Tag Archives: hydrogen

Cutting-edge fuel cell vehicles roll into Propel’s downtown Seattle station

FuelCell3_crowdOn Monday, June 1st, Propel hosted Seattle’s first Hydrogen Vehicle Show at the Downtown Seattle Clean Fuel Point. As part of the 28-city, Hydrogen Road Tour, the event previewed the latest hydrogen fuel cell vehicle designs and provided information on how fuel cells fit into our nation’s clean transportation future. All vehicles on displayed have the potential to provide the range, efficiency and performance consumers expect — with zero tailpipe emissions.


“Propel’s fueling platform delivers advanced low-carbon fuels including biodiesel from waste stream feedstocks like recycled fats and oils, and locally grown, marginal land crops like camelina,” said Rob Elam, President and Co-Founder of Propel speaking of the event on Monday. “Our fueling platform has the forward-flexibility to accommodate advanced fuels such as bio-methane, hydrogen and electric charging as these vehicle technologies gain momentum in the marketplace. Today’s event shows how close these vehicles are to commercialization.”


Fuel cell vehicles from top manufacturers, including Daimler, GM, Honda, VW, and more, were showcased at the event. Fuel cell vehicles are electric vehicles that generate their electricity from hydrogen stored in a tank, instead of recharging from the grid. Fuel cells are also used in transit buses, forklifts, airport tugs, as back-up power for data centers, and as primary power for buildings.

“The Hydrogen Road Tour showcases the progress of hydrogen programs in the U.S. and Canada,” said California Fuel Cell Partnership executive director Catherine Dunwoody. 


One of the tour support vehicles, the Volkswagen V10 Touareg TDI filling with Propel B20 Biodiesel.

“These vehicles are comfortable, perform great, refuel in minutes and will travel the distance with zero tailpipe emissions, zero petroleum and greatly reduced greenhouse gases. Thousands of people will get a chance to try these vehicles for themselves.” 

Propel partnered with the California Fuel Cell Partnership, California Air Resources Board (CARB), National Hydrogen Association, US Fuel Cell Council and Powertech Labs to organize the event.

Algae Realized

We’ve been hearing it for decades: the next breakthrough fuel technology is just around the corner. Hydrogen, electric, fuel cells–all have shown promise to free the world from its dependence on fossil fuels. Yet for one reason or another, we wait and wait for the automakers to catch up or the technology to perfected. Meanwhile, in a relatively short-span, researchers have developed a method of extracting oil from algae and converting it to a viable fuel source. What makes algal biodiesel different from the aforementioned panaceas? Consumers will not need to wait on Detroit to take advantage of it as the current and future fleet of diesel vehicles will be able to use it with no conversion required. More importantly, algae is a rapidly renewable biodiesel feedstock that does not compete with food sources like soy beans or corn. Leading the way is Solazyme, a bioenergy upstart out of San Francisco, in a unique partnership with Chevron. Unique because instead of eschewing the help of big oil, Solazyme founders Jonathan Wilson and Harrison Dillon embraced Chevron’s R&D muscle as way to accelerate algal-biodiesel’s path to widespread commercial use. For more information check out this post from Wired magazine, and be sure to watch the trailer to “Fields of Gold,” the biodiesel documentary produced by biodiesel advocate Josh Tickell.