Environmental Model

The environmental model assesses the environmental benefits of hydrogen and fuel cell applications compared with other conventional technologies. Use the interface below to select either the stationary or transportation application, then choose the power output or vehicle type to find out the potential emissions reductions using hydrogen and fuel cell technology.

To assess the environmental benefits of hydrogen and fuel cell applications for stationary and transportation, use the tools provided below.

For Stationary Applications

Stationary power is the most mature application for fuel cells. Stationary fuel cell units are used for backup power, power for remote locations, stand-alone power plants for towns and cities, distributed generation for buildings, and co-generation (in which excess thermal energy from electricity generation is used for heat).

Potential Average Annual Emissions Reductions Using Fuel Cell Technology*
NOx (lbs)
SO2 (lbs)
CO2 (lbs)
Oil Equivalent Energy Savings (gal) select power output

For Transportation Applications

Fuel cells can be used to provide propulsion or auxiliary power for many transportation applications. Aside from spacecraft, which typically use alkaline fuel cells for onboard power, polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are the primary type used in transportation.

Potential Emissions Reductions Using Hydrogen Fuel Cell Propulsion Systems*
NOx (grams/mile)
SO2 (grams/mile)
CO2 (grams/mile)
Gal/Mile Equivalent Savings select vehicle type and miles driven
Comparison of Conventional Technology to Fuel Cell Technology
Gasoline Passenger Car
Conventional mpg
Fuel Cell mpg equivalent select vehicle type

* Models assume availability of hydrogen from renewable resources