Air Liquide announces locations of first four of 12 hydrogen fueling stations in northeast US; Blue Hydrogen

08 April 2016

Air Liquide announced the locations of four public hydrogen fueling stations planned for the northeastern region of the United States. The stations are the first of twelve hydrogen stations planned by Air Liquide in the northeast United States, in collaboration with Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc.

Initially, the network of hydrogen stations will span approximately 300 miles across five states and will support the introduction of hydrogen FCEVs on the East Coast, including the Toyota Mirai. The stations are slated to open to the public by early 2017.

Air Liquide has entered long-term lease agreements for hydrogen stations in the following cities:

• Hartford, Connecticut
• Braintree, Massachusetts
• Mansfield, Massachusetts
• Bronx, New York

The hydrogen supplied by Air Liquide will be produced off-site and delivered to the stations. The stations, designed and constructed by Air Liquide, will be capable of fueling a hydrogen FCEV in approximately 5 minutes and will offer a typical vehicle fueling experience. Hydrogen FCEVs can have a range of more than 300 miles (500 km) per fill, depending on the model. The stations have the capacity to support other auto manufacturers as they begin to bring hydrogen FCEVs into the region.

This initiative is the latest in the company’s current portfolio of hydrogen fuel cell energy activities in the US and across North America, which also include public and private hydrogen stations in California and a number of fleet fueling projects for public buses and warehouse vehicles.

Air Liquide masters the entire hydrogen supply chain, from production to storage and from distribution to the development of applications for end users. To date, more than 75 hydrogen fueling stations have been designed and installed by Air Liquide worldwide.

Blue Hydrogen. With its “Blue Hydrogen” initiative, Air Liquide is moving towards a gradual decarbonization of its hydrogen production dedicated to energy applications. In practical terms, Air Liquide has made a commitment to produce at least 50% of the hydrogen necessary to these applications through carbon-free processes by 2020, by combining: biogas reforming, the use of renewable energies during water electrolysis, and the use of technologies for the capture and upgrading of carbon emitted during the process of producing hydrogen from natural gas.

rockfeller wouldn't have do that because it need subsidies and it's not the future. We need something better. We need synthetic gasoline instead, the infrastructure is already here without subsidies. Hydrogen is a mayhem because the cars, the researchs, the infrastructure is costly and need subsidies and like evs it only apply to small personnal cars contrary to petrol that fuel everything.

At least remove the subsidies and if Toyota want to pursue, than let them go with their costly mirai.

Early 40 inch flat TVs cost $10+K. Some 20 years latter, the same/equivalent Hisense TV (but better) cost only$300.

Early model printers cost over $2000 and today's higher quality units are offered as low as$40.

REs, FCs and clean H2 price will not drop by 33 to 40 times in the next few years but could drop 3 to 5 times and that would be enough to compete against CPPs, NGPPs, ICEVs and all weather extended range BEVs.

Clean H2 stations with lower pressure SS storage will multiply in most countries by 2020.

Stopping progress, specially for the development of greener vehicles, will be very difficult. Oilcos, ICEVs supporters and the Great Old Party will fail.

Its good to see that they are planning on exceeding California's 33% mandate for hydrogen from renewables.

So if you have one of these vehicles on the East coast, you have at most two fueling stations in your state.  Also, nothing regarding price.

This is a long, long way from being serious.  Meanwhile, there are more than 300k reservations for Tesla Model 3's in addition to the S and X, Chevy Bolt, Focus EV, and all the PHEVs out there.

As for me personally, I just got my fuel economy back over 1000 MPG for the current tank of fuel, and 135 MPG lifetime (per the trip computer).

Approaching 13,000 EV charging stations and half million EVs and that number set to explode with the Model III and other 200 mile range EVs.

And people still want to waste money on H2? Sigh.

EP, Dave D:

You both seem to operate from the precept that any system which is not battery cars has to spring fully formed from the brow of Zeus.

Anything would.

Rightly so Davemart:

One has to go back as little as 10 years ago to count public quick charge e-stations on a single hand.

Small countries like Denmark will soon have more H2 stations (from REs) than Canada/USA combined.

We may be late starting but we will catch up by 2018 or so. It may be 2020 or so before we catch up with EU but we will?

You can go back 30 years and you'd still have heaps of parking spots with 240 VAC connections available to the public; they were called "RV campgrounds".  Even in the early days of the automobile, naptha cleaning fluid was widely available in general stores and was a suitable substitute for gasoline.  Some cars would run on kerosene, even more widely available for lighting.

Where's the existing infrastructure to provide hydrogen locally?  Welding supply shops, maybe?  Do any of them even have compatible connections to fill cars?  If you don't have a local hydrogen supply, a hydrogen car is effectively unusable.

What does it cost?  Nobody wants to talk about that.

Electricity is already everywhere.  Fast charge stations are a red herring; you only need them for long trips.  The typical commuter can supply all the energy they need for their car from a wall outlet through a 14-gauge extension cord.  Wall outlets aren't everywhere that people park... yet.  They're cheap to put in when done with the original construction.  Higher-powered connections are only slightly more expensive.  You can already use an electric vehicle almost anywhere, and electricity is cheap.

The Supercharger network has holes, but it already allows trans-continental travel in the USA.  Filling it out will cost a fraction of even the smallest suitable hydrogen network.  Last, EVs are looking to have rough price parity with FCEVs.  When people look at the choice between charging at home or having to drive to the far side of town every few days, the EV is going to win.  It's not even going to be close.

What no hydrogen advocate is willing to answer honestly is the consumer retail cost of hydrogen. Plenty of speculation about cheap H1 in the future, but the physics and logistics do not support those conclusions.

How long does it take to pay off a $2.65 million H2 station capable of dispensing 91 kg of hydrogen a day assuming a comparable retail profit margin to gasoline? 399 years. Not including operating overhead or financing. No kidding. Boost the profit to$2 kg and it's 40 years, still not good enough. And then you don't have cheap hydrogen.

That is why you see retail hydrogen at $13.50-$16.50 per kg.

Without technical breakthroughs not even on the horizon yet, there is no possibility for cheap retail hydrogen.

Davemart,
As EP pointed out, we're all ignoring the giant elephant in the room: Electricity is everywhere and most charging is done at home or even at work. The last 3 companies I've worked for had charging at work to cover every EV we had in the lot. Spoiled? Maybe. :)

And as ECI points out, there are some fundamental problems with the cost of the infrastructure and the fuel cost itself. Everyone keeps "wishing that problem away". Not going to happen in the real world.

@ECI and @Davemart,

From: greencarcongress.com/2013/07/itmpower-20130722.html

"ITM Power projects hydrogen cost at £4.19/kg (US$6.44/kg), within a 10-year capital amortization period and £2.69/kg (US$4.13/kg), after capital amortization."

Generation capacity 446 kg/24h
Amortization period 10 years
Electricity price 3.5p/kWh (US 5¢/kWh)
Water price 0.13p/liter (US 75¢/gal US)
System efficiency 55 kWh/kg
Annual Service 5% of sale price
Utilization factor 70%

From the above, can you calculate the cost of the Hydrogen production facility?
So, during the 10-year amortization period, the amortization cost per kg is $6.44 -$4.13 = $2.31 per kg of H2. At 70% utilization factor at 446 kg capacity per day, the amount produced per day will be 446 x 70% = 312 kg of H2 per day. This multiply by 3650 days for 10 years = 1,138,800 kg of H2 produced. This x$2.31 amortization cost per kg = $2,630,628 total amortized amount. If you subtract the interest on loan from this amount will give you slightly above$2 Million to be the ballpark cost of the Hydrogen producing equipment. So, for around $2 Million's worth of equipment, you can produce around 446 kg of H2 a day, NOT 91 kg a day like you've been stating. At an average cost of$1,500 per kW of power generation in the grid, including transmission infrastructure cost, if each stall of Tesla Sucpercharger provides 135 kW of power, then the cost of this alone would be $1,500 x 135 =$202,500. Adding to this the $46,000 installation cost =$248,000. An 8-stall SuperCharger station then would cost $1,984,000. At 16 cars per stall per day, an 8-stall station can serve 128 cars per day. ITM-Power H2 station that can produce 446 kg/day from electrolysis costs slightly above$2 millions a piece. At 4kg per fill-up, this station can serve 111 cars per day. Not quite as cheap, but it's in the same ball park. After a 10-year amortization period, the cost of producing Hydrogen will be around $4.13 per kg that can be profitably sold for$5-6 per kg.

How are you going to get 70% utilization out of such a thing, when the wind and solar electricity it's supposed to use have capacity factors more like half that?  The cost of the electricity is also much lower than the FIT levels.  At something like 11p/kWh FIT for wind, each kg of hydrogen requires £6.05 of electricity to make.

Superchargers have their own on-site battery storage for peak-shaving and don't draw as much as their net capacity suggests.

Roger, even if we accepted your model, which has several errors, there are two fatal flaws:

Even if we accept the ITM numbers, which are optimistic and do not include rent, maintenance or retail sales cost, your conclusion is that *after 10 years* the cost of producing hydrogen will be $4.13. What do you think happens for those first 10 years, investors eat rice & beans? It's ludicrous, business doesn't work that way, especially not at the scale these stations have to be built to make H2 a viable contender (thousands, at minimum). Or Mirai drivers just happily pay the current$13.50-$16.50 per kg retail cost? You also assume that the station will actually sell all the hydrogen it produces during that time, which is another obviously false assumption. Toyota is only producing 100 Mirai per year for the US market for the next two years. In the early years, these stations will accumulate a loss because of operating overhead. My 91 kg number comes from an NREL study. If ITM can do better, great, but it still doesn't pencil out. @E-P, Good point about the unattainability of Solar and Wind to get to 70% utilization factor. With solar at 22% and Wind at 40%, the best that one could hope for is 50% utilization factor, due to overlap between solar and wind at certain times. We will have to throw in some Hydro-electricity (if available) to make it to 70% utilization factor. The SuperCharger is being used most often at waking hours, which implies peak grid power demand. At night, most people sleep and don't SuperCharge. If off-peak electricity is to be used to charge the batteries at the Supercharging stations to avoid adding new generation capacity by the Utility Co, then the cost will be prohibitive and the space taken will be unsightly. Will need storage space to store 100 cars x 75 kWh per car = 7500 kWh of battery capacity. At the cost of$400 per kWh installed (Tesla Utility battery), the bill would run to a cool $3 Million. @ECI, Money was granted by different governmental agencies for the cost of building H2 stations, so the private companies do not have to worry about amortization period, nor about losing money. This is already paid for by the government. From: http://www.renewableenergyfocus.com/view/42960/itm-power-opens-m1-wind-hydrogen-station-signs-forecourt-siting-deal-with-shell/ "ITM announced in March that OLEV (Office for Low-Emission Vehicle) has awarded it £1.89 million (US$3 million) to invest in two new stations in London, which will incorporate onsite hydrogen generation using ITM’s HGas electrolyser platform."

Roger, whether funds are paid by the consumer or the taxpayer, it is ultimately the same source, the consumer/taxpayer. There's no way around it, Roger, you're just saying "take the money from Jack's other pocket." It's intellectually dishonest.

On scale, it's worse, because there's a lot more administrative overhead and inefficiency when the funds are funneled through the bureaucracy.

You also have the added obtacle of collecting from people who do not use the system. When it's a few hundred billion, people will notice.

Since only a small fraction of trips will ever need or use Superchargers, the impact on the grid's demand curve will be minimal.

Too many posters voluntarily forget that 53% of potential BEV owners will have to use public slow/quick charge stations on a regular basis because they do not have access to home charging units.

Pro BEVs or anti FCEVs posters overestimate the cost of future H2 stations and going retail price of clean H2. One does not have to be a D. Trump negotiator to buy-contract surplus clean Hydro energy for about 1 cent/KW (outside peak demand hours = 19 hours/days Monday to Friday and 24/7 on weekends and holidays) everywhere on our hydro grid network. H2 can be stored for sale during all other hours.

The provincial and federal government 'green funds' would be happy and willing to finance most of the initial clean H2 station cost (at 0.25%/year or less) for the first 2000+ stations or so, at the rate of 200+/year. Federal and Provincial sales taxes (14.9%) could be negotiated to zero for the first 15+ years.

FCEVs manufacturers could also finance a portion of the cost of the first 2000 H2 stations.

With the proper negotiators, clean H2 could retain for less than $4/Kg USD by 2020 or so. Harvey, if those numbers have any basis in fact, by all means post links. But if they are pulled out of thin air, I don't think you'll get many credulous readers. What I hear from H2 advocates on blogs is how cheap hydrogen will be in the future, if the government will just be so kind as to underwrite the loss for another decade or two. US already spent well over$1,200,000,000. So far we have 12 public H2 stations, 2 car models, ~ 120 cars sold to the public. Only \$10,000,000 per car. Such a deal!

Too many posters voluntarily forget that 53% of potential BEV owners will have to use public slow/quick charge stations on a regular basis because they do not have access to home charging units.

Harvey forgets that 47% is a huge market penetration, and that preferential PEV parking is rapidly becoming commonplace.  By the time even 10% of the fleet is PEV, much of the infrastructure will be there.

One does not have to be a D. Trump negotiator to buy-contract surplus clean Hydro energy for about 1 cent/KW (outside peak demand hours = 19 hours/days Monday to Friday and 24/7 on weekends and holidays) everywhere on our hydro grid network.

You just have to be in Quebec.  Note to Harvey:  Quebec has a population of less than 8 million; the USA and Canada have a population closer to 350 million.  Quebec's resources cannot serve them, and the rest of the continent mostly does not resemble Quebec.

Hydrogen and the FCEV are solutions in search of a problem.  Nuclear power (esp. LMFBRs and MSRs), molten-salt heat storage and BEV/PHEV technology are far better suited to solving the petroleum and GHG problems.

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