California Approves $46.6 Million In Funding For Hydrogen Stations, But Only $2.8 Million For EV Charging Stations


Sample Of Public Chargers

Sample Of Public Chargers

Hydrogen Fueling Station

Hydrogen Fueling Station

Can’t say we’re at all surprised by this bit of funding information coming from the California Energy Commission

California Energy Commission Advances Construction of Hydrogen Refueling and Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

SACRAMENTO – The California Energy Commission gave final approval today for nearly $50 million in construction projects to advance the consumer market for zero-emission electric vehicles, continuing the state’s progress towards a clean transportation future that curbs greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

California’s zero-emission vehicle goal is to get 1.5 million hydrogen, battery electric, and plug-in electric vehicles on the roadway by 2025. In response to this directive, the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) has already allocated nearly $400 million to help bolster statewide infrastructure and create a viable market for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), and to promote alternative fuels.

Commissioners today approved grant awards for hydrogen refueling and electric charging construction projects recommended for funding in notices of proposed awards published in April and May. These projects will accelerate a statewide hydrogen refueling station network that will support the commercial launch of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in 2015 and boost the installation of electric vehicle chargers along highway corridors and in workplaces. The infrastructure network is designed to support consumer choices by locating refueling stations and electric chargers in strategic locations throughout California.

$46.6 million in grant agreements for 28 hydrogen refueling stations and one mobile refueler were awarded:

  • FirstElement Fuel, Inc. was awarded $2,902,000 to construct two 100 percent renewable refueling stations in Los Angeles, and $24,667,000 for 17 stations located in Campbell, Coalinga, Costa Mesa, Hayward, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, La Canada Flintridge, Long Beach, Mill Valley, San Diego, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Saratoga, South Pasadena, South San Francisco, Redwood City and Truckee.
  • HyGen Industries, LLC was awarded $5,306,814 to construct three 100 percent renewable hydrogen refueling stations located in Orange, Pacific Palisades and Rohnert Park.
  • Linde LLC was awarded $4,250,000 to install two hydrogen refueling stations located in San Ramon and Oakland.
  • ITM Power Inc. was awarded $2,125,000 to install a hydrogen refueling station in Riverside.
  • Air Liquide Industrial US LP was awarded $2,125,000 to install a hydrogen refueling station in Palo Alto.
  • HTEC Hydrogen Technology & Energy Corporation was awarded $2,125,000 to install a hydrogen refueling station in Woodside.
  • Ontario CNG Station Inc. was awarded $2,125,000 to install a 100 percent renewable hydrogen refueling station in Ontario.
  • Gas Technology Institute was awarded $999,677 to design, fabricate, test and deploy a fully operational, commercial mobile hydrogen refueler with the capability to fill either 350 bar or 700 bar vehicle tanks through onboard metered dispensing hoses.

$2.8 million in final grants for 175 electric vehicle chargers stations were awarded:

  • Adopt A Charger will receive $492,342 to install up to 61 electric vehicle chargers at 12 California State Parks.
  • International Association of Nanotechnology will receive $500,000 to install 10 electric vehicle fast chargers along the I-5 and Highway 99 corridor at 10 locations between Stockton and San Diego.
  • The City of Corona will receive $325,632 to install six Level 2 and three fast electric vehicle chargers throughout the city for plug in electric vehicle (PEV) destination and public access workplace charging.
  • The County of San Diego will receive $500,000 to install 35 Level 2 publicly accessible electric vehicle chargers at 10 County facilities.
  • The Fremont Chamber will receive $305,352 to install 10 Level 2 and two fast chargers at the Bayside Business Park.
  • The Electric Power Research Institute will receive $469,012 to install 24 Level 2 dual port chargers at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara.
  • The US Hybrid Corporation in Torrance will receive $200,000 to install electric vehicle chargers for its employees. It will consist of two Level 2 and 1 fast charger (CHAdeMO & SAE Combo connectors). The chargers will be powered by a 10kW solar PV system that will be connected to a 30 kW/hr lithium-ion storage battery with bi-directional DC-AC charger that will provide a V2G interface.

So, to recap, $46.6 million will be spent on just 29 hydrogen fueling stations (including that one mobile refueler) and only $2.8 million will be spent for a whopping 175 charging stations.

Where’s the money better spent?

It seems clear from this that the plug-in electric vehicle infrastructure is far less costly and certainly returns much more bang for the buck.  Hopefully, this disproportional spending on hydrogen doesn’t last long.  Think of all the additional charging stations California could get for that $46.6 million spent on the hydrogen infrastructure.

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120 Comments on "California Approves $46.6 Million In Funding For Hydrogen Stations, But Only $2.8 Million For EV Charging Stations"

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Tesla did a smart thing by making a deal with hotels etc to have charging stations.
Just remember that there are more electric sockets in the whole world than there are people. Just add up how many electric sockets there are in your house and you will see that they out number any large family!

Simple math.
29 H2 stations @3 min refueling for 300 miles
= 600 L2 chargers @ 1hr per car for 15 miles of range
is waaaay more than 175 L2 chargers.

Apparently not so easy for you. Recalculate using 10 minutes for 300 miles H2 at best. And 1 hr on L2 charger with 6.6 kw on-board charger will be more like 20 miles.

That means for H2 900 miles per minute of filling time total across 29 H2 stations.

For EV that’s 58 miles per minute of charging time total across 175 L2 chargers.

So for EV chargers to acheive 900 miles per minute filling time of the 29 H2 stations they would need 900/58 = 15.5 times more stations than the 175 EV stations. Since those 175 cost $2.8 million then 2.8 x 15.5 = $43.4 million.

So $43.4 million of EV chargers would give electric cars the same amount of charged miles per minute for less money than the $46.6 million spent on H2 stations.

That’s not even factoring in that most charging will happen at night so people will start out with 200+ miles of range every morning (Model S, X and soon the more affordable Model 3)and really have little need for further fill up sessions during the day, but if they do 15 minutes at a Supercharger should add another 100 miles of range.

In that case, you don’t need the EV charging tsations, as you charge at home. So, why complain? the money is spent where it’s needed. Seems we agree here.

Why recalculate using 10 mins per H2 refill? Why don’t you recalculate using 1 min for H2 refill? I used the number that is POSSIBLE today, for Toyota’s Mirai. 5 mins still ok. 1 0mins is too much.

Also, we need to factor in
– how many 6.6 kw charge ports for the electric charging station? I think 2 at most.
– How many pumps per H2 station? I would think, 4-8. I don’t think it costs $2M for a H2 pump. A single H2 pump costs only $30K.

Also see my argument below. The H2 station cost of $2M is for 100% renewable H2. For 100% solar supercharger that charges 100 cars per day, I show the cost to be $3.1M.

Sorry, the math doesn’t work that way. Hydrogen stations are limited not by the pump rate, but by the generation / delivery rate.

The typical station today can only provide ~100kg/day. At 60 miles per kg (Clarity EPA), that’s a rate of about 6000 miles / day or 500 mph (using a 12 hour day; 250mph using a 24 hour day).

This is way slower than your 300 mile / 3 minute (6000mph) estimate.

That’s why even Toyota says that when the 68 CA hydrogen stations are built (costing $400 million in grants alone, not including the cost share portion and the fact some stations were already build using previous funding), they will only support about 10,000 hydrogen cars total.

I’ve double checked the math and it really is only 10000 cars. 6000 miles per day per station * 365 days * 68 stations = 148.92 million miles per year. Californians travel 13,600 miles per year, so that works out to 10,950 cars.

Sorry, JakeY, that you are mixing up refueling with generation. Please read this link below. It clearly tells you, hydrogen stations dispense H2, not necessarily generate. “Hydrogen “stations,” for the most part, are dispensers added to existing gasoline stations. Customers are used to the convenience, safety and services of retail gas stations and it makes sense to add hydrogen to what already exists. In some cases, though, hydrogen stations are purposefully built to dispense only hydrogen. When it comes to storing and dispensing fuel, hydrogen is more similar to natural gas than gasoline or diesel. Like CNG, hydrogen is a compressed gas that is stored above ground at the station. Most hydrogen stations have fuel delivered by a tanker truck, although some stations make their fuel onsite. Different designs and technology give stations the flexibility of using local resources, making best use of available land and meeting the needs of the community.” Also see below my post on what happens if we talk about generating the electricity on site. The cost of electric charger goes way up. OTOH, delivering H2 remains a challenge today but can be solved once it becomes mass market. Pipelines can be used, just like… Read more »

It says right there in your quote that generation and delivery goes hand in hand with hydrogen stations. If hydrogen is generated on-site (as in the most efficient local SMR stations and the renewable biogas stations) the station is obviously limited by the generation rate.

If it is delivered, it is limited by the truck and storage tank sizes. And $2-4 million will only get you a 100kg/day station today with either type.

As for the talk about pipelines, CA does not have any plans in place. That’s kind of like talking about the 240KW charging that SAE has on their roadmap. And even with pipelines, the hydrogen will be delivered at a lower pressure, so it will need either buffer tanks or be compressed on the spot (which takes 30 minutes per fill-up, dropping speed back down to 600mph).

Ok…Most of you folks sound a lot more knowledgeable in the sciences than I am. But they used to believe that fossil fuels would last forever…they never gave it a thought. Am I mistaken or isn’t hydrogen a finite material? I mean, after it is burned for energy it doesn’t turn back into hydrogen again does it? So like fossil fuels, couldn’t the planet run out of hydrogen? Sure it would take a while, but it is finite. And I know there have been major strides in safety since the Hindenburg, but really? Last I heard, the sun is supposed to last 6 billion years…shouldn’t we be concentrating on how to use an unlimited free resource??? Just a thought.

Yeah, the SUN has a lot of Hydrogen! One more solar flare into earth, all its H2 will be replenished 🙁

Hydrogen is an element so short of nuclear reactions the amount of hydrogen doesn’t increase or decrease. Interestingly, pure hydrogen H2 doesn’t naturally exist on earth in significant quantities so to use it as fuel it has to be produced from something else, either by breaking down natural gas (CH4) or water (H2O). Extracting H2 from NG produces CO2 and NG is a finite resource, and producing it from water requires slightly more energy than you get out of using the H2 fuel.

Thats equal to 730 free Tesla S-60

But since these H2 vehicles will be lease to crush, its more like what leasing 1,450 Tesla S-60 would cost.

Will there even be 1,450 H2 vehicles, is the infrastructure only cost of H2 approximate to free TeslaS?

Add in the additional private expenditure on infrastructure, and its about 2,000 Tesla leases.

So the infrastructure cost of H2 vehicles will initially be approximate to free Tesla model S-60.

Capacity of H2 stations

50 x 7kg H2 vehicles per 12 Hour shift

see the reason why current fuel retailers aren’t buying into this?

Wow. $2M to buy a station that can only refill 50 cars a day? The cost-to-benefit ratio is incredibly low. I can imagine a regular gas station with 10 pumps servicing more than 10 times that number of customers a day.

For comparison, Tesla’s busiest 8-10 stall Superchargers are charging well over 50 cars a day and cost only a couple hundred thousand to install.

Since the bulk of charging typically happens at home, each Supercharger supports a lot more zero emission vehicles than an equivalent H2 station.

Tesla is zero tailpipe emissions. Lots of emissions from coal and gas elsewhere.

Tesla supercharger with 4 ports can charge at most 48 cars in 12 hours @30 minutes each.
And don’t forget, if more cars charge, you will need 1 hour for 150 miles of range.

One H2 fueling pump can fill 12 cars in 1 hour at 5 mins each. In 12 hours, it will fill well over 150 cars.

No wonder, Tesla has to keep building these hundreds and hundreds and thousands of super chargers. It’s a never ending game. And still, people have to wait for hours at charging stations for their turn.

Bad math 🙁 12 hrs, 30 mins each, 4 ports = 96 cars at Tesla SC. But usually they are much slower when all 4 ports are used at the same time.

TESLA’s displace Gas Guzzling Jags and MB, therefore a Vast Net Positive for the Nation. No Saudi, 911 terrorist funded oil need be imported.

TESLA’s powered by Wind, Solar and Hydro power, and some coal some times, at a 1/10 the ratio of gas powered cars.

Vastly better for America then Canadian Tar Sand Garbage.

FYI, N.A. is self sufficient in gas and oil.

Natural gas, yes. Oil, no.

You really don’t understand how this works do you? 94% of the time, a Tesla will charge at home. You don’t need many superchargers.

0% of the time, a fuel cell will charge at home. They require a massive refueling infrastructure.

I guess it takes someone with more than what he has to see that..??!!

actually the stations are limited to 250kgs of H2 storage (ie 35 vehicles (7kg – Hyundai Tucson)

use a 20% buffer and its really only 28 full vehicle refills per day. This would require for most stations (ones with H2 delivery) daily refilling of station supply for about 28 vehicles serviced.

Practically speaking, the 50 vehicles per day is dependant upon multiple daily refilling of the station. There are obvious cost implications to this.

Just imagine the number of CCS/CHAdeMO units that could be built for this kind of money…

Honestly, I want it to stay this way.

I’m sick of the complaints about taxpayers funding EV infrastructure. Let H2 get >10x the infrastructure subsidies, and we can point out how Tesla (and to a lesser degree Nissan) are funding fast charger coverage across the globe with their own money.

Not sure I want to see DCFC funding go to zero, but I get your silver lining.

I think it makes sense. If electric chargers are not expensive, EV car makers and businesses should install those. The govt. has helped kickstart the EV industry for many years. Now, it’s time to nurture the new H2 cars a bit, and see what comes out of it.

No, it’s not, because the hydrogen comes from the oil industry, which has plenty of money. Hydrogen is a fossil fuel today.

Yeah, I think installation of Combo SAE-CCS/Chademo DC fast-chargers should really be the priority for the state right now.

For L2 chargers, provide a nice incentive to have workplaces, malls, theaters, parking garages, theme parks, parks, etc. install them.

Beaches would be a great place for state sponsored L2 chargers.

California pays far more in grants for battery electric vehicles.

I know you don’t like fuel cell vehicles, but do at least try for some degree of balance.

How much would California pay in grants for fuel cell vehicles if they were as readily available? In other words, what are they paying per car? It seems pretty obvious that if air quality is your goal, EVs are a far better bang for the buck in 2014. That is likely to remain true for the rest of the decade.

I have two gripes against Fuel Cells today – 1) building a “hydrogen economy” is less efficient/more costly than using the existing grid and 2) every dollar spent on this supposed panacea is a dollar that could have been spent on a practical solution today. It seems to be an example of letting the “perfect” be enemy of the good (insofar as hydrogen is “perfect” – far from it, but it does have some advantages over batteries).

I think for autos it only has one advantage, maybe 2 if you are hung up on quick refueling.

I count two majors (at least being advertised): range and refuel time.

I am not personally “hung up” on refuel time, but many people are. Those people either have regular long trips, or simply have never lived with an EV and the convenience of charging while doing something else. There are plenty of people who honestly think I have to regularly sit in my car for 8 hours waiting for it to recharge. That may be a psychological hurdle, but it is just as real, and fuel cells certainly overcome it.

Another application I see is towing. Let’s say I have a heavy boat to haul (hey look – I do!). Others have RVs, or horse trailers, etc. If I want to take my boat on a road trip to say Lake George (150 miles away), batteries just aren’t going to cut it. I really doubt that a Model X can pull a 3000 lb boat at 65MPH for 150 miles.

Weight makes much less difference than air resistance, so you well get 150 miles out of a Model X towing a boat.

I really doubt any FCVs can pull a trailer at 65MPH for long, either. Remember, FCVs have a smallish battery pack to assist the fuel cell in producing electricity during peaks. Towing a trailer is taxing. A very large fuel cell would be needed to compensate.

Then, there are people who just can’t charge at home, as they live in apartments or high rise buildings.

usually those people dont buy bevs, they buy gas cars or maybe a volt if they can charge at work….

And that quick refueling concern will be gone within the next few years as your capacity exceeds any possible range need for a single day.

How amazingly deceitful of you (as usual), DaveMart. Actually, fuel cell cars get DOUBLE the incentives available to electric cars. See for yourself:

The problem is that they just don’t offer many fuel cell cars for sale and people don’t seem to want them.

Are you gonna apologize for that one?

Your statement “they just don’t offer many fuel cell cars for sale and people don’t seem to want them. ” is self contradictory. If no cars are offered, how do you know people don’t want them?
Unlike electric cars that existed for 100 years, H2 car is completely new. Only time will tell if it takes off or not.

It is not contradictory. You can offer a small number of something and still have weak demand for the small amount offered.

And modern EVs have only been available for 4 years now. The Honda FCX has been available for around the same amount of time.

No response DaveMart? Really?

Consult your fuel cell talking points . . . there must be something!

The same program (CVRP) that pays a $2,500 rebate for a BEV will pay $5,000 for a FECV.

I wonder how much of the 46 mil will actually go to the infrastructure? Time will tell and I will be curious to know……

How many more charging stations can you put up for 2.8 million than you can put up H2 stations for 46 million?

It’s right there in the article: $46.6M for 28 hydrogen stations vs. $2.8M for 175 charging stations.

$1,660,000 per hydrogen station.
$16,000 per charging station.

Look at the bright side. Each hydrogen station is now just $1,660,000, instead of the $2,000,000 they were. 😉

Please check the article. $2M is for “100 percent renewable refueling stations”.

How much is a super charger that generates its own energy from renewable sources?

A supercharger with solar PV will still cost a fraction of that amount and will always be able to service more vehicles for the same amount of PV due the better efficiency of EVs.

We can all ‘see through’ your propaganda.

Don’t kid yourself. Assuming the same 4 station SC, charging 100 cars per day for 150 miles each, that’s 50KWH * 100 = 5 MWH.
Assuming sunny days, a solar array with 24 250W panels will produce only 4kwh*8 = 32 KWH. If you have solar panels, you know they don’t produce the max. rated power output.

To produce 5 MWH per day, you will need 156 of these 24 250W sets. The 24 panels cost $20K . Do the math – it comes to $20K * 156 = $3.1 M

The Tesla SC with solar panel roof is a hoax – it barely serves as shade. It can’t produce enough to charge so many cars. Then, consider the winter and rainy days, and you get the picture.

Only about 8% of total Model S energy comes from Super Chargers. The utilization is usually quite low because they have to build it out with enough stalls to handle the weekend rush of road trip users. This is a very different model than H2 Fueling Stations because 100% of the H2 people use has to come from these stations. So, solar canopies are useful for Super Charger stations because of the huge ratio of daylight hours to active charging hours.

Mike and Spec9,
Now we are talking! So, tell me how many cars will the SC with solar canopy charge per week usign solar power?
Let me compute it for you. With 5 arrays of 24-250W panels ($100K extra), it produces 8 hrs * 5 * 4 kw = 160 kwh = 3-4 cars charged per day!

So, now we all agree that it’s apples to banana comparison. And that’s my point. One H2 pump == 12000 L2 chargers. So, no point comparing the absolute cost of these.

I think these renewable H2 is by capturing methane gas etc. from sewage dumps. But I don’t know fully, I haven’t researched this.

Oh, and I forgot to add the cost of the batteries to store the power produced! That adds another $150K to this solar SC that can charge 3-4 cars per day.

LOL! Tell us how many fuel cell cars an equally equipped solar PV powered hydrogen station could support!

You just don’t understand the numbers do you?

And . . . no response. I’m no surprised.

Where are these 4 stall SCs? I’ve been to a few and never seen less than 6 stalls. Most have 8 that I have used.

Big Solar,
The math is the same – 4 ports, 6 porst or 8 ports. Just add more solar panels and batteries (more cost) if you have more spots at any SC.

More of anything is more money. The best point here is that H2 stations will never be at anyones home but charging options are ALREADY at everyones home!

These are the death throes of the captive energy companies who have gotten so used to the idea that energy has to be owned by them and purchased from them. This is just an attempt to maintain ownership of energy that will soon be so freely and cheaply available it will send big oil into obscurity the same way the Internet sent big media. They want you to think that energy is difficult to obtain the same way that big media wanted you to think that the only credible news came from them.

What a waste of money on the H2 stations that still encourage CO2 release.

At least it is fitting the number of charging stns the much lesser amount deploys.

You need to consider how many vehicles these chargers and hydrogen stations will support. One hydrogen station supplying 100 kg/day of hydrogen can support approximately 192 Fuel cell electric vehicles, since each vehicle can be refueled in 3 to 5 minutes. Each battery charger, however, can support only one or at most 2 BEVs. So the $46.6 million for 39 hydrogen stations supports 5,560 FCEVs or $8,379 per vehicle while the 175 chargers support 175 to at most 350 BEVs due to their long charging time, or $8,000 to $16,000 per BEV. So the hydrogen stations have more bang for the buck.

Interesting perspective, I haven’t thought about it that way.

One big difference is that L2 EVSEs will probably not be used for full recharging, just opportunity charging (1-2 hours per car). Therefore, each L2 EVSE can support more like 5-10 EVs per day (technically, 12-24, but I doubt they’ll be used 24/7!). If any of these are quick chargers, typical sessions are 15-20 minutes, so the number gets even better. In this perspective, the number is clearly still in favor of the EVs, but not necessarily as much as implied by the article.

Level 2 chargers are not much more than an outlet and could cost as low as 200 or 300 bucks each at some point…………

However, you’re forgetting that you have to fill an HFCV at the fueling station, while public EVSEs would only be needed when you are traveling beyond range and don’t have sufficient destination charging.

Long trips are uncommon, and multi-car households do not usually have multiple cars traveling long-distances simultaneously, and together these would radically reduce the OTR refueling miles needed for BEV compared to any cars purely using public refueling.

What really matters is dealing with peak contention. Road trips involve overnight stops, and off-peak travel, and that really pushes the greatest peak contention to holidays. The peak contention is why a large percentage of BEVs would have to be long-range. Larger batteries reduce the number of trips with stops and allow faster charging.

That should have been a sizable, rather than large percentage.

Sorry Sandy, totally bogus numbers. A typical DC QC can charge 80 EVs in a typical day, not including the early morning hours overnight window when no one is refueling except for BEV drivers, at home. Even a relatively slow L2 charger can service >10 cars per day because around town , most EV drivers will only charge enough to finish a very unusual long day of driving/errands and get back home to charge overnight.

Most BEV drivers don’t use public chargers except for those unusual days. An H2 driver must use a H2 station every time he/she refuels.

Nice try though.

See my post right below. I’m a big EV proponent and readily admit there’s no way a single QC can do 80 cars/day and there’s no way a single L2 can do 10 cars/day.

For QC, 80 cars/24-hours would be 3.3/hr or 18 minutes a session.

For L2, 10 cars/24-hours would be 0.4/hr or 2.5 hours a session.

Those types of numbers are only possible assuming that the station is running at 100% capacity 24 hours/day.

In reality, due to uneven distribution of arrival times, this simply isn’t possible.

You really need 8+ QCs to support 80 cars/day. And around 4 L2 stations to support 10 cars/day.

This is all supported using the Erlang-B model to estimate load factor. There is a great thread on the TMC forum which discusses this:

Look above at ydnas7’s link. A ~$2M hydrogen station will only support about 50 fills / day. Not 192. One has to keep in mind that the bulk of EV charging happens at home. Public charging happens much less frequently. But it’s still needed to support EVs. My personal home/public charging ratio is well over 10:1. I suspect that most are similar. Even if we assume that it’s 1:1 worst case with half of charging done at home and half of charging done in public, that significantly changes your figures. Currently installing a QC station costs about $50k to install (note that Tesla can do this much cheaper). Installing more QCs at a single location will significantly bring down this price. It takes around 6 QC stations (assuming 30 minute charge times) to support 50+ sessions in a 12-hour period with a very low chance of having to wait. Even at $50k/ea and assuming no economies of scale by installing all at a single location, that is only $300k compared to $2M. L2 is a different animal because of it’s long charging time. If you assume that a typical session is 4 hours, you’d need at least 25 L2 stations… Read more »

Oh I don’t know, I reckon a hydrogen refueling station could provide quite a large BANG for buck,certainly a bigger bang than you’d get from a power outlet anyway.

I suspect that someday, possibly not too far in the future, we’ll see some very damning evidence come out about the influence of fossil fuel companies on H2 infrastructure spending.

The spending patterns on H2 vs. electricity, as shown in this and other posts and articles, are so ridiculous that they can’t be attributed to run-of-the-mill government idiocy.

The problem for the H2/FF faction, of course, is that they can’t buy out or derail EVs. EVs have a big cost advantage, and it will only get bigger, and their refueling time and range “issues” will only diminish, as batteries continue to improve. The H2 guys are driving toward a cliff in an accelerating car and trying to build a bridge before they get to the canyon. Good luck with that.

I find it ironic that people who cheer government subsidies for EV-related stuff are now complaining about government subsidies favoring an alternative technology. Live by the sword, die by the sword. If you accept the notion that the government has the power to get involved in any of this stuff, you can’t complain when those decisions go against you. The true answer to all of this, is that government should not be favoring ANY technology, and not be involved in taxing or subsidizing anything. Let the free market decide which technology would win. My bet is on EVs, but I think there will be a diversity of technologies for a long time to come. Embrace diversity!

I predict California’s effort will be a face plant. The other MOU states already show some separation in their ZEV plans, in that I believe no actual dollars have yet been set aside to facilitate H2.

Apart from the engineering perspective, the politics of car companies, fossil co’s and environmentalists are what is running this whole show. Energy density and re-fuel times will be the sell, but neither practical impact upon the environment, or personal economics, pass the sniff test. The PHEV, to full BEV, gateway is already far enough ahead that most of us already see the light.


I’m against the state of California dumping a bunch of money into hydrogen infrastructure precisely because of what happened with many of the EV chargers that were built with government money. The closest public L2 charger to where I live bills by the hour for a minimum of four hours, but it was built next to a 1 hour max parking spot. I’ve also heard of a public L2 charger placed in a 30 minute max parking spot which is pretty worthless given how little range you get from one of these in half an hour. Same goes for all the slow chargers placed next to fast food establishments.

My point is this- a lot of the money was wasted because many of the chargers were put in really dumb locations. Giving people incentives to buy cars that pollute less and perks like carpool lane access makes a lot of sense because all the incentives line up. But covering the full cost for infrastructure is a really bad idea because there is no incentive to make sure the infrastructure is place in optimal locations and is properly maintained.

Yes, that’s a big problem with L2 charging. You need to park for at least 4 hours to get some significant range.
If it was H2 instead, you will be gone like the wind in no time 🙂

I bet thats where half that 46 million goes too.

“If it was H2 instead, you will be gone like the wind in no time”

That’s assuming 1) somebody keeps the station in working order after the money for building the station is gone and 2) they put the station in a location that makes enough sense that people will actually use it.

Government subsidized EV chargers aren’t exactly the most reliable thing around ( and locations chosen for government-funded projects often have more to do with politics than what would be best for consumers.

Exactly! EV charging is a different game. The revenue is so low, no one is interested in maintaining those. The charging time is so long, no one wants to give that prime spot for 1 or 2 bucks. And then, people keep unplugging needlessly.

OTOH, H2 station owners will charge customers, like gas. If it doesn’t work, they loose big time. So, they have an incentive to maintain it, like the gas pumps. And because refill is fast, they can locate these stations at convenient, prime locations. That is, once they prove it is safe enough.

I agree that EV charging as a stand-alone business will be pretty tough. It works much better as a free perk paid for by car manufactures, hotel owners, employers, etc. to attract business (or to attract employees in places with lots of plug-in cars like California).

But I also think hydrogen fuel stations as a stand-alone business won’t work. Right now the money to build them is coming mainly from the taxpayers of California and a bit from automakers. Venture capitalists and private citizens are not dumping money into hydrogen fuel stations in hopes of making a return on their investment.

This is hilarious! The whole “chargers are not a viable business model” argument hinges on the fact that driving on electricity is so dang cheap there’s no way to make money selling the “fuel”! How ironic for the H2 supporters. Now that’s an argument I can get behind.

I’m against hydrogen as a vehicle “fuel”, but you have to give them due credit for their initial site selections. If someone gave me a FCEV with a free fuel card, I would actually be able to use it conveniently once all the “in development” locations are built out. However, the two my family would use the most – Cupertino and Mountain View, are not on the funding list in this story. The Mountain View location is only a 1.5 mile drive from my office.

If car manufacturers and fuel providers paid for the unpaid externalities of their product – air pollution and the health consequences and environmental damage it causes, I might be inclined to agree with you Anton.

But they (and thus drivers) do not, so we need these creaky external systems to address those externalities instead.

Unless you believe people are ok with air pollution. Because its certainly not industry that’s leading the charge on cleaning up around here.

The free market does not account for externalities. The simple way to fix this is a carbon tax.

Since that is politically impossible today, there is this mess of incentives instead.

If you think that everyone that works for the government has the peoples best interests at heart you might be a slightly naive.

Rodrigo Henriques Negreiros Magalhaes

since the biggest producers of hydrogen are the oil companies, I’m not surprise that the big part of this pie will go to fund hydrogen stations. Anyone can see in the picture the ‘Shell’ logo stamped at the hydrogen fuel pump. Does this explain why we don’t see any charge point at a gas station???

The Palo Alto location mentioned in the story that got funding is at a Shell gas station.

Makes sense. Convenient for consumers.

“Does this explain why we don’t see any charge point at a gas station???”

You will never ever see that, unless it is in some wilderness. The rent of these conveniently located spots in gas stations is way higher than the few cents the gas station will make charging your EV car.
So, these L2 chargers will be limited to parking lots. There is nothing wrong in this.

For triple the ZEV credits. This experiment might work in CA. where you have enough people that can afford luxury vehicles and higher fuel prices. As for the majority of other States allocating that much money for H stations; I just don’t see that happening until the H model is much, muchmore affordable. Meanwhile, advanced batteries are very close and doing sufficient charging infrastructure is pennies on the $ and much more energy efficient, compared to a H infrastructure! The only advantage H has IMO is quick refilling for long trips & for people that live in apts. & Condos for example.

It will also work well in Japan. They are scared of Fukushima incidents.

What does nuclear have to do with this? Nothing.

Most of the electricity in Japan comes from nuclear. Japan has suffered big time from the Fukushima tragedy. So, EV is as bad (or may be worse) as gas in their eyes. That’s why, Japan has already installed 100 H2 stations.

Germany, same thing. 50 H2 stations open soon ( 2014-2015). California is late.

See Through, you are a FOUNTAIN of misinformation. Currently, ZERO electricity in Japan comes from nuclear.

Perhaps you should stop posting if you can’t say anything truthful.

Because of Fukushima, all the nuclear plants in Japan have been taken offline, and therefore Japan has a serious shortage of electrical power generation. Not to mention bits of nuclear core all over the countryside. A large quantity of spent fuel rods are still not out of danger. Fukushima is not over with by a long shot.

Hydrogen: the boondoggle of the 21st century

There will always be some niche applications (forklifts, Zambonis, and other indoor vehicles). But unless there are some big break-throughs, I don’t see it going well.

50 million $ would bring about 150 superchargers; you would end up with one each 30 miles in California.

Now, that would be a real waste! These won’t be any good other than charging up a few hundred Teslas per day inb total. If an 18 wheeler takes the spot, waive good bye to these chargers for few days!

Don’t forget to check your Geography book. CA is much wider that you paint here.

Or many more Tesla could come on the road, thousands of Model III for instance.

For the trucks you could have hypercharger strait away at 3 MW under 6000 volts. Alternatively I wouldn’t mind if those vehicles indeed take Hydrogen in the few hydrogen stations that would be.

I think it will be, like pjwood said, a face plant. lol. It is really expensive as this article demonstrates.
One thing that occurred to me as hydrogen is a combustible gas, like the gas that comes into your residence, and as gas leaks are rather dangerous, another gas, hydrogen sulfide, I think, is added to make gas smell like rotten eggs. Is their anything added to hydrogen gas, as they would be distributed at stations, to alert those nearby that there is a gas leak?

Well I looked it up. Oh it’s methanethiol btw that is added to NG to make it smell bad, no such odor producing compound is added to hydrogen gas. For this reason many additional censors are needed at hydrogen fueling stations to detect leaks. Vehicles are disabled when connected to the filling tube, and a number of shut offs are included, that occur automatically if a leak is detected above a certain threshold.

One article said that hydrogen stations would be as safe as gas stations, but since there have been 5k fires and explosions at . gas stations in the past decade, this is not all the reassuring.

They probably can’t add an odorant because that would quickly clog up the filters in fuel cell devices.

Unlike gasoline, hydrogen is much lighter than air and won’t collect at ground level.

I have been trying to understand how all these intelligent people can advocate for hydrogen, in the face of EV’s numerous advantages. I found a possible answer in The UC Davis white paper entitled ” The Hydrogen Transition. Excerpt below – “Given the earlier introduction of electric vehicles, their lower vehicle prices relative to a newly introduced FCV, and lower per mile cost, it is helpful to ask under which circumstances a consumer might choose an FCV relative to a BEV. Given current battery costs, BEVs may be best suited for smaller commuter vehicles with fixed driving patterns that fit within the vehicles range, especially in a multi-car household. The advantages of FCVs are for drivers who would like larger vehicle sizes (large cars or light trucks/SUVs), whose driving range needs are higher, and where quick refueling would be a benefit. FCVs might also appeal to those who could not charge an electric vehicle at home and instead would use a refueling station similar to a gasoline station.” MGiven the earlier introduction of electric vehicles, their lower vehicle prices relative to a newly introduced FCV, and lower per mile cost, it is helpful to ask under which circumstances a consumer… Read more »

larger vehicles
refill like a gas station
longer driving range.

I know another much cheaper way of accomplishing ALL of those . . . gasoline!

Never mind about the lack of funding for EV charging stations. They’ll probably the wrong type, in the wrong place and unreliable.

It’s lucky that plug-in vehicles don’t really require an infrastructure to still be useful.

It’s not luck . . . it is one the reasons they are successful. Electricity is cheap, it is already readily available in all homes, and home fill-ups help reduce the need for range.

California is an oil state.

Believe it or not, despite the large CA population and huge in state oil demand, California is still able to fulfill about 37.5% of it’s own needs through in state production.

Oil companies represent a significant lobby in Sacramento and so it’s not surprising that the CA Legislature has passed this bill.


In Washington, D.C. there are 7 legally registered oil lobbyists for every Congressman. Not to mention the other office staff, co-workers and envelope lickers that work in oil lobbyists offices.

That’s 435 Representatives and 100 Senators or 535 total members against 3,745 oil company funded, incessant, tireless, obsessed lobbyists and their staffs that constantly hammer Congress 24/7/365 to pass legislation favorable to the oil companies.

I’m sure the situation in the California Legislature is similar.

Disappointing ? Yes !! But no big surprise.

You left out the bribes.

Campaign Contributions
Junkets to exotic locations
cushy job in the industry you used to regulate

All the hydrogen proponents seem to really be hung up on refuelling time.

Sure you may be able to refuel more FCVs in a day than EVs.

However, something they’re conveniently leaving out is that this hydrogen must first be PRODUCED (using extremely-energy-intensive processes), TRANSPORTED to the fuelling station (likely by fossil fuel powered trucks), and STORED locally in massive tanks. How much does all THAT cost? And don’t forget that we’d be back to driving around in vehicles full of combustible material. Anyone remember the Hindenburg?

All of these things are eliminated with EVs. And never mind that all your gripes about long charge times will be eliminated within the decade due to advances in both battery capacity and charging technology.

Take away the ability to quickly refuel, and what advantage does hydrogen offer?

1. Electrons just drop from the sky and get into your EV battery!
2. Hydrogen is safer than gas, as it escapes quickly upwards. Gas vapors hang around low. Check your facts first.
3. H2 cars could be safer than Model S batteries. Remember the fiers last year, and the July 4th accident this year?

No way in he11 hydrogen cars will ever be as safe as any EV, let alone a MS. You really are showing your lack of knowledge….

See Through says:

1. Electrons just drop from the sky and get into your EV battery!

That’s exactly it, my friend.

It’s sort of like protons from the sun hitting solar cells.

Yes, electrons do just drop from the sky.

+1! You beat me to it. For anyone with PV-EV, yes, electrons do indeed literally fall from the sky, in virtually unlimited amounts, and go directly into our batteries (during the day only! Right Davemart?). Last year my father said to me, “it’s not like you can put a sunbeam in your gas tank”. Oops, actually I can. That was a pretty poor counter for Seethrough to bring up.

Electric Car Guest Drive

For those speculating that an average public L2 session is 4 hours, or that an average, or typical, DC Quick Charge session is 30 minutes, do yourself a favor and take a look at the real numbers before posting. They are available from providers, either through published reports, the DOE, or from conference presentations.

A typical DC Quick Charge session is about 15 minutes. EV Drivers who use L2 chargers at public, non-workplace stations don’t need to add 80 miles of range. They top up, usually charging less than an hour, but for our estimates we’ll call it an hour on average.

There are a few outliers who don’t have (adequate) home chargers and need to use public chargers. And Car2Go users. Everyone else is just occasionally making adjustments for the fact that 5-10% of their travel takes them near or slightly past the 80 mile range, and they top up to maintain a margin, or take that extra leg that’s outside their routine.

Of course, if you’re posting as part of an astroturf campaign, you don’t need the facts or any real-world statistics, or extensive personal experience driving electric, you just need FUD. Carry on.

QC is best used as a range extender when the battery is nearly empty, so you can pour electrons into the Li-ion battery at full speed (40kW or more) without heating up the battery. Once my Leaf hits 50% charge, the rate starts dropping , and by 80% it’s about 1/4 as fast. Once I realized how cheap it is to charge at home, I decided it is worth it to stop a QC as soon as I am assured of making it home. Would you pay $1 to get back 30 minutes of your life? I sure would.

Free L2 charging at work is still a win, since I am there all day anyway. I also enjoy walking to the car when the charge is done (gotta free up the EVSE) – it is good to spend 15 minutes stretching my legs.

There seems to be a great reluctance of the H2 people to acknowledge the current costs of the system. I personally am not politicing for ANY supercharges, seeing as their are none, and for the foreseeable future there won’t be ANY fast chargers of any kind near enough for me to use, save only for the ones to be installed in Canada. But the “war on terror” has made travel to and from Canada much more of a chore than it used to be, so I could only rarely choose one there to use. I checked, and the home refueler for hydrogen they are talking about ultimately 70 cents per kwh. I’m also curious about the ultimate reliability of this unit seeing as it produces 5000-12000 psi hydrogen. This is much more daunting than a home CNG refueler would be at 3600 psi, and even those units have great reliability problems. So, in view of the “: 1). Reliability problems. 2). Fuel sourcing cost. 3). Unknown vehicle reliability problems. 4). Vehicle cost. I’m not sure how you make the sale to the customer. If its $8 per gasoline equivalent gallon, even if you could find an H2 station around… Read more »

Oh, well they’re really funding the two technologies at the same level. The difference is that the hydrogen stations are 20x more expensive.