A company in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) has taken a Toyota Prius hybrid car and re-engineered it to run on hydrogen. Now, ECD isn’t unique in converting other vehicles, especially hybrids to run on hydrogen gas. Quantum Fuel Systems of Irvine, California has converted quite a few.
What makes ECD unique is how they fuel up the converted Toyota Prius when demonstrating the vehicle to the public. The roof of the service station that fills the hydrogen car is covered with photovoltaic cells that create electricity and electrolyze water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is then pumped into the Prius.
This is one of the greenest ways to produce hydrogen for fueling vehicles and brings to mind that if ECD can do it at their service station, why can’t other service stations do the same? By covering service station roofs with photovoltaic cells and producing hydrogen on site, this would eliminate a need for a vast hydrogen production and distribution infrastructure to be built. The price of photovoltaic has come down drastically in the last 5 years and this is yet another option to produce hydrogen onsite and do it as greenly as possible.
In their quest to convert a hybrid car to a hydrogen hybrid car, ECD has also offered up another compelling solution to the issue of building a hydrogen infrastructure as economically as possible.