WINDSOR, Ont. – Ontario has an opportunity to become a global leader in hydrogen-based fuel technology if it builds the infrastructure to support it, a group of auto executives said.
Hyundai Canada CEO Don Romano said Ontario over-produced six terawatt hours of electricity in 2015, translating to roughly $600 billion of electricity that was ultimately sent elsewhere.
He said it would be smart to instead use that electricity in the production of hydrogen. Doing so, he said, could make Ontario one of the world’s leaders in generating hydrogen for fuel-cell vehicles.
“We have electricity,” Romano said. “We produce most of our electricity without carbon. We’re just a blessed province to have this opportunity, but we have to be dedicated to go about building the infrastructure, using these resources that are available to us.”
Romano, who spoke on a panel at the annual convention of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association in Windsor on June 15, with Stephen Beatty, vice-president of Toyota Canada, and Klaus Berger, vice-president of the fuel cell division at Mercedes-Benz Canada, said automakers must work to educate consumers, policymakers and regulators about the benefits of hydrogen-powered vehicles and erasing concerns about their safety.
Hydrogen-powered vehicles emit only heat and water, and no greenhouse gas emissions, but hydrogen accessibility, concerns over the vehicles’ costs and the durability of the vehicles are all concerns that have been expressed by consumers.