The California Air Resources Board has completed a study of light-duty hydrogen fueling station economics, in accordance with the text of Assembly Bill 8 (Perea, Chapter 401, Statutes of 2013). Assembly Bill 8 asks CARB and the California Energy Commission to evaluate hydrogen fueling station development and operation against a standard of financial self-sufficiency. A self-sufficient network demonstrates the ability to continue operations and growth without further State financial support. The self-sufficiency study evaluates the economics of potential future scenarios for growth in California’s network of hydrogen fueling stations, assesses the amount of State support that could maintain network growth and operation until the network demonstrates self-sufficiency, and estimates the timing to achieve self-sufficiency.
This report is the culmination of a multi-year research and evaluation effort that began with an extensive industry survey and interview process, completed in collaboration with the California Energy Commission. Prior Joint Agency Staff Reports published by the Energy Commission in 2016-2018 and the 2019 Annual Evaluation published by CARB have provided periodic updates on progress of the study and insights gained during earlier phases of the effort. The final report builds from these earlier phases and presents scenario-based analysis of the economics of hydrogen station network development and operation.
The report finds that hydrogen fueling network self-sufficiency can likely be achieved within the decade with additional State support beyond AB 8. The report provides detailed discussion of the following:
- Estimation of the State support and self-sufficiency date within a wide range of potential scenarios for future network development, fuel cell electric vehicle deployment, and costs to build and operate stations;
- Validation of results through comparison to industry-provided information and the latest awards in the Energy Commission’s Grant Funding Opportunity 19-602;
- Exploration of the impact of several factors that drive hydrogen station economics, including FCEV deployment, pace of network development, pace of capital and operational cost reductions, and pace of price reductions at the pump;
- Identification of the most effective opportunities for cost reductions;
- Quantification of benefits to the consumer through reduced prices paid at the pump; and
- Exploration of regional variations in station economics
The draft report which was previously posted has been archived and can be made available upon request.