A startup company, Hydrogen Engine Center Incorporated, is taking advantage of a niche market left open by Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. The Big 3 automakers have gotten out of the business of industrial engine production, making way for smaller companies to take root.
Hydrogen Engine Center, however, is putting its own spin on the market by building 3-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines that can run on hydrogen, ethanol, propane, natural gas or other biofuels. The head of Hydrogen Engine Center, a retired Ford Motor Company engineer, says that the market is ripe for building engines for hydrogen-powered generators and for airport transport equipment such as baggage handlers and ground service vehicles.
Apparently, there has been a lot of interest in this equipment by companies that want to turn to alternative fuel engines, which are cleaner burning and less polluting. Critics of the upcoming hydrogen-based economy argue that many jobs will be lost by the transition from oil to hydrogen. Hydrogen Engine Center is showing that with a little ingenuity for engines, that just as many jobs can also be created by turning to cleaner sources of energy.