Corn-based ethanol would be used as a fuel for a new generation of hybrid-electric vehicles under legislation being introduced by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. The measure would pump five-million dollars over three years into a project to extract hydrogen from ethanol for use in so-called fuel cells. Harkin calls hydrogen the “fuel of the future.” Harkin says the idea has a lot of potential, as when ethanol is used, no new greenhouse gases are put into the earth’s atmosphere. Under the proposal, the ethanol-derived hydrogen would be used by a fleet of at least ten hybrid electric vehicles converted to run on hydrogen. Last spring, Harkin met with representatives of General Motors to test-drive their hydrogen-powered demonstration vehicle, the HydroGen3. Harkin says he’d like to see hydrogen made totally from renewable sources, like ethanol, solar or wind energy. “We must start relying more heavily on renewable energy as part of our comprehensive energy solution in this country,” Harkin says. “Part of that solution includes using more renewable fuels like ethanol. And another part of the solution is developing hydrogen-powered vehicles and the systems to support them.”