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NREL Joins Public-Private Partnership to Deploy Hydrogen Infrastructure

July 2, 2013

NREL recently joined H2USA, a new public-private partnership designed to promote the widespread adoption of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) by overcoming the hurdle of establishing a hydrogen infrastructure. The partnership brings together automakers, government agencies, gas suppliers, and the hydrogen and fuel cell industries to coordinate research and identify cost-effective solutions for deploying hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the United States.

Through H2USA, industry and government partners will form a strategy to coordinate vehicle and infrastructure rollout, identify actions to encourage early adopters of FCEVs, and evaluate synergies with other alternative fuels such as natural gas to enable cost reductions and economies of scale.

"This is an exciting time for the hydrogen and fuel cell industry as many major vehicle manufacturers plan to release FCEVs to the U.S. market between 2015 and 2017," said NREL Director Dan Arvizu. "Our participation in this partnership builds on NREL’s extensive fuel cell and hydrogen technology validation and analysis experience."

NREL’s hydrogen systems analysis staff will collaborate with a team of analysts from other national labs, universities, and key stakeholder groups to support H2USA by evaluating infrastructure rollout strategies and the business case for commercialization. This team will combine analytic capabilities developed and refined over many years of systems analysis to understand the technical, market, and investment challenges associated with the transition to hydrogen, electric, and other alternative fuel vehicles. NREL’s contribution will draw upon a suite of modeling and analysis capabilities developed over the last decade in support of DOE's Fuel Cell Technologies Office.

The team will also benefit from NREL's experience supporting DOE's technology validation, safety, codes and standards, and market transformation activities. These activities include collecting data on existing fleets of FCEVs and hydrogen stations, developing updated codes and standards for hydrogen stations, testing hydrogen sensor technologies, and supporting demonstrations of both vehicular and stationary fuel cell applications.

—Julia Thomas