General Motors Co. has joined the Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative, which aims to cut the state's dependence on imported oil by 90%. GM has pledged to participate in this program, along with 10 companies, government agencies and universities, to build hydrogen fueling infrastructure in Hawaii by 2015. The Gas Company, a major Hawaiian utility, is GM's main partner.
In a statement, GM said that the initiative aims to make hydrogen available to all 1 million residents on the island of Oahu by 2015. In particular, it seeks to install 20 to 25 hydrogen fueling stations in locations strategically positioned around the island.
What the consortium will do for now is to determine ways to distribute hydrogen through natural-gas pipelines. According to Charles Freese, executive director of GM Fuel Cell Activities, “the work in Hawaii can provide a template for other regions.”
He revealed that Germany, Japan and Korea have started to build hydrogen infrastructures. Currently, GM has a fleet of 100 hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles in operation.
Aside from GM and TGC, the hydrogen initiative partners include the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT); the U.S. Department of Energy; FuelCell Energy; Aloha Petroleum Ltd; Louis Berger Group; U.S. Pacific Command, supported by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Pacific Air Forces, U.S. Army Pacific, and U.S. Marine Forces, Pacific; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; the County of Hawaii; University of California - Irvine, and the University of Hawaii.