In January, I first talked about SunHydro and Proton Energy Systems teaming up to build an East Coast Hydrogen Highway System from Portland, Maine down to Orlando, Florida. Now, SunHydro has added Toyota as a partner as well.
Wallingford, Connecticut is the headquarters of Proton Energy Systems and is the site of the first SunHydro solar-hydrogen fueling station. Ten Toyota FCHV-adv hydrogen hybrid SUVs will be donated temporarily to this facility for testing. Toyota is in the process of rolling out 100 of these vehicles over the next three years for testing as a preamble for full production starting in 2015.
What is interesting to me is that on the West Coast it took politicians such as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger plus officials in Oregon and Washington to map out a hydrogen highway system there running from northern to southern borders.
On the East Coast, however, the politicians are not doing nearly as much as a single entrepreneur with his own grassroots movement to make the hydrogen highway system happen. Tom Sullivan, who owns both SunHydro and Lumber Liquidators, has decided to put part of his entrepreneurial fortune to work by building solar-powered hydrogen fueling stations up and down the East Coast with many of them planned in the parking lots of his Lumber Liquidator stores.
The next step in the building of the hydrogen highway could use a reversal of sorts. The West Coast could use an entrepreneurial grassroots movement to further build the hydrogen highway system in this location. On the East Coast, we need more politicians involved, joining together in the public sector to complement the work that SunHydro is doing to further expand the hydrogen highway system in this location.
It will be with this partnership between government and private sector that we will see the quickest and most robust results in building out a nationwide hydrogen highway system. Hopefully, with more major players getting onboard the East Coast Hydrogen Highway bandwagon, this will inspire others to do their parts in making this happen now rather than later.