Los Angeles has been a path breaker in setting increasingly ambitious environmental goals and introducing innovative technologies to achieve those goals. The City commissioned this study to investigate the job opportunities that would result from becoming a center of production for “green” goods and services that provide renewable or less-polluting sources of energy, and help reduce pollutants from our existing industrial base, transportation infrastructure, and residential communities.
Fuel cells are a feasible power system technology for future transit vehicles. The advantages of fuel cells include high efficiency and extremely low vehicle emissions. Progress in fuel cell technology is moving rapidly with limited commercialization expected in this decade. Transit vehicles are a logical first application of fuel cells in transportation. Fundamental to the application of fuel cells to transit is the choice of boarded fuel. Hydrogen and methanol are the favored fuels to store on the vehicle with methanol being converted into a hydrogen rich gas on-board the vehicle. Hydrogen simplifies the fuel cell power plant at the expense of the refueling facility. Methanol simplifies the refueling facility at the expense of the vehicle fuel cell system. Depending on the vehicle mission, range and payload advantages for each fuel can be shown. The total direct and indirect employment created per $1 Billion of demand for fuel cells is 15,157 jobs. Approximately 77% of this employment is found in the manufacturing sector.