4 Reasons 2017 Will Be Big for Hydrogen
CHICAGO -- While hydrogen as a transportation fuel has faced many challenges over the years—little fueling infrastructure, few vehicle options and high development costs—the winds appear to be shifting in its favor.
At the Davos economic forum in Switzerland earlier this year, some of the world’s largest oil companies and automakers agreed to encourage the use of hydrogen as a transportation fuel to help global efforts to meet goals under the Paris climate agreement, Reuters reported.
"In this context, we are convinced that the unique contribution that hydrogen solutions offer needs to be strongly reaffirmed now," the participants said in a statement. They include oil giants Royal Dutch Shell and Total, as well as automakers Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Daimler and BMW.
Here in the United States, the alternative fuel is beginning a growth spurt that could take it far beyond its traditional California markets.
Here are four ways the hydrogen market is advancing ...
Royal Dutch Shell PLC is partnering with Toyota Corp. on seven hydrogen fueling sites in California, adding to the state’s total of 25 stations.
The sites may be funded partly by the California Energy Commission, which is weighing $16.4 million in grants, while Shell and Toyota would contribute $11.4 million, according to Bloomberg.
Toyota has made a target to reduce its new vehicle emissions by 90% by 2050, which would require it to shift away from internal-combustion models toward technologies such as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCV), including its Mirai sedan. Shell, meanwhile, has long dabbled in hydrogen fueling. It has seven stations worldwide, including two in the Los Angeles area. The oil giant’s CFO, Simon Henry, recently projected that oil demand could peak in only five years.
2. New Jersey’s initiation
The borough of Lodi will be the first in the state of New Jersey to host a hydrogen fueling site.
In late February, the local zoning board approved plans from hydrogen infrastructure provider Air Liquide U.S. for the fueling location, which will be at an existing Shell-branded gasoline station on Essex Street. According to The Record, the plan includes the installation of a hydrogen fueling dispenser, storage facility and upgrades to the site.