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New Linde hydrogen station officially begins operating in Emeryville, CA

Linde’s newest hydrogen fueling station has officially begun operating at AC Transit’s Emeryville, California, municipal bus operating division, fueling 12 fuel cell buses and up to 20 passenger cars a day. This is the first public hydrogen fueling station in the San Francisco Bay area.

AC Transit is the transit bus operator for 13 cities in the East Bay Area, including Emeryville, Oakland and Berkeley, and also operates trans-bay service to San Francisco.

The Emeryville hydrogen fueling station, which began operating in late 2011, is one of two Linde is supplying to AC Transit. The second, located at the Oakland operating division, is expected to begin operating in 2013. Both stations are part of AC Transit’s HyRoad project, which seeks to demonstrate the commercial viability of hydrogen fuel cell technology for the public transport industry.

Replacing diesel with hydrogen fuel eliminates vehicle tailpipe emissions. The California Air Resources Board estimates that fuel cell buses will deliver a net reduction of 2.7 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile using hydrogen reformed from methane, and 6.3 pounds per mile using hydrogen derived from solar, wind, or other renewable sources. Each bus is projected to travel 36,000 miles per year, reducing carbon emissions by 44 metric tons per year when using methane as a source of fuel, or 103 metric tons using renewables.

The station meets industry needs for fast fueling and includes both 700 and 350 bar fueling. Daimler, which has tested fuel cell cars at the station on several occasions, described the station as:

...the best we have filled at in the United States. Performance-wise, it meets the Daimler requirement of a three-to-four minute complete fill with a delivered gas temperature of -40 °C, the best available today. In addition to fill performance, the station reliably demonstrated the capability to fill four fuel cell vehicles back-to-back.

—Rosario Beretta, general manager, Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc.



For buses and taxis hydrogen fuel cells already put up a good case.
You can't afford to have them stand idle whilst a battery charges.
It is horses for courses in my view.


I'd like to see a comparison of battery-swap systems vs. fuel cells for taxis, and overhead charging bars for buses.  Electrolytic hydrogen is always going to be expensive, so this looks like the natural gas industry trying to lock itself in as the supplier of preference.


Well ep the way the mass transit sees it fuel cell busses are a perfect replacement for diesel busses. So all they care about is how the new busses shape up vs old busses... so far the numbers are very good and only getting better.


That depends whether you define "perfect" as "just like the current model but with a `green' fuel" or "lowest cost of ownership and/or best security of energy supply going forward".

It's hard to beat the security of electricity; you can make it from falling water to splitting atoms and everything in between.


Id say the main limiter for bev busses is the batteries have to go on the roof so it greatly limits range keeping open a large set of routes only servicable by fuel cell busses or fossil fuel busses. So large a gap that most zev mandates basicaly force large fuel cell fleets to be deployed soon.


Fuel cell buses are one of those clean air issues. Electric buses make sense in some areas, we still have electric light rail with the ugly overhead wires.

I am glad to see fuel cell buses being developed. I like CNG diesel buses better than diesel buses and I bet I would like fuel cell and electric buses even more.

It does not matter much to me if they use electric and/or fuel cell, I am just glad they are doing it and I hope that they do even more. Arguing about it does not help make it happen.


The deal with fuel-cell buses is that they only address buses.  Those only move people.  What about everything else on the roads that a city needs in order to function?

The major remaining issues are freight delivery, garbage collection and (in the north and higher elevations) snow removal.  I recall reading about an effort to use a streetcar system to transport freight in small containers.  Perhaps such a system could also move dumpsters on flatbed trailers.

I suspect that the full potential of many such systems is not just undeveloped, it's not even understood by the people in charge of them.  The improvements could be large and rapid if that mentality changed.

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