This comes under the category of “well, it’s about time.” With the help of the Environmental Defense Fund, hydrogen fuel cell truck maker Visions Industries and industrial gas supplier Air Products the first hydrogen fueling station in Texas is about to be built.
This fueling station in Houston isn’t aimed towards cars, however. Vision Industries is the maker of large class 8 hydrogen fuel cell trucks that carry cargo around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California and the new Texas station will be refueling trucks in the Port of Houston. Could the Port of New Orleans be next?
According to Martin Schuermann, CEO of Vision Industries, “We are very happy and excited about the decision by TERP to support this first, large-scale commercial hydrogen fueling station in the world. It will support a fleet of 20 Hydrogen Class 8 trucks initially. However, since hydrogen is supplied through a pipeline, this station could ultimately supply hydrogen for up to 1,000 trucks.”
With an H2 fueling station in Houston, TX, Vision Industries can now expand their operations to other shipping ports in the southern states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Although the next apple of their eye may be the Big Apple, New York City on the eastern seaboard.
Now, in June 2012 I asked where are all of the hydrogen cars and fueling stations along the Gulf Coast? In October 2012, Air Products dedicated a 600 mile hydrogen pipeline spanning from Houston, Texas to New Orleans and connecting 20 hydrogen production plants in-between.
One would think that Air Products, which not only supplies hydrogen gas for fueling stations but is involved in the building process as well, would be a likely candidate to tap into their own pipeline and start building more H2 fueling stations along the Gulf Coast.
The five largest states by population in the U. S. are currently California, Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois. Up until now, all states except for Texas have had a public H2 station (the private station in Austin, TX doesn’t count).
If the U. S. is to build a meaningful hydrogen fueling station network, then the most populous states need to be represented. The truck refueling station in Houston is a good start. A public fueling station for cars needs to be the next step.