ROLLA, Missouri, August 12, 2008 (ENS) - Missouri's first fueling station for hydrogen vehicles will be on display next Tuesday along with hydrogen-powered vehicles during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Missouri University of Science and Technology's E3 Commons development east of the Missouri S&T campus.
The university uses the equation "E3 = C" (pronounced as "E-cubed = C") as shorthand for the slogan "energy, environment and education equals civilization."
The event coincides with a coast-to-coast tour of hydrogen vehicles sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation that left Portland, Maine on August 10 on its way to Los Angeles.
The Hydrogen Road Tour will make 31 stops in eight states, including the stop in Rolla - the only stop in the Midwest. The tour features hydrogen vehicles from nine auto manufacturers and is intended to demonstrate progress and commitment toward commercially viable, emissions-free hydrogen vehicles in each state.
Nine auto manufacturers, the U.S. Department of Energy, California Fuel Cell Partnership, National Hydrogen Association, and U.S. Department of Transportation are sponsoring the Hydrogen Road Tour to show that hydrogen vehicle and fueling technologies are approaching commercial availability, even as new research and development breakthroughs continue.
"The technology necessary to put these cars on the road, and keep them moving, exists today," said Administrator Paul Brubaker of the U.S. DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration. "The question is not if hydrogen powered vehicles will be available commercially, but when."
Brubaker pointed out that six transit agencies across the country currently operate hydrogen-powered buses, Southern California auto dealers are leasing hydrogen vehicles, and hundreds of individuals are driving hydrogen-powered vehicles in demonstration programs across the United States.
Hydrogen fuel cell powered cars and buses produce virtually no greenhouse gas emissions, leaving behind only water as a byproduct.
"Hydrogen is part of a balanced and diverse energy portfolio that will help address our future energy, environmental and economic security needs," said U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary Clarence "Bud" Albright, Jr. "This tour provides Americans an opportunity to see what the future could hold for hydrogen powered vehicles, as we work to help make these vehicles cost competitive and available for all."
The tour will make 31 stops in 18 states from Maine to California. Hydrogen vehicles from BMW, Daimler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen are making the journey, and will be joined by hydrogen transit buses along the route.
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. and Linde are providing mobile refueling stations and hydrogen fuel.
In Rolla, the event site is also the future home for Missouri S&T's EcoCAR Challenge Team, a student design team that will re-engineer a Saturn VUE over the next three years. The team is participating in "EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge," a competiton sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors and Natural Resources Canada.
The ribbon-cutting at Rolla is the latest facet of Missouri S&T's "Show Me the Road to Hydrogen" project, a collaborative effort involving several federal agencies, the Missouri Transportation Institute and corporate partners.
Contributors to the Missouri S&T event at Rolla include the Defense Logistics Agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation Research Innovation and Technology Administration, Federal Transit Administration, the Missouri S&T National University Transportation Center, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Missouri Transportation Institute, Gas Technologies Institute, EmPower CES LLC, Collegiate Station, General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Linde AG.
Two Missouri S&T hydrogen buses that provide shuttle service in Rolla also will be on display.
The shuttle service, part of the Missouri S&T demonstration project, has been running since July 31, 2007, when the service took its first passengers from the Havener Center on the Missouri S&T campus to Hy Point Industrial Park east of Rolla.
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2008. All rights reserved.