Hydrogen Shortage Hits Hard: Toyota Mirai Owners Urged To Top Up Frequently

JUL 30 2018 BY MARK KANE 65

Hydrogen shortages in California are causing trouble with refueling hydrogen fuel cell cars, particularly in the Los Angeles area.

We were often told that hydrogen is the most abundant element, so we wonder how it could be that there are shortages? Especially shortages at places like hydrogen refueling stations, where there should be hydrogen everywhere.

According to a Green Car Reports article, at least at some of the 33 hydrogen refueling stations in California, FCVs owners might be surprised by a lack of hydrogen.

At one station there is even a message with info from Toyota: “Be advised: Hydrogen delivery issues everywhere. Don’t take chances, top off frequently. Toyota hotline says dealers know, will comp you for rental car.”

Not only Toyota Mirai drivers (3,687 sales by the end of June 2018) but also those with Honda Clarity Fuel Cell and Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles will be affected.

Well, the cause seems to be unexpected disruptions at Air Products, which supplies the hydrogen. They are suggesting it will be early August before supplies are restored.

Toyota Mirai sales – June 2018

“Toyota is aware that certain fuel-cell vehicle owners in the Los Angeles area are currently experiencing refueling challenges because of limited hydrogen supply at several local fueling stations. While the station operator works to resolve this short-term issue, we are working with our Mirai (fuel-cell car) customers to help identify alternative fueling options, including as a temporary measure, opening our commercial hydrogen fueling station at the Port of Long Beach…We sincerely regret the current inconvenience for our customers,” Toyota said in a statement emailed to Green Car Reports.”

And here is what Green Car Reports learned from Air Products spokesman Arthur George:

“We are actively working to resolve this unexpected disruption, which has been caused by a contemporaneous series of unrelated issues at several liquid hydrogen production and supply sites. We are addressing the matter as rapidly as we can and are hopeful to have the situation remedied and have restored regular hydrogen supply in the early days of August. We regret any inconvenience that may have resulted…. We regret any inconvenience fueling customers may be currently experiencing, and reassure you we are focused on resolving the issue as soon as possible,”

Well, we can now addย worries of lack of hydrogen to the lists of doubts we have connected to FCVs.

Source: Green Car Reports

Categories: Toyota

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65 Comments on "Hydrogen Shortage Hits Hard: Toyota Mirai Owners Urged To Top Up Frequently"

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If they want abundant hydrogen, they could just drive their FCEVs into the ocean. There’s plenty of hydrogen there.

There is a saying, if you want something, you should aim for the largest source in sight. That being the sun, plenty of hydrogen there!

I have a filling station at my house. Everyone needs to be driving on sunshine instead of being locked into the supply chain like this.

The Big 5 Oil Corps, want you and everyone else, to stay shackled to their supply chain network, Lock, Stock, and of course Barrel.

Anything else would be just uncivilized!

Lock Stock and >>two smoking<< barrels

Lock stock and two smoking exhaust pipes.

In a way it does not make sense, big oil could get into hydrogen production and push it hard so they still have business in the futur

What did you think the whole hydrogen economy is all about?

Hydrogen comes from natural gas. Not water. Getting it from water is way too expensive.

You have a filling station at your home that is capable of re-fueling this toyota. Really?
And how did you acquire one and from whom?

He believe he means solar for his EV.

Or just a outlet works great!

Ya funny nobody mentions that there is an outlet within 50ft of most parking spots. While it isnโ€™t always easy to make it those last 50ft, it is much easier than making hydrogen.

Not when driving out in the country, through mountains or across numerous parts of the US. Good luck plugging in or starting during a snowstorm. Recommend driving out of town more…

Huh? We are not talking about liqid-that-can-freeze ICEs here. EVs have no trouble with starting in low temperature situations.

I charged on top off the mountain pass in Switzerland. Biggest mountains in Europe. No big deal.

So the electricity had to work extra hard to get up the hill? ๐Ÿ˜‰

You should see what you have to do to get hydrogen during a snowstorm!

Oh, making hydrogen isn’t hard. Making abundant hydrogen and pressurizing it, then properly storing/distributing is hard.

That is part of the delusion of hyrogen. Some people made hydrogen in their science class and think it is easy not realizing how LITTLE hydrogen they made. Kind of like the difference between someone baking cookies to feed their family and someone baking cookies to feed an entire planet. (and I am not overexerting here, because that is exactly how large the difference is)

Don’t bring logic and reason into this forum you will scare away Trump supporters LOL CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP FOLKS thanks co2.earth

Another reason why EVs are better suited for cars than fuel cell. Just plug the car in at home and jobs a good ‘un

Agree. I am so spoiled by having a full “tank” every morning. When i need to fill up the minivan, i can not stand the gas stations.

I’m refueling my car as I sit here right now.

You need to have an energy source to plug into. Right now when you plug in to charge your EV that electricity is currently being generated by burning fossil fuel so it’s not as “green” as you think it is.The fossil fuel won’t last forever and it’s continued use is killing the planet and threatening the survival of humanity. The only byproduct from burning hydrogen is harmless water. Hydrogen is the future. The auto industry knows it.

And where do you think the energy to produce the hydrogen comes from? Worse. you will need 2-3 times more energy from a source to drive a hydrogen car the same distance.

EVs can use renewable energy just like the hydrogen fans claim will be used to make hydrogen, except that EVs are significantly more efficient use of the energy.

Ron Swanson's Mustache

There’s a joke in here about the two most abundant elements in the universe being hydrogen and human stupidity, but I can’t quite put it together.

Maybe, a little strategically implemented electrolysis, can force the issue relating to elemental over abundance, and the lack of human intellect?

Shock adversion therapy for fuel cell proponents?


Try this: “The only thing existing in greater quantity than the element hydrogen in outer space, is the amount of stupidity in humans trying to use that element to power their cars.” ๐Ÿ˜‰

**Try this: โ€œThe only thing existing in greater quantity than the element hydrogen in outer space, is the amount of stupidity in humans trying to use that element to power their cars.โ€ ๐Ÿ˜‰**

I did actually try it, and is sounded kind of forced and unnatural, as if I was repeating someone’s words ๐Ÿ™‚

Good thing your head is attached and your fuel tank bolted down, else the would but float away as they are filled with an element lighter than air.

I think it is a special and peculiar bond, something like H2S? Or was it S2H?

(โŒโ– _โ– ) Trollnonymous


They call ’em fool cells for a reason!

Good thing there’s no shortage of electricity in my garage. #foolcells

Now your just rubbing it in, for Petes sake!

Well, if he rubs it in just right, he might even get a Spark, to start up a reaction!

** Good thing thereโ€™s no shortage of electricity in my garage. #foolcells **

The best thing would be if you could tow your garage to wherever you drive ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s always so funny for me. See I live in Poland and we got reliable electricity grid… After WW2 (one of few things soviets did right). But here we are 80y latter with jankies complaining about lack of grid xD

Here’s the real engineering take on HFCEV.


“issues at several liquid hydrogen production and supply sites”

So they are shipping them in liquid at -424F? From shipping perspective, that’s the only cost effective way. But from retail, that’s horrible. You have to have the cryo units always running and wasting even more energy. Sure if you run out in a day, maybe good insulation may work. But that means they need to be resupplied every day. There is zero chance they’ll compete against gasoline and make money.

This temperature is a function of pressure. Most of the energy loss is from the initial liquefaction.

Other steps in the supply chain lose far more energy. The fuel cell stack itself is only 50% efficient at using the energy contained in the hydrogen fuel, so that’s half the energy lost right there.

You can’t point to any single step where “most” of the energy is lost, since 75-80% of it is lost by the time it actually gets converted to electricity to power the FCEV’s motor.

For the sake of accuracy: the energy efficiency of a fuel cell is more like 75%, and will probably go up to 80-85% as the tech improves. Nonetheless, you are correct – every energy conversion process is lossy, so is the fuel cell. That’s why I think fuel cells, if successful, would replace the ICE, not the battery. I am also watching the developments in the supercapacitor field.

That initial cryo takes 2X to 3X energy of compression. Real engineering video that I point to above discusses cryo.

But my point is that gasoline does not require cryo. Even if the production cost is the same, H will have to be more expensive than gasoline. Cryo units to keep at -424F aren’t cheap, and all that plumbing will require regular service.

“You have to have the cryo units always running and wasting even more energy.”

Yup. There are a lot of energy-wasting steps in the supply chain between the H2 being generated and being dispensed into the tank of a fool cell car. Steps that fool cell fanboys keep trying to get us to ignore.

What if the truck that tows that liquified H2 tanker were a Nikola, and could use the evaporating hydrogen to power its fuel cells?

Considering H costs 3X to 5X that of gasoline, powering tanker truck from H would be even more expensive than using fossil fuel. I don’t care about CO2, just give me low cost.

The stations which make their hydrogen on-site via distributed electrolysis remain online. Even so, the outages are not clustered in a particular area; from the H2 iPhone app, there seem to be other stations nearby which have no shortages.

This is another reason to derive hydrogen on-site from solar and wind-powered electrolysis.

Or even better, derive 3x as much electricity from on-site solar and wind

I have to wonder how expensive those sites are… Little hydrogen factories, all over town.

If the amount of H2 generated on-site at H2 fueling stations was sufficient to handle their customers, then the shortage discussed here wouldn’t matter.

The ugly truth is that, contrary to the greenwashing of those promoting the “hydrogen economy” hoax, most of the H2 powering fool cell cars comes from converting a fossil fuel (natural gas) to hydrogen, with an incredible amount of energy loss along the way. Commercially produced H2 from natural gas, which as described here, is trucked in using special expensive cryogenically cooled tanker trucks.

The closer you look at using H2 to fuel fool cell cars, the worse it looks!

I think a source of hydrolyzes-derived hydrogen could be nuclear-, hydro- and geothermal powerplants, because their output is usually even (and/or is hard to modulate), while the demand is certainly variable. So, there is such thing as off-peak excess of electricity, which can be converted to H2 instead of being sold at a discounted price to the consumers.

Hydrogen was a poor (and desperate) attempt by the fossil fuel industry to slow down EV development with something they could produce from fossil fuels and control the distribution. They squandered hundreds of millions on it and they failed.
Toyota/Honda/Hyundai: Please please PLEASE can we finally move on from this nonesense.

The businesses in the LP gas (or Methane, I can’t seem to keep them straight) industry are delivering the raw material for the wholesale manufacture of H2. The shortage would be due to what, exactly? A lack of LP gas or methane? I think not. Willingness, contract negotiations, regulatory changes. What else?

Hidrogen cars, are a very bad solution for first world. I only understand the fuel cell technologie, if we need to use cars were we don’t have electric supply, and instead of using Hydrogen, we use ethanol for example.

Ethanol has its own issues.

We already have an electricity distribution network and know how to generate it efficiently. The problem is that the vested interests don’t have any skin in that game so they are promoting their own solution.

I think we see at this point where that is taking us.

I’d say this is yet another indication of just how impractical it is to try to use compressed hydrogen as an everyday transportation fuel for fool cell cars, but no sensible person would need another indication. The reasons we already had, from basic physics to basic economics to the high level of pollution emitted in the H2 supply chain, were already truckloads more than we needed.

What a Fiasco. Toyota can’t even a miniscule number of FCV on the road supplied with fuel. This sort of thing makes the claims you can fill your vehicle quickly as opposed to ev charging, really makes them look bad.

If they had made them plug-in hybrids then the owners would at least have had an alternative. Even just a L2 charge option wouldn’t add much to the complexity of the car. 10kWh would have easily given over 30 mile range.

Given all the complexities of FCEV, I doubt they’d want to add even more stuff in there. Remember, Mirai that seats 4 weighs about 500 lb more than Bolt/TM3 that seats 5. 10 kWh battery plus supporting hardware would push that even more, may end up weighing more than my van.

Every FCV uses Batteries, anyway, to handle load spikes, or instant acceleration loads, since the Fuel Cell System relies on regulating the fuel flow to adjust power output, and the battery also allows it to have regen braking! So just supersizing that same battery, from the 1-2 or so kWh, up to 8-10 kWh, would be a start of a useful FCV-ER!

You’d need at least 200 to 300 lb of extra stuff, batteries, TMS, inverters (for AC charging), etc. etc. That’ll push Mirai to about 4400lb, heavier than my van. As for FC-ER, if it isn’t so freakishly expensive, I wouldn’t mind “serial-hybrid”. Small 20 kW FC stack coupled 60 kWh battery to drive 300 HP motor for $25K post subsidy would be a great seller. That ain’t happening.

But … But Fuel Cell Cars “Don’t Get Range Anxiety”, we are told! Plus, they can fuel up so quick!

I guess this wpuld be akin to a Leaf or Bolt EV owner being told, they are working to resolve the lack of electricity deliveries to their CHAdeMO or CCS Charging Stations? Something to do with Too many Air Conditioner installations in operation at the same time?

If Toyota found a way to crush and destroy every last one of their Mirais, we could all look forward to a documentary titled “Who Put the Fuel Cell Vehicle Out of Its Misery.”