H2USA: New Partnership Focused On Fuel Cells

Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Toyota are uniting with the Energy Department on a new public-private partnership called H2USA, which will focus on advancing hydrogen infrastructure to support more transportation energy options for U.S. consumers, including fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

Named after the chemical symbol for hydrogen, the H2USA partnership brings together government agencies, gas suppliers, the hydrogen and fuel cell industries and automakers including Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Toyota.

While American automakers and private industry have made significant progress, H2USA will bring experts together to solve key infrastructure challenges, including leveraging low-cost natural gas resources.

Through the program, industry and government partners will identify actions to encourage early adopters of fuel cell electric vehicles, conduct coordinated technical and market analysis, and evaluate alternative fueling infrastructure that can enable cost reductions and economies of scale.

“Fuel cell technologies are an important part of an all-of-the-above approach to diversify America’s transportation sector, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and increase our competitiveness in the global market,” said assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, David Danielson in the Energy Department’s press release. “By bringing together key stakeholders from across the U.S. fuel cell and hydrogen industry, the H2USA partnership will help advance affordable fuel cell electric vehicles that save consumers money and give drivers more options.”

Hyundai is currently making a fuel-cell-powered version of the Tucson with the goal of selling 1,000 units by 2015, when it will launch the next-generation Tucson and target annual output of about 10,000 units.

“Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell program is an integral part of our plan to develop low-carbon, fuel-efficient vehicles that minimize fuel consumption and reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” said Gil Castillo, senior group manager, alternative vehicle strategy, Hyundai Motor America. “Our partnership with the Energy Department and H2USA is another way Hyundai is striving to meet the critical social needs for both mobility and environmental preservation.”