In May 2010 I had talked about how General Motors and The Gas Company in Hawaii were teaming up to bring hydrogen cars and refueling infrastructure to the island of Oahu.
In December 2008, I had talked about the Hydrogen Fueling Station Cluster Model proposed by the Rochester Institute of Technology for putting up fueling resources in the most densely populated areas on the mainland such as Los Angeles.
But, the Island of Oahu provides a better Petri dish if you will for this kind of experimentation. First, the Hawaiian Islands import almost 100-percent of their oil from outside sources. Second, this self-contain Oahu will not have drivers who are used to long road trips.
In the Los Angeles area if a driver with friends or family wanted to take a road trip they might like to go to Las Vegas where there is another hydrogen fueling station. The problem is that this is outside the range of the Honda Clarity and most other hydrogen-powered vehicles.
The same holds true for a road trip to San Francisco. And if a person did get a hankering for a shorter road trip to San Diego, there are no public hydrogen refueling stations there.
With Oahu it is different. It’s the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and the most densely populated. This 597 square mile island has a shoreline of just 227 miles meaning a Honda Clarity or other hydrogen car could drive around the perimeter of the island (if this were possible) and not run out of gas.
GM and The Gas Company plan to put up between 20 and 25 hydrogen fueling stations on Oahu which is more than enough to satisfy the needs of the drivers. The hydrogen cluster model for Oahu is perfect for inducing hydrogen cars and refueling infrastructure to see what works and what doesn’t in order to bring these ideas to larger and larger geographical areas.