Monday, March 24, 2008

The Hydrogen Highway Runs Through Sacramento

You can learn more about and test-drive fuel-cell vehicles at the California Fuel Cell Partnership located in West Sacramento. The facility is part-laboratory, part classroom, part museum and is designed to increase the public's comfort level with driving a hydrogen powered car.

While the write-up in the Bee acknowledges all of the shortcomings of fuel-cell vehicles-- lack of a commercial fuel distribution infrastructure, too few qualified service technicians, and a general fear of hydrogen among the general public-- it does make it seem as if fuel-cell cars are closer to going mainstream than many realize.

The quote that best summarizes the PR hurdle these vehicles face:

"Martin Chavez, a Carmichael resident who drives a four-cylinder, gas-fueled Honda Civic, said he's not so sure about the hydrogen future: "I'm not ready. … It's not just that there aren't enough (hydrogen) stations, but I worry about having all that hydrogen under pressure in the car, and how I would have the car repaired. …"