Despite all the accusations that blame them not caring for, it seems like General Motors is getting more and more involved in the making of a fueling infrastructure for their fuel cell cars. GM has already invested heavily in two different ethanol companies (Coskata and Mascoma). Now they have partnered with Clean Energy Fuels Corp. to open a hydrogen fueling station near the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The station should be operational by 2008 fall.
Mary Beth Stanek, GM’s director of energy and environmental policy & commercialization said that this action is a continuation of the company’s general policy to advance the development of refueling infrastructure for their future hydrogen vehicles.They do this because GM cannot make a car that can’t be fueled easily.
“Developing and growing hydrogen infrastructure is vital to GM’s efforts to bring larger volumes of fuel cell vehicles to the market.”
Reforming hydrogen from natural gas is controversial, especially since California already has a reasonably well-developed CNG refueling system powering some of the cleanest cars on the road (14,000 daily according to GCC). But proponents argue that natural gas is an ideal transition feedstock until a more sustainable alternative for hydrogen production can be developed.
Hydrogen from the new station will be mainly used for Chevrolet’s Project Driveway, the largest market test of fuel cell powered cars by now.
Andrew J. Littlefair, Clean Energy president and CEO, said:
“Developing a cost-effective hydrogen infrastructure is a challenge. By leveraging the growing network of natural gas stations, a variety of hydrogen station designs can be introduced to the public. Ultimately, reforming pipeline natural gas to produce hydrogen at our stations may be done inexpensively, thereby taking advantage of the ready infrastructure. This approach can help accelerate a larger-scale deployment of hydrogen vehicles.”