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29th California retail hydrogen fuel station opens

California’s 29th retail hydrogen station has opened in San Ramon. Built by The Linde Group, this new station is Linde’s third retail hydrogen station in California. Linde developed California’s first retail station in West Sacramento and also operates one in San Juan Capistrano.


The San Ramon station offers fuel pressure of 35 and 70 MPa; it is open 24x7. The hydrogen is delivered as liquid H2 to the station; 33% of the hydrogen is green—i.e., not from fossil sources.

Construction of the station was supported by the California Energy Commission.

A map and station list of existing and pending stations can be found on the California Fuel Cell Partnership website.



With 29 H2 stations in operation (now) and a total of 49 (new and upgraded) stations by end of 2018, California is leading ounce again.

An acceptable early thin network should be in operation with 18 months.

The most interesting question is how Linde, Shell, First Element and the other H2 suppliers will become competitively viable when Tesla has started deliveries of a $35,000 220 mile electric car.

The range upgrade version offers 310 mile range for $44,000. In California, consumer prices are $25,000 and $34,000 respectively, after Federal and State incentives.

The Chevy Bolt is $37,500 for 238 miles. The Gen 2 Nissan Leaf, which is expected to offer similar range, is due to begin shipping in September.

With all these 200-300 mile range electrics on offer at mainstream prices, what is the compelling case to be made for H2? Saving 45 minutes charge time the few times a year you go on a road trip?

H2 is $10-$16/kg in California, the equivalent to $5-8/ gallon gas. I understand that Toyota and Honda are offering to pay for fuel for the first three years, but after that, the price premium is $2,000-$3,000 year over electricity. That's an additional $20,000-$30,000 over the remaining life of the car.

Who will pay that in order to save a couple of hours once or twice a year on road trips?


I see the hydrogen trolls are here again after running their own site as a propaganda organ with no relation to unbiased let alone critical journalism.

The interesting question is actually how Tesla will become competitively viable, since they have lost billions over the years, and as Musk said the losses on the Model 3 are going to be horrendous as they try to ramp production.

Other, proper car companies are now that the costs have dropped sufficiently starting to bring in long range BEVs, but they need their sales of other vehicles to support these as they will be low or negative margin.

The answer is share issues of course, which is the only thing that has kept this money black hole in business.

I do not expect an EV car site to have a great deal of understanding of finance.

I do expect them however to have some minimal knowledge of what investigative journalism is and that it is distinct from cheerleading.

And I do not expect that hiding behind a corporate identity they should have the bad manners to troll other sites with their propaganda..

Same old ad hominem attacks as always, Davemart. Not a single argument that addresses the original post. What a cold and miserly life you must lead, to consider such a diatribe worthy of your time.

Now that long range BEVs have attained mainstream prices, and there are over 30 PHEVs of all shapes and sizes to choose from, I guess there's not much left to say in defense of hydrogen.


You apparently do not know the meaning of ad hominem, whoever I am addressing who does not have the basic manners to stand up as an individual and hides under a site reference.

I directly criticised behaviours and biased 'journalism' , which is not an ad hominem attack, but a critique of actions.

I have not said you have spots or something.
I have said that you are utterly unprofessional in your uncritical coverage of Tesla without the least hint of balance, and in repeatedly trolling threads on hydrogen and fuel cell cars on other sites.

Who knows, maybe Toyota, GM and the rest actually know more about the best ways to power a car than you do, impossible though you may find it to credit such an outlandish idea.

There is no reasonable substance to address in your latest trolling.

You risibly claim:

'The most interesting question is how Linde, Shell, First Element and the other H2 suppliers will become competitively viable when Tesla has started deliveries of a $35,000 220 mile electric car.'

Have you read the financials of the companies involved?
They are rather good at doing sums.

I don't have to ask if you have read the financial filings of the company that you claim that they are struggling to be viable against,

I very much doubt that you have read them, and if you have you most certainly have not understood them.

They have never made a cent, and are only around today because they sell ever more shares, and have a huge appetite for subsidy.

Is there any trace of adult judgement, let alone journalistic balance, on your site, without you posting absurdities here?

Where do you even take notice that should the financial climate and lose money tighten, Tesla will disappear in smoke?

That in that event the owners will be stuck with worthless cars which they have no prospect of selling, and which are near irreparable?

I have no issue with advocacy, unless it becomes mere propaganda without any balance at all.

Umpteen utterly sycophantic articles without the slightest hint of any potential problems are a disservice to your readers.

How much will it cost to replace a battery pack in a Tesla, when as is perfectly possible they are not usable not too long after the 8 year, non capacity guaranteed warrantee expires?

Note that I do not assert that that will happen, just that it is one of many potential downsides you utterly fail to acknowledge, let alone address, in favour of hagiography of a man who gives the most shambolically unprofessional conferences I have ever witnessed from a business executive, let alone a CEO of a large company.

When this shareholder cash incinerator goes to its Chapter 11 in the skies., you will be exposed for your naiveté and folly, and have done your little bit to help stick large numbers of people with near worthless cars.

That is lousy car advice, never mind your utter incomprehension of the financial strength and viability of companies, or your equal incomprehension that journalism demands and is based on a critical eye, not unmitigated infatuation.


OK, since you wish to argue cases, you say:

'The most interesting question is how Linde, Shell, First Element and the other H2 suppliers will become competitively viable when Tesla has started deliveries of a $35,000 220 mile electric car.'

Clearly you actually mean how will their hydrogen supply arms remain viable.

Their calculations obviously show that they will be just fine or they would not be doing it, and your argument is anyway based on a false dichotomy between fuel cell cars and battery ones, when any mix is possible.

Here is the responsible officer for making sure that the investment is viable at the first of the companies you name, Linde:
'Dr. Sven Schneider has been the Head of Group Treasury at Linde Aktiengesellschaft since April 2011 and has been its Chief Financial Officer and Member of Executive Board since March 8, 2017. Dr. Schneider served as Interim Chief Financial Officer at Linde Aktiengesellschaft since September 2016 until March 8, 2017. Dr. Schneider has been the Chairman of Supervisory Board and Member of Supervisory Board at Linde Finance BV since October 20, 2016 and April 22, 2011 respectively.'

The other companies you name will have similarly eminently qualified and experienced executives who are investing the money whose calculations you feel qualified to wave away without having seen them.

The only named person from eci who posted here was J. Cole, or whatever his name is, who was confused between the price of electricity which does not include the hefty amount of preference by not having to pay the equivalent of road tax on gasoline and true viability ex subsidy and mandate.

That is not being able to add up properly, never mind being a lot sharper on the figures without having seen them than the head CFO's of half a dozen major companies.

But perhaps you would wish to argue that the CFO of Tesla is similarly qualified.

For a start Tesla could be wildly successful without impacting the viability of fuel cells and hydrogen whatever the ramblings of their CEO so their CFO will hardly have given the matter much attention.

For where their attention is actually fixed, their very well qualified ex-CFO, Wheeler, said when he bailed after just a year forgoing loads of juicy share options, that Deepak who was to return had experience taking a company through bankruptcy.

Wheeler seems to have fancied continuing to spend time with his family other than on visiting days

Deepak wanted $15 million to take the risk.

So there is your argument.

You fancy you know more about what makes a viable car drivetrain than the leaders of just about every major car company, and more about the costs and viability of energy chains than the CFO's of all the energy companies.

And none of that strikes you as being a teeny bit mad.


Since you wanted a substantive critique, I look forward to your equally substantive response to the points I have made, one by one.

> ...a teeny bit mad.

Davemart, can you point to a single article I've written about Telsa within the past 12 months?

24 months? 36 months?

You seem to be profoundly confused about who you're conversing with. Hope it's not a sign of serious mental decline, I used to enjoy reading your posts, especially the ones with well researched and helpful links.

Three Fuel Cell Vehicles are sold in the US in volumes ranging from dozens to hundreds per year each. For those numbers to increase, there has to be consumer demand beyond the employees, vendors and hydrogen fans, most of whom it apppears have ties to the industry.

In an era of $40k 200-300 mile electrics, and $35k 300-600 mile PHEVs, what is the compelling consumer case to be made for $60k FCVs which have a grand total of 29 refueling stations within a geographic region spanning 500 miles? Whose lifetime fuel cost exceeds the total purchase price of the competing electric vehicles.

That's the question that no amount of nastiness or bluster can answer.


With some 100+ H2 stations planned for California, Germany, Japan and So. Korea and as many for England, France and many other countries, FCEV fleet may grow as fast as BEV fleet in many places.

The near future arrival of FC long range buses, trucks, trains, ships and heavy machinery will also contribute.

H2 and FC price may drop as fast if not faster than batteries and BEVs?

I agree, Harvey, that if the price of FC vehicles and H2 fuel drops to a level competitive with plug-in electrics, and if there are sufficient stations deployed, a case may be made for hydrogen in the light duty vehicle mix.

But that's a lot of "ifs."

Are 100 FC stations enough to give consumers confidence? It seems iffy.


FCVs have range and quick fill, they will have their place in transportation, despite the person bias of some.


The first batch of ICEVs and BEVs did not have 100 stations to fill up or quick charge. My grandfather had to drive 12 Km to gas his early old Ford, for the first few years.

TESLA solved that problem with a few hundred quick charging stations in many places/countries.

Toyota, Honda, Hyundai + other FCEVs manufacturers, with the help of H2 makers + local governments, are also fixing the H2 availability in many places.

Large ground transport firms will soon/progressively switch to FC trucks and buses and contribute/install essential H2 station network.

H2 will soon be available at a much lower cost in many more places. The movement has started and will not stop.



Even a 100 H2 stations would be only a drop in the ocean (and we are far from there yet). There are 16000 gas stations in California and H2 cars will require similarly dense coverage since you cannot refuel at home.

With BEVs, 90-95% of the time you can slow-charge at home, at night, so no public charging/refueling station is needed for the majority of the year and it has maximum comfort. A German company, Ubitricity is already producing kits which can transform public lamp posts into public-access car chargers very cost effectively. This is good for people not having a house with a dedicated, installed charger. There is already deployment of this technology in London (see the Fully Charged show).

The 30% ratio for cleanly produced H2 is also very low, 70% comes from reformed natural gas. I am installing solar panels on my house and will have a near-100% renewable ratio for an EV (will be refueled mostly at home).

I agree with E-C-I here, there is no business or environmental case for H2 vehicles at the moment. FCVs need an awful lot of improvement to compete with BEVs for a typical car owner:

- $35-40K purchase price

- At least 80-90% renewable H2 production (like a net-metered solar array) with as low distribution losses and energy expenditure as with electricity

- Similarly low fuel prices like the electricity for the BEV from a net-metered solar array (>2c/mile)

- Similarly low maintenance costs like current, modern BEVs for the first 10-year, 200K-mile operating period

ATM, I say it is not going to happen, all car makers will switch to BEVs and even the remaining ones will cancel FCV development before FCVs could really grow up.

I am not against FCVs religiously, I just don't see a viable path for them to become successful before the current window of oportunity closes.

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