On June 6, 2007, Chicago Congressman Dan Lipinski got the bill he had sponsored, the H-Prize Act of 2007, through the U. S. House of representatives with a vote of 408-8. The H-Prize act encourages research and development on hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels by awarding prizes between $1 million and $4 million for meaningful advancements.
On Monday, August 6, Congressman Lipinski hosted a demonstration at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) showcasing several hydrogen-powered vehicles. Present at the event were a GM HydroGen3 minivan, a fuel cell scooter and a hydrogen-powered lawn mower.
Earlier this year I had talked about how Chicago had received its first hydrogen fueling station. At the time, the price of a comparable amount of hydrogen was cheaper than gasoline.
The H-Prize is just the motivation that businesses and researchers need to spur them towards meaningful research and development of real world products that will move the hydrogen economy forward. And for doing that a nice, little multi-million dollar prize is an important incentive.