A large scale partnership called H2I (Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative) is coming together as combined efforts are being made for the fueling infrastructure that will support the future face of the Hawaiian transportation system. Hydrogen fuel is the word of the day, as Hawaii expects thousands of fuel-cell vehicles to hit the market starting with 2015.
General Motors, a key player in this grand-scale project partnered with several other organizations, companies and government agencies in a plan to bring Hawaii one step closer to the future. Charlie Freese, executive director of global fuel cell activities for General Motors, made the following statement: “We have 12 organizations all combining resources to work on a plan that will lay out a hydrogen infrastructure in Hawaii and make hydrogen a reality – . We’re setting up Hawaii to be the first hydrogen state in the country.”
The plan has been made public in December, as GM, provider of 20 Equinox fuel cell vehicles, decided to partner with Gas Co., a hydrogen provider, and to tap into Oahu’s utility pipeline. Other partners involved are UC Irvine (hydrogen stations), the University of Hawaii (optimization simulations), The National Renewable Energy Lab (cost implications), Aloha Petroleum (operating the hydrogen operating stations), Louis Berger Group (constructing the refuelers) and Fuel Cell Energy (making the stationary fuel cell systems).
All of these partnerships are of extreme importance. According to Charlie Freese “we need to have the vehicles and infrastructure come together at the same time in a coordinated way.” – I’s not enough for a company like us to pledge to make fuel-cell vehicles.”
Other partners involved are the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Pacific Command (implementing fuel-cell vehicles to Air Force, Army and Marine) and the County of Hawaii.