Los Angeles’ first hydrogen and gasoline station opens
Shell Hydrogen LLC announced the opening of California’s
first hydrogen refueling station on a conventional Shell
gasoline forecourt in West Los Angeles (LA).
Located on Santa Monica Boulevard and Federal Avenue,
the station joins California’s ‘hydrogen highway’, and
gives consumers a taste of the future, with refueling
services for hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles becoming
just as convenient as conventional gasoline motors.
California already has more fuel cell vehicles (FCVs)
and hydrogen refueling stations than any other part of
the world, and last year recorded 1.5 million zero emission
miles from hydrogen FCV trials. Twenty-five hydrogen
stations currently operate in California, most in the
San Francisco-Sacramento corridor and the Greater Los
Angeles and San Diego regions, serving more than 100
fuel cell passenger vehicles and transit buses, with
a further ten stations already in the planning stages.
Hydrogen produced at the Shell station will be done on-site
by the electrolysis of water using green electricity
purchased from the Los Angeles City Department of Water & Power.
It will then be compressed and stored to provide daily
The station will also support a U.S. Department of Energy
hydrogen infrastructure program, to supply hydrogen to
future and existing General Motors FCVs in the LA metro
area. GM plans to provide more than thirty Chevrolet
Equinox Fuel Cell-Electric compact SUVs to private and
commercial customers in Southern California, as part
of a three-year trial, called “Project Driveaway” to
test the vehicles in real world driving conditions.
The United States, with over 247 million vehicles on
its roads, is one of the largest auto markets – and car
ownership is predicted to increase by 45% between 2005
and 2020. United States energy consumption is set to
rise to 139.9 quadrillion Btu by 2015, and hydrogen FCVs
are positioned to play an important part in the country’s
growing energy and mobility needs.
In addition to zero tailpipe emissions, finding ways
to produce hydrogen from renewable sources will be critically
important to making the fuel infrastructure sustainable.
And with ground breaking approaches to produce ‘green
hydrogen’, manufactured from renewable energy sources,
such as bioethanol (derived from biomass) and solar energy
being researched for the future, ‘well to wheel’ emissions
will be able to near zero.