The Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Collaborative (RHFCC) was established in 2016 through a collaboration with the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) and  The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research. The RHFCC operates out of the Center for Automotive Research.

Who We Are

The Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Collaborative is a regional ambassador for the advancement and adoption of hydrogen-powered, zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure in the Midwest.

Why We Exist

Our goal is to establish the Midwest as a national leader in the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles through education, advocacy and research to take our region and world closer to a sustainable, zero-emission future.

What We Do

  • Educate and inform about hydrogen fuel cell technology and its benefits
  • Support and encourage the deployment of vehicles and refueling stations throughout the Midwest. A new roadmap released in conjunction with the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority lays out a plan of action to deploy 135,000 fuel cell electric vehicles, build 250 hydrogen stations and create 65,000 new jobs over next 15 years.
  • Educate legislators about the significant advantages in economic development and job creation by encouraging the growth of the hydrogen fuel cell supply chain in the region
  • Aid in R&D to remove barriers to adoption and make hydrogen-powered vehicles a viable option in the Midwest region


Leadership & Staff

Andrew Thomas

Andrew Thomas

Director, Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Collaborative

Andrew Thomas is the director of the Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Collaborative and Executive-in-Residence in the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University where he leads research for the Energy Policy Center. His research focuses on electricity regulation and markets, microgrids, fuel cells and oil and gas development. He is also an oil and gas commissioner for the State of Ohio. He received his J.D. from Loyola University where he was a law review editor. 

Kirt Conrad

Kirt Conrad

Program Mentor, Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Collaborative and Midwest Hydrogen Center of Excellence

Executive Director/CEO, Stark Area Regional Transit Authority

Kirt Conrad has been the executive director/CEO of SARTA in Canton, Ohio since 2009. SARTA is a leader in alternative fuels, with CNG, diesel electric hybrids, biodiesel, and dual fuel GNC/DIESEL vehicles in operation throughout their service area. SARTA has deployed 5 hydrogen fuel cell buses and is currently working with FTA, Ballard, BAE, and El Dorado to deploy the remaining 8 fuel cell buses, which will be the largest fleet in the country outside of California. In addition to the fuel cell fleet, SARTA will be the first transit agency in the country to deploy 5

Mr. Conrad is president of the Transit Health Pool of Ohio, Treasurer of the Ohio Transit Risk Pool, and serves on the board for Clean Fuels Ohio, the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition, the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition and CALSTART’s fuel cell infrastructure advisory board for public transit.

Latest News

Alstom: Industry must start work bringing hydrogen trains to UK immediately
Air Force demonstrating hydrogen as alternate fuel source

Upcoming Events

"Fuel cells have the greatest long-term potential to solve society's environmental and energy concerns."

Steve Center, Vice President, Connected and Environmental Business Development Office, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

“CABS is proud to provide a hydrogen fuel cell bus for our riders, who continue to be part of the future of public transportation. This technology is clean, easy to drive and it provides a smooth ride." 

Beth Snoke, Director, Transportation & Traffic Management, OSU Campus Area Bus Service
OSU Campus Area Bus Service

“Along with enabling us to cut our fuel costs by as much as fifty percent in the years ahead, this project will drive investment, research, business development and job creation in Stark County and across our state.”

Kirt Conrad, Executive Director/CEO, Stark Area Regional Transit Authority
Stark Area Regional Transit Authority