Refueling program may fall short of demand


January 8, 2016

Image titel:


Refueling program may fall short of demand

ab8_report_2015-CoverThe State of California is becoming more optimistic about early fuel cell vehicle sales, based on a survey of automakers. The fuel cell vehicle fleet is estimated to reach 34,300 by the end of 2021 (see chart). The estimate is high enough to raise concerns that California’s aggressive fueling station deployment program may fall short of demand.

The California legislature required an annual assessment of fuel cell vehicles, fueling stations and future needs, beginning in 2014, and gave the job to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). CARB has published its 2015 assessment, concluding:

  • 179 FCEVs are on the road in California, up from 125 in 2014;
  • 44 fueling stations are expected to be operational by the end of 2015, with another 6 coming on line in 2016.
  • Deployment of fueling stations may fall short of the need sometime after 2018, despite the state’s pledge of funding of $20 million annually.
  • The target remains 100 stations, but demand for operating expenses at existing stations means there will be less money available for new ones. Thus only 86 are expected to be on line by 2021

CARB_graph-1Direct comparisons of fleet size between the 2014 and 2015 reports are tricky since the 2014 report estimated the fleet size in 2020 while this year’s report estimates fleet size in 2021. Yet CARB felt safe in concluding “The 2015 auto manufacturer survey results suggest the FCEV market may grow faster than previously projected . . . ,“ with fleet size nearly doubling between 2020 and 2021.

The latest estimates are well short of projections made at the beginning of the decade by the California Fuel Cell Partnership, which surveyed its members for several years. Its 2012 report, for example, estimated more than 50,000 FCEVs would be on the road by 2017. This is higher than the current estimate by a factor of eight. The higher estimates were made Daimler Benz and General Motors were still committed, more or less, to commercialization in 2015.

CARB expressed concern over several aspects of station development. “After 2018, the number of vehicles expected to be on the road may need more fuel than can be provided by the number of hydrogen stations that can be built with currently available public funding, assuming funding levels and station capacity remain unchanged,” the agency concluded.

But CARB stopped short of publicly advocating additional state subsidies: “Addressing the expected gaps in hydrogen capacity and coverage may require exploring innovative actions to maximize the utility of public investment and rapidly accelerate industry momentum to expand the fueling network.” This caution suggests that the question of state support for hydrogen stations remains a delicate one politically, and recent reports of problems at the existing stations will complicate matters further.

CARB concluded that “Station technical capabilities must continue to advance to satisfy customer expectations for a retail fueling experience, including meeting current fueling protocols and expanding capacity to fuel growing numbers of FCEVs.” The agency did note that some stations are fully commercial today, with approved hydrogen metering systems that allow fully transparent customer purchases. In most cases today the auto manufacturer is covering the cost of fuel while the metering technology is developed, deployed and tested.

Chart: 2015 Annual Evaluation of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Deployment and Hydrogen Fuel Station Network Development. California Air Resources Board, July 2015. P. 6

Author: Robert Rose

Here are interesting and current articles on the topic of hydrogen – stocks and the stock market!

Economic prospects for companies in the hydrogen sector | Future, stocks & hydrogen companies on the stock exchange and more…

Which hydrogen companies will prevail in the competitive market in the long term? Get tips and cartwheels and learn more about risks or opportunities. Our stock market specialist and expert author Sven Jösting reports critically, independently and competently.

Dec 07 2023

Clean hydrogen from waste and plastic

Swedish port on the island Tjörn wants to be completely green Plastic waste is a huge problem to...
Dec 07 2023

Hydrogen version of the Pocket Rocket e-moped

Doubling the distance with a fuel cell range extender An electric moped with a 150-kilometer...
Dec 07 2023

New plants for offshore water treatment

Technology group Bosch is increasing its involvement in water treatment for green hydrogen....
Dec 04 2023

University of Stuttgart orders FC power plant

The University of Stuttgart has ordered a fuel cell power plant from the Bavarian manufacturer...
Nov 29 2023

H2 from seawater

Researchers have succeeded in producing hydrogen directly from seawater In Australia, researchers...
Nov 29 2023

Opportunity for green fuel

Axpo drives H2 production in Switzerland forward The Swiss energy corporation Axpo has identified...
Nov 29 2023

Hydrogen in the Nuremberg metropolitan region

Potential innovation center for hydrogen technologies The German city of Nuremberg is aiming to...
Nov 16 2023

Hydrogen on trend

At the moment, hydrogen is – at least in the energy sector – on everyone’s lips. This is also...
Nov 13 2023

Norway doubles number of H2 projects

Hesitant politicians put the brakes on the expected upswing Activities in the Norwegian hydrogen...
Nov 09 2023

Quicker scaling

Interview with Tassilo Gast from Emerson If hydrogen is expected to change the world, then the...
Nov 09 2023

Germany gets steering committee for H2 standards

Norm writing is a very dry but also very important topic – especially when a completely new...
Nov 06 2023

DWV independent again

Since August 2023, the German hydrogen and fuel cell association (Deutscher Wasserstoff- und...
Nov 06 2023

A hydrogen system for all

Polish company Virtud shows the way About 20 years ago, solar power and Passivhaus design captured...
Nov 06 2023

District becomes hydrogen pioneer

Hydrogen Regions series: HyExpert region AachenPLUS There was once a well-known German sports...
Oct 31 2023

Overcoming hurdles – restructuring – creating knowledge

Hydrogen Regions series: HyExpert region AachenPLUS The HyExpert region of AachenPLUS in Germany...
Oct 31 2023

Photovoltaics and hydrogen in the real world

Guest article by Karl-Heinz Remmers, PV pioneer For a long time the public has held a deep...
Oct 25 2023

National hydrogen strategy 2.0

German government steps up the pace Coordination was hard enough when there were “only” four...
Oct 25 2023

Green full supply all year round

HPS inaugurates home with solar hydrogen storage system In Schöneiche, a suburb east of Berlin,...
Oct 17 2023

Hy-Fcell offered technical tours for the first time

Landesmesse Stuttgart has put the industry event just renamed Hy-Fcell on course for growth. In...
Oct 16 2023

The hydrogen megatrend

Dear readers In recent years, hydrogen has managed to move out of its niche and onto the political...


Leave a Reply