While many automakers are still looking into gasoline electric vehicles or diesel electric vehicles for the future of our vehicles, Honda has remained faithful to the Hydrogen Fuel Cell. This decision was made while being well aware of the problems they will face when trying to develop a useable fueling infrastructure. Now, they have developed a new fueling station that may make this transition even easier.
Honda has been using a Hydrogen fueling station at their US Headquarters in California since back in 2001 with relatively few issues. The problem is that it is one of only a few scattered across the US. This makes buying a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle difficult, unless you live close enough to one of the handful of stations to make it feasible.
To combat this problem, Honda has developed a miniature refueling station that be purchased and kept for at home use. Making this deal even sweeter is the fact that these stations are powered primarily by off peak grid power and the use of photovoltaic panels.
According to the team of engineers tasked with building the stations, it is able to provide up to half a kilogram of hydrogen in an 8 hour period. This equates to between 35 and 40 miles of driving, which should be enough to sustain the average commuter. If you need a full refill, all you have to do is find yourself a full sized station and top off the tank.
It should also be noted that, even though the system will be using power straight from the local grid, it is not expected to increase you energy bills. Honda plans on using the solar array to pump energy back into the local grid during the day, when usage is at a maximum, to offset the energy used during the night. Of course, this will require some coordination with your utilities company, but Honda doesn't think it will be a problem.
The stations are still in the development stage, with no official timeline for the start of sales.Business Week