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Hindenburg memories cloud Shell's vision of hydrogen future

Shell Chief Executive Ben Van Beurden expects hydrogen fuel to drive trains, planes and trucks in the future, but the word "hydrogen" can evoke memories of the Hindenburg or the H-bomb which is a hurdle for the fuel type.

Photo: Jens Dresling, Polfoto

Taxi driver Theo Ellis, the first person in Europe to drive Toyota Motor Corp.'s hydrogen-powered Mirai sedan for business, loves telling passengers about the technology that emits nothing but water.

They ask him about its costs, greenness, and the majority inquire about safety. To his passengers, the word "hydrogen" evokes memories of the Hindenburg, the airship that was destroyed in half a minute when it caught fire in 1937, or the H-bomb, a successor to what the US dropped on Japan to end World War II.

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