One of the world’s longest hydrogen highways has just opened in Norway, spanning nearly 600 kms (375miles) between Oslo and Stavanger. It officially opened May 11th, 2009 when StatoilHydro's new hydrogen station opened in Oslo. The opening was celebrated with a hydrogen car rally.

The newly opened hydrogen highway has been in the works since 2003 with the first hydrogen station opened in Stavanger (2006) followed by Porsgrunn (2007). HyNor has a fleet of 50 hydrogen vehicles made by Mazda, Toyota and Think to help promote hydrogen fuel use in Norway.

A modified Toyota Prius can travel 200kms using just 2kgs of hydrogen. StatoilHydro retails hydrogen for $6.28 per kilo for a fuel cost of around 7.4cents a km (11.8cents a mile). Regular petroleum costs around $1.40 a liter and a normal Prius gets around 22kms to the liter (6.4cents a km, 10.3cents a mile) so it is a little more expensive than regular gas but vehicles travel smell free, noise free and almost CO2 free too (if you use the hydrogen manufactured using electricity from Norway’s hydro-electric generation).

The significance of hydrogen as a fuel is that it can be produced from a variety of sources, from hydrocarbons such as natural gas, bio-gas or from water via electrolysis. It takes energy to create the fuel but the original energy source could be renewable, such as wind, hydro or solar. The hydrogen then acts as a storage medium for the renewable energy and the by-product of combustion is water so it really is a zero pollution device.

Other hydrogen highways around the world include one in British Columbia between Victoria and Whistler (180km, 114 miles long including the ferry journey), where BC Transit operates 20 fuel cell buses that have zero pollution emissions, much quieter than conventional buses and are twice as energy efficient as conventional buses. There are plans for five additional refueling stations and a mobile refueling vehicle to be in place for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler.

Japan, Sweden, Denmark and California in particular, have also built hydrogen refueling stations in many major cities with plans for more. It seems the hydrogen highway is slowly getting us moving forward into the future of transport with (almost) carbon-free fuel.

Hydrogen Network Norway Hynor: http://www. hynor. no/hynor-1/view? set_language=en

Via:www.greenmuze. соm

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