Hydrogen is a potentially emissions-free alternative fuel that can be produced from diverse domestic energy sources. Research is under way to make hydrogen vehicles practical for widespread use.
Hydrogen (H2) is an alternative fuel that can be produced from domestic resources. Although in its market infancy as a transportation fuel, government and industry are working towards clean, economical, and safe hydrogen production and distribution for use in fuel cell vehicles. Fuel cell vehicles are beginning to enter the consumer market in localized regions domestically and around the world. The market is also developing for buses, material handling equipment, ground support equipment, medium and heavy duty vehicles, and stationary applications. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has used hydrogen for space flight since the 1950s. For more information, see fuel properties and the Hydrogen Analysis Resource Center.
Hydrogen Fueling Stations
California is leading the nation with rolling out publicly accessible hydrogen fueling stations for fuel cell vehicles. With careful planning, the focus has been to add hydrogen mostly at existing gasoline stations covering regions in northern California near San Francisco and southern California near Los Angeles with additional connector and destination stations. These efforts are giving early fuel cell vehicle adopters confidence that they can drive normally and have access to hydrogen wherever they go within these regions. Efforts are also underway in Hawaii and the east coast, with other markets expected to develop as consumer demand increases. By the end of 2015, there should be more than 50 public stations available nationwide for fuel cell vehicles. As the demand for fuel cell vehicles grows, the business case for building more stations with higher capacities improves and volume production of station components will bring station costs down. Hydrogen infrastructure is also developing for buses, medium- and heavy-duty fleets, and material handling equipment, but unlike for consumer stations for fuel cell vehicles, fleet stations can be centrally located to meet private fleet needs.
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Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles
Fuel cell electric vehicles, also known as FCEVs, are powered by hydrogen and have the potential to revolutionize our transportation system. They are more efficient than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles and produce no harmful tailpipe exhaustâ€”they emit water vapor and warm air. Fuel cell vehicles and the hydrogen infrastructure to fuel them are in an early stage of deployment. The U.S. Department of Energy is leading government and industry efforts to make hydrogen-powered vehicles an affordable, environmentally friendly, and safe transportation option. Hydrogen is considered an alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and qualifies for alternative fuel vehicle tax credits.
Hydrogen Laws and Incentives
State and federal governments enact laws and provide incentives to help build and maintain a market for hydrogen fuel and vehicles.
Find laws and incentives for hydrogen by state.