Toyota and Honda celebrated today the opening of the first hydrogen station in the U.S. fueled directly from an industrial hydrogen pipeline. Located near the headquarters of Toyota USA, in Torrance, California, the station is built on the company’s land and is the result of a collaboration between Shell, Toyota, Air Products, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the Department of Energy.
The station will provide hydrogen for the Toyota fuel cell hybrid demonstration program vehicles, as well as other manufacturers’ fuel cell cars 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, vice president for product and strategic planning at Toyota USA. “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,”
Until then, other manufacturers that have fuel cell vehicles are free to use the station. Honda, for instance, celebrated the opening of the station by inviting users of its FCX Clarity model to fill up their tanks, with client Jon Spallino becoming the first retail fuel-cell vehicle customer to fill at the station. The FCX Clarity is available on a limited retail basis in Southern California with more than two dozen cars currently on the road.
“This is a positive step for our FCX Clarity customers and the industry as we continue to put vehicles on the road and demonstrate the real-world capabilities of Honda fuel-cell electric vehicle technology,” said Elmer Hardy, senior manager at Honda USA.
By Dan Mihalascu