Back in October 2006, I had talked about how Ford was building a hydrogen fueling station in the Detroit, Michigan area. In fact, GM has one, too along with 3 other companies or government entities such as the EPA. But, these 5 hydrogen fueling stations are all private and not accessible to the public.
Well, this is about to change. Just northwest of Detroit in a place called Grand Blanc Township, Michigan’s first public hydrogen fueling station is being built – and it’s about time. With the rollout of the first commercial hydrogen autos expected in 2015, it would be downright embarrassing if Motor City and the surrounding cities in Michigan had no place for drivers to refuel.
The H2 fueling station is being built as a test site for Kettering University by the Mass Transportation Authority. The Universities engineering department will test buses powered by hydrogen, CNG and propane as alternatives to diesel fuel.
According to MLive, “Kettering mechanical engineering professor Mohamed El-Sayed, a former General Motors engineer, said some automakers use private hydrogen filling stations, but the Grand Blanc Township facility would be the first known facility for public vehicles in the state.
“El-Sayed said the facility would be a ‘smart’ station that could ‘talk’ to the bus through the fuel hose, detecting problems such as a leak. He said the idea for the facility was the brainchild of outgoing MTA General Manager Robert J. Foy, who wanted to see this area be at the forefront of the emerging technology and alternative energy.”
The first public hydrogen fueling station will be a step forward for the University, the MTA, the Detroit automaker and supporting industries in Michigan. The only question I have is why hasn’t this happened sooner?