Author: The Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition and Plug Power Inc.
October 16, 2017
Nobel laureate and former Energy Secretary, Professor Steven Chu, arrived in grand style as the keynote speaker to the 232nd ECS meeting – via the world’s first commercially available fuel cell electric vehicle – the very first at any ECS conference! His entrance was particularly fitting as electrochemistry was at the heart of enabling this technology, and the celebration of National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day was on October 8th (aptly chosen for the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.008). At his keynote speech, Professor Chu spoke of exciting advances in the carbon-free production of hydrogen and CO from electrochemical reduction of CO2 to H2 and CO the first step to the production of liquid fuels.
Researchers have made great strides over the years, reducing platinum content and improving electrode performance, achieving dramatic cost reductions and durability improvements, eventually enabling industry to commercialize fuel cell technology. There are three fuel cell car models now commercially available in limited regions with a driving range of up to 360 miles, a few minutes to refuel, fuel economies of up to 67 mpge and completely pollution free from the tailpipe.
Plug Power is making commercially viable hydrogen fuel cells a reality, today. The company has deployed more than 16,000 fuel cells in electric industrial vehicles, accumulating more than 150 million hours of runtime with customers like Amazon, Walmart and BMW. Customers have performed more than 8.5 million hydrogen fuelings, that’s 12,000 fuelings every day, from more than 50 hydrogen stations and 200 fueling dispensers across the United States.