Hydrogen has the potential to revolutionize transportation and, possibly, our entire energy system. The simplest and most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen can be produced from fossil fuels and biomass and even by electrolyzing water. Simply put, hydrogen is an emissions-free alternative fuel produced from diverse energy sources. Producing hydrogen with renewable energy and using it in fuel cell vehicles holds the promise of virtually pollution-free transportation and independence from imported petroleum.
Hydrogen is used in fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), where hydrogen is passed through a fuel cell to create electricity, and that electricity is used to power an electric motor. A FCEV shares many benefits with plug-in electric vehicles (PEV), but FCEVs have a longer range and can refill much faster than a PEV can charge.
The interest in hydrogen as an alternative transportation fuel stems from its clean-burning qualities, its potential for domestic production, and the fuel cell vehicle’s potential for high efficiency (two to three times more efficient than gasoline vehicles). Hydrogen is considered an alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992.