Hydrogen cars have, so far, mainly been experimental vehicles and not available for the general public. This has now changed in Iceland.
Four years ago, a Shell station in Iceland became the world's first to open a hydrogen tank at their station, serving the hydrogen buses that drive the streets of the capital, Reykjavik. This week, the station was opened to the general public at the same time as 10 Toyota Prius hydrogen cars were delivered to their new owners. Reykjavik Energy got four of those cars additional to their previous hydrogen test vehicles. But three of the cars went to Hertz car rental in Iceland so now tourists (and locals) can rent a hydrogen car for their drive in Reykjavik.
The Toyota Prius hydrogen cars are hybrid cars that have been transformed into hydrogen vehicles by Quantum in California. This step is a part of a program in Iceland which aims at changing Iceland into a hydrogen society by 2050. No country in the world uses as much renewable energy as Iceland but all heating and electricity in the country is produced with hydro power or geothermal power. Only transport uses oil products and a few barbecues still run on coal, though most of them use gas. This means that 75% of the total energy consumption in Iceland is now from renewable energy sources. Iceland is betting on hydrogen to turn the last 25% into renewable energy for their cars and fleet of fishing boats but all hydrogen in Iceland is produced with renewable energy.
So next time you rent a car in Iceland, get a taste of driving the vehicle of the future and try out Hertz's hydrogen cars.