First hydrogen station opens

It will fuel eight Ford shuttle buses that will be used at Orlando International Airport.

Associated Press
Published May 24, 2007

ORLANDO - Florida's only hydrogen station opened Wednesday for the first U.S. fleet of Ford shuttle buses powered by the alternative fuel, testing a technology that can lower greenhouse gases and eventually help wean the nation off foreign oil, Gov. Charlie Crist said.

"Today, gas prices are high - really high - and it hurts, " Crist said. "We need to make sure that our citizens in Florida and our country have the opportunity to have choice - whether its hydrogen or ethanol or whatever the fuel might be."

Eight Ford Motor Co. shuttle buses will ferry customers, tourists and employees at Orlando International Airport, the Orange County Convention Center and other tourist spots throughout Central Florida, said Sharon Fields, transportation supervisor at the convention center.

Florida got its first hydrogen-powered bus from Ford two years ago, but it took since then to build the station, officials said.

Florida has four of the 12-passenger vehicles from Ford now and will receive four more of the Ford E-450 buses later, said Sue Cischke, a Ford senior vice president.