Honda Pays £10/kg (Nearly $13) For Clarity’s Hydrogen Supplies In UK

SEP 6 2017 BY MARK KANE 56

ITM Power announced a fuel contract with Honda (in the) UK for the Clarity Fuel Cell model. As it turns out, one kg of hydrogen will cost £10 ($13 USD).

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Boasts EPA 366-Mile Range Rating, Best of Any Zero-Emission Vehicle

The Clarity Fuel Cell takes some 5.46 kg in total, and on full tank is able to drive 366 miles (589 km) according to EPA. The full tank would then cost £54.6 ($71 USD).

The average cost would be then £0.15 (or $0.19) per mile.

That’s a lot, especially as the press release states that the network has also been financially supported by Innovate UK, Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).

For ITM Power, the deal with Honda is its 17th.  The British network consists of 10 stations, but only 4 are publicly available.

“This is the seventeenth fuel supply contract for refuelling fuel cell electric vehicles ITM Power has signed.  Honda joins Toyota GB PLC, Hyundai Motor UK Ltd, Commercial Group, Skanska, UlemCo Ltd, Arval UK Ltd, UK Government Car Service, Arcola Energy, Johnson Matthey, Europcar, The Science Museum, JCB, Anglo American, Green Tomato Cars, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Northern Gas Networks as a fuel customer.

ITM Power is currently rolling out a network of 10 hydrogen refuelling stations in the UK of which 4 are now open for public access. Each station produces hydrogen on site via ITM Power’s rapid response electrolyser system, and can refuel a fuel cell electric car in three minutes, providing 300 to 420 miles of clean emission driving, without compromise to drivers’ normal refuelling routine.”

Dr Graham Cooley, CEO, ITM Power, commented:

“We look forward to supporting Honda and its HyFIVE customers with their refuelling requirements for the Clarity Fuel Cell as our hydrogen refuelling station network expands throughout the UK.”

Thomas Brachmann, Automobile Powertrain and Materials Research Expert at Honda R&D Europe (GmbH):

“We are delighted that customers using Honda’s Clarity Fuel Cell in the HyFIVE project can refuel at ITM Power’s hydrogen refuelling stations. Working together with industry partners, such as ITM Power, drivers of fuel cell vehicles can enjoy rapid refuelling at one of the growing number of stations across the UK.”

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56 Comments on "Honda Pays £10/kg (Nearly $13) For Clarity’s Hydrogen Supplies In UK"

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I still think that the hydrogen car still could go out like the Steam Powered cars of the 1910’s.

This could happen if 500 and 600 mile range EV’s start coming out.

This In my view is nothing short of , “INSANITY” ! ! !

If the only argument is cost, hydrogen is here to stay.

Almost all, if not 100%, of ITM’s UK hydrogen stations use on-site electrolysis from solar and wind to create completely carbon free, renewable fuel that will get you 300 miles in three minutes. Not even UK BEVs are that clean. And if you consider how expensive BEVs were ten years ago, the future looks bright for clean hydrogen, indeed.

$71 today fill your hydrogen tank in London vs $14 @ .125 pound/kw for 100kw model S / X

The 2 other important factors are complexity (overall cost & reliability) and
packaging (lost usable volume)

How many cars per station can be filled in 24 hours?

Whatever you order. Scaling is unlimited unlike with slow “quick” chargers, and you are not constrained by electric grid capabilities at any time.

Typical low volume car “retail” station dispenses up to 150-350 kg per day with some 100 kg per 3 peak hours capacity.

Er, scaling is extremely limited with hydrogen. The cost of one station can easily install dozens of fast chargers or hundreds of Level 2 installations.

“Scaling is unlimited…”

Sure, they’ll generate the needed energy with perpetual motion, and use unicorns to magically put the H2 into the fool cell car tanks without needing any inconvenient things like storage, compression, or dispensing equipment. And they’ll pay for it all with rainbows!

Wheeee! Unlimited!
😀 😀 😀

Compared to most thinking around fuel cell cars, you are crediting the concept with way more well grounded reason than it deserves :p

If FCEVs were where they are now 30 years ago, they might have stood a chance, but they aren’t and BEVs have come on by leaps and bounds since then (especially the last 10 years) and FCEVs have missed the boat. It’s not to say they might not find a niche, but it’s never going to be a mass market consumer technology at this stage in the game. Like DAT tapes and APS camera film, they just arrived too late in the day.

EV charging is not really grid constrained either thanks to on-site storage. There will be plenty of batteries available for that too from end of life EVs. It’s all going beautifully for EVs, not so much for hydrogen.

“How many cars per station can be filled in 24 hours?”

Hydrogen filling stations in California have cost ~$1 million per dozen cars served per day. That is, ~$2 million for ~24 cars, or ~$3 million for ~36 cars per day.

If the number of hydrogen fueling stations increases, then of course we can expect that price to come down somewhat. But it will always remain much higher than the per-car cost for a gas station. (The average California gas station services ~1100 cars per day!)

Hydrogen dispensing stations require expensive high-pressure pumps, special seals, special dispensing nozzles… and the metals of storage tanks and pipes becomes embrittled over time, so will need replacing every 10 years or so.

Despite the fantasies and wishful thinking of fool cell fanboys, those prices simply can’t come down very far. For example, high-pressure pumps will always cost considerably more than the simple pumps used to dispense gasoline. The amount of energy required to compress H2, or to re-compress the station’s storage tank after filling a few cars, isn’t going to magically disappear, either.

It takes about $1 of natural gas to make 1 kg of hydrogen.

In the future, it will take $0 dollars of natural gas to produce 1 kg of hydrogen.

Natural gas must stay underground because we have to stop climate change. And if there is no use for something, the price becomes 0.

So we have to find another, better option.

Agree 100%.
And the costs for service of the cars will also be much greater.
Everybody has already a EV filling station at home. And can be produced even for free and renewable if you install solar cells.

Wow, $13 X 5.6kg = $71, for 366 miles. That’s 19 cents per mile, when it’s under a nickel to plug in.

Honda and Mercedes, not seeing the forest through the trees, during a hurricane.

But, but wait, there is more! Once the hurricane passes, all will be good with Fool Cells and their expensive fuel delivery network. Trust me, it will be worth it someday, as the payoff will come someday eventually, when
Solar gets more expensive, and Home batteries and Powerwalls lose their luster and fall out of favor!

Fool Cells… LOL!

That $0.19/mile works out to around 14 mpg for a gasoline car.

14 MPGe – nicely put!

I was just comparing it to my Honda Civic, which can drive 366 miles on 11 gallons of gasoline for ~$22

With H2 power costing 3x that of gas (and 15x the cost of EV) why does anyone still think H2 is a good idea?

You shouldn’t compare Euro prices with US. In UK gas is $5.6 per gallon. So your Civic will cost $61.60 to fill up.

I don’t believe hydrogen is as heavily subsidized in the US like gasoline, so it’s pretty much the same price on both sides of the pond.

Either side, even the cheap stuff(fossil fuel based) ain’t cheap!

Plenty of people here will “prove” you that you are “saving” on gas by paying $100k for battery electric car, so why not 😉

Nobody is attempting to sell it right now to every Joe as Civic replacement really. You may leave the straw-man alone.

…which is the price tag on a distinct minority of electrics on the market.

The point of the current debate is NOT the “straw man” purchase price of the vehicle!
To wit, the Clarity nor Mirai would exactly qualify as cheap.

We’re still waiting for you fool cell fanboys to explain how you’re going to magically change the physical properties of the hydrogen molecule, so you can turn compressed hydrogen gas into a practical fuel.

And waiting… and waiting…

I see many Americans trying to say that it is not practical to compare the running costs of a Civic with the running costs of various EVs.
In the UK it does make sense.

Two years ago we replaced a 1999 Civic with a 2015 Kia Soul EV because of the running costs.

$71 for a full tank?! Jesus!

Even if I were using only expensive DCFC at EVGO to charge my Bolt… it would cost 1/3 of that to go 366 miles.

But charging at home on a daily basis it costs me next to nothing!

I charge at home, but seem to remember Blink charging .49 to .59 per kWh. Assuming 100 kWh gets a Tesla around 300 miles (probably less at highway speeds), charging with Blink would cost close to $60 for the same miles. seems pretty comparable for on the road fueling costs. The issue with Hydrogen is that you can’t fuel at home, where I pay .11 per kWh. However, many people in condos, apartments, and rentals also don’t have at home charging an option. Therefore, the availability of fast refueling is more important to them and may justify paying more. Keep in mind, too, that economies of scale would bring down the cost of hydrogen.

Not without the requisite utilization. A chicken and egg problem. Now ideally you get someone else(taxpayers) to build the costly infrastructure and you just provide the fuel. So in the event it goes south you’re not stuck with the pig. That’s where a good BS crew(political lobbyist) come in handy.

“…charging with Blink would cost close to $60 for the same miles.”

Overcharging is why Blink’s business model has failed.

“…many people in condos, apartments, and rentals also don’t have at home charging an option. Therefore, the availability of fast refueling is more important to them and may justify paying more.”

It justifies them sticking with gasmobiles. It doesn’t justify them switching to fool cell cars, which on a well-to-wheel basis are even more polluting and profligately wasteful of energy than are high-MPH gasmobiles.

“Keep in mind, too, that economies of scale would bring down the cost of hydrogen.”

Keep in mind that hydrogen fuel is wildly impractical for everyday use, because of its basic physical properties. Keep in mind that changing that would require changing the laws of physics. Keep in mind that due to these physical realities, it is impossible to reduce the pump cost of compressed H2 very far.

Actually I live in an apartment. My current place has 4 EVSEs. But at my old apartment we had no L2 chargers. Although I was allowed to use the outlets in our garage and the outlets at my work – with occasional public charging… and occasionally the Blink stations at my wife’s college.

As Pushmi says, Blink is crap. Both in reliability and in rates. We pestered her college for months until they finally replaced the rarely working Blink stations. The new stations are flawless.

Chargepoint, EVGO, home charging or bust! 🙂

“Keep in mind, too, that economies of scale would bring down the cost of hydrogen.”

Technically, that’s true, but you have to ask to what level? H production from electrolysis is wildly inefficient, as low as 50%. Meanwhile battery is about 85% efficient. In addition, FC stack is only about 60% efficient. If you do the math, H using electrolysis will always be roughly 3X more expensive than charging.

You bring up Blink cost, but that’s using ~$10K L2 EVSE (4 per site). H uses >$1M stations. Simple time value of money will make H be 100X more expensive than Blink. Granted, Blink isn’t run well, but the point is that H will cost several times (or order of magnitude) more than charging batteries for equivalent rate of return.

Now if you use fossil fuel to make H, things are different. Using waste heat from other processes to crack natural gas, H could be produced cheaper. But that requires distribution network (probably tanker trucks), which will again raise the price far above charging batteries.

Economics just don’t make sense for H.

While FCs are likely not the answer for cars, the initial price in a fledgling industry should not be used to pass judgement about it’s viability.

The pure ugliness of that car is one judgement I am willing to pass now though 😉


1) The fuel cell cars are still expensive.
2) The hydrogen fuel is very expensive.
3) The hydrogen fuel really isn’t green.
4) There is almost no fueling infrastructure.
5) Consumers have shown very little interest.

But somehow fuel cell cars are going to overtake EVs just because you can refuel them quickly?

Good luck with that.

They can find some niche applications I guess.

I’ve been pondering this same question for years. What is the advantage over an EV? Faster refueling.. that’s it. What is the advantage over a gasoline car? Nothing that I can think of, other than maybe it is quieter. What will motivate consumers to buy these? Seriously?

I mean, EV’s have a few drawbacks, but they offer many advantages to a gasoline car. These fool-cell cars seem to offer no advantage.

What is the advantage over a PHEV (until the H2 comes totally from carbon-free sources)?

What is the advantage over a fuel cell using some other substance like zinc or methanol?

The whole thing seems to be the perfect combination of complex corporate interests and simplistic (for the non-technically inclined) storytelling. H2 SOUNDS better than zinc or methanol, and purer than hybrids. It’s just not, in the real world.

There’s an advantage over ICE cars in terms of local emissions — water vapor vs. CO2 and various noxious stuff.

The fuel could also be produced by electrolysis of water, driven by clean electricity. In practice, though, they’re making it from methane. 🙁

FCEV bring no benefit over ICE for the end user. Poison gas is simply dumped behind him (free poison gas dumping), and it doesn’t matter if that’s water vapor or Zykon B.

Yup. I understand why Big Oil wants to promote the “hydrogen economy”, because it’s a dead end that diverts money away from development of practical plug-in EVs. I don’t at all understand why auto makers would spend the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars it takes to put fool cell cars into production, when there is no realistic hope that they will ever be more than a very tiny niche, and a niche which will fade away as the fast-charging speed of BEVs continues to improve.

I believe that the Japanese government is dishing out a heck of a lot cash to the car makers for pursuing this, so there IS that.

Yes, they do. Also doesn’t CARB reward the sales of H2 in Cali?

Let’s see, 19 cents/mile fuel cost, and that is with subsidies per the article. As if that is not bad enough, you still have to go to the filling station to refuel. And, it gets worse. There is no network of filling stations to enable long trips, so you need a different car for that, like a Tesla. ?


PS. As if the above is not enough, governments that want to reduce methane and CO2 emissions get much larger reductions from EV charging than from H2 production and compression for vehicle use.

Main disadvantage of FCHVs: compared to BEVs they are extremly inefficient (if green power based) or fossil fuel based.

But there are reason why ICE car makers do like them:
– extrem high tech only big players can do, no chance for new companies to enter the market
– high maintenance costs
– fuel is completely “gas” station dependent
and most of all:
– it’s the “promised land” that will never come, so they can tell people to keep buying their ICE cars as long as FCHVs are still “soon” to come.
It’s all about making profit, mostly with ICE cars.

To your point, what we don’t do enough is recognize why electricity is so cheap. It’s a necessity born of multiple fuel sources, that have been competing with each other for a century. Whether publicly, or privately owned, it is more heavily regulated to prevent the kind of profit taking that can afford deep advertising budgets and miss-information campaigns.

Some of the classic, large U.S. utilities can sponsor self-interested pro-fossil theater, but they are nowhere near as well-endowed as the oil companies, who’ve had it their way for, well, a century.

That sounds better than I expected for non-fossil derived fuel, although how they are accounting for the support of OLEV et al could change that. At least it appears close to zero emission hydrogen.

I still wouldn’t want such a vehicle.

$13/kg is about right for non-subsidized hydrogen fuel. A few years ago it was about $14-15; it’s possible the price had dropped just slightly, if various schemes for generating it more cheaply are put into production. Unfortunately for the dwindling number of fool cell fanboys, simply generating it more cheaply doesn’t have much of an impact on the pump price, because of the numerous energy-wasting (and costly) processes the fuel has to go thru up to and including the point where it’s actually dispensed into a fool cell car.

Looking at it that way, the hydrogen IS subsidised, since both electricity and gasoline are heavily taxed. To exempt hydrogen from these taxes is a form of subsidy. That is not bad perse (EV’s, PV, wind power are subsidised too), but important for an ‘honest’ comparison.

The issue I have isn’t the expense, it’s the utilization purpose of creating the hydrogen to make a battery. The fact that, in order to create the battery, takes more energy than you can reliably GET from the battery! Essentially pedaling backwards, in a perverse effort to say ‘look how far I’ve traveled’. To add insult to injury, you need an actual standard chemical battery to bolster the insufficient power of your hydrogen fuel cell.

So you take your electricity, perform energy intensive electrolysis to separate your hydrogen, run it through filters to clean it up, run it through dryers to take out any moisture, compress it to the very high pressures needed to make it usable in a vehicle, run it through a fuel cell, recombining it with oxygen to make electricity, to run one or more motors. Not simply a roundabout inefficient battery, but a weak one too. Therein lies the rub!

When you could have skipped all that nonsense, used your electricity directly in a much more powerful chemical battery and run your motors much more cost effectively and efficiently!

A relevant quote:

Perhaps they could add a few extra steps:

1) Use the hydrogen in a fool cell to generate electricity

2) Use the electricity to electrolyze water to hydrogen and oxygen

Steps one and two can be repeated as many times as necessary to get to the desired level of inefficiency.”

-– John Hollenberg, comment at, September 24, 2015

I understand that with huge production and sales, the prices should creep downward. But, I wouldn’t want to be the one on the expensive side of the duck curve.

When the naysayers used to speak of range anxiety for BEVs, it was only so bad because there are slow charge outlets almost, literally everywhere. For the time being with hydrogen, you really would be tethered to the range of the hydrogen fueling station. Hydrogen, the fuel of the future….and probably always will be.

Forget charging for free from my solar panels, i want to pay $70+ for a tank of fuel….sign me up!

Quick refueling is a MAJOR advantage. The average person will not put up with sitting at a charger for any length of time. Heck, I’m an EV fan (multiple PHEV owner) and won’t!

Park along the edge of a major city and watch all the traffic leaving on a holiday weekend. The amount of quick chargers needed to make this scenario workable would be staggering. Current example: hurricane exodus on Florida interstates and emergency deployment of extra fuel trucks.

BEV’s are first out of the gate because the tech is simple and (relatively) cheap but the eventual winner of this transportation race is the one who solves the quick fill equation the best.

Well, until 300+ mile EV’s show up, and there are plenty of charging stations that can refill them near to full in 15 minutes, plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt will work great, and defeats the purpose of hydrogen fuel cell cars.

Drive on electric for those short around-town commutes, then just burn some gas for longer distances, and fill up in minutes at any gas station. Zero range anxiety.

Sure, you’re still using gas. But I fuel up my Chevy Volt in my Midwest garage right now. I can’t even buy a fuel cell car, and even if I smuggled one out of California, I’d have no way to fill it back up.

So I’ll settle for “good enough for now” over “wait till it’s perfected!”

“The amount of quick chargers needed to make this scenario workable would be staggering”

The amount of petrol stations to support ICE’s is staggering too. How was it again that they got here? Oh, yeah, it’s called ‘free enterprise’.

“The amount of petrol stations to support ICE’s is staggering too.”

Not really.

“There are 168,000 retail locations in the U.S. that sell fuel to the public. The number of gas stations has been declining over the past ten years due, in part, to increased competition, stricter environmental regulations, and shrinking gasoline profit margins.”