First step to welcoming hydrogen vehicles on the horizon for Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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First step to welcoming hydrogen vehicles on the horizon for Kelowna

This is a drawing of a hydrogen refueling station proposed for Kelowna.
Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelowna
June 04, 2020 - 7:00 AM

A hydrogen refueling station is planned for a major Kelowna intersection so the emission-free vehicles can be sold and operated outside the Lower Mainland.

Hydrogen Technology and Energy Corporation filed an application for a development permit with the City of Kelowna yesterday, June 3, for the station next to the Esso gas station on Highway 97 at Spall Road.

“There’s lots of activity in the hydrogen space,” Norm Barmeier, the company’s project director for stations, told iNFOnews.ca. “There’s lots of cars on the road, lots going on in the trucking sector and buses.”

The problem with hydrogen-powered vehicles, as with electric, is that no one will buy such a vehicle without charging stations but no one will build charging stations without vehicles on the road.

The company is working in partnership with manufacturers and currently has four stations in the Lower Mainland and is building one in Saanich on Vancouver Island. Kelowna, if approved, will be its sixth station.

Hydrogen powered vehicles are similar to electric in that they use an electric motor but with a hydrogen fuel cell instead of electricity.

Drivers pull up to a charging station similar to a gas station, insert a nozzle and fuel up in three to five minutes.

Since hydrogen powers the electric engine the only discharge is water, Barmeier said.

Hydrogen cars currently on the market have a driving range of 500 to 700 km, he said, so they can easily travel from the Lower Mainland to Kelowna without needing to refill.

“We’re trying to bridge the gap and get into the Interior,” Barmeier said.


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