Douglas PUD Getting Hydrogen Powered Cars As Plant Ramps Up
Douglas PUD is acquiring several hydrogen powered cars in an effort to promote the emerging vehicle option.
The utility has a new hydrogen producing plant coming online this year, which will produce the fuel to power the cars.
Douglas PUD spokesperson Meaghan Vibbert says hydrogen cars have some advantages over the more established electric vehicles.
"They fuel up in the same amount of time that you would like your regular gas car, so that would be an advantage over an EV," Vibbert said. "They're also going to have less weight because EVs have a lot more batteries."
In addition, hydrogen vehicles can travel a similar distance to a gasoline powered car before refueling.
Douglas PUD is getting three hydrogen Toyota Murai vehicles that it'll use in its fleet and loan out to other public agencies.
"So, we'll have these cars, these fuel cell cars, and we'll be able to loan them to other public agencies to see if they're interested in also incorporating hydrogen vehicles into their fleet," said Vibbert.
It’s using a $220,000 grant from Toyota Motor Corporation and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to acquire the vehicles.
The PUD will also install a hydrogen refueling station at its East Wenatchee campus headquarters.
The PUD just sent the project out to bid that’ll include a Level 3 electric vehicle charging station in addition to the hydrogen fueling operation for cars.
The $25 million hydrogen producing plant is in the Baker Flats area north of East Wenatchee. It’ll use excess hydropower produced at the PUD’s Wells Dam on the Columbia River to produce the hydrogen.
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