Hawaii to serve as testing ground for new fuel cell vehicles
Hawaii will soon receive new hydrogen-powered vehicles that will be operated at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. These vehicles will be used to shuttle tourists and tow aircraft and will also provide valuable information concerning the capabilities of fuel cell vehicles. Hawaii has become a popular place to test fuel cell vehicles due to its relatively small size and the fact that it receives the majority of its fuel as imports from other states.
Fuel cell vehicles may not find much traction in Hawaii
Fuel cell vehicles are attracting a great deal of attention. These vehicles are slated for commercial launch in 2015 in many parts of the world, but the launch of these vehicles is expected to be quite limited in terms of units produced and shipped. Automakers are somewhat worried that their most favored markets will not have a working hydrogen fuel infrastructure in place before they launch a new generation of clean vehicles. Hawaii is one market where an infrastructure will not likely take form for several years.
State has little interest in building a hydrogen infrastructure
Hawaii currently leads the U.S. in terms of installed electric charging stations. These stations serve as energy suppliers for the fleet of electric vehicles that currently operated within the state. The state government has shown little interest in developing a hydrogen infrastructure; however, as it believes the effort would be too costly. Moreover, Hawaii is not a prominent market in the auto industry, partially due to its small size. Hawaii has become a testing ground for hydrogen-powered vehicles and will likely to continue serving in this role for the foreseeable future.
New vehicles may provide valuable information regarding fuel cell performance
The new vehicles coming to the state may help draw more attention to clean transportation. The vehicles themselves will provide valuable information concerning the performance of fuel cells and how they are used in transportation. Several government agencies are interested in forming a better understanding of hydrogen fuel cells in order to help support their adoption throughout the country and help make these energy systems less expensive and more efficient.