Which car would you rather be in? This gasoline fire, which had been burning for over two minutes, contrasts sharply with a hydrogen fuel fire in a similar vehicle.
Video documents results of hydrogen and gasoline car fires.
On a dark Florida night in 2001 an unusual and revealing experiment took place. Dr. Michael Swain with the University of Miami at Coral Gables attempted to simulate two car fires, one created by a 1/16th inch puncture in a gasoline fuel line, the other by a leaking hydrogen connector. He video taped the experiment to document what would happen if the leaks ignited. As the photos below clearly demonstrate, consumer fears about hydrogen as a transportation fuel would seem to be pretty much unfounded.
Hydrogen vehicles are on the road today, because they are safe. Here is some information from several car companies about the safety of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell car
Key Hydrogen Messages: Quick-Reference
Increased use of hydrogen as a fuel can provide benefits to energy security, the environment and economic growth.
a. Hydrogen can benefit energy security through energy diversification as it can be produced from a variety of primary energy sources, including renewables. For this reason, hydrogen can be an alternative to oil.
b. Hydrogen can benefit the environment because it can be produced and used in ways that improve health-related air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
c. Hydrogen can contribute to economic growth through job development, investment opportunities, and the creation of a sustainable, secure energy supply.
Zero-tailpipe-emission Mercedes Fuel cell car in London. Image from speedace.info