Hydrogen highway

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A hydrogen highway is a chain of hydrogen-equipped filling stations and other hydrogen infrastructure along a road or highway which would allow hydrogen powered cars to travel. It is an element of the hydrogen infrastructure that is generally assumed to be a pre-requisite for mass utilization of hydrogen cars. For instance, William Clay Ford Jr. has stated that infrastructure is one of three factors (also including costs and manufacturability in high volumes) that hold back the marketability of fuel cell cars,[1] (some commentators, such as Amory Lovins in Natural Capitalism, have argued that such infrastructure may not be necessary). Hence, there are plans and proposals to begin developing hydrogen highways through private and public funds.

The use of hydrogen cars has been proposed as a means to reduce local pollution and carbon emissions because hydrogen fuel cell cars emit clean exhaust. However, as long as the majority of hydrogen continues to be produced by burning fossil fuels, pollution is emitted by the hydrogen manufacturing process.[1][2]


For more details on this topic, see Hydrogen highway (Japan).

Japan's hydrogen highway is part of the JHFC project. At the end of 2012 there were 17 private hydrogen stations and 19 new stations were expected to be installed by 2015.[2] In 2014, Japan got its first commercial hydrogen fueling station.[3] The Government expects to add up to 100 hydrogen stations under a budget of 460 million dollars covering 50% of the installation costs with the last ones hoped to be operational in 2015.[4][5] JX Energy plans to install 40 stations by 2015.[6] and another 60 in the period 2016-2018[7] Toho Gas and Iwatani Corp[8] plan to develop an additional 20 stations.[9] Toyota Tsusho and Air Liquide made a JV to build 2 hydrogen stations planned to be ready by 2015.[10] A "task force" led by Yuriko Koike, Japan's former environment minister, and supported by the country's Liberal Democratic Party was set up to guide the process.[11]


In 2008, the government of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia launched the "NRW Hydrogen HyWay" initiative along the existing hydrogen pipeline (total length 230 km) in the Rhine-Ruhr area.[12] In Germany as of September 2013 there are 15 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in operation.[13] Most but not all of these stations are operated by partners of the Clean Energy Partnership.[14] The German government has agreed to support an expansion of the stations nationwide to 50 by 2015, under a letter of intent,[15][16] through its public private partnership Now GMBH[17] program NIP (National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Programme)[18] with a subsidy of 20 Million Euros.[19][20] The H2 Mobility initiative wants to raise that number to 100 stations from 2015 to 2017 and to 400 stations in 2023 at a cost of €350 million Euro.[21]


Italy's first hydrogen highway in Europe is the Motorway of Brennero (A22).[22] It runs from Modena to Verona.[23]


For more details on this topic, see Scandinavian hydrogen highway partnership.

The Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership (SHHP) links the three current hydrogen highways HyNor, Hydrogen Link and HyFuture.[24]


HyNor - In Norway, a 7 station hydrogen highway is planned from Oslo to Stavanger. [25] In October 2011, Statoil announced they wanted to close their filling stations in Stavanger, Porsgrunn, Drammen and Oslo after 2012.[26] A new company, HyOP,[27] was established to take over the ownership and operation of the stations, and has done so since May 2012.


Hydrogen Sweden (formerly Hyfuture / SamVäte i Väst) is the development of a hydrogen highway system in the western region of Sweden.[28][29]


The hydrogen link network is a planned 15 station Nordic Transportation Network (NTN) that serves to link Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany.


The first three Spanish fueling stations on the A-23 between Huesca and Zaragoza opened in June 2010.[30]

United States[edit]

There are plans and proposals for hydrogen highways in the U.S. In November 2013, The New York Times reported that there were "10 hydrogen stations available to the public in the entire United States: one in Columbia, S.C., eight in Southern California and the one in Emeryville".[31] In 2013 the Department of Energy launched H2USA focused on advancing the hydrogen infrastructure.[32]


For more details on this topic, see California Hydrogen Highway.

Hydrogen fueling stations began to be built in California by the California Fuel Cell Partnership around 1999. However, they were not systematically positioned to form a hydrogen highway. In 2005, then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law providing $6.5 million to build the California Hydrogen Highway Network.[33] As of January 2011, between 25 and 30 were in operation, mostly in and around Los Angeles.[34] In June 2012, the number of Hydrogen filling stations in the state had declined to 23,[35] and only eight of these were "publicly accessible".[36] In November 2013, the number of publicly accessible hydrogen filling stations in California was nine, eight of which were in Southern California.[31] In June 2013 the California Energy Commission granted $18.7M for hydrogen fueling stations.[37] In 2013 Governor Brown signed AB 8, a bill to fund $20 million a year for 10 years for up to 100 stations.[38] In May 2014, the California Energy Commission funded $46.6 million for 28 stations.[39]

East Coast[edit]

As of 2011, new hydrogen fueling stations in the Eastern U.S. had mostly stalled.[40] Florida's two hydrogen fueling stations closed.[41] As of November 2013, there was only one hydrogen fueling station publicly accessible in the eastern U.S., located in Columbia, South Carolina.[31]


For more details on this topic, see BC hydrogen highway.

In British Columbia, Canada, the BC Hydrogen Highway was planned to link Vancouver and Whistler. Seven fueling stations were planned. Five stations were built, one each in Whistler, at the University of British Columbia, in Burnaby, and two that were later moved to Surrey. But aside from Whistler they are little-used. Reportedly, only three leased Ford fuel cell cars remain in Surrey, and there is a fleet of 20 hydrogen buses in Whistler. There are no official plans to build any more fuelling stations as the Hydrogen Highway project closed in 2011.[42] The hydrogen bus experiment in Whistler is ending in March 2014, and the hydrogen fuelling station there is scheduled to be dismantled.[43]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2006 EFCF paper on hydrogen efficiency
  2. ^ New Japanese joint venture to focus on hydrogen infrastructure
  3. ^ Japan gets its first commercial hydrogen station for vehicles
  4. ^ Initiative to Promote a Diffusion of Hydrogen Fuel Cell
  5. ^ Hysut Japan
  6. ^ JX Energy Planning 40 Hydrogen Refuelling Stations in Japan by 2015
  7. ^ JX Nippon Oil to build 100 hydrogen stations in Japan
  8. ^ Developing hydrogen infrastructure ahead of the start of widespread adoption of fuel cell vehicles in 2015
  9. ^ Iwatani 2012
  10. ^ Japan: Air Liquide signs partnership with Toyota Tsusho for hydrogen supply of fuel cell electric vehicles
  11. ^ Japanese task force supports hydrogen fuel for transportation
  12. ^ "Netzwerk Brennstoffzelle und Wasserstoff NRW :: NRW Hydrogen HyWay". EnergyAgency.NRW. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  13. ^ Leading industrial companies agree on an action plan for the construction of a hydrogen refuelling network in Germany
  14. ^ "The Clean Energy Partnership is growing: with new hydrogen filling stations, new regions and a new international automobile partner in Toyota" (Press release). Clean Energy Partnership. 2010-03-05. Retrieved 2010-05-09. 
  15. ^ The propagation of hydrogen stations
  16. ^ German Government announces support for 50 urban hydrogen refuelling stations
  17. ^ Bundesverkehrsministerium und Industriepartner bauen überregionales Tankstellennetz (German)
  18. ^ NIP
  19. ^ {German} Bundesregierung und industrie errichten netz von 50 wasserstoff-tankstellen
  20. ^ 50 hydrogen refuelling stations for Germany – locations confirmed
  21. ^ H2 Mobility initiative: Leading industrial companies agree on an action plan for the construction of a hydrogen refuelling network in Germany
  22. ^ Green Corridor Project, Production and distribution of ‘green’ hydrogen along the Brenner motorway
  23. ^ Installation of the first hydrogen pilot plant at Bolzano Sud
  24. ^ Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership (SHHP)
  25. ^ "Hydrogen highway opens in Norway". HyNor. 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2010. 
  26. ^ http://klassekampen.no/59433/article/item/null/hydrogenframtida-i-fare
  27. ^ HYOP
  28. ^ Hydrogen Sweden
  29. ^ Hydrogen Sweden West Coast Highway
  30. ^ "Zaragoza y Huesca, unidas por la primera autovía del hidrógeno en España" Gabinete de prensa del Gobierno de Aragón, June 23, 2010 (spanish)
  31. ^ a b c Berman, Bradley. "Fuel Cells at Center Stage", New York Times, November 24, 2013, p. AU1
  32. ^ Energy Department Launches Public-Private Partnership to Deploy Hydrogen Infrastructure
  33. ^ California SB76 Facts
  34. ^ "Filling the Tank with Hydrogen". Berkely Transportation Letter. University of California at Berkeley. Winter 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2011. 
  35. ^ Ingram, Antony. "RIP Hydrogen Highway? California Takes Back Grant Dollars", Green Car Reports, June 5, 2012
  36. ^ "Stations", California Fuel Cell Partnership, 2012, accessed March 14, 2013
  37. ^ Anderson, Mark. State grants $18.7M for hydrogen fueling stations, Sacramento Business Journal, June 13, 2013
  38. ^ Xiong, Ben. "Governor Brown Signs AB 8", California Fuel Cell Partnership, September 30, 2013
  39. ^ "California investing nearly $50 million in hydrogen refueling stations", California Energy Commission, May 1, 2014
  40. ^ Wiegler, Laurie. "The Future of Hydrogen Cars", Technology Review, September 21, 2011
  41. ^ Peddie, Matthew. "Electric Car Advocates Hope for a Quiet Revolution on Central Florida Streets", WNYC.org, October 1, 2012, accessed August 22, 2013
  42. ^ Jones, Nicola. "Whatever happened to the hydrogen highway?", Pique Publishing, February 9, 2012, accessed November 20, 2013
  43. ^ Taylor, Alison. "Diesel buses to replace hydrogen fleet in March", Pique Publishing, December 6, 2013

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