New analysis highlights public outreach and hydrogen fuelJuly 22, 2013
Public outreach may be important to the future of hydrogen fuel
Fuel Cell Today has released a new analysis concerning public outreach and hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen is quickly attracting more attention, especially in the realm of transportation. Many consumers remain somewhat unaware of the prospects of hydrogen fuel, however, which could be a problematic issue for the future of clean transportation. Organizations investing in hydrogen fuel have taken note of this issue and have begun reaching out to the public in order to inform them of the benefits that could be had through incorporating hydrogen into transportation.
Ene-Farm helps raise awareness of fuel cells
The general public has yet to warm to the concept of hydrogen fuel cells despite the fact that these energy systems have become quite popular in many industrial sectors and the auto industry. To date, the largest fuel cell program that the general public has been exposed to has been Japan’s Ene-Farm, which provides electrical power to homes and businesses in and around Tokyo. The Ene-Farm sells hydrogen fuel cells to the general public. As such, marketing efforts have helped raise awareness of these energy systems among consumers in a significant way.
Public outreach is lacking outside of Japan
According to the analysis from Fuel Cell Today, public outreach in the fuel cell sector is relatively lackluster outside of Japan. While the global auto industry has been promoting hydrogen-powered vehicles, most consumers do not know the benefits that these vehicles have over their conventional counterparts. The analysis notes that many consumers consider fuel cells to be a future solution to an immediate problem, claiming that the technology is perpetually 10 years away from being considered viable. Others express concerns regarding the safety of fuel cells, comparing them to hydrogen bombs.
Lack of knowledge among consumers may be a problem for the fuel cell industry
While automakers have been working to show that fuel cells are both safe and reliable, the general public has yet to take these energy systems seriously. If public outreach remains a low priority, hydrogen transportation may not find the success that automakers expect. Indeed, fuel cells in general may never extend beyond the industrial sector if consumers do not understand the benefits of these energy systems.