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CaFCP report concludes California needs 68 hydrogen fueling stations by end of 2015 to support first commercial wave of fuel cell vehicles

Map of 68 hydrogen fueling stations: existing, in development and needed. Source: CaFCP. Click to enlarge.

To support the planned commercial launch of fuel cell electric vehicles by automakers in 2015 (FCEVs), California needs 68 hydrogen fueling stations in five clusters in which most early adopters are expected, according to a new report issued by the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP). These 68 stations should be in place by the end of 2015 in order to serve adequately the first approximately 20,000 FCEVs, the report finds.

The total cost to expand to 68 stations, and provide operations and maintenance support until the stations become profitable is estimated at $65 million. The initial cluster areas—requiring 45 stations—are Berkeley, San Francisco South Bay, Santa Monica/West Los Angeles, coastal Southern Orange County, and Torrance. An additional 23 stations in areas such as Pasadena and Sacramento will connect these clusters into a regional network and include major destinations such as Napa, Santa Barbara and San Diego.

With an estimated 53,000 vehicles on the road in the 2017 timeframe, more than 100 stations would be necessary to ensure the network has enough capacity for these additional vehicles. Building additional stations or completing station upgrades to meet market demands will likely be necessary by the end 2017 to serve this expected FCEV population, the report finds.

The report, A California Road Map: The Commercialization of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles, represents a collaborative and collective effort by stakeholders from industry, academia, non-governmental organizations and government to design a pragmatic road map for hydrogen station placement. It outlines the necessary steps for the vehicle and infrastructure market as it progresses through pre-commercial (2012-2014) and early commercialization (2015-2017).

The infrastructure deployment strategy described in this road map relies on ten years of lessons learned by industry and government during the initial deployment of FCEVs. This real-world experience was complemented by significant contributions from the University of California at Davis for stakeholder and cluster model research, and the STREET [Spatially and Temporally Resolved Energy and Environment Tool] computer modeling developed by the University of California at Irvine. This multi-pronged approach established the minimum number stations needed to provide convenient and reliable fueling for early FCEV customers. Initial station deployments will focus on key markets, linking these geographic clusters into regional networks, and further expanding into new vehicle markets and targeted destinations.

—“A California Road Map”

Determining the number and location of the the stations during the early commercialization phase was based on two guiding principles: station coverage and capacity utilization.

  • Station coverage establishes a local network by placing adequate fueling outlets in key markets.

  • Capacity utilization supports technology development, minimizes risk to station operators and builds business models to lower overall station costs. Sufficient utilization ensures station operators have a chance to make their business profitable.

Technical and non-technical factors influencing the specific placement of a hydrogen station include footprint, station performance characteristics and complementary uses.

The CaFCP team defined a robust network of hydrogen stations within each cluster as the number and location of strategically located hydrogen stations that a driver can access in six minutes or less of driving. This equates to having hydrogen outlets at 5-7% of the existing gasoline stations in the cluster. (The current gasoline infrastructure provides access in four minutes of driving time or less in all five cluster regions.)

The six-minute maximum travel time is based on previous optimization research, driver behavior surveys and a need to balance network coverage with network cost.

Analyses of alternative fuel stations have concluded that roughly 5% of the existing network of gasoline stations would need to offer hydrogen to allay drivers’ concerns, a metric which can be applied to each cluster or region.

Careful optimization of hydrogen stations is equally as important as the total number of stations offering hydrogen, where optimized locations are determined using driving time with the existing road infrastructure, the report notes. Using these criteria, this assessment determined a cumulative total of 45 stations would be required in the five clusters in California. To ensure infrastructure is available to customers in these markets, additional hydrogen stations are required to merge the clusters into a regional network.



Fuel cells and hydrogen are simply far more efficient and practical for moving large weights long distances than batteries
But it's going to be less efficient than electrified highways.  The expense of building out an entirely new fuel infrastructure has to be considered, plus the risks of tying ourselves to a small set of energy supplies; only a few feedstocks are practical for making hydrogen, but everything that can make hydrogen can also make electricity.

Reliance on petroleum has gotten us into quite a pickle.  I'd rather go as far in the direction of supply diversity as is practical, and electricity is about as far as you can get.

Kit P

“Where is any foundation at all for your absurd claims of no deaths from air pollution in the US? ”

US air quality is very good, try this link which I check weekly.

Even if you except absurd studies, the level of pollution today is below the threshold of harm.

Today there is a couple of places where the air quality if very bad as a result of wild fires.

There is another way to look at premature death. If you are susceptible to air pollution would buy a BEV or some place that had good air quality.


The most detailed analysis of the costs of hydrogen infrastructure and everything else to do with the hydrogen economy I have seen to date is here:
The data they use is only up to 2009 though.

I am leaning more and more against large battery packs.
Here is the NPC's analysis of that and PHEV:

I agree that the electric highway, if we can get it working, would be a better solution.


@Kit P:
You ask for links to studies, then ignore them when they are provided.

Since I have great difficulty breathing when subjected to the 'harmless' fumes from these vehicles, I am not interested in your ludicrous claims.
I have however tracked them down to the industry apologists who distort the results of actual medical studies:

'Enstrom, who in the past has received research funding from industries opposed to stricter air quality regulations, said the costs of these regulations are “only justified if it’s killing people.” “The other morbidities associated with (air pollution) are lung problems, hospitalizations, asthma, and those don’t amount to enough to affect the cost-benefit ratios,” he said.

In a November letter to the Office of Management and Budget, U.S. Reps. Andy Harris, R-Md., and Paul Broun, R-Ga., both physicians, also challenged the agency’s “troubling scientific and economic accounting practices” that “appear designed to provide political cover for a more stringent regulatory agenda rather than to objectively inform policy decisions.”'

These studies are no exaggerated linear no threshold models, but proper and rigorous evaluations.

Your defence of them, and other apologists, are about as convincing as the years long rear guard action against cigarettes being shown to be harmful, or lead in petrol.

Pedal your claptrap elsewhere.
When the fumes from cars stop me breathing, I am not interested in your mendacious folly.

Kit P

“Stationary heat engines are typically more efficient than ICEs used in vehicles, ”

Before applying logic E-P you may want to understand the entire process. You are not a very good engineer if you do not understand all the factors related to energy efficiencies.

There other tactic that both HFCV and BEV is to cherry pick data. This is possible because of the dirth of real data. If a driver gets 90 miles per battery charge on one trip and 60 miles on anther trip, there is a large variability in practical efficiencies.

People love to compare proven to not yet practical. Maybe actual data will support HFCV and BEV but any claims now are baseless.


The real good news is we are likely to have you all shut the heck up within 2 years as the first of these cars finaly come to market and finaly prove if they actualy do in fact work or not.


"within 2 years" ???

That would be way ahead of most predictions.


How about 2020 for practical/affordable BEVs and FC/PHEVs?

Meanwhile good HEVs (Toyota's, Ford's etc) may have to do to reduce liquid fuel by 50% or so.


ai vin several makers plan to push the plan up a year or more so we are likely to see some of them even in late 2013. Looks very likely we will see several in 2014.


The press release you quote talked of a "future", underdetermined date, when the cost, not the market price, of such a FCEV vehicle would cost "only" 138,000 Euros for the powerplant.

Add typical markup and marketing percentages, margins, and exhorbitant Socialist taxes, and we are at about 1/3 of a million price to the customer.

[sarc on] Certainly, that price will produce GARGANTUAN sales in the market place. [sarc off]

One of the reasons the PGNV suffered cost inflation was the governemntal political interference, by incompetent green deamgogues, with zero technical qualifications but a pet idea, and political connections.

For example, the Rocky Mountain guru, so beloved of Green loons, the master-mind author, and murderer of millions of Chinese in Mao Tsetung's backyard blast furnace debacle, also insisted on replacing the building materials of the PGNVs with exotic, non-recyclable, Carbon Fiber to save a few pounds of wweight. It also ran the cost up several hundred thousands per vehicle.

Long before the FCEV becomes a practical price competitor, the PHEV will be the customer price equivalent of an ICE powered vehicle. The marketplace decides winners and losers. Provided that twerps like Ms. Nichols and Dr. Quack at CARB, don't interfere with politically motivated mandates.

Kit P

“You ask for links to studies, then ignore them when they are provided.”

Davemart I did not ask for any links, you provided some suggesting that all you have to do is provides some links to prove a point.

Davemart is one of those people who like to misrepresent what people say then call them lairs.

“'harmless' fumes ”

Not what I said. It is the dose that make the poison. One popular way to kill oneself is to run your car in a closed garage. All the studies also show that there is a level below which no harm is detected. Maybe Davemart lives in polluted cesspoop but the air quality is good where I live.

I suspect that Davemart did not bother to actually read the study. I have never received a penny from the fossil industry and invested time and money in graduate level environmental engineering courses to work toward solving environmental problems. When Davemart says thousands are being killed. I want to know who and where. Maybe I can something about it or at least prevent it from happening to my family.

So what does the study actually say.

“Among populations aged 65–99, we estimate nearly 1.1 million life years lost from PM2.5 exposure and approximately 36,000 life years lost from ozone exposure. ”

What! Nobody is being killed. If you are 65, your life expectancy at birth was 59. This may be a shock to Davemart but old people die all the time.

“Among the 10 most populous counties, the percentage of deaths attributable to PM2.5 and ozone ranges from 3.5% in San Jose to 10% in Los Angeles. ”

What! Next they will comparing deaths due to shoveling snow in Detroit compared to San Jose. San Jose and LA have different climates. The model did not consider high summer temperature which is a factor in pollution and old people dying.

“PM2.5 and ozone impose a nontrivial level of mortality risk, particularly when compared to other causes of death. For example, while this analysis estimates between 130,000 and 340,000 PM2.5 and ozone-attributable deaths from 2005 air quality, in this same year there were approximately 120,000 deaths due to accidents, 72,000 deaths due to Alzheimer's, and 63,000 deaths due to influenza.”

The risk of dying from an accident or influenza are real. The risk in a model is not real.

The purpose of studying risk is to reduce risk. For example, wearing a seat belt or getting a flue vaccine reduces risk if you are 'among populations aged 65–99'. That is why I do it.

So what does when he has trouble breathing? Does he find a place that has clean air? No he advocates adopting expensive impractical ideas rather than cost effective solutions that improve the quality of life for many.

Roger Pham

"The press release you quote talked of a "future", underdetermined date, when the cost, not the market price, of such a FCEV vehicle would cost "only" 138,000 Euros for the powerplant."

For those who do not keep up with the latest in "Green" technologies, the current cost of FC stack is $50/kW and projected to come down to $35 in the next several years. For a FCV with 100 kW of total power, of which 60 kW from the FC stack and 40 kW from the battery, then the current cost of the FC power plant will be 60kW x $50/kW= only $3,000, or on par with current ICE having the latest in emission control.

When we will eventually move on to all-renewable-energy (all-RE) economy with BEV's, PHEV's and FCV's for transportation, then all talks about air quality and air pollution and environmental pollution like oil spills will be moot.

The move to all-RE economy can be very simple and painless: Simply replace all planned new fossil-fueled power plants with solar, wind, or nuclear power plants. There should be a national drive toward this goal and major ramp up of production of solar collectors and wind turbines and H2 electrolyzers and H2 storage and H2-compatible pipeline and H2-dispensing infrastructure.

All current owners, investors and workers of fossil-fueled power industry should not worry since under this plan, their jobs and their investments will be safe, while gradually steering their future investments and expertise onward to RE facilities and technologies.

The transition to an all-RE economy will be gradual but will create a lot of new jobs since RE is labor intensive on the local level while having no fuel costs, which is an imported item from the site of production to the site of consumption. AS such, RE will be very good for the local economy everywhere RE is applied and preserving local job base that will prevent social degradation from joblessness that will lead to crime and domestic violence.

When Green technologies will be applied in economically-sound strategies and approaches, Green technologies will save humanity from all current environmental and economic and social problems. Thus, Greenies will be the new saviours of humanity.

You are not a very good engineer if you do not understand all the factors related to energy efficiencies.
... says the clown who refuses to provide any reference or figures for his assertion.

It's a fact that CCGTs have exceeded 62% thermal efficiency (LHV).  Peak vehicle ICE efficiency is around 40%, in part because they're smaller, in part because they have to be responsive and use compact radiators (ruling out many techniques like bottoming cycles).

Oh, and the word is "dearth".

By the time H2 gets very far, we'll be into the third generation of PHEVs from multiple manufacturers.  The ubiquity of electricity is always going to trump H2; you can even make it yourself.


Roger, I suspect that the ICE in a PHEV can be made a lot cheaper than an equivalent fuel cell (Fiat's TwinAir has only 2 cylinders for about half the parts count of a 4-banger).  The battery will be necessary for both.

From there, it comes down to the steadily declining price of batteries vs. the capital and feedstock costs of the supplementary fuels.  We've already paid for the infrastructure for liquid fuels, and can switch from petroleum to alcohols at little cost.  Adding hydrogen means building everything new, supplying a fuel with a relatively high cost per MJ.  It really does look to me like the Bush/Cheney administration picked hydrogen because it is the WORST competitor to petroleum; they knew its (lack of) merits and chose it on that basis.

Kit P


Over and over you compare a the efficiencies of stationary power plants to ICE used in transportation. That makes you are really bad engineer and stupid poet.

The most efficient from of transportation is the milk cow. It uses 100% renewable energy and is totally practical and proven. Riding a milk cow is good exercise too, Then there is the added benefit of the milk. What you family does not use you can sell.

There is a problem with milk cow transportation, milk cows do not go very far.. Oh wait, neither do BEV.

Of course being a stupid engineer E-P suggests that PHEV. Add an ICE to a BEV. Being an excellent engineer, I know it takes energy to accelerate mass. Adding batteries adds mass, therefor just hauling around batteries reduces efficiencies.

This the problem with generalities and statistics. We have to look at how individuals use transportation. Say you happen to dive less than 20 miles per day 90% of the time, will a PHEV save energy?

Notice that I said , energy not gasoline at the pump. You have to include at how much energy it took make the gasoline and transport it where you buy it. The whole chain of events that use energy must be considered.

When considering PHEV in the electric mode, you have to look at the grid. I love those who pretend that their grid electricity is renewable energy or the most efficient fossil plant. All those old coal plants provide power to the tea party folks.

Shall we ignore transmission loses, charging system losses, battery losses, and motor losses? If you do not design for the heat dissipated in E-P 100% perfect world, you are going to have one nasty fire.

As good engineers we can over come all of these problems. PHEV or FCEV can meet transportation needs. When Kit P buys his wife a new car, she wants a Corolla. Gosh, shall we consider one of those 'green' PHEV or FCEV for twice the price?

I am an engineer, I would like to see some independent data first. If my company or government wants to provide incentives offset the cost so we can collect the information, I would love to participate. You want skeptics to collect data, not the terminally gullible.

There is a problem with milk cow transportation, milk cows do not go very far..
Do I have you confused with someone else, or didn't you say you have a rather short commute?  It seems that you ought to be riding a milk cow to work by your own logic.
Of course being a stupid engineer E-P suggests that PHEV. Add an ICE to a BEV. Being an excellent engineer, I know it takes energy to accelerate mass. Adding batteries adds mass, therefor just hauling around batteries reduces efficiencies.
Being an exemplar of the Dunning-Kruger effect, Kit P. fails to acknowledge that his thesis has long since been refuted by technology shipping in product for over a decade.  I refer to the Honda Insight, Toyota Prius, and various Ford and GM hybrid vehicles.  Adding batteries added mass to these vehicles, but the efficiency went up because losses were cut.

Turning the HEV into a PHEV may not technically increase "efficiency", but it allows more efficient prime movers than the vehicle can carry (e.g. CCGT).  It also allows "flex-fuel" to an extent impossible with a vehicle reliant on liquid fuels.  The owner of a Volt can get power from Marcellus gas, Altamont wind and Diablo canyon uranium.  This increases flexibility and economic and military security.

Roger Pham

Agree with you that at the moment, ICE for a PHEV is cheaper than an equivalent FC stack plus H2 tank and all hardwares. That's why I project that ICE will be with us for quite a long time into the future. However, in 10-15 years, no one can predict how low can the cost of FC will go, upon mass production of FCV's.

Furthermore, when the FC is affordable for a good segment of the market, then many people will prefer it over the ICE in spite of a little extra cost, due to the vibration-free and near-silent operation and completely free of exhaust emission and perhaps lower maintenance. Likewise, FC is great for home CHP purpose, for similar obvious reasons, and this will allows mass production with resultant cost reduction for automotive use.

The H2 infrastructure will be essential for the future all-renewable-energy economy, as means for seasonal storage of intermittent sources of renewable energy, whether we will use FCV or not.
We can plan for the H2 infratructure today by making all new NG pipelines to replace current old and corroded piping to be H2-compatible. Then, we will increasingly add the H2 to the NG circuit upon more penetration of renewable energy. We can also further specify that all CNG dispensers at retail filling stations to be H2-compatible. The momentum now is to use CNG for transportation. When we will have enough renewable-energy generators to support 100% of our energy demands, then we can shut off the NG and stop the mining of coal, and we will use H2 for energy storage of excess renewable energy and use H2 for transportation and back-up power generation and home heating and hot-water heating via residential-based FC-CHP generators. All these transitions will create a lot of desperately-need jobs everywhere in the world, from Greece, Spain to even China. Jobs are required for social stability, so the question of cost is moot.

So, eventually, FCV's will tag along for the ride with cost-free infrastructure development.

Kit P

E-P should be riding a cow based on his logic not mine.

Fuel use is just one factor. Since I do not enjoy time spent commuting, I live close to work. Since the time I spend commuting is short, having an expensive to make my commute more comfortable or more efficient is not important.

Furthermore my thesis still holds. E-P confuses marketing with data. While he lowered the bar to hybrids, he missed two points. One is hybrids are not selling very well. Consumer acceptance is less that muscle cars. Second, there is not data to indicate that higher cost is paid back better fuel economy.

PHEV are even more expensive. While I work in the power industry and have not problem increasing energy market share, I am not going spend $20k more because some dipstick thinks it is an interesting theory.

Hauling batteries around is about the worse idea I can think. Just think E-P how much you could improve military security by riding a cow to work.

E-P should be riding a cow based on his logic not mine
Nope, quite the opposite.  I already addressed the efficiency issue of draft animals vs. ICEs (ICEs win, especially for idling losses) 3 years ago.

Since we've seen that Kit P. can't even look up my previous work on this exact subject, it appears that I'm having a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.  Hey, if he opens his mouth and removes all doubt, is that my fault?

While he lowered the bar to hybrids, he missed two points. One is hybrids are not selling very well.
The Twït misconstrues the use of a case in point as any change in the bar, and then changes to the irrelevant subject of sales when the criterion HE set above was efficiency.
there is not data to indicate that higher cost is paid back better fuel economy.
He also fails to do anything as simple as a search on "Prius payback time", which immediately yields ample evidence that hybrids are economically justified.
Hauling batteries around is about the worse idea I can think.
Your car has a recoil starter?
Just think E-P how much you could improve military security by riding a cow to work.
I'm sure everyone here is glad you are not consulted on matters of military security.

Kit P

“Since we've seen that Kit P. can't even look up my previous work on this exact subject, it appears that I'm having a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.”

Maybe I need to be more direct. I am mocking E-P. I think he is a very bad engineer. Maybe he should reserve his comments for his field of experience which does not appear to be energy. It is like a hobby for him. I do not spend too much time at TOD because it is a tin hat club with infrequent informative post.

Batteries are a terrible idea. They are expensive, heavy, very inefficient, and hazardous to the environment if not recycled properly. When we reduce the cost, the weight, improve efficiency, have good recycling, have a grid that is not from fossil fuel, and run out of oil; then maybe if biofuels can not meet demand will BEV be a good idea.

"Prius payback time"

E-P provided a link to a USA TODAY story featuring a Buick and a Lincoln. I did check at the gubbermint web site that says “Hybrids Can Save You Money”.

Buying a 5 passenger Corolla that gets about the same mileage as Buick and a Lincoln DID save me $15k.

“which immediately yields ample evidence that hybrids are economically justified.”

When you check, the evidence does not support the claim. Even the Camry vs Camry Hybrid has a grater than 7 year pay back..

“I'm sure everyone here is glad you are not consulted on matters of military security. ”

I was a navy line officer specializing in nuclear propulsion. I will be glad to discuss pro & cons of nuclear propulsion with respect to military security from a personal perspective.

Since E-P brought military security without providing any reason to connect PHEV, I think mocking him with the cow bit was much funnier than his response that I do not consult on military security.


Too many Kit P in the armed forces may be the reason why USA is loosing so many wars. People with more pragmatic and flexible approaches would not put foot soldiers on the ground in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia, Iran, the Middle East and Africa. Why not spend the money for more air support, including many more pilot-less crafts-bombers etc and let the locals fight their own wars on the ground and kill themselves if they like to.

Electrified personal vehicles is the future. The more immediate solutions may be HEVs and PHEVs but post 2020/2025 will see pure BEVs gaining over ICEVs, HEVs and PHEVs. Producing enough clean e-power is not a real challenge.

FCs are not dead but would benefit fixed power installations and heavy transport vehicles better. Their niche market may well be long range inter-city buses, long range heavy trucks, locomotives, heavy machinery, ships, etc.


Twït P. attempts to mock, but like most exhibitors of the Dunning-Kruger effect, it falls flat.  He has to backpedal from "there is not data to indicate that higher cost is paid back better fuel economy" to "the Camry vs Camry Hybrid has a grater [sic] than 7 year pay back" (meanwhile the Lincoln MKZ hybrid pays back from day 1).

I think the funniest thing is that he suggests the Toyota Corolla as a substitute for a Lincoln.  That's self-mockery on a level he never could have done deliberately, and the obtuseness makes it all the better.

Roger Pham

25,925 - 14,800 = $11,125
That's the amount of dollars saved by improving mpg from a standard C-max of 27 mpg to a C-max hybrid of 47 mpg, after 200,000-mile life of the car at $3.5/gal of gasoline cost. The C-max probably retails at 22,000 while the C-max hybrid retails at 26,000, so, about $4,000 different in purchasing price. The hybrid version will save a lot in term of maintenance cost, having no transmission and no clutches, and having no trouble-prone bushed alternator and starter like in a conventional ICEV, and the brakes in a HEV will last for the life of the car because they are used so sparingly, and the A/C compressor is electrically-driven meaning that it is hermetically sealed and does not suffer from freon leakage via the shaft, and the water pump, another trouble-prone item, is electrically-driven in the latest HEV's, meaning that it, too, will be much more trouble-free due to elimination of leakage via the drive shaft.

All in all, a HEV will offer much more fuel-cost savings as well as saving on maintenance costs as well as offers much more reliability than a conventional ICEV. The reliability improvement alone would worth the $4,000 price differential. The saving in fuel cost is an extra bonus that will make U smile every time U pass by a gas station. The C-Max Energi PHEV costs more than the HEV version, but, it, too, will have an overall cost not more than the HEV version due to the energy cost differential between gasoline and grid electricity. In the Energi PHEV, you'll get both the pride of avoiding petroleum use as well as the saving in energy cost in a greater extent than in the HEV version. I'd say that the PHEV version is very well worth the extra price premium and can save the owner ~$10,000 in overall cost during the 200,000-mile life of the car.

Kit P

“I think the funniest thing is that he suggests the Toyota Corolla as a substitute for a Lincoln.”

Arrogant thinking like his is why Detroit is not longer dominant in the auto industry. There is no reason that a luxury 5 passenger car has to be big or expensive. Our Corolla is a luxury car because it has all the luxuries we want without expensive stuff that breaks and adds weight to the car.

The reason we bought a new Corolla was that I could not find a cheap used one. I checked Kelly Blue Book. My wife’s Corolla has only deprecated a few thousand dollars. I checked KBB for the 5 passenger Lincoln of the same years. The Lincoln deprecated more than we paid for our Corolla.

So if you are making a choice in 2012, go with saving $10k on the sticker price for a quality car that gets good mileage. Be skeptical of exaggerated mileage claims. You will be in good company too. You see a lot more Corollas and Civics then you will hybrid.

Be proud of the $10k that saved at the dealer. Maybe E-P thinks you should be proud of driving an overpriced status symbol. I think E-P and Detroit should be ashamed of letting the Japanese adopt the ideas of Edwards Deming 30 years before they did.

A quality product will cost less.

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