Standardizing refueling systems isn't a quick process, and a new set of fueling standards for hydrogen stations were about 13 years in the making. But SAE International (SAE stands for Society of Automotive Engineers) said this week that it finally settled on a hydrogen refueling standard for light-duty vehicles. For the record, it's called SAE J2601.

The standard is for both 35 and 70 megapascals (MPa) pressure systems for commercial refueling of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Most importantly, the standards allow for a refueling time in the three- to five-minute timeframe, which is comparable to the time it takes to fill up the tank with gasoline – at least one that's not on a semi truck.

Automakers are just starting to get the ball rolling on production-ready hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Hyundai's first Tucson fuel-cell crossovers showed up in California in May. And Toyota, which has long maintained that it will debut its first production hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in 2015, may have some of those cars in showrooms by the end of the year, perhaps starting in the $78,000 range.

Granted, there are just a dozen hydrogen fueling stations in the US, including 10 in California, one in Connecticut and one in South Carolina (Los Angeles just added another one in May). This spring, Toyota and FirstElement Fuel Inc., which is headed by ex-GM and Hyundai executive Joel Ewanick, said they would work together on a project that would add as many as 19 hydrogen refueling stations in California during the next few years. You can check out SAE International's press release below.
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Commercial Hydrogen Fueling Made Possible with a New SAE Standard (J2601)

Washington, D.C. (July 16, 2014) – SAE International (www.sae.org), the global engineering association that sets technical standards for the automotive, aerospace and commercial vehicle industry, today approved a light duty vehicle hydrogen fueling standard (SAE J2601) that will serve as a baseline for commercial fueling of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) worldwide.

FCEVs utilize hydrogen to produce electricity through a chemical process, without combustion. This means FCEVs are zero-emission vehicles that produce no tailpipe pollution and now with the SAE standard, these vehicles can be fueled similar to today's petroleum vehicles. The standard enables hydrogen fueling at both 35MPa and 70MPa pressures.

Jesse Schneider, lead of the J2601/J2799 SAE standards for hydrogen fueling explained, "After 13 years of testing and development with the international automotive and hydrogen industry, the publication of SAE J2601 establishes the standard for which the first generation of commercial hydrogen infrastructure will be built. With this, the consumer can be confident that fueling FCEVs will be done safely and within three-to-five minutes resulting in a high State of Charge. This high SOC equates to a more than 300+ mile (500km) range. Using J2601, FCEV is the only Zero Emission Vehicle technology that equals the conventional fueling experience and range."

The data validating SAE J2601 -from automakers and hydrogen fuel providers- has been documented in the 2014 SAE World Congress Technical Paper (2014-01-1833).

This standard release follows the May 2014 publication of Vehicle-to-Station Hardware and Software standard for FCEVs (SAE J2799) which standardizes wireless communication of the tank temperature and pressure between the FCEV and the hydrogen station. "The standard, SAE J2799 also will result in slight increase in State of Charge allowing an even greater driving range," Mr. Schneider added.

The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA, www.fchea.org) believes SAE's standards will help expand the growing market for FCEVs.

"SAE's light duty vehicle fueling standards for hydrogen marks a crucial step forward for the entire FCEV community, including dealers, fueling station operators, hydrogen producers and vehicle manufacturers. These standards allow FCEV consumers worldwide to consistently fill-up with hydrogen in a short amount of time, a major victory for consumers, and those who support zero-emission vehicles," said FCHEA President and Executive Director Morry B. Markowitz.

"Many of the world's premier automotive companies plan mass-production of FCEVs starting this year, thousands of FCEVs are already on the road through leasing arrangements and private fleet purchases, and public and private fueling stations are operating across the country, with many more planned for completion through 2015," said Mr. Markowitz. "SAE's decisions make it easier for more consumers to safely own and operate FCEVs today, tomorrow and in the years ahead," he concluded.

SAE J2601 and SAE J2799 published standards are found in the following links:

http://standards.sae.org/j2601_201407/

http://standards.sae.org/j2799_200 705/


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 5 Hours Ago
      SAE dragged their feet with EV's and as a result they created FUD for the EV vehicles. It matter little how long they worked on the standards the fact is they have the hydrogen standards ready to go before any hydrogen cars could be purchased. This was not the case with EV's. They created a problem where their should not have been pertaining to EV's. As far has hydrogen, they could probably take another 10 years to develop standards as their are no hydrogen cars for sale, only lease. Hydrogen as been rolling out since the 1960's.
      • 5 Hours Ago
      nice
      Aaron Schwarz
      • 5 Hours Ago
      A hydrogen fueling station can be build for far less money than they are currently spending on them. Most of the current H2 stations cost more than $1million USD eq to install. What they need to do is come up with a station standard reference design, then put the parts into scaled production the way that gasoline station equipment is manufactured. Reinventing the wheel with custom designs each time is driving the costs of these Hydrogen stations so high that it will not be practical or cost effective to install thousands of stations all over the world. The Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle manufacturers should form and investment consortium to install a hydrogen highway system similar in layout and development timeline to the Tesla Super Charger system.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @Aaron Schwarz
        Linde just opened its production line to produce standardized refueling equipment for stations. They also just took an order to produce 28 stations from Japanese gas trading company Iwatani. "On the back of commercial launch announcements by Toyota and Hyundai and demand in Japan, Linde started up a production facility with an initial annual capacity of 50 stations a year. Until now, it has built them one by one." http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/07/14/linde-autos-hydrogen-idINL6N0PP4EK20140714
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @Aaron Schwarz
        It blows my mind that the gas suppliers like Linde and Airgas, are not partnering with the automakers to come up with a low cost reference model Hydrogen Station to install the way that Quandrant installs track homes. Storing the Hydrogen is a Liquid via Cryo-coolers and vacuum insulated tanks can be done at the 6000 gallon level for about $150K : the station build out for a small station : land : pump / controllers and safety systems can be done for less thas $400k, this means $550K per station, not the $2million + they keep spending building one off custom designed H2 stations.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 5 Hours Ago
      Codes and standards are coming on line... :)
      Levine Levine
      • 5 Hours Ago
      What nozzle standard does Toyota and Hyundai FCEV use? Is this another battle between the Japanese standard and SAE?
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @Levine Levine
        The folks in Germany, US, Japan, Korea, etc. all use the same standardized nozzle at this point.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 5 Hours Ago
      Electricity prices are regulated by PUC's. OPEC regulates the oil industry via supply and demand. Coal stocks have been declining for years despite their wonderful fantasy of clean coal propaganda. Oil corps stand to gain by controlling NG electric plants but the prices will still be regulated so this is fine by me. Oil corps will not be as closely regulated if they reformat NG to hydrogen. Hydrogen will be regulated same as gas and diesel, supply and demand which benefits them much more so than producing electricity via NG. Corporations develop all the good I use in life. Nasty corporation develop nasty energy giving me good things on the user end and poisonous things off the production end, they do this only because they are greedy and are not held accountable. They would make less money without creating the poison so they choose to be poisonous and buy or fund politicians instead. I am willing to be inconvenienced by driving a EV instead of letting these corps poison my environment and soon their will be no inconvenience as Tesla is proving. EV's are here now, doing good things now, cheap fuel is provided for them now, environmental benefits are taking place now. Hydrogen is a black hole with no end in sight since it was just around the corner in the 1960's. I will gladly support wind, solar, nuclear, NG to generate electricity of which prices will be regulated. I do not believe in giving the oil corps free reign of prices for fuel for the light duty fleet via central refueling the same as we have now.
      jeff
      • 5 Hours Ago
      You can get paid a LOT by the oil companies is you do a study that shows the results that you want...
      PeterScott
      • 5 Hours Ago
      Yeah, I am sure we can count on the petroleum companies like Shell/Exxon, to pass on any production saving in H2, straight to the consumer.
      JakeY
      • 5 Hours Ago
      @green.future That's true, it'll eventually go down. But it's because it costs so much right now, that I think the automakers will try to hide the cost of the fuel until the car/station volume is high enough to bring down the price. The other option is like what Shell did with some of their demonstration stations (use a fake placeholder price of $5/kg). Otherwise, the sticker shock of the fuel might kill off the technology before it even gets started (along with the sticker price of the cars). So the fuel price is very important to market acceptance (low electricity prices vs gasoline prices is one of the main reasons why people are willing to buy an EV with a high sticker price; remove that price advantage and EV sales will definitely be affected).
      kinasi
      • 5 Hours Ago
      Hydrogen is obviously the future, not EV. -cheaper -massive energy density advantage -charging time of 3 minutes -much much lighter than EV -not dependent on lithium EV are done once this tech gains enough momentum. Who the hell wants to wait an hour to charge thier car.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @kinasi
        "Who the hell wants to wait an hour to charge thier car." Let see, 80 dollar hydrogen fill up or free EV fill up? Let's see... I will take the free for life EV one please, thank you. Funny, it took ABG 10 minutes to top off one third of the Hyundai when they tried these fictional time hydrogen fill ups. People always say it takes them five minutes to fill up with petrol. Yet when I go with my buddy to fill up his Nissan SUV at Costco it is at least 20 min closer to a half hour. They are saving a few dollars by going to Costco, they would certainly be willing to wait a half hour for free fuel and go 170 miles.
          • 5 Hours Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          Where are you getting $80 for a hydrogen fill-up? Hydrogen costs about the same on gallon of has equivalent as gasoline. The 10 minutes fill up time was because they were filling up at the lower pressure rating. This new standard allows commercial fill-up at a higher pressure which allows faster fill-up time.
          spw
          • 5 Hours Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          Hydrogen costs $5/kg at West LA Shell station: http://media.caranddriver.com/images/media/51/chevrolet-equinox-fcv-training-required-fill-screen-576px-photo-340814-s-original.jpg So thats $25... stop the lies, no need for it... different technologies can and will co-exist.
          JakeY
          • 5 Hours Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          @green.future "Where are you getting $80 for a hydrogen fill-up" Hydrogen costs $13/kg (about a gallon equivalent) in Emeryville. If you have a 6kg tank that's a $80 fillup. "Hydrogen costs about the same on gallon of has equivalent as gasoline." That's what they hope to achieve with enough volume, not what it actually costs right now. Right now it's about 3x on a gallon equivalent (kg) ($12-13 per kg hydrogen vs $4 per gallon gasoline). This is somewhat better if the car is more efficient (up to 60mpge for the Clarity), but the fuel is still expensive right now (which is why the automakers are hiding the price for now with the "free" fuel included in the price.
        GoodCheer
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @kinasi
        "-not dependent on lithium" So you're advocating for NiMH batteries?
        goodoldgorr
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @kinasi
        I agree.
        JakeY
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @kinasi
        Disagree: -cheaper Nope. The fuel is drastically more expensive and the cars are also more expensive. -massive energy density advantage Not in a volumetric sense (which is what matters for passenger cars), esp. after accounting for relative efficiency. That's why none of the recent FCVs have topped the Model S in range (even though the Model S isn't even using cutting edge cells now and the FCVs are already using their max PSI with larger 5-6kg tanks). -charging time of 3 minutes EVs have a swap time of 90 seconds. It just depends on how much money you are willing to spend on a station ($4 million can easily build a swap station with the batteries included). Most people will vastly prefer a 30 minute wait time for "free" fuel (either superchargers or the recent Nissan promotion). -much much lighter than EV I'll give you this point (in terms of the longer range EVs, not the shorter range ones). -not dependent on lithium Wrong: FCVs use lithium batteries.
        jeff
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @kinasi
        Not really because it takes too much energy to produce and compress the fuel. It still needs Lithium to buffer the output from the fuel cell to drive the motor. The fuel cell cannot handle the peek demands and super capacitors are simply too expensive to be viable... Most Fuel cell powered cars are as heave as a BEV car... So far it is a 10 minute re-fule, but that is still longer than my 30 seconds to plug/unplug in the car in my garage and I do not have to waster time and energy driving to the Hydrogen station... I can also drive the BEV from fuel created on my roof...
          Greg
          • 5 Hours Ago
          @jeff
          "I can also drive the BEV from fuel created on my roof..." There is a fundamental principle here that is an unavoidable advantage for BEVs-- BEVs are as advanced, clean, efficient as the technology that produces the electricity. Replace an old, dirty power plant with a new, clean one? Every single BEV getting power from it just got better. There are dozens of ways to produce electricity, which offers real flexibility and choice. Hydrogen production? Not so much. Nearly every single building in the country already has the infrastructure to charge a BEV. And, it's perfectly possible to build a system to completely take a BEV off-grid. (Sure, it'd be ridiculously expensive, but it's possible and not that complex. Doing the same with any other fuel other than moonshine is much more complex & expensive.)
      bluepongo1
      • 5 Hours Ago
      Good luck with your Rube Goldberg vehicles hydrogen folks !!! (9_9)
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @bluepongo1
        What a well thought out comment.
      • 5 Hours Ago
      @Jake Y According to the Department of Energy, as of September 2012, the cost of gallon of gasoline equivalent of hydrogen was $4.49. That includes compression, storing, and dispensing costs. http://hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/12024_h2_production_cost_natural_gas.pdf In addition, the reason that automakers are including the cost of fuel with the lease at present was not because they are trying to "hide the cost," it was because the proper fueling standards were not in place. Coincidentally, I believe that was the purpose of this SAE standard we are discussing.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 5 Hours Ago
        So you sight costs to produce it... I am sure the oil/NG corps would never want to make a profit. They would never dream of shutting down a NG reformation plant for maintenance during the busy driving season. I love the idea of them controlling the supply of 200 million hydrogen cars. They are so fair about the public's welfare when it comes to making profits. Privatize profits and externalize expense is not how these environmental oil/NG corps work, we all know that. It is all strictly for the good of the public and has nothing to do with profits. Please note the above has a bit of sarcasm contained.
        JakeY
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @green.future Look very carefully at the document. It's "projected"/"estimated" cost with high volume necessary to achieve this. Real world cost is $12-13/kg, just by looking at spot prices (there's not data gathering for average real world cost yet unlike gasoline and electricity): "In Emeryville, I paid $12 to $13 a kilogram" http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/24/automobiles/fuel-cells-at-center-stage.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 It costs more in Irvine: "Net cost is $14.95 per kg of hydrogen." http://www.apep.uci.edu/3/ResearchSummaries/pdf/SustainableTransportation/HydrogenStation-web8x12.pdf "it was because the proper fueling standards were not in place" The lack of a fueling connector standard does not stop you from pricing the fuel, see my sources above. Another example is even before there was a set AC or DC EV connector standard, people can still tell how much electricity costs.
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