A network of hydrogen fueling stations modeled after California’s developing hydrogen highway could exist along the East Coast sometime in the future. The stations would be built along Interstate 95 between Boston, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C., according to Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Coalition (MAHC) Executive Director Andre Van Rest. Although there is currently no estimate on how many stations would be needed to make the concept a reality, it is hoped that the plan would help the public accept hydrogen-fueled vehicles as a viable transportation option.
The East Coast’s hydrogen highway would follow the blueprint of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s strategy for the California Hydrogen Highway Network. His plan’s goal is to provide every California citizen with access to hydrogen fuel by 2010 by building fifty to one hundred hydrogen stations, which would be located at a maximum of twenty miles apart. Leasing or purchasing hydrogen-fueled vehicles by the State of California and requiring the development of standards for hydrogen fuel by 2008 would also help accomplish this goal. California currently has twenty-one working hydrogen stations.
The development of a regional hydrogen highway faces some obstacles, such as construction of the stations being spread across several states rather than confined to one. Price is another hurdle, with stations in California each costing up to $1 million to build. Shell Hydrogen, which runs the only existing hydrogen fueling station (located in Washington, D.C.) along the I-95 corridor, and other energy companies hope that state governments will help fund the project.
MAHC is an initiative under the International Center for Sustainable Development, a non-profit agency located in Baltimore, Maryland. Its mission is to “promote the deployment of hydrogen energy and fuel cell technologies in the Mid-Atlantic region.”