Since I had talked about timelines yesterday for rolling out hydrogen cars and how the critics want to drag this process out for decades, I thought I would follow up today with a short timeline from a hydrogen advocate. According to Dr. Gerald Groenewold, the Director of EERC (Energy & Environmental Research Center) at the University of North Dakota, hydrogen cars could be commercial available in as little as 4 to 5 years.
According to Dr. Groenewold, “Hydrogen is not the fuel of the future-it is the fuel of today! Depending on the world’s energy situation, certain fuel cell vehicles could be commercially available in 4-5 years. We have the technologies to move forward with hydrogen as a viable fuel, but we lack the commercial infrastructure to make it available to everyone.”
EERC is also home to the NCHT (National Center for Hydrogen Technology) that is in charge of $60 million in pending or current funding for hydrogen research. Some of the other interesting ventures that EERC is developing include hydrogen from biomass, jet fuel, wind energy and ethanol.
EERC has teamed up with the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company out of Minnesota to develop low cost hydrogen from ethanol in one of its production plants. Using a high-pressure reforming process and wet, undenatured ethanol, large quantities of hydrogen can be produced in a financially prudent manner.
So, no matter who you ask about hydrogen cars, the timelines can vary by decades. But, if there is social will and political will there is a way. And, hydrogen may just weigh in a lot sooner than most everyone thinks.