Fuel cell vehicles meet resistance in the east

Fuel cell vehicles meet resistance in the east

July 27, 2017 1 By Erin Kilgore

Lacking infrastructure slows the adoption of fuel cell vehicles

Fuel cell vehicles are struggling to find traction in the eastern United States. This is due to the limited hydrogen infrastructure in the region. Several states, particularly New York and Connecticut, have been showing strong support for clean vehicles, encouraging drivers to embrace these vehicles more readily. While some consumers have shown interest, the majority of people have been unwilling to purchase fuel cell vehicles. In order for these vehicles to become successful, more hydrogen fuel stations will need to be open to the public.

Toyota faces challenges in bringing the Mirai east

Lacking infrastructure is having an impact on several automakers, including Toyota. The Japanese automaker has launched its first fuel cell vehicle, the Mirai, in California. So far, Toyota has leased 708 units of the Mirai throughout the state during the first half of this year. The automaker has plans to expand the Mirai beyond California’s borders, but Toyota may have to adjust these plans due to the lack of infrastructure support.

Building new hydrogen stations has been a difficult task

Developing hydrogen fuel stations has proven to be an expensive endeavor. These stations require a larger investment than charging stations used to power battery electric vehicles. Hydrogen stations must also comply with several regulations and safety standards before they can be opened to the public. Another issue is that fuel cell vehicles themselves are quite expensive, which has limited their popularity among consumers. Due to relatively low interest in fuel cell vehicles, funding for hydrogen stations is limited.

Plans to develop a hydrogen infrastructure have been cut back

Plans to develop a comprehensive hydrogen infrastructure in the east have been changed. Initially, states planned to work together with several companies to develop 12 new hydrogen stations this summer. This plan has now be adjusted to the point where only four new hydrogen stations will be built by the end of this year. Without a comprehensive hydrogen infrastructure, fuel cell vehicles will struggle to find the success automakers are hoping to see.

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