Hydrogen highway coming to California

October 21, 2013

Jerry BrownGovernor Jerry Brown has approved a plan to construct 100 hydrogen fueling stations in California in the next 10 years. [SB Sun]

Currently, there are about 300 hydrogen-powered cars in operation in California with only nine fuel stations statewide. But, major automakers, like Toyota, have announced plans to begin selling hydrogen cars in California showrooms beginning in 2015.

On September 28, Brown signed AB 8 into law, which allocates $20 million a year to build 100 hydrogen fueling stations over the next 10 years.

Fees on motorists will pay for the construction of the stations. AB 8 extended a package of fees, including a $3 vehicle registration fee and an $8 smog abatement fee, that were set to expire in 2016. The fees will now last until 2024.

Initially, state officials planned for large oil companies to pay for the creation of the hydrogen fuel stations. In January 2012, the California Air Resources Board passed a rule requiring oil companies to build the stations.

But, oil companies threatened to sue. A Valero executive said his company was “being forced to fund its own demise.”

So, lawmakers passed the bill to motorists.

“This is a compromise that allows us to actually get the hydrogen infrastructure built,” said Democratic Assemblyman Henry Perea, who authored the bill. “The only opposition came from the extreme — the Howard Jarvis folks on the extreme right and the Sierra Club on the extreme left.”


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This is great! I already ordered my new hydrogen car, it’s a 2014 Hindenburg! Can’t wait!

Here is how it works…you get all of your supporters, friends and family members to invest in Hydrogen fueled transportation and then as Governor you shove it down the throats of your constituents and you and your cronies get rich.

Brown has thought outside the box his entire life. Twice now, he has been just what California needed. Things could always be better, but I’d shudder to think what another Republican would have done to us. Especially this last go-round.

The one problem with Gov Brown’s thoughts outside of the box it that those thoughts also end up inside my wallet

Ah the spin is in. Let’s see Mike, Arnold tried to make a stand early on. He got beaten up by the Dems and Unions so he capitulated. DON’T try to paint this all on one party.

Typical Gooberment,jam it to the driving public for something 99.9% will never use or see,when will it end.

I’m so tired of government crying “extremist” whenever someone or group disagrees with their stupidity. I’m not a fan of the Sierra Club, and don’t know too much about the Jarvis “folks” – but if they both oppose this, maybe it’s worth reconsidering?

Or is reconsidering just too extremist, right (and now left) wing terrorism holding us hostage?

We have 300 cars. They want 100 stations and plan to spend $200,000,000 over ten years to get them.

So I started digging, and found this on hydrogen fuel / hydrogen-powered cars:

Topping the list of concerns is hydrogen burns. In the presence of an oxidizer — oxygen is a good one — hydrogen can catch fire, sometimes explosively, and it burns more easily than gasoline does. According to the American National Standards Institute, hydrogen requires only one 10th as much energy to ignite as gasoline does. A spark of static electricity from a person’s finger is enough to set it off. Ideally, no oxygen should be present in the liquid hydrogen tanks in a fuel cell vehicle, but trace amounts of air may contaminate the hydrogen supply. If the hydrogen should escape, it will immediately come into contact with the oxygen in air.

Another concern is that hydrogen flames are nearly invisible. When hydrogen catches fire, the flames are so dim and hard to see that they’re both hard to avoid and hard to fight.

Next, there’s the potential for hydrogen to asphyxiate people. Hydrogen isn’t poisonous, but if you should breathe pure hydrogen you could die of asphyxiation simply because you’ll be deprived of oxygen. Worse, you won’t necessarily know that you’re breathing hydrogen because it’s invisible, odorless and flavorless — much like oxygen.

The final concern that we want to mention here is that liquid hydrogen is cold. Because it’s highly compressed, liquid hydrogen is extremely cold. If it should escape from its tank and come in contact with skin it can cause severe frostbite.

Now, this doesn’t mean we’ll all be driving potential Hindenburgs, but government’s track record for innovation and thrusting us into the future is pretty dim (and that’s being nice).

Is the bullet train still on, as well? All this commuting, one would think California’s economy is roaring. Apart from more government everywhere, I’m not seeing it.

I’m a little disappointed Roy in the way you presented this. I usually agree with you but you DIDN’T site the whole article. I would ask those reading to continue on to page three of the article. They explain the dispersion rates etc. and say basically that at the end of the day it wouldn’t present any different dangers (i.e. more) than gasoline.

I read a good article in Popular Mechanics about ten years back. Companies (not Gov.) were working on models, (cars) using large cylinders made of fiberglass that would mount inside the rails of vehicles. They were made in a matter to help to not puncture in an accident and be less likely to explode. I would encourage people that before they get scared off by this, to research with a fair and open mind. This does have possibilities.

It was already too long, and I’d rather not post wall-of-texts – which is why I had the link. I understand – and tried to summarize in the “hindenburg” paragraph – the safety concern may not be the whole story, rather the government should not be trusted to pick winners and losers in innovations and new technologies.

It is a good article, fairly neutral on the subject, and a good read.

so who doesn’t like hydrogen? take that Prius!

Why not a hydrogen/electric hybrid? Using hydrogen is still internal combustion, even though there is no appreciable pollution, but why not have the ability to have a hybrid technology giving the option of having the best of both worlds?

Why not, indeed. Heck, have many types of alternatives, but get the government out of the decision; i.e. don’t let them pick winners and losers.

If hydrogen or hybrids make it, they’ll make it on their own and flourish; if not, perhaps another solution will surface. Necessity is the mother of invention; not government taxing and spending ad infinitum.