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True Zero’s California hydrogen network hits 2M miles fueled mark; second 1M miles in 60 days

True Zero, which operates the world’s largest network of hydrogen charging stations, has powered two-million miles of zero-emission driving on California roads 60 days after reaching its first million miles. By comparison, it took nine months for the company to reach the first million miles, reflecting the ramp up of fuel cell cars in California. (Earlier post.)

Toyota began retailing its Mirai fuel cell vehicle in California late last year and Honda will begin deliveries of its Clarity fuel-cell car in California by year end. Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai have also announced plans to begin retailing a fuel cell car in the near future.

True Zero has built 16 hydrogen-charging stations in its statewide hydrogen network spanning from San Diego, through Orange County and Los Angeles, to Santa Barbara, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Lake Tahoe, including a station on the I-5 corridor at Harris Ranch.

With a hydrogen network that spans across California and allows drivers to charge up in four minutes, electric fuel-cell cars with over 300-mile range are proving they can replace gasoline cars. This kind of ramp means customers are choosing electric fuel cells as a vehicle that does it all, but with zero emissions.

—Joel Ewanick, Founder and CEO of FirstElement Fuel, True Zero’s parent

True Zero is developing its hydrogen charging stations with grants from the California Energy Commission, the South Coast AQMD, and the Bay Area AQMD as well as financing from Toyota and American Honda. In addition to completing its first 16 hydrogen charging stations at an unprecedented speed, True Zero is beginning construction of two more stations, and is in the process of permitting a third station for construction.

It’s thanks to the monies and commitment from the State of California and our other funding partners that this retail hydrogen network has been brought to life.

—Joel Ewanick

Since opening for retail vehicle charging, the True Zero Network has performed nearly 12,000 charges totaling more than 33,800 kilograms of hydrogen. That translates to True Zero’s stations having powered more than 2,000,000 zero-emission miles in hydrogen electric cars and having eliminated 1.9-million pounds of CO2 emissions.



Compare 1 million miles in 60 days to Tesla's record of 140 million miles on autopilot alone in 10 months, or 14 million miles per month in just 90,000 cars and just in autopiloted highway driving.

Despite the huge subsidies for FCEVs, they're too far behind and aren't going to catch up absent mandates.

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Back in April 2016 Musk reported 2 billion Tesla miles and the last billion in just 12 month. At that time only 50 million miles on autopilot. In a shareholder conference call yesterday I believe Musk said that people on Tesla Autopilot now do 500,000 miles per day. It will explode when the autonomous version become available by end of 2017 or maybe start of 2018. At the end of 2018 I estimate 400k to 600k Tesla vehicles on fully autonomous autopilot.

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Sorry I may have mis-heard the number of miles per day currently on Tesla autopilot. Teslarati report 1.5 million miles per day.


It is unfair to compare TESLA,s BEVs with world wide charging facilities and the very few early Toyota FCEVs with very limited California H2 stations.

FCEVs and H2 stations have a lot of catching up to do but the picture will change by 2020/2022 when 10 to 15 more extended range (all weather) FCEVs hit the market place and a few thousand clean H2 stations are installed in most EU countries, Japan, So Korea, China, many Asian Countries, Russia, Australia, NZ, the 50 USA States, Canada etc.

FCEVs will not replace short and medium range BEVs but will compete with long range BEVs (specially for all weather conditions) and for heavier vehicles, buses, trucks, locomotives, ships, e-planes, e-drones etc.

It is unfair to compare TESLA,s BEVs with world wide charging facilities and the very few early Toyota FCEVs with very limited California H2 stations.

Whereas it is stupid to try to duplicate the almost-everywhere availability of electricity with a new, costly and hard-to-handle (meaning overall "bad") substitute for gasoline, which is what hydrogen has become.


Stupid according to your engineering mind. The market will decide, and the market does lots of things people once thought stupid (and may have been right).


The market isn't doing anything here, massive subsidies are.  Hydrogen consumers aren't paying even a fraction of the costs of this new dispensing network.


If end users had to pay for ALL direct and indirect damages being do by ICEVs, CPPs and NGPPs, other none RE e-energy; liquid fossil and bio fuel cost would triple or quadruple over night. Since that (quick price rise) would ruin the economy, progressive carbon and fuel taxes will be applied in most countries.

Eventually, many users may use both BEVs and FCEVs to satisfy all the needs of the family.

The installation cost of essential quick charge facilities for BEVs and H2 stations for FCEVs will be a lot less than the damages done by ICEVs, CPPs and NGPPs. The cost offset will be way over 100%.

The soonest we switch, better off we will be.


Either you're senile enough to miss the point that there's a difference between the already-built-and-paid-for electric grid used by EVs, and the brand-new-and-very-costly system for transporting and dispensing H2, or you are deliberately trying to obfuscate it.


If their production of H2 was solely from water and electricity onsite I might wish this company well despite severe reservations about using hydrogen for light vehicles.
However it is not!


Sooner or latter, most posters will realize that H2 is an excellent clean energy storage/carrier, specially to maximize the use of clean REs and clean running FCEVs (of all sizes).

As for batteries, the cost of clean mass produced FCs, electrolysers and H2 storage units will go down drastically in the next 10-15 years.

Much higher FC power to weight ratio and higher extended range/capacity potential will make FCs ideal for larger vehicles and large machines, locomotives, ships, military vehicles, planes, drones and intelligent future soldier robots.

Anti electrolysers, FC and H2 will have to change their mind and admit that battery operated units have their limits and that H2 has a bright future. Both technologies will co-exist for a long time. Competition is healthy?


EP: Solar and Wind are still subsidized, but as a result prices are now competitive with fossil fuels. And government money helps subsidize drug development. Is that all bad, or only the technologies you don't like?

Harvey> H2 is an excellent clean energy storage/carrier, specially to maximize the use of clean REs and clean running FCEVs (of all sizes).

I guess it depends on your criterion, and how far in the future you are predicting.

If price competitiveness and the present are part of the spec, that statement defies objective facts. If you want to wave your hands and imagine that H2 production, storage, distribution and FCVs all get better than batteries and renewable fuel fuels sources, sure, you can make any claim you'd like to.

JMartin, I don't mind subsidies to jump-start new technologies that deliver benefits to the larger society (beyond the purchaser) like clean air. No question that externalities like air pollution should be priced into fuels in ways that level the field and provide funds for mitigation.

Much of the criticism of H2 may stem from the disproportionate subsidies that FCVs get vs EVs, especially when comparing well to wheels environmental impact.

Why does a Clarity FCV get thousands more in government funds than a Clarity BEV that runs cleaner?



Please provide your calculations for the total subsidies and tax credits provided to date for BEV and PHEV cars and for fuel cell cars, as you must have studied the matter to make the claims you do.

At several hundred thousand BEVs and PHEVs and a few hundred FCEVs your figures must be remarkable if they show more subsidy and credit for FCEVs.

Thanks in advance.


The Freedom Car FCEV program was the Bush replacement for PNGV (which was obviously too close to delivering actual product).  I'm having difficulty finding the historic funding levels for Freedom Car, but Wikipedia mentions that the 2010 funding was cut 60% to $70 million, implying that the previous level had been $175 million per year.  That is R&D spending alone, with not a single vehicle delivered to the public.

At $175 million per year to 2010 and $70 million or so thereafter, I'm sure that the total FCEV subsidy to this date is well in excess of $1 billion, likely close to $2 billion.  This is probably $100k or more per FCEV currently on US roads, and does not include current subsidies for hydrogen stations.

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I have concluded that FCV is a political spin. Anyone with just a little technical oversight can understand it is mission impossible. The reason it is kept alive as a research project at the old auto makers is to show the public that they are working on a sustainable vehicle and actually care about the environment. However, the fact is that the old automakers could not give a dam about the environment and global worming or air pollution or even traffic safety. It is only about profit and market share. Doing research on FCV is the ideal pick if you do not want anything to happen so you can keep making combustion engines. It is ideal because it is mission impossible. It can go on forever without anything happening as it has been doing the past 30 years.

We will not see any real change in the old auto industry until pure BEV makers get so successful in terms of volume and profits that it starts to lead to losses and diminishing sales for the old automakers. Currently only Tesla is working seriously on BEVs but they do not yet have the volume to make much of a difference. Tesla needs to get to 1 million vehicles per year before they are a real threat to the old auto industry that will require them to change strategy and start going all in on BEVs.

Self-driving vehicles is what will make Tesla super profitable and ultra high growth so they can speed up their grow rate even higher than what is currently happening at 100%. It is easy to see why. Even at 20 cents per mile a fully self-driving Tesla model 3 costing 43.000 USD could earn 20.000 USD per year working as a self-driving taxi doing 100.000 miles per year. However, at start Tesla can charge 1 USD per mile and use the enormous profit to finance further growth.

I have concluded that FCV is a political spin.

It's a way to appear to be doing something, and hand out political favors.  This is why I like to call it "hype-drogen".


My comment was directed ar the per-vehicle rebares and tax credits.

A Honda Clarity FCV qualifies for $8k Federal tax credit and, for example, $5k California rebate.

That is $3,000 more than it's sibling the Clarity BEV would qualify for. In California that BEV would be wells-to-wheels cleaner than the FCV according to the UCS.


Why so few posters mentioned the $BBBB given to Oil /Gas/Coal in the last 120+ years and the other $BBB given to the ICEVs Big Three in 2008/2009/2010 to avoid nasty bankruptcies.

Why so few posters mentioned the $BBBBB extra health care cost (lower productivity and negative GHG effects) created by ICEVs/CPPs/NGPPs in the last 120+ years. How much are our children and grand children health worth?

The cost of an early network with 10,000+ clean H2 stations would be very little in comparison to the above. The advantages on job creation/economy and Government NET revenues could be immediate.

Same benefits at lower cost with 50-80 mile PHEVs according to UCS studies, Harvey. Much faster deployment. Permitting and build-out in months vs years for each station. Better energy security as a result of more energy sources.


HEVs and PHEVs are good interim technologies but they still burn imported fossil or bio fuels and produce too much GHG, pollution and create great increases in health care cost.

FC-PHEVs are superior cleaner PHEVs but require clean H2 stations. Otherwise, it may be the most advantageous vehicle. A few EU manufacturers are planning to use that approach soon.

Pure FCEVs require much smaller batteries but require clean H2 stations..

The cost per large H2 stations will soon drop below $1M. H2 stations can fill FCEVs about 10X faster than the most recent super chargers thus requiring 10X less feed points. That being said, the equivalent H2 station cost per relative feed point will soon be about $100K or very close to much slower super charger feed points.

Being able to fill up in 3 minutes instead of 30 to 60 minutes is very advantageous to most users.

No refueling speed advantage over PHEVs. Until that clean, cheap H2 is actually available to consumers at a competitive cost, a 50-80 mile PHEV that reduces gasoline consumption by over 90% is the real-world solution.

Cheap, clean, H2 might be available sometime in the future. But until it is, we need clean technology at competitive prices. That's PHEVs today, and will include a Bolt next month.


PHEVs with ICEs use a lot of fuel (unless used for very short trips only). They need home charging facilities, create GHG and pollute the air.

FCEVs and FC-PHEVs need clean H2 stations. Accelerated program to installed clean H2 stations in all developed countries is a must and will soon become a reality.

Reduction in Oil wars cost, health care cost and increase in productivity will cover the total cost of H2 stations in less than 5 years in most countries.

Clean H2 from fully subsidised high efficiency H2 stations, operating on clean very low cost excess REs will not cost much more than current fossil-bio fuels and/or 24/7 clean electricity.

PHEVs with ICEs use a lot of fuel (unless used for very short trips only).

Most trips are short trips, Harvey.  Get a brain.

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