In the past, it was presumed that building a nationwide infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations would cost around $2 million per station. Shell Hydrogen said this was the cost for their Washington DC H2 fueling station. According to USA Today, “Shell’s only existing hydrogen filling station, in the Washington, D.C., area, cost $2 million.”
Since then both critics and advocates have been using this figure to estimate the cost of building stations from coast to coast. But, instead of building up an entire station from scratch including several pumps, a convenience store, garage and car wash, you simply wanted to add one pump to an existing gasoline service station?
Many current gasoline service stations have added a single pump for propane or CNG to capture the occasional vehicle that wanders into their station. The same method of adding a single pump to many current service stations could be employed for hydrogen cars as well.
So, what would this cost? A company called HGenerators has unveiled its HGasStations product line that are scalable in size and output for homes, car dealerships, fleets and gasoline stations. The low end home generator price comes in at around $30,000 and the high end, high output gas station price comes in at around $374,000. Both large and small pumps come with water distiller and deionizer, electrolizer unit, and 5,000 psi high pressure pump.
HGenerators also sells solar power units and wind generators for their hydrogen gas stations so that electricity can be generated renewably. Of course, the HGasStations can also be powered from the grid as needed.
The HGasStation units use a solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) cell to separate the hydrogen from the water. The cell doesn’t use any alkali solutions, only distilled and deionized water.
So, it’s time to rethink the costs of building a nationwide hydrogen fueling station infrastructure. For 1/5 the cost a hydrogen pump may be added to existing gasoline and diesel fueling stations. And, if solar or wind power were added the price of running this H2 pump would be negligible as well.