Last summer I talked about the possibility of hydrogen and CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles being flex fuel companions of the future. In September 2008, the Russian CNG Caravan, featuring natural gas vehicles and one running on hythane (natural gas and hydrogen blend) drove from Saint-Petersburg via Novgorod and Tver to Moscow.
Because of the success of that NGV (natural gas vehicle) caravan, the organizers including Gazprom, VNIIGAZ and NGVRUS (Russian National Gas Vehicle Association) want to do it all over again. This time they are asking for hydrogen cars and vehicles to join this road tour.
Remember last summer, the U. S. had its own Hydrogen Road Tour 2008 that traveled from East Coast to West Coast in 13 days. This Russian road tour will last about 3 days beginning April 20, 2009 and will travel from Rostov-on-Don via Krasnodar and Novorossiysk to Sochi.
The city of Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympics XXII and is looking forward to promoting a clean and progressive image. The mission of the Russian Caravan will be to promote environmental awareness along with information on green economics and safety.
Even though the focus of this event is on natural gas vehicles (Russia and the U. S. are not even in the top 10 worldwide of having CNG vehicles), it’s good to see the Soviets sympathetic to hydrogen as well. If Russia were to scale up their hydrogen program, similar to their past efforts in space, they could indeed be a world player of tomorrow.