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Shell Closes Hydrogen Fueling Stations in California

Shell's Leave Hurts California's Hydrogen Economy

Shell (LON: SHEL), a global energy company, has abruptly, but not completely unexpectedly, stopped filling hydrogen passenger cars in California. Only California allows mid- to long-distance travel with the fuel.

Andrew Beard, Vice President of Shell Hydrogen, told customers last week that the company’s fuel trading arm in the United States, Equilon Enterprises, will no longer be running “hydrogen light duty passenger fueling stations” in California because of “supply complications and other external market factors.”

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Beard also said that seven hydrogen sites in the state would be shut down for good. Most of these stations are in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since there are only 55 hydrogen passenger retail fuel stations in the whole state, Shell’s move took away 12% of the fueling options for Californians who drive hydrogen fuel cell cars.

Shell also scrapped plans to develop 48 hydrogen car fueling stations in California planned for that year. The corporation received $40.6 million in 2020 government grants for this project.

This is a far cry from 2005, when Shell unveiled its first hydrogen fueling test station in Washington, D.C., with President George W. Bush in attendance.

Even though Shell’s latest move won’t kill the market, it is still a huge setback for hydrogen fuel cell passenger technology, which is having a hard time catching on in California and across the country.

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