October 2018 - Hydrogen Clean Power Takes Center Stage in Public Transportation

Hydrogen is the most abundant element on earth, making it a great source of clean energy. The most obvious benefit of a hydrogen fuel cell over a typical combustion engine vehicle is that it produces no harmful emissions or toxic tailpipe gases. It offers a clean and reliable alternative energy source to customers in a growing number of applications.

Hydrogen power is taking the public transportation industry by storm. Just in the past year, three different industries have announced or launched hydrogen fuel cell technology. They include rail, commercial trucking and buses.

Hydrogen Trains

The first hydrogen-powered train launched in Germany in September called the Coradia iLint. The trains work by using fuel cells to convert a combination of hydrogen and oxygen into electricity. Excess energy is then stored in ion-lithium batteries onboard the trains. Steam and water are the only emissions, eliminating a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. The trains will a run 62-mile route in northern Germany.
Alstom plans to deliver another fueling station and 14 additional trains to the German state by 2021. A number of other countries are also looking to adopt the greener, quieter alternatives, including Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Italy, and Canada. France plans to have their first train in operation by 2022.

Read more about the Coradia iLint passenger train here

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Hydrogen Trucking

When trying to make diesel truck engines greener it’s natural to turn toward hydrogen. This is not an easy task when cargo needs to be hauled through city streets and up mountains. This effort is being addressed by Nikola Motor Company and TE Connectivity. Nikola is developing a hydrogen power electric long-haul truck while using TE Connectivity sensors to ensure a high level of safety and reliability.

In addition to making a cleaner engine they are also making it more efficient, and higher horsepower. With these new trucks of the future, passing a slow moving truck will be a thing of the past since they will have the necessary horsepower to drive up a mountain road going 65 miles per hour with a full cargo load. These trucks are not only greener for the environment but better performing than its diesel counterparts.

Read more about an emission-less future here

Hydrogen Buses

Hydrogen buses are a central part of the Hawaiian governments clean energy initiative, launched in 2008. The first kind of electric bus using fuel cells technology is being created by a joint partnership between BYD (Build Your Dreams) and US Hybrid Corporation. This hydrogen-electric bus will serve Honolulu's Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Hawaii, one of the busiest airports in the United States. Hawaii pledges to establish new green credentials aiming to use 100% renewable electricity to power the entire state by 2045.

Read more about hydrogen buses here

As transportation industries invest in newer, greener measures, more and more opportunities to limit the amount of emissions grows.  These options range from plug-in hybrids, battery, bio-diesel, ethanol, and hydrogen fuel cells. In researching and developing the future of clean energy, our world, and our public transportation systems, could benefit.

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