California fuel cell trade group aims for 200 hydrogen stations by 2035August 23, 2021
The CaFCP is pushing for 70,000 heavy-duty H2 trucks on state roads that will be served by the locations.
The California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) has issued a news release in which it states that it is taking aim at achieving 70,000 heavy-duty H2-powered trucks on state roads by 2035, with 200 hydrogen stations serving them with the fuel they require.
They referred to that deadline as only one step along the way of reaching the state’s 2045 goal.
According to CaFCP, this number of fuel cell heavy-duty trucks and hydrogen stations will be an important milestone on the way to California’s 2045 goal for 100 percent zero-emission trucks. These vehicles currently represent about 2 percent of all road traffic in California. However, they also represent about 9 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the entire state. They produce 32 percent of the state’s nitrogen-oxide emissions and 3 percent of the particulate emissions, according to the trade group.
This is not a circumstance specific to California. Instead, similar figures are recorded across the United States. The reason is that these vehicles are typically diesel powered, which explain why their emissions are considerably greater than their numbers on the roads.
Hydrogen stations would be a critical part of making heavy-duty fuel cell trucks possible.
Increasingly, stakeholders are turning to commercial vehicles as a feasible use for H2 fuel cells. That said, while there is potential for applications in heavy-duty trucking, the limited refueling infrastructure is maintaining hesitation to transition. This was the same issue that held back fuel cell passenger car sales.
Toyota is among a shrinking number of automakers that is continuing to test passenger cars powered by H2. It is also testing a few Project Portal prototype trucks for short-haul drayage service. Those tests have been ongoing at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles for a number of years.
In July, Hyundai announced its own intentions for testing 500-mile fuel cell semi trucks in the state, beginning with a year-long pilot program involving the use of two trucks until 2023, and that will expand to a 30-vehicle fleet after that point. Earlier in 2021, General Motors and Navistar announced their plans for 500-mile range H2 trucks. They plan to put 2,000 on the roads in 2024.
While other automakers, including Daimler Trucks, are coming up with their own strategies, an infrastructure of hydrogen stations will be necessary before widespread rollout will be possible.
The people in California should be commended for their leadership addresses climate warming and the development of a hydrogen transportation infrastructure. As the oil and gas industry transitions to blue and then a green hydrogen economy, the hydrogen transportation infrastructure will follow and move quickly across the U.S. and the world similar to the railroad and gasoline automobile infrastructure did just two hundred years ago. Fortunately, all countries will be able to use and improve the existing infrastructure while converting to a hydrogen economy just like California, the UK and India. Hydrogen can replace fossil fuels world wide.
Recent technological advances using electrolysis with ocean water now favor hydrogen and sodium over lithium as the better energy elements for the transportation industry. Hydrogen and sodium are more abundant than lithium.
I’m curious to understand why the transition you speak of must include ‘blue’ hydrogen. I’m my country (Australia) we are looking to go straight to ‘green’ hydrogen, utilising our vast empty spaces and abundant sunshine. We are also implementing off-shore wind power to generate H2.
I am no expert in this matter but I have read (in this very same newsletter) how Chris Jackson, chair of the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, resigned over false claims for ‘blue’ hydrogen, citing a recent study published in the Energy Science and Engineering journal titled “How green is blue hydrogen?” That indicated that when all is said and done, H2 made using natural gas is dirtier than using coal.?
The use of hydrogen world wide offers sustainable energy long after the depletion of fossil fuels. Just like solar energy has now become the most cost effective way to produce electricity so to will green hydrogen and salt water batteries be added to this affordable energy mix. Natural gas will soon become too costly to be used to generate electricity, similar to lithium today. China was the largest exporter of lithium just twenty years ago and now it is the largest importer of lithium primarily from Australia. The cost per ton of lithium has doubled this year due to its use in EVs. Lithium is not a sustainable energy resource world wide that is able to replace fossil fuels. Hydrogen can replace fossil fuels.