Automakers Put Hydrogen Power On the Fast Track


    Automakers Put Hydrogen Power On the Fast Track
    By Greg SchneiderWashington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, January 9, 2005; Page A01

    The brakes are controlled by a computer, so the car can stop a full length shorter than most. Each rear wheel has its own motor and can turn by itself, which not only improves traction but also makes parallel parking a snap. And the only thing this car emits is water vapor.
    But for all the exotic gizmos on the Sequel, an experimental hydrogen-powered car to be shown today by General Motors Corp., the biggest breakthrough is that it is designed to drive as far and accelerate as quickly as the cars in most driveways.

    The Sequel uses fuel-cell technology that until now has not matched the overall performance of gasoline engines. GM is introducing the car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit as rival companies make similar announcements...
  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Thunderwolf
    But, will the big gas boys stall the progress? It may still be a long time before this type of car is realized. Not that we don't have the technology as this announcement shows, but what is the $$$ incentive. No, the gas boys will probably put road blocks to this if possible, including our oilman Pres.
  4. by   Roy Fokker
    You know, for all the good and bad that is being said about marijuana, I am inclined to believe one of the reasons it is not legalised it because of the powerful alcohol and tobacco lobbies.

    Kinda like our oil Vs Hydrogen power here. I hope Congress realises this -- the US can either lead the world in production and marketing (and consequently, capturing markets and making big bucks) of hydrogen power, or watch as other nations successfuly do so - leaving us to pick up the pieces.
  5. by   pickledpepperRN

    Isle startup displays
    worldwide potential
    By Dan Martin

    Dustin Shindo started his fuel-cell company, Hoku Scientific, five years ago in the proverbial garage. But 2005 will be the year he finally takes her out for a spin.
    Hoku, which makes the membranes at the core of environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel cells, has turned heads with its commercial promise and success in attracting investment and a top-drawer scientific team.

    This year, the company will begin making and shipping its product in earnest to partners in Japan and, it hopes, fulfilling its potential as one of the most promising Hawaii technology startups in years.

    The market potential could be huge. Rising energy costs and concern over the environment are placing an increased focus on cleaner alternative energies.
    In Japan alone, which imports most of its energy needs, a number of large manufacturers are gearing up to introduce fuel cells that could supply power for homes, cars and other uses.

    "Dustin's brought that company so far in such a short time," said Leigh-Ann Miyasato, executive director of HiBeam, a nonprofit that aids and invests in younger enterprises, including Hoku.

    "They've put themselves in a really good position now to take advantage of all the interest in fuel cells."

    A graduate of Hilo's Waiakea High School, Shindo's previous business ventures included Hilo-based Mehana Brewing Co. and ActivityMax, an Internet-based applications provider for the visitor activities industry. But far more than the others, Hoku is an example of Hawaii's potential for homegrown ingenuity.

    Shindo co-founded Hoku Scientific with Waiakea classmate Kaleo Taft, and their product is more than a "me too" entrant in the potential fuel cell sweepstakes. They have hit upon an effective technology that can be produced more cheaply and offers substantially better performance than existing fuel cell membranes.

    The company struck a deal with Sanyo Corp. of Japan to develop residential fuel cells and announced a similar pact late last year with a "global" Japanese automaker that is considering integrating Hoku's membranes in car fuel cells.

    A new facility will be built in Kapolei beginning this year to handle the company's move into production.
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    January 28, 2003

    President Delivers "State of the Union"
    The U.S. Capitol

    ...In this century, the greatest environmental progress will come about not through endless lawsuits or command-and-control regulations, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I'm proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles. (Applause.)

    A single chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen generates energy, which can be used to power a car -- producing only water, not exhaust fumes. With a new national commitment, our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking these cars from laboratory to showroom, so that the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free.

    Join me in this important innovation to make our air significantly cleaner, and our country much less dependent on foreign sources of energy....
  7. by   Thunderwolf
    The Pres said that?....I'm speachless!
    I hope he walked his talk.
    I wonder if he has the same view now in 2005.
  8. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from Thunderwolf
    The Pres said that?....I'm speachless!
    I hope he walked his talk.
    I wonder if he has the same view now in 2005.
    I was surprized when he said it.
  9. by   Roy Fokker
    The President also said that Gay Marriage is a states issue and that Nation Building is a big no-no.

    He's a politician. What did you expect him to say?

    "I am against cleaner and a better tomorrow. I fully support the oil companies to continue exploiting our dwindling resources without looking for an alternative. The Nation's suicide is high on my priorities list".
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    Be careful what you wish for those . . . Californians have been purchasing those hybrid cars and less gas has been purchased and now the pols are talking about taxing us by the mile. All because they have been gathering less tax money because we are being fuel efficient.

    Go figure.

  11. by   Roy Fokker
    Well, it'll come to the point where they'll simply start taxing this new energy source.

    Nothing is impossible when it comes to Govt. and Taxation. After all, don't we even have the "Death" Tax? :chuckle