Steve Williams Says Pep Boys Should Lead Charge for Hydrogen Car Conversions

Several years ago I heard from Steve Williams with his proposal that the automotive parts and repair chain Pep Boys lead the charge in converting vehicles with internal combustion engines to run on hydrogen and providing H2 fueling stations at the stores themselves.

This unique idea had piqued my interest and now I’ve heard from Mr. Williams again with an update to what is happening with Pep Boys:

“Several years back I presented you with the idea of Pep Boys – which is headquartered here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – offering its customers the service of converting their cars to run on hydrogen plus providing them with places where they could readily refuel. With Pep Boys having automotive service centers located all throughout the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico, it’s what I recognized as being a ready-made infrastructure.

“However, due to backwards-minded Philadelphia-area, or Pennsylvania-based politics or whatever it is, the idea was never able to take hold, and all these many long and frustrating years it was as if the heads of Pep Boys Corporation themselves were under gag orders never to discuss it. And I would presume primarily due to that.

“But it was just publicly announced on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 (please see title="e-mail attachment" href="http://articles.philly.com/2012-01-31/business/31008646_1_pep-boys-moe-jack-alec-gores" target="_blank">e-mail attachment) that the Pep Boys Corporation – pending shareholder approval – has been sold off to a Los Angeles-based interest: Gores Group.

“So perhaps this creates an opportunity where Pep Boys can finally reconsider what I first presented to them with way back in 2004 – unless politics there right now is as bad as it is here when it comes to going forward with the hydrogen economy. I’m certainly hoping that’s not the case and that this presents a new opportunity where the idea I first had way back in 2004 can be considered once more.

“In any event, I thought I should pass this news onto you since you’re based there, and Pep Boys is soon to be.”

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