Toyota Opens First Pipeline-Fed Hydrogen Station in North America
Toyota achieved a milestone today with the opening of the first hydrogen fueling station in the U.S. fed directly from an active industrial hydrogen pipeline. The station is the result of lengthy collaboration between Toyota, Air Products, Shell, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the Department of Energy (DOE).
The station is located next to TMS sales and marketing headquarters and as landowners, Toyota leases the land to Shell for a nominal fee. As station owner/provider, Shell works directly with Air Products who provides onsite equipment and station management. The pipeline gas also is provided by Air Products from its plants in Wilmington and Carson, Calif. SCAQMD and DOE provided project funding assistance.
“This is the first time Shell has worked closely with a vehicle manufacturer to develop a demonstration station,” said Julian Evison, general manager of operations for Shell alternative energies. “The industry has made good technical progress, but cooperation is a necessity for hydrogen to achieve its commercial potential as a road transport fuel.”
The facility will provide hydrogen for the Toyota fuel cell hybrid demonstration program vehicles as well as other manufacturers’ fuel cell vehicle fleets in the Los Angeles area. “Building an extensive hydrogen re-fueling infrastructure is a critical step in the successful market launch of fuel cell vehicles,” said Chris Hostetter, group vice president, product and strategic planning, TMS. “We plan to bring a fuel cell vehicle to market in 2015, or sooner, and the infrastructure must be in place to support our customers’ needs.”
Air Products also worked in collaboration with Toyota and other fuel cell vehicle manufacturers to develop the Hydrogen Vehicle Authorization System (HVAS), which is another industry first and unique to the Torrance station. The HVAS wireless vehicle recognition system allows station-to-vehicle recognition to facilitate quick and convenient fueling for customers.
Toyota’s fuel cell hybrid vehicle fleet has logged several million miles since hitting the road in 2002. The first generation fuel cell hybrid vehicles (FCHV) estimated range was 130 miles. In 2009, the latest generation vehicle, Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle – Advanced (FSHV-adv), achieved an estimated range of 431 miles on a single fill of hydrogen. In addition to fuel cell stack efficiency and range improvements, durability and cold temperature performance have greatly improved along with significant reductions in manufacturing and materials costs. Toyota’s current FCHV-adv nationwide demonstration program is placing more than 100 vehicles with demonstration partners by 2013, providing one of the largest fleets of active fuel cell vehicles in the country. The primary goal of the demonstration program is to spur infrastructure development prior to fuel cell vehicle market introduction in 2015. Successful infrastructure development will require collaborative efforts between manufacturers, government regulators, and business, similar to the current partnerships formed to open the Torrence Shell hydrogen demo station.