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

Don Butler

Don Butler

Administrative Manager, Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Collaborative and Midwest Hydrogen Center for Excellence

Don Butler is the administrative manager of the Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Collaborative and Midwest Hydrogen Center of Excellence. Mr. Butler previously served as the assistant director and administrative manager for The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research and spent 30 years in the automotive industry. Mr. Butler holds bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering and business administration from The Ohio State University and master's degrees in electrical engineering and business administration from the University of Dayton.

Andrew Rezin, Ph.D.

Andrew Rezin, Ph.D.

Director, Midwest Hydrogen Center of Excellence

Dr. Rezin is the director of the Midwest Hydrogen Center of Excellence and emeritus chair of automotive and applied technologies at Columbus State Community College. He has extensive management experience in the automotive service industry and automotive and skilled trades education. Dr. Rezin has a long history of involvement in alternative fuels education and has served on the board of Clean Fuels Ohio for more than a decade. Dr. Rezin earned a master’s degree and doctorate from The Ohio State University.

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 is currently working with FTA, Ballard, BAE, and El Dorado to deploy 11 fuel cell buses, which will be the largest fleet in the country outside of California.

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

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"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
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