The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) hosted a Ride, Drive and Learn event at Forrestal on November 29th, 2018 in honor of Veterans Awareness Month. The event kicked off with a hydrogen and fuel cells overview from FCTO Director, Sunita Satyapal, where representatives of the EnergyVets Resource Group at DOE were able learn more about how the cars work and hear about the potential of hydrogen to enable a more flexible and resilient energy system. Following the presentation, EnergyVets had a chance to cruise around L’Enfant Promenade in some of the worlds’ first commercial hydrogen fuel cell cars. DC’s wind gusts didn’t deter participants from hopping in the cars and learning about some of the components under the car hood and in the trunk, including the fuel cell stack and hydrogen tanks. As EnergyVets’ Communications Vice Chairman, Don Reid, put it, “if one has never driven a hydrogen powered automobile, one has never driven!”
Fuel cell cars run on hydrogen, are quiet, emit only water from the tailpipe and have driving ranges of over 300 miles For the first time ever, they are commercially available and the hydrogen stations to fuel them are up and running in select U.S. regions. There are now 36 public hydrogen stations with plans from states to hit 1,000 stations by 2030.
FCTO has funded early-stage hydrogen and fuel cells research and development enabling a 60% reduction in fuel cell cost, a fourfold increase in fuel cell durability and an 80% cut in the cost of electrolyzers over the past decade. You can learn more about this exciting technology and the work FCTO funds to enable hydrogen and fuel cell technological breakthroughs at energy.gov/eere/fuelcells.
If you are a Veteran DOE employee or contractor and would like to join EnergyVets, please contact Don Reid at Donald.Reid@hq.doe.gov.