DOE launches H2USA public-private partnership to deploy hydrogen infrastructure for transportation
13 May 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) launched H2USA—a new public-private partnership focused on advancing hydrogen infrastructure to support more transportation energy options for US consumers, including fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). (Earlier post.)
The new partnership brings together automakers, government agencies, gas suppliers, and the hydrogen and fuel cell industries to coordinate research and identify cost-effective solutions to deploy infrastructure that can deliver affordable, clean hydrogen fuel in the United States.
Current members of the H2USA partnership include the American Gas Association; Association of Global Automakers; the California Fuel Cell Partnership; the Electric Drive Transportation Association; the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association; Hyundai Motor America; ITM Power; Massachusetts Hydrogen Coalition; Mercedes-Benz USA; Nissan North America Research and Development; Proton OnSite; and Toyota Motor North America.
Through H2USA, industry and government partners will focus on identifying actions to encourage early adopters of fuel cell electric vehicles; conduct coordinated technical and market analysis; and evaluate alternative fueling infrastructure that can enable cost reductions and economies of scale.
For example, infrastructure being developed for alternative fuels such as natural gas, as well as fuel cell applications including tri-generation that produce heat, power and hydrogen from natural gas or biogas, may also provide low cost hydrogen for vehicles. In addition, increased fuel cell deployment for combined heat and power, back-up power systems and fuel cell forklifts can help pave the way for mainstream hydrogen vehicle infrastructure.
With support from the DOE, private industry and the Department’s national laboratories have already achieved significant advances in fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, reducing costs and improving performance. These research and development efforts have helped reduce automotive fuel cell costs by more than 35% since 2008 and by more than 80% since 2002. At the same time, fuel cell durability has doubled and the amount of expensive platinum needed in fuel cells has fallen by 80% since 2005.
Fuel cell technologies are an important part of an all-of-the-above approach to diversify America’s transportation sector, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and increase our competitiveness in the global market. By bringing together key stakeholders from across the U.S. fuel cell and hydrogen industry, the H2USA partnership will help advance affordable fuel cell electric vehicles that save consumers money and give drivers more options.—David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
'fuel cell applications including tri-generation that produce heat, power and hydrogen from natural gas or biogas'
One of many reasons why the claim that battery cars are automatically much more frugal in sue of energy than fuel cell vehicles.
The same ill founded claims have been trotted out repeatedly and are based on cherry picked assumptions.
Both fuel cell cars and battery cars currently use around 1MJ/mile.
CHP can improve the efficiency of both, and renewables or nuclear reduce the carbon burden of both.
Posted by: Davemart | 13 May 2013 at 11:34 AM
H2 used in ICEs or Fuel Cells is not viable as a transportation fuel because it is the same as gasoline...it takes far more energy and more processes to condition it for use than the fairly simple process of creating electricity and charging batteries.
All it will take to destroy the myth of burning H2 in cars is Solar generated electricity and higher energy density batteries.
Posted by: Lad | 13 May 2013 at 03:33 PM
As with all successful technology launches, the correct demographic must be targeted and compelling features must be included for early adopters:
- luxury-end vehicles first - sedans and SUVs in the $70k+ range (note the recent success of Tesla vehicles outselling comparable high-end european luxury models, see: CNN money site
- home re-fueling separate or incorporated into whole-home energy. And don't worry about creating cheap entry level systems or push the 'green' aspect of it. Green doesn't sell to mainstream or early-tryers. Your motto is 'skip the station, domestic fuel nation'. Dirty hippies never started any type of worthwhile revolution - push for convenience, image, and self-sufficiency.
Funny that the anti-petrol revolution for high performance PEVs and FCEVs will actually come from those people that commute the most and use the most energy per capita anyway. Market penetration through high-end trickle-down = keep my country highway golf-cart (Leaf/ Volt) free. Such as it is and will always be.
Posted by: Jer | 13 May 2013 at 04:01 PM
If you want to make that claim, back it up with figures and sources.
Posted by: Davemart | 13 May 2013 at 04:26 PM
Short of several unlikely breakthroughs It's my opinion this is years away.
Been a lot of work done in coping with all of H2s handling problems.
Posted by: Lucas | 13 May 2013 at 05:15 PM
@Davemart, searching "solar EV" exceeds 52 million.
Try searching(or spotting) "H2 fuel cell vehicles".
Posted by: kelly | 13 May 2013 at 05:17 PM
I've been through this exercise too many times and see no need to prove it over and over; seems to me stating the obvious is good enough for those who keep up with technology.
Posted by: Lad | 13 May 2013 at 11:21 PM
Lets say a typical fuel cell car customer plans to drive 15k miles a year. At between 50 and 100 miles per kg of h2 that's 150-300 kilos of h2 per year. So even if it were 10 a pop its 1500 to 3k per year.... so fuel cost isn't an issue. Anyone saying otherwise is just being crazy.
Car price... 50-100k per early on falling as the thing ramps up... even at 100k per that's still tesla cost and the range is beyond tesla range...
A lot of people will buy these things and the costs will drop.
Posted by: wintermane2000 | 14 May 2013 at 01:11 AM
A recent UBC study concluded that:
1. the average ICEV uses 2.4 MJ/Km
2. the average BEV uses 0.82 MJ/Km in BC, Manitoba and Quebec. (see note 1.)
3. the average ICEV emits CO2 at 176 g/km
4. the avg BEV produces CO2 at 4.4 g/KM in BC, MAN and QB
5. the avg BEV produces CO2 at 35 g/KM in the rest of Canada
1) The majority of the electricity in BC, Man and QB is produced by Hydro power plants.
2) BEVs net CO2 emissions are less where hydro/wind/solar/nuclear are used to produce the electricity.
Posted by: HarveyD | 14 May 2013 at 07:18 AM
" searching "solar EV" exceeds 52 million."
Same bogus story repeated 52 million times.
HFCV and BEV are MIA. Truely some rich guy spending money on useless toys in more interesting than a waitress getting to work in a ICE powered Honda.
Posted by: Kit P | 14 May 2013 at 12:51 PM
KitP...many future small BEVs will cost so little that all waitresses will have one. Walmart, Target and Amazon may sell them. Three wheels units will sell below $7K.
Five year old boys will drive smaller $5K units instead of shooting their sisters and brothers with their new gun.
Posted by: HarveyD | 14 May 2013 at 05:17 PM
FCEVs are way behind. Had they actually tried to invent solutions to the many real problems in previous efforts they may have been at a better point now. However, fuel cell vehicles were always just a fake effort to make people think the car companies and the oil companies cared about something other than profits and keeping the country hooked on their dirty product. No one ever intended that they be commercialized. Now it's too late, they lost the race. For some commuters, several EVs have reached a point where cost to own and operate is less than a four cylinder econobox. Now, granted, new car buyers don't typically care about costs, but some do, and that's enough. Too bad too, since the poor suckers working at walmart could sure use a fuel efficient car and not some cast off monster SUV that eats their pay checks like Chris Christie devours donuts.
Posted by: Brotherkenny4 | 15 May 2013 at 08:54 AM
Early on fuel cells were mostly a safeguard in case bad things happened. In case of emergency fund h2 stuff... sort of thing.
When bush entered the fray it was mostly a get this ready before peak oil sort of thing.
Its JOB is to expand into place before peak oil hits us hard so we can transition things over to it. So its not late as peak oil hasn't hammered us yet.
Now as its fuel doesn't cost much per year and the cars while not cheap arnt massively spendy we should see it start to expand as soon as they start offering them and that should be at the time they set waaaay back in the 90s.. 2015..ish.
Posted by: wintermane2000 | 15 May 2013 at 11:16 AM
Could FCEVs and BEVs co-exist and progressively replace ICEVs in the post-2020 era? The transition period normally last 30 to 40 years.
FCEVs may be the preferred solution for long haul trucks, buses, trains, ships and heavy machinery? The Hydrogen infrastructure required could be limited to major highways intersections and major users depot.
BEVs may be the most beneficial solution for cars, VUS, city delivery vehicles, taxis, city buses, Postal Service vehicles etc. The electricity grid already exist and installing a few million ultra quick public chargers over 20+ years would not be a major challenge. Installing 200+ million small private overnight chargers over the same period is not a real challenge either.
Closing down and cleaning up the existing gasoline and diesel pump stations will be costly but past (very high) profits can be used to do it.
Posted by: HarveyD | 16 May 2013 at 07:56 AM
The answer is yes.
FCEV's and BEV's are complementary to each other to exploit zero-carbon energy. H2 is important to large vehicles or vehicles requiring longer daily travel distances. The existing grid can support both BEV's and FCEV's, so infrastructure costs for FCV's and BEV's will be minimal. Existing gasoline stations can also be used to supply H2 dispensing and BEV fast charging, as well as dispensing gasoline and diesel fuels. The transition can be smooth so that different types of vehicles can be serviced at existing gas stations.
Posted by: Roger Pham | 16 May 2013 at 10:22 AM
It depends on how fast the network of h2 stations need to go up. With the h2 pipeline networks growing rapidly its likely a lot of places you want an h2 station will be close enough to a pipe for a trunk line to be put in to directly feed the station.
For faster network build they likely plan to truck the h2 from nearby pipelines or nearby h2 sources.. remember h2 is used dang near everywhere so every large city has a source somewhere in it..
The real question is how fast will all the equipment needed for the system.. pumps tanks pipes.. get cheaper due to increased production rates and improved designs..
That by the way is WHY the industry is going slow at first.. if they wait say 10 years before doing the big push they can build the network for 1/3rd or even 1/5th the price.
Posted by: wintermane2000 | 16 May 2013 at 12:47 PM
Much faster H2 dispenser can make H2 on the spot from electricity from the grid. To use excess renewable energy, a network connection can send signal to the electrolyzer as to when to start making H2 when a surplus of wind or solar energy is detected. In this way, FCV's can have very low carbon footprint even using existing grid connection to obtain energy with very little investment into H2 infrastructure.
Higher volume of H2 consumption will require a local H2 pipeline system and undergrounds storage caverns for residential, business and industrial use.
Posted by: Roger Pham | 16 May 2013 at 08:14 PM
Well already one of the stations in California is directly connected to the pipeline network. I just expect where possible they will site stations near as possible to existing or planned pipeline routes.
Posted by: wintermane2000 | 16 May 2013 at 08:46 PM