuel and cost-competitive with other alternate fuels. Most importantly, hydrogen powered vehicles should perform as well or better than, traditional power technologies.