First Commercial Hydrogen Filling Station Opens

SunHydro opens a solar-powered hydrogen station in suburban Connecticut with an eye toward an East Coast chain

4 min read

20 October 2010—A "hydrogen highway" stretching from Florida to Maine came a little closer to reality last week. Last Friday, start-up firm SunHydro opened the first privately funded hydrogen filling station for fuel-cell-powered cars and buses in the United States.

The filling station, which is located in Wallingford, Conn., sells hydrogen that is generated on-site using electricity from solar cells. The electricity is used to split water using hydrolysis technology developed by SunHydro’s 14-year-old parent company, Proton Energy Systems. It is only one of about 70 such stations peppered around the country, most of which are in California. However, many of these stations are not in operation or are limited to use by people in government or academia. SunHydro’s station is open to the public.

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We Need More Than Just Electric Vehicles

To decarbonize road transport we need to complement EVs with bikes, rail, city planning, and alternative energy

11 min read
A worker works on the frame of a car on an assembly line.

China has more EVs than any other country—but it also gets most of its electricity from coal.

VCG/Getty Images
Green

EVs have finally come of age. The total cost of purchasing and driving one—the cost of ownership—has fallen nearly to parity with a typical gasoline-fueled car. Scientists and engineers have extended the range of EVs by cramming ever more energy into their batteries, and vehicle-charging networks have expanded in many countries. In the United States, for example, there are more than 49,000 public charging stations, and it is now possible to drive an EV from New York to California using public charging networks.

With all this, consumers and policymakers alike are hopeful that society will soon greatly reduce its carbon emissions by replacing today’s cars with electric vehicles. Indeed, adopting electric vehicles will go a long way in helping to improve environmental outcomes. But EVs come with important weaknesses, and so people shouldn’t count on them alone to do the job, even for the transportation sector.

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