If California is going to sink millions upon millions to expand its hydrogen-refueling infrastructure, shouldn't at least some of that infrastructure be operated by a company that actually produces hydrogen fuel? Why, yes, and that's the case with Linde North America. The company has announced it will build two publicly-accessible hydrogen stations in Northern California, courtesy of a $4.3 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC).

One of the stations will be at Oakland International Airport while the other will be about 20 miles east in San Ramon, next to Toyota's regional office and parts distribution center for the San Francisco Bay Area. That's only fitting, considering that Toyota is going to release a production fuel cell vehicle next year, first in Japan, then in the US (it will be limited to California at the beginning).

The California Air Resources Board recently outlined the Golden State's intention to spend $50 million on getting 28 hydrogen refueling stations up and running by the end of next year and as many as 100 new stations added during the next decade. A large chunk of those (19, to be exact) will be built through a partnership betweetn Toyota and FirstElement Fuel Inc., so things are happening. Check out Linde's press release below.
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Linde to build two additional retail hydrogen fueling stations in northern California

- Receives $4 million grant from California Energy Commission

- Fueling stations slated for Oakland International Airport and San Ramon

MURRAY HILL, N.J., and NEW PROVIDENCE, N.J., Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded $4.3 million to Linde North America to construct retail hydrogen fueling stations in Northern California. The stations will be located at the Oakland International Airport and on Toyota owned property in San Ramon, California, adjacent to Toyota's San Francisco Regional Office and Parts Distribution Center. The award is part of $46.6 million funding program the CEC has committed this year to expand the retail hydrogen fueling infrastructure within the state.

The grants, made through CEC's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, were made to eight applicants and will add 13 new hydrogen fueling locations in Northern California and 15 in Southern California, strategically located to create a refueling network along major corridors and in regional centers. The California legislature has authorized CEC to spend $20 million per year over the next 10 years to build up to 100 stations, in order advance the commercialization of fuel cell cars. "Transitioning to low- and zero-emission vehicles is critical to meeting air quality goals and to reducing the emissions that lead to climate change," said Energy Commissioner Janea A. Scott. "With this funding, California will accelerate the construction of a reliable and affordable refueling infrastructure to support the commercial market launch of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles."

Mike Beckman, head of Hydrogen Fueling for Linde North America, said, "This is a huge shot in the arm for the commercialization of hydrogen-fueled cars. Not just for California and the U.S., but for the global initiative as well. California is taking the lead, and by adding additional funds for 28 new retail stations sends a strong message about how serious one market is about setting up the infrastructure to promote the introduction of zero-emission vehicles."

Toyota, Honda and Hyundai have already committed to commercial introduction of fuel cell cars by the end of this year and beginning of next year. "Others will soon follow," Beckman said. "So we're moving closer to hydrogen fueled automobiles becoming a commercial reality. We are currently cooperating with Toyota and the Port of Oakland and appreciate their support. The next step for us is to commercialize our first two retail stations and prove that Linde can lead the way in high performance, high throughput retail hydrogen fueling."

"The first few years here in California will be a critical period for hydrogen fuel cell technology," said Craig Scott, national manager of advanced technology vehicles at Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. "Toyota is working with partners like Linde to ensure fuel cell customers have access to infrastructure, no matter what car brand is on the hood."

Commenting on the award, Deborah Ale Flint, Director of Aviation for the Port of Oakland, said, "OAK is a demonstrated leader in providing alternative fuel infrastructure that serves our tenants, our customers and the public, while reducing our carbon footprint. Working with Linde and the CEC to bring hydrogen fueling to the Airport is consistent with the innovative approach that has brought other air quality improvements such as CNG fueling, EV chargers and electrification of baggage tractors to OAK. This presents a great opportunity for the Airport to showcase its commitment to air quality by creating transportation alternatives based on low-emission technologies. Oakland International Airport congratulates Linde on their grant award and whole-heartedly supports CEC's goal of expanding access to hydrogen fueling to OAK and across the state."

Linde North America is a member of The Linde Group, one of the world's largest hydrogen energy producers and a leader in developing alternative fuel technologies. Linde, one of the earliest entrants into the hydrogen energy arena, is a leader in the safe production, storage and distribution of hydrogen.

"We are building the expertise to deliver new and sustainable energy solutions that contribute to a greener world and cleaner environment," Beckman said.

About The Linde Group

In the 2013 financial year, The Linde Group generated revenue of EUR 16.655 bn (USD 23.1 bn), making it the largest gases and engineering company in the world with approximately 63,500 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The company is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.

For more information, visit www.lindeus.com.

Under the "Clean Technology by Linde" label, the company offers a wide range of products and technologies that help to render renewable energy sources financially viable, and significantly slow down the depletion of fossil resources or reduce the level of CO2 emitted. This ranges from specialty gases for solar module manufacturing, industrial-scale CO2 separation and application technologies to alternative fuels and energy carriers such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen.

For more information, go to http://www.linde.com/cleantechnology.

About the Port of Oakland

The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport and Oakland International Airport. The Port's jurisdiction includes 20 miles of waterfront from the Bay Bridge through Oakland International Airport. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport is the second largest San Francisco Bay Area airport offering over 300 daily passenger and cargo flights; and the Port's real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. Together, through Port operations and those of its tenants and users, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook and Twitter, or with the Port on YouTube and at www.portofoakland.com.


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  • 44 Comments
      Jim1961
      • 4 Months Ago
      There are no environmental benefits of hydrogen from natural gas. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are just a sneaky way of burning natural gas.
        Ben Helton
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Jim1961
        No it's not - it's an enormously beneficial way to take advantage of wind power we are otherwise struggling to make use of. We have 8MW generators coming out now. Do you have any idea how many vehicles that ONE wind generator could power?
          purrpullberra
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ben Helton
          Dude, batteries! They recycle. They're getting better and better. They already beat fuel cell efficiency. They use electricity DIRECTLY instead of wasting energy converting mostly fossil fuels into hydrogen ( which produces environmental DAMAGE). I'm not joking or trying to be mean. But you have to think about all the waste involved in converting mass amounts of anything into hydrogen. Why not just use that energy to juice up batteries? It's direct! Part of research fuel cell efficiency gains are based solely on capturing all the heat they generate. There is no way to have a fuel cell AND the recapture tech along with a fuel tank on a car. And finally the oil companies are the ones with the hydrogen technology and they are pushing it to get money out of citizens and government. Look carefully at who pays for the 'research' you read about.
      jeff
      • 4 Months Ago
      Here is a better idea.... There is roughly 48,000 miles of interstate highway in the US... If we put in a fast charging travel plaza every 50 miles that works out to about 48,000 / 50 = 960 stations. Lets say each station cost $100K. We could cover the ENTIRE country for less than 1 Billion and skip this completely pointless Hydrogen stuff all together....
        Ben Helton
        • 4 Months Ago
        @jeff
        Your 'fast charger' that only works on one vehicle brand.... how brilliant, free markets are sure to jump all over this.
          GoodCheer
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ben Helton
          I think he's referring to SAE combo or maybe ChaDeMo, either of which is an open standard. And speaking of open standards, Tesla Supercharger is an open standard too. So the "one brand" argument is silly.
        mustang_sallad
        • 4 Months Ago
        @jeff
        you actually added a zero, 960 x $100K is $98M, not $980M.
          Naturenut99
          • 4 Months Ago
          @mustang_sallad
          So in other words, we could plaster this country with Superchargers for $96 million vs. them installing 2 stationsfor $4 million. WOW !!!
          Naturenut99
          • 4 Months Ago
          @mustang_sallad
          I knew it was drastically cheaper. I wasn't expecting that big of a difference.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 4 Months Ago
        @jeff
        How would that benefit the fossil fuel industry though? cmon man.... :)
      mustang_sallad
      • 4 Months Ago
      What will be the cost per kg?
        Letstakeawalk
        • 4 Months Ago
        @mustang_sallad
        We're all very curious to what it will be!
        mustang_sallad
        • 4 Months Ago
        @mustang_sallad
        Autoblog, please persue this little piece of info!
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @mustang_sallad
          It's a detail that is beyond ABG's investigative ken. We'll have to wait and see when actual transactions begin to take place. We don't even know if or how much tax there will be on retail hydrogen.
      krona2k
      • 4 Months Ago
      They should give Tesla $4.3 million to add quite a large number of Superchargers.
        jeff
        • 4 Months Ago
        @krona2k
        That would be a MUCH better use of the money...
        GoodCheer
        • 4 Months Ago
        @krona2k
        Roughly 20, from what I've heard, or about as many as already exist in CA and OR combined.
          Naturenut99
          • 4 Months Ago
          @GoodCheer
          Yes, Tesla installed them. This company was given $4.3million of Ca. Tax money to build these two hydrogen stations. Where based on the $100,000/ supercharger. Could've installed 43 Superchargers.
          GoodCheer
          • 4 Months Ago
          @GoodCheer
          I was using $200k/supercharger. I'm not sure why I was down-voted.
      Neil Blanchard
      • 4 Months Ago
      TWO new filling stations?! Totally underwhelming ...
      electric-car-insider
      • 4 Months Ago
      Dave has just made a neat case for EV charging over H2. After installing those solar panels and amortizing the install cost and financing, the fuel (wholesale cost) is totally free. Would you love to have a business where your cost of good sold is free after the first 10 years or so of operation? A good solar panel will last 30 years or more. The panels do not have to be co-located at the charging station, but could be providing shade and shelter at a parking lot anywhere in town. (Grid tie) The numbers are a little off, people charge at home at night, not 24 hours at a Supercharger station. So you don't need as many supercharger stations, over 90% of charging is done at home or work.
      bukweetzzz
      • 4 Months Ago
      Send in the clowns... ... don't bother, they're already here.
      lad
      • 4 Months Ago
      Hydrogen from this supplier, Linde Gas, is made using the following processes: "Steam reforming of methane or other hydrocarbons Recovery from refinery off-gases Recovery from syngas Gasification of oil refining residues." These are all nasty, heat intense processes. A recent University study concluded a fuel cell vehicle is 2-1/2 time less efficient than a battery electric car. "So What" you say! Well all that inefficiency is energy you are paying for that is thrown away.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 4 Months Ago
        @lad
        Right, you have to make gasoline from oil in order to get that. That's why it's the fossil fuel companies pushing for hydrogen cars: they can sell some of their products and make more money. It's about as sustainable as fossil fuel is.
        Marco Polo
        • 4 Months Ago
        @lad
        lad Even if all you said was true, and I although I agree HFCV's are a less elegant transport solution than EV's, I would still say so what ? The consumer is not being asked to make a choice between EV technology and HFCV, but HFCV and gasoline/diesel vehicles. Last year the world bought approximately 90 million new vehicles. (Nearly 17 million in the US). Only a tiny percentage of those employed EV technology, and only an infinitesimal amount of those were EV's It would also be fair to say that if government incentives were removed, even less would have been sold. That's the present reality. The supporters of HFCV technology, claim that it has the potential, and backing, to replace existing gasoline/diesel usage, on a global scale, much faster than EV's. This claim has yet to be tested, but experimental exercises such as being carried out by Linde, are part of the process of determining it's viability. Unfortunately, I don't think the vast majority of consumers will really care about your arguments. What the average consumer will be informed, is that HFCV's are zero emission vehicles, cheaper to run than gasoline/diesel and possess the same familiar driving performance, and convenience as existing ICE technology. For the vast majority, that's sufficient. Since Governments have a vested interest in seeing HFCV become successful, it's to be expected that they will increase support for HFCV's, while decreasing support for gas/diesel. I'm not a fan of HFC passenger vehicles myself, I prefer my EV (s). But I can understand the attraction of the technology, with it's potential for mass deployment. More interesting is the potential development of HFCs to be used in maritime applications. There are currently a number of experimental ships producing H2 from sea water using wind power, and not only generating sufficient power to propel the ship, but even a surplus to sell in port. Since, one container ship burning marine grade No 6 fuel, (bunker oil) produces more environmental pollution than 50 million motor vehicles, I think you'll agree that's pretty exciting technology !
      jwfilippi
      • 4 Months Ago
      If you think we do not have to worry about world oil reserves watch this. "Crude Awakening" on YouTube. Note the people being interviewed and who they are! "Crude Awakening" https://www.youtube.com/watch?... Human waste turned to power, money at Inland Empire plant http://www.dailybulletin.com/e... Video below of what is happening in California at municipal wastewater treatment plants using fuel cell technology to produce 3 value streams of electricity, hydrogen and heat all from a human waste! This is pretty impressive in my opinion for hydro-refueling infrastructure. "New fuel cell sewage gas station in Orange County, CA may be world's first" http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/st... "It is here today and it is deployable today," said Tom Mutchler of Air Products and Chemicals Inc., a sponsor and developer of the project. Hyundai "Tuscon" Fuel Cell Vehicle $499 per month w/ Free Fuel & Free Maintenance from Hyundai!!! (pure water for exhaust) https://www.hyundaiusa.com/tuc... Toyota joins California Hydrogen Push in Station Funding - Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/news/...
      purrpullberra
      • 4 Months Ago
      More than 20 Superchargers could be built for the same cash. And Superchargers would not waste any electricity by transforming material into hydrogen. These unjustifiably costly hydrogen fuelling stations show that it does not make sense for mass market adoption. There are virtually no upsides to fuel cells when compared to EV's which use the electricity directly. Ethanol was seen as a smart move until all the drawbacks became obvious. The same will happen to hydrogen fuel cells in cars..
        Ben Helton
        • 4 Months Ago
        @purrpullberra
        No upside? Are you kidding me? Dendrite! Material Cost! Charge Time! Uncontrollable Grid Demand without implementing socialist types of regulations! Seriously dude, Wind power has been getting dumped at night because the cost / MHh goes so low.
          purrpullberra
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ben Helton
          No upside. Dendrite-Recycle Material cost-Recycle,Gigafactory Charge time-Supercharger, battery swap The grid STABILIZES if millions of batteries charge at night and then use that energy the next day. We have an energy SURPLUS at night. It is currently WASTED. Charging up car batteries at night is IN FACT known to be a HUGE benefit of mass adoption of EV's. I don't know where you got the info in your comment but it is wrong. Wiki fuel cells and look up theoretical maximum efficiency and you can see how Fuel cells can never get more efficient than current battery technology already is. It's just a fact. As for wind, the idea is to get batteries so cheap that they can hold power from wind and release if as needed. Power storage is an enormous business. Fuel cells can't be a pert of that world. So ultimately it is a waste to try to shoehorn this tech into cars where it most certainly doesn't belong.
      GreenDriver
      • 4 Months Ago
      The majority of hydrogen is made from natural gas and the cost of the electricity made from hydrogen is significantly higher than that made directly from natural gas. Hydrogen is the smallest molecule, so it leaks very easily. It is very volatile. Transporting hydrogen is very difficult and expensive. Liquid hydrogen under very high pressure embrittles metal. Steel pipes and tanks need regular inspection and replacement. Well to wheel generation of Green House Gases is much higher than just using Natural Gas generated electricity. Cars are being built for PR and politics and are major distraction from real solutions. IMHO, spending $50M on hydrogen refueling stations at this point is a complete waste of taxpayer's money. Put that money towards more public charging stations, it would pay for as many as 8.3k level 2 chargers.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @GreenDriver
        Agreed, more charging stations is better use of taxpayer money but Level III is probably the way to go. You want to power and go....one of the advantages of HCFC. Level II has its place, workplace charging, ballparks...places where you will be staying for more than two hours. Just need to be more strategic about Level II placement.
      Luciano
      • 4 Months Ago
      "spend $50 million on getting 28 hydrogen refueling stations up and running by the end of next year" Meanwhile each Tesla Supercharger, with solar panels generating the electricity, costs around $300k and can charge 6 cars simultaneously. Why are we going after hydrogen again?
        Dave
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Luciano
        "Meanwhile each Tesla Supercharger, with solar panels generating the electricity, costs around $300k and can charge 6 cars simultaneously. " Hmmm..... 6 cars simultaneously. 1/2 hour each. 24 hours per day. That's 6 cars X 2 per station per hour X 24 hours per day. That's 288 cars charged per day. Maybe 50 kwh per car. That's 14,400 kwh per day. Assuming 8 hours per day of sunlight means we need 14,400 kwh / 8 hours = 1,800 kw of solar panels. At $0.60 per watt ($600 per kw) that's 1,800 kw X $600 = $1,080,000 for solar panels alone. At best, 1 MW of generation takes 3 acres. So, we're talking about 3 acres X 1.8 MW = 5 acres of solar panels. Do you really think that Tesla's Supercharger's are producing enough power from solar? Next time you go to a Supercharger station, estimate the area of solar panels.
          JakeY
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Dave
          Someone already did the calculations, largest Tejon Ranch station makes 54750 kWh/year (36.75 DC kW panels), so at 50kWh per charge, enough for 1095 charges per year, or exactly 3 charges per day. http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/25792-Solar-power-complemented-Superchargers If it was a solar hydrogen station it would need three times the panels for the same amount of miles of travel.
          jimmy_james44
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Dave
          The Volt destroys the business model of Hydrogen. There is no logical reason to convert from electric-gas to electric-hydrogen or just hydrogen. A Total Waste of time and money.
          Ryan
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Dave
          Those panels can be put up over parking lots or on roof tops. Or away from where the station is. And people still charge at home quite a bit, so their panels can provide the power over time. If you could build three more Supercharging/SAE DC/CHAdeMO + level 2 S1772 stations at rest areas, national parks, beaches, or other places, it would make much more sense. And they would get used.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Dave
          Jimmy_james44 Total WOTAM!
        PeterScott
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Luciano
        The real difference that matters. Is that Tesla is building the superchargers on their own dime. Taxpayers are paying for the Hydrogen stations.
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