There were a couple of recent articles on the growing hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (HFCV) market:

  1. Japan is investing heavily in it’s hydrogen infrastructure. With 80 H2 refueling stations already installed, Japan plans to increase that number to 160 stations supporting 40,000 HFCVs by 2020 when it will host the summer Olympics: https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060054777
  2. In the US, HFCVs are currently confined to California, which currently has 30 fueling stations, with plans to expand to 100 stations by 2020.  However, as reported in this recent New York times article, H2 fuel stations will start appearing in the Northeast between New York and Boston later this year, with several planned for the greater NYC area: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/18/automobiles/wheels/first-came-the-hydrogen-cars-now-the-refilling-stations.html?_r=0
  3. In all future hydrogen markets, infrastructure can be a limiting factor because it can be very expensive to build new stations, piping networks, and H2 generation plants to support HFCVs. In a renewable energy future where H2 is produced by water electrolysis driven by energy from wind and solar, a challenge is building this infrastructure that links remote generation sites with lots of solar and wind to densely populated areas where most of the demand will be.  In Australia, where there is ample space, sunlight, and wind, there has been discussion of becoming an “hydrogen exporter”, where domestically generated H2 will be shipped as liquid Hydrogen to various locations around the world in H2 tanker ships like the one shown in the rendering below: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/may/19/how-australia-can-use-hydrogen-to-export-its-solar-power-around-the-world

Australia and Japan signed a deal in January 2017 to ship liquid hydrogen in bulk from Victoria, in what will be a world first. A pilot project is expected to start in 2020. Supplied artist’s impression of a liquid hydrogen carrier from ship-builder Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

Artist’s rendition of a tanker that will ship liquid H2 from Australia to Japan as a part of a deal between those two countries that will begin a pilot project in 2020. Image source is the above cited article in the Guardian.

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