In the event you adopted any of our yearlong possession saga with Toyota’s Mirai, you will recall that refilling a hydrogen gasoline cell car with the basic fuel is, at greatest, troublesome. At worst, it is unimaginable. Poor station reliability and a really restricted variety of locations to refill made residing with the Mirai (which is in any other case an amazing automobile) an at-times nightmare. In Los Angeles, at the very least, the concept of getting fewer stations to depend on would bother any proprietor of a FCEV, just like the Hyundai Nexo or the upcoming Honda CR-V FCEV. So the information that Shell is shutting down a handful of Bay Space filling stations, and apparently abandoning all of its California operations totally this yr, ought to give all people pause.
Shell, to be clear, will not be the one hydrogen station operator in California. True Zero, Iwatani, Messer, and Air Merchandise present stations energetic in California utilizing the Hydrogen Gasoline Cell Partnership web site. However Shell did announce that seven stations in Berkeley, Citrus Heights, San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Jose would all be closed completely, and efficient instantly, as of February 6.
That leaves 17 stations presently operational (though a number of are offline on the time of this writing) within the Bay Space, and only one within the Sacramento space. Shell had already informed business outlet Hydrogen Perception that it will cease constructing any of the 48 new California stations it had deliberate—a big quantity for the state—and that the corporate “made the choice to completely shut its gentle responsibility station community in California in early 2024.”
It is not clear at this second if different station operators, maybe affected by the identical market circumstances, will make comparable choices to scale back or shut down their operations—we have reached out to a number of and can replace this text in the event that they reply. However even shutting down a handful of filling stations in California sends a troubling sign concerning the viability of FCEVs as a transportation resolution.