While the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt and other BEVs and PHEVs are grabbing all the headlines and getting all the glory hydrogen is quietly making headway around the globe. For instance, in Japan, a country that already has a hydrogen highway program already in place and is expanding this rapidly they have just launched their Hydrogen Town Project.
According to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), “In the project, hydrogen will be supplied via pipelines installed in urban districts and pure-hydrogen-type fuel cells will be operated for a full scale of a community as demonstration.”
The go onto say, “The Research Association of Hydrogen Supply/Utilization Technology will install pipelines from Kitakyushu Hydrogen Station (Higashida, Yahata-higashi-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka), that uses hydrogen manufactured by Nippon Steel Corporation, to complex houses, individual houses and both commercial and public facilities in the vicinity so as to demonstrate operation of pure-hydrogen-type fuel cells for both home and business use.”
Now, on the other side of the globe in Scotland, an area that has its own hydrogen highway project underway, the Hydrogen Office Limited (HOL) project has just kicked off. Scotland has an overabundance of wind energy with no way to store the extra electricity.
This is where hydrogen storage kicks in. Wind turbines will electrolyze water and store the extra hydrogen for powering the surrounding areas. Presumably, when the Scottish hydrogen highway project is a little further along this hydrogen can also be used to refuel cars as well (or even sold on the open market).
There is also a rumor floating about that the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen is starting to be leased. So, even though hydrogen cars are not directly in the limelight right now they are far from being out of the picture altogether. And by flying under the radar for a while, hydrogen cars will ultimately outwit, outlast and outplay their opponents.