Home hydrogen fueling stations hold the dream of being able to fuel up one’s hydrogen auto right from one’s own home. Today, the dream is getting closer to reality as General Motors has announced that they too are developing a home hydrogen fueling station to be used with their line of hydrogen autos that they plan to start rolling out in limited quantities beginning in 2007. GM hopes to mass-market hydrogen autos by 2010 or 2011.
Home hydrogen fueling stations will help solve one aspect of the hydrogen infrastructure rollout issue. By putting hydrogen-on-demand in auto owner’s garages, there will be little worry for local drivers on where to gas up their vehicles. The unit that GM is developing will work with either solar power or electricity. Similar hydrogen fueling units may also be used one day at standard commercial gasoline stations to create hydrogen-on-demand for customers with hydrogen vehicles.
Honda already offers a home hydrogen fueling station with its Home Energy Station III that they are promoting as a companion piece to their Honda FCX hydrogen auto. The Home Energy Station III reforms natural gas to generate the hydrogen so it’s not as clean as an electrolysis unit.
Hydrogenics (formerly Stuart Energy) also is promoting its HomeFueler Energy Station. The HomeFueler is based on their HyStat-A Energy Station, which uses electricity to electrolyze water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is then used to refuel a vehicle. The HomeFueler may also be tied to wind or solar power to create clean hydrogen using renewable energy resources.
These three hydrogen home fueling stations will offer customers the convenience of refueling their vehicles from home while the rest of the hydrogen infrastructure is built so that long road trips may be taken by the same vehicles. Home hydrogen fueling stations offer a significant advancement in the hydrogen transportation industry that will revolutionize how people come to refuel their personal vehicles.