Hundreds of Forklifts Recruited to Test Sustainable Hydrogen Fuel Cells

(June 11, 2010)—As the market for clean alternative fuels grows, warehouse managers have what car buyers haven’t got: vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The U.S. Department of Energy is using forklifts to conduct a high priority, detailed study of how hydrogen fuel cells perform in real world conditions. The $93 million project involves about 1,000 units installed in forklifts at a dozen companies that have major warehouse operations. It is part of the hydrogen fuel cell research and development program of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The project is being funded partly by food giant Sysco and other warehouse companies. It also comes under the green jobs initiatives of the federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), which chipped in $42 million in federal funding, in anticipation of the new jobs that will be created in fuel cell development, manufacturing, maintenance, and technical support. As for why DOE chose the humble forklift for such a major investment in sustainability, read on…



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