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True Zero opens first hydrogen fueling station in California central coast region

True Zero has opened a hydrogen fueling station in Santa Barbara in the California central coast region—the latest addition to the world’s largest network of hydrogen-fuel stations being built in California by First Element Fuel, Inc.

Santa-Barbara-1000x750

Santa-Barbara-1000x750
Top: The new Santa Barbara station. Bottom: Toyota Mirai refueling at a True Zero station. Click to enlarge.

With Phase one of the True Zero network taking shape fuel cell vehicle customers are able to get around California seamlessly Soon, a short stop for a four-minute charge of True Zero at stations like this one in Santa Barbara, will enable drivers to confidently get to their destination without the worry of range anxiety.

—Dr. Tim Brown, Founder and COO of Irvine-based FirstElement Fuel

Phase one of the True Zero Network was brought online at an unprecedented speed and scale throughout the Silicon Valley, the greater Los Angeles area, the Lake Tahoe area and the San Joaquin Valley.

The projects are funded in large part by grants from the California Energy Commission, South Coast AQMD and Bay Area AQMD, as well as partnerships with automotive firms Honda and Toyota who are first to market with fuel-cell electric vehicles.

We owe a special thanks to the State of California and to the automakers committed to fuel-cell vehicles for their persistence and support. It goes well beyond the financial assistance; the technical assistance has also been critical. We knew building this network was going to be challenging. Having completed 15 stations in 18 months is an unprecedented achievement.

—Tim Brown

The current generation of electric vehicles powered by fuel cells will be able to travel more than 300 miles on a single charge; a “fill up” will take four minutes or less.

The Santa Barbara True Zero station serves not only the local market, but also as a destination and connector for fuel cell customers have access throughout California, through the Central Coast area and beyond, just like they drive a gasoline-fueled vehicle.

—Tim Brown

One third of TrueZero hydrogen fuel is renewable; the company says that it is continuously working to increase that number.

Comments

Engineer-Poet
Having completed 15 stations in 18 months is an unprecedented achievement.

I count 41.5 screens of stations in the Wikipedia list of US Supercharger stations.  At perhaps 6 listings per screen, that's ~240 of them.  Most have multiple stalls and no limits on capacity factor.

Compare 80 stations/year, required only for LD travel, to 10 stations/year required to do anything whatsoever.

One third of TrueZero hydrogen fuel is renewable

So it isn't actually "zero".  Is there anything about it that isn't a lie?

Davemart

EP:

Yep.
All early stage technologies should be abandoned if they are not immediately big.
Bang go BEV as well as fuel cell vehicles though.

Engineer-Poet

What's "early stage" about hydrogen?  It's been a widely-used industrial chemical from before the Haber process (1913).  It was a mature industry by 1930.

The limited distribution of hydrogen is due to economics.  Outside certain chemical processes, industry and welding, hydrogen just isn't economic compared to its alternatives.  Electricity beat hydrogen's distribution issues during the reign of the REA.  Given the twin disadvantages of distribution and cost, H2 is not going to go anywhere against electricity for on-road vehicles unless it is subsidized rather heavily.

Davemart

On that reckoning there is nothing 'early stage' about battery electric cars either, as they have been around for a century.

If you are advocating no subsidy for infrastructure, bang go BEVs, as there would be no away from home charging, and PHEV's would rule.

The rest is just re-asserting your prior convictions and picking winners.

Most qualified people and organisations don't agree that it is all done and dusted.

That certainty only exists on the blogosphere.

frankr

E-P has been drinking eci's kool-aid.

Lad

I keep giving out this link...watch it and learn!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23lz9ercqvA

electric-car-insider.com

.

I'm glad to see more of these H2 stations finally opening and I applaud the hard work of the True Zero team. In a few years we'll be able to evaluate the practicality of FCVs based on the experience of consumer, rather than researchers and carefully selected pilot program, drivers.

It will be especially interesting to see who purchases the Mirai and Honda Clarity FCVs over the half dozen 200+ mile EVs and several dozen PHEVs that will be available by that time. Will they be people who need fast refueling during frequent long trips, or apartment dwellers who do not have access to overnight charging? Or, as Roger Pham suggests, are they folks attracted to the novelty of driving a hydrogen car?

We'll also get to see some reliability reports for the new generation of hydrogen stations.

It will be, at very least, an interesting competition between competing technologies.

HarveyD

If makers of large flat LCD/Plasma/LED/OLED TVs had given up because of higher cost, 85-in CRTs would take most of the TV room space and cost how much?

The same goes for early $1200+/kWh lithium EV batteries and many new products?

Sure enough, early (4 minutes) clean H2 main stations will cost more than quick charge (30 minutes) e-charging facilities but, how much more than for ultra quick (4 minutes) e-charging facilities equivalent?

The same may apply to initial cost. One should not compare apples with oranges.

Another very important difference is that clean H2 stations can operate when REs are available (and store H2) for 24/7 use. Ultra quick e-charging facilities cannot (normally) do that.

Engineer-Poet
there is nothing 'early stage' about battery electric cars either, as they have been around for a century.

Going on a century and a quarter, during which the superiority of electrics was acknowledged in every respect save range.  What's new is high-capacity batteries and solid-state power electronics.

If you are advocating no subsidy for infrastructure, bang go BEVs, as there would be no away from home charging, and PHEV's would rule.

ORLY?  How much is Tesla being subsidized per Supercharger bay?  And how did EVs exploit the existing RV-park infrastructure for earlier trans-continental trips if it wasn't subsidized?

The rest is just re-asserting your prior convictions and picking winners.

It's called "observing reality".  You should try it sometime.  You should particularly ask questions about how multi-million-dollar stations can be amortized with a vehicle fleet that's projected to be less than 100k units on the road in 2025.

Most qualified people and organisations don't agree that it is all done and dusted.

Most of the "qualifications" consist of being paid to research or advocate hype-drogen.  Nobody pays me for this.

And I even get a new troll to eviscerate!  <rubs hands>

E-P has been drinking eci's kool-aid.

Dude, I made the Kool-Aid in 2004.  The smack was laid down by none other than the European Fuel Cell Forum.

gorr

Another tax hike paid by honest taxpayers and nobody oppose this opression also batteries and hydrogen do not apply to any industrial processes and no transportation vehicule except small, costly subsidized cars. This is not serious to advocate the futur demise of petrol and subsidise inneficient technologies like limp costly batteries and limp bulky hydrogen for replacing at huge cost just a very little quantity of petrol. you should be ashame here to letting do that to society.

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