GM, Honda Detail Long-Term Fuel Cell Co-Development Strategy
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area, where consumers are already interested in owning fuel cell vehicles. Freese says “65 or so” fueling stations would cover most of California.
Hawaii is another state ripe for fuel cell infrastructure. “They have really high fuel prices, they’re completely bounded by water, and they have a high percentage of renewables,” Freese adds. “Those are all the elements we need to make it happen.”
Internationally, Freese believes, fuel cell infrastructure creation will start in Japan, Germany, and Scandinavia, in part because there is existing government support in those countries. In the U.S., a hydrogen infrastructure project called H2USA started in May and now has 19 members, among them the U.S. Department of Energy, a handful of auto manufacturers including GM and Honda, and assorted suppliers, energy coalitions, and trade groups. Ultimately, Freese says the U.S. government can incentivize fuel cell vehicle ownership, but the infrastructure will have to be built by the private sector.
For its part, GM launched Project Driveway, a large-scale market test of fuel cell vehicles, in 2007 and has since then racked up nearly 3 million miles of real-world driving in a fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered vehicles—more than any other car manufacturer.
Meanwhile, Honda began leasing the FCX in 2002 and has since delivered 85 of the vehicles to the U.S. and Japan. In 2015, it plans to release a successor, the FCX Clarity, in Europe, the U.S., and Japan.