Hydrogen fuel cell cars suffer from a chicken-and-egg problem: Without fueling stations to provide hydrogen, the cars are useless, and without cars to use them, no one will bother building the stations. Now Toyota, which plans to bring its first fuel-cell cars to market in 2015, has partnered with Shell to provide the first pipeline-fed hydrogen refueling station in the United States, at its Torrance, California campus.
The station is convenient to freeways and the airport. But it’s most attractive for speed of use. The handful of other refueling stations in California all require hydrogen to be trucked in, which means that the few fuel-cell drivers already out there often have to wait to refuel. At the new facility there will likely be no waiting: It can refuel up to four cars at a time in about five minutes.
Toyota says the station is part of a demonstration program and that it is planning to introduce about 100 fuel-cell cars within two years to use the station. Drivers of other fuel-cell cars, such as Honda’s FCX Clarity are also welcome.
Read more at the Los Angeles Times.