August 02, 2007

Hydrogen Cars Shown Off In Albany

By: by Abigail Bleck, News Channel 13



ALBANY - In 10 years it might not be gasoline you're filling up with. Instead it could be hydrogen.

The University at Albany College of Nanotechnology held its first ever hydrogen expo Tuesday.

Many people hope hydrogen replaces the gasoline fed combustion engines sooner rather than later.

They look, sound and even drive like regular cars. But these not-yet-on-the-market hydrogen fuel cell vehicles leave no carbon footprints.

"Hydrogen is one of the long-term replacement choices for gasoline," said UAlbany nano engineer Pradeep Haldar.

The only byproduct of hydrogen is water. No carbon dioxide emissions here. Hydrogen is also a creatable resource.

"For long-term, complete, sustainable, standpoint, so we can leave this planet for our kids and kids' kids and that prospect is the only way to go," Haldar said.

Companies that haven't yet jumped on the electric or hybrid car bandwagon do have hydrogen models in the works. Makers from GM to BMW are investing billions in a green future.

"Some of the car manufacturers definitely have larger R and D budgets and philosophies on trying to generate revenue and new products. I think what you see here are the companies that are extremely dedicated, but I think everyone is looking into it," said Brad Fleming of United Technologies.

The goal is to have hydrogen fueled vehicles in New York showrooms by 2015.

Haldar says it can't come soon enough. The Empire State is responsible for $60 billion worth of energy consumption annually.

"New York can be in a position to lead the nation, if not the world, in transitioning into green energy technology, to a benign technology that are not polluting or creating climate control problems," Haldar said.

Currently there isn't an infrastructure to match the hydrogen technology. You can't go to a gas station and fill up on hydrogen. Makers say that has to change before they can market hydrogen cars.