The US Navy just added a few good green vehicles – Chevy Equinoxes, to be specific – to their fleet in Hawaii as part of an Aloha State initiative to make hydrogen fuel cells a realistic option for residents. The Navy, along with 11 partner companies, agencies and universities, announced in early December that they’ll help install up to 25 hydrogen fueling stations in and around Oahu by 2015 as part of the Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative (H2I). This first shipment of the fuel cell cars is a great first step toward making clean vehicles a reality on Hawaii’s roads.

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Hawaii imports almost every gallon of oil that it uses so gearing up for clean green vehicles is of major importance to its government and residents. Because of Hawaii’s geographical nature it is perfect for electric vehicles — you can’t drive very far on a small island — but the residents seem to be exploring all of their oil alternatives. The H2I initiative plans to address the green vehicle problem that seems to be plaguing communities across the world. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, like electric vehicles, need a charging infrastructure in order to be viable. But there’s one catch – without the infrastructure, no one will buy the cars and if no one buys the cars, no one will build the infrastructure.

The Navy hopes to be a part of the plan to change all of that and help Hawaii lead the way as an example for other regions. “Once the key hydrogen infrastructure elements are proven in Hawaii, other states can adopt similar approaches,” Charles Freese, executive director of GM Fuel Cell Activities, said. “Germany, Japan and Korea are all building hydrogen infrastructures within this same timeframe. The work in Hawaii can provide a template for other regions.” Part of this initiative is working to figure out how to pipe hydrogen through Hawaii’s existing natural gas pipelines which would limit construction and destruction on the islands. Reusing infrastructure and getting rid of oil sounds like a perfect plan.

Via Autoblog Green