Make Hydrogen Happen

Getting the right hydrogen-use mix will be key

While at the Hydrogen Americas 2023 conference in Washington, DC recently, attendees were buzzing with talk about the prospects of government funding to research (and build) hydrogen fuel generation facilities along with significant funding to spur hydrogen-powered light- and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturing.  Very little time was devoted to consumer/retail fueling for passenger vehicles even though California has shown that consumer/retail fueling is ready to be rolled out across the country.


Like the EV charging rollout over the last decade, H2 fueling will have its problems.  But without a proper mix of commercial and passenger fueling options neither will work well.  If Amazon, Walmart, UPS, and FEDEX all move toward hydrogen and set themselves up for the future but leave the majority of people and businesses sidelined that will not really help much.  To expand hydrogen generation in the US, consumer/retail hydrogen fueling for passenger vehicles must become a higher priority for investors and government alike.  The U.S. federal government is investing billions of dollars in funding through the Energy Dept. to support generation and commercial ventures but almost none to support the MILLIONS of drivers and more than 500,000 gasoline stations in the US that need to migrate away from fossil fuels.

Waiting until everything is built out is a recipe for disaster and no one segment can thrive alone – everything has to be developed in parallel: generation, pipelining/transmission (storage), light and heavy commercial vehicle manufacturing, passenger car manufacturing, consumer/retail fueling, training for the service mechanics of the future, and nothing can be put on the back-burner.



Looking at California right now Dec 2023, generation is the issue.  Eventually transmission and storage will be the problem.  Then, once generation and transmission/storage are sorted, usage will be the issue with not enough cars and trucks consuming all the H2 being generated.  Followed by a huge shortage of service people and mechanics to work on all these new highly-specialized vehicles (passenger and commercial).

This CANNOT wait!  The EV-only zero-emissions future will not work for everyone.  We need to build and support a robust all-of-the-above solution that includes both commercial and consumer/retail hydrogen fueling nationwide.