California may need significantly more hydrogen fuel station to support new vehicles
Many of the world’s largest car manufacturers are pushing for the commercialization of hydrogen powered vehicles. These automakers have been working on such vehicles for several years and have made significant progress recently. The efforts of automakers may, however, be sidelined by the lack of an infrastructure capable of supporting hydrogen-powered vehicles. In the U.S., California has emerged as a leader in terms of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure, but the state may still be lacking to structure it needs to support hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Report suggests commercialization of hydrogen-powered vehicles hinges on infrastructure
According to a new report from the California Fuel Cell Partnership, California will need significantly more stations than it currently has to support the commercialization of hydrogen-powered vehicles. The report notes that leading automakers are expected to launch the first wave of hydrogen-powered vehicles between 2013 and 2015. By the end of 2015, more than 20,000 new vehicles are expected to be on the roads throughout the state. Without an infrastructure capable of supporting them, however, consumers may be disinclined to purchase these vehicles and hydrogen transportation may miss its opportunity at commercialization.
As many as 100 additional fuel stations needed by 2017
The report suggests that California will need 23 additional hydrogen fuel stations in its northern regions in order to meet the demands imposed by new vehicles in 2015. By 2017, the number of fuel stations needed will spike to 100 as more hydrogen-powered vehicles enter the market. Proximity is a significant issue in the development of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure. The California Fuel Cell Partnership wants drivers to go no more than six minutes before hitting a hydrogen fuel station.
Infrastructure and cost continue to be significant issues
Infrastructure is currently one of the most significant challenges facing the commercialization of hydrogen-powered vehicles. The other major challenge is cost. Automakers have been laboring to address both issues, but infrastructure has become a problem of paramount concern. Without an adequate infrastructure in place to support new vehicles, automakers stand to experience major financial losses due to their work not coming to fruition.
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