North Carolina’s Hydrogen Economy Advancement Team (HEAT), a group of business leaders devoted to the progress of hydrogen fuel, is rallying support behind fuel cell technology. The group hopes to spark interest among residents and investors regarding how hydrogen can be applied to a railway system. Such a system, commonly referred to as “hydrail,” is becoming quite popular in Europe as hydrogen fuel becomes more accepted. By incorporating the fuel as part of the state’s public transit system, HEAT hopes to set a standard for those wishing to follow in their footsteps.
Hydrogen fuel and transportation have become inseparably linked since the auto industry adopted fuel cell technology. As an alternative to oil, hydrogen has provided many benefits without sacrificing performance. Commercialization of the fuel has been somewhat arduous due to the complications and cost of fuel cell technology. Many of these problems are being overcome with advancements to the technology, however, enabling HEAT to leverage fuel cells to paint a new future for North Carolina’s transit system.
The group is hoping to attract investors and public support with a number of radio advertisements. HEAT’s past efforts to promote hydrogen fuel have been overshadowed by general lack of interest. Now that the fuel is entering the limelight, the group may finally have a chance to direct attention to their favored alternative energy. Whether they are successful depends largely on how the public react. If the group garners enough support, it will be able to approach the state’s Legislature with plans for their hydrail project.