Hydrogen Fueling Stations
The increased number of retail hydrogen fueling locations in select markets is supporting the initial rollout of fuel cell electric vehicles. Major manufacturers such as Hyundai and Toyota, for example, are currently offering their production fuel cell electric vehicles for sale or lease to customers living in markets where hydrogen fuel is available. California is leading the nation by funding the effort to make publicly accessible hydrogen fueling stations available. With careful planning, the focus has been to add hydrogen fuel at existing gasoline stations covering regions in northern California near San Francisco and southern California near Los Angeles with additional connector and destination stations. Mobile hydrogen fueling stations are also being developed to support the expansion of hydrogen infrastructure. These efforts are giving early fuel cell electric vehicle adopters confidence that they can drive normally and have access to hydrogen fuel wherever they go within these regions. Efforts are also underway to expand hydrogen fueling locations in Hawaii and across the East coast, with other markets expected to develop as consumer demand increases. By the end of 2016, there should be approximately 50 retail stations available nationwide for fuel cell electric vehicles, although most are concentrated in California. In addition to the retail stations available for all fuel cell electric vehicles, there are also stations supporting fleets and some primarily used for demonstration and/or research. As the demand for fuel cell electric vehicles grows, the business case for building more stations with higher capacities improves and the volume in production of station components will bring station costs down.
Hydrogen infrastructure is also developing for buses, medium- and heavy-duty fleets, and material handling equipment. Unlike consumer stations for fuel cell electric vehicles, however, fleet fueling stations can be centrally located to meet private fleet needs.
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