Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are quickly becoming a commercially viable sustainable transportation option for Americans. Unlike gasoline-powered cars, these cutting-edge vehicles are fueled by hydrogen and emit only water. The latest and greatest FCEVs are on display this week at the Washington Auto Show. Learn more about how FCEVs work and what the Energy Department is doing to make them even more energy efficient and cost effective.
Fuel cells are an emerging technology that can provide heat and electricity to buildings and power for vehicles while emitting nothing but water. The Energy Department’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, supports research and development (R&D) that improves the performance and lowers the cost of these systems. The office recently reached a major milestone, with 500 patents resulting from FCTO-supported R&D.
Fuel cell electric vehicles are now widely available in the United States. These passenger vehicles have the driving range, ease of refueling, and performance of today’s gasoline-powered cars while emitting nothing but water.
Engineers from the Energy Department’s Idaho National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory identified a new way to launch economically viable hydrogen fueling stations for FCEVs in Honolulu, Hawaii, based on a report titled “Hydrogen Fueling Station in Honolulu, Hawaii.” The report’s findings could also have a broad national impact, accelerating the pace of America's growing clean energy economy.
Hexagon Lincoln develops carbon fiber composite fuel tanks that help deliver hydrogen to fleets throughout the country. The company has more than doubled its workforce to accommodate growing demand for the tanks.
In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to create an Energy Security Trust Fund, which would free American families and business from painful spikes in gas prices. The President’s plan builds on an idea that has bipartisan support from experts including retired admirals and generals and leading CEOs, and it focuses on one goal: shifting America’s cars and trucks off oil entirely.
The Energy Department’s "Business Case for Fuel Cells 2011" report illustrates how top American companies are using fuel cells in their business operations to advance their sustainability goals, save millions of dollars in electricity costs, and reduce carbon emissions by hundreds of thousands of metric tons per year.