General Motors (GM) has partnered with The Gas Company (TGC), a Hawaii-based gas energy provider, to develop a hydrogen fuel infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles in Hawaii.

TGC produces hydrogen along with synthetic natural gas and delivers it in its utility gas stream, with currently more than 5% hydrogen content. The company has plans to tap into its 1,000-mile utility pipeline system at key locations and separate the hydrogen for use by local fueling stations for fuel cell vehicles.

Charles Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Activities, said: “This is the type of enabler that a hydrogen transportation infrastructure needs because it addresses both the source of the hydrogen and a feasible way to deliver it for fuel cell vehicle use. The Hawaii infrastructure could eventually support tens of thousands of fuel cell vehicles.

“Hawaii is uniquely positioned and motivated to make hydrogen-powered fuel cell transportation a reality because it depends on imported petroleum for 90% of its energy.”

GM, which has invested more than $1.5bn in fuel cell transportation in the last 15 years, is developing a production-intent fuel cell system that is expected to be ready for commercialization in 2015, the company said.