A company called Hygen Industries, which develops hydrogen fueling stations based upon renewable resources and on-demand electrolysis, is claiming that member companies in the California Fuel Cell Partnership are rigging the system in order to avoid competition.
According to Courthousenews.com, “Major automakers conspired to eliminate competition in hydrogen refueling stations, which California has demanded under a clean energy program, a renewable energy company claims in a state antitrust complaint.
“HyGen Industries sued divisions of Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai and Kia, and the California Fuel Cell Partnership and the California Energy Commission, in Santa Clara County Court.
“HyGen claims it has a cleaner fuel system than the defendants, and that as a result of the conspiracy, ‘competition in the field of hydrogen fueling infrastructure has been restrained, suppressed and eliminated.’
“HyGen ‘is engaged in the business of developing and implementing renewable energy programs and implementing society’s transition to a clean, sustainable/renewable hydrogen economy,’ according to the complaint.
“HyGen claims that the says that the California Energy Commission moved up its awarding of the grants for hydrogen technology development by three weeks ‘solely to prevent plaintiff from having a court determine the rights and obligations of the parties as they relate to this lawsuit.’”
So, there you have it. Just when you thought hydrogen cars and infrastructure were flying under the radar and no one was noticing, this lawsuit pops up regarding the California Hydrogen Highway. No matter what the outcome is, this debate is a good one to have in regard to pushing the agenda of building up the hydrogen fueling infrastructure forward at a faster pace.