U.S. Army tests 16 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Hawaii [Photo Gallery] image

The U.S. Army, Pacific, on Wednesday unveiled a fleet of 16 General Motors’ hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles, the world’s first military fleet of fuel cell vehicles.

The military has been looking at alternative fuels like this because of the difficulty, expense and danger of securing oil and gasoline supplies.

U.S. Army Pacific Commander Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski says the vehicles will help the Army in the Pacific reduce energy security challenges and strengthen U.S. energy independence.

“Operating these vehicles will provide the military with the necessary data and experience to determine future applications of fuel cell technology,” said Charles Freese, GM executive director of Global Fuel Cell Activities.

The vehicles are part of the Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative, a partnership of 13 agencies, companies and universities that aims to reduce petroleum imports by having more vehicles run on hydrogen.