West Coast Shell Adds Hydrogen Refueling

Shell Hydrogen LLC has opened a hydrogen refueling station on a conventional Shell gasoline forecourt in West Los Angeles, the company said.

Located on Santa Monica Boulevard and Federal Avenue near Interstate 405, the company said the station gives consumers a taste of the future, with refueling services for hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles becoming just as convenient as conventional gasoline motors.

In hydrogen vehicles, an electric motor powers the wheels, and a chemical reaction inside the fuel cell unit – usually between hydrogen and oxygen – creates electricity for the motor.The only tail pipe emission is water vapor, which produces zero-carbon emissions and has the potential to significantly reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and protect against climate change, the company said.

California has more fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and hydrogen refueling stations than any other part of the world, and last year recorded 1.5 million zero-emission miles from hydrogen FCV trials. Twenty-five hydrogen stations currently operate in California, most in the San Francisco-Sacramento corridor and the Los Angeles and San Diego regions. Ten more stations are already in the planning stages.

Hydrogen produced at the Shell station will be done on-site by the electrolysis of water using ‘green electricity’ purchased from the Los Angeles City Department of Water & Power. It will then be compressed and stored to provide daily fueling.

The station will also support a U.S. Department of Energy hydrogen infrastructure program to supply hydrogen to future and existing General Motors FCVs in the LA metro area. GM plans to provide more than thirty Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell-Electric compact SUVs to private and commercial customers in Southern California as part of a three-year trial, called “Project Driveaway.”

Hydrogen can also be produced from a number of different feedstocks including oil, coal, and biomass. This allows different countries to manufacture hydrogen with their own domestic supplies, and at the same time reduce costs and increase security of supply.

“California is leading the way with clean fuels, as it moves one step closer to realizing its hydrogen program, FCVs powered by hydrogen will provide a sustainable transportation choice for the future, opening up new markets across the globe,” said Graeme Sweeney, executive vice president for Shell Future Fuels and CO2. “This requires the sustained effort of energy companies, auto manufacturers and federal and state governments working together.”

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