There are two types of vehicles that make use of hydrogen as a fuel. First are those that use hydrogen in an internal-combustion engine. The other uses a hydrogen fuel cell. Both have had their challenges in the past and still struggle for commercial acceptance today. Fuel cell vehicles are becoming favored, however, as they are more efficient than their counterparts.
Recently, BMW showcased their latest entry in hydrogen powered vehicles with a concept model that used liquid in a combustion engine. The car performed much the way any BMW would, but its space was cut nearly in half by the large storage tank required to store the fuel. Developers have fought with hydrogen storage for years, never able to find a proper balance between size and safety. While BMW’s car was able to run on pure hydrogen, the vehicle was massively heavy and ended up using a huge amount of fuel.
Fuel cells are generally considered the way to go in the auto industry. The high production cost has given fuel cells something of an infamous reputation, however. Compounded by the lack of a proper infrastructure, hydrogen fuel systems of any kind seem to be a far-fetched notion. GM is looking to change that.
GM recently announced that they would be constructing a hydrogen vehicle infrastructure in Hawaii. Hawaii is notoriously reliant on fossil-fuel. GM hopes to have 20 stations ready for service by 2015. Automakers say that it will be just in time for a massive influx of hydrogen powered ve