There are only a couple dozen hydrogen powered cars in Southern California, a number that does not quite reflect the amount of support the auto industry has thrown behind fuel cells. That may be about to change, however, as Toyota and Shell announce the opening their new pipeline-fed hydrogen fuel station in Torrance, California. The station preempts the massive influx of fuel cell vehicles that will entire the commercial market in 2015. With its close proximity to major freeways and transportation sites, the station is in a prime position to meet the needs of hydrogen powered transport.
It is the first station in the country to make use of an already existing hydrogen pipeline. Most, if not all, of the nation’s current hydrogen stations require fuel to be delivered in regular intervals. Boasting of the station’s ability to produce more than 100 kilograms of hydrogen over 12 hours, Toyota believes this to be a major turning point in the effort to establish a hydrogen infrastructure.
As 2015 draws nearer, many are curious as to the actual cost of fuel cell cars from manufacturers like Honda and Toyota. Fuel cells are notoriously expensive due to their use of platinum. Toyota claims that they have lowered the cost of fuel cells, in regards to their own vehicles, by as much as 90% by using less hydrogen. It is unclear whether Toyota’s models will perform as well as their competitor’s as the reduction of platinum also means the reduction of performance.
Toyota has plans to price their first hydrogen powered car at $50,000.