Shell closes all automotive hydrogen stations in California

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Shell has permanently closed its 7 hydrogen refueling stations in California dedicated to passenger cars. In the American state only 3 Shell stations remain open for refueling heavy vehicles with hydrogen. Given that there are currently only 55 automotive hydrogen refueling stations in the entire state, Shell’s decision effectively put 12% of refueling options for Fuel Cell drivers out of business.

Signs that the company wanted to take a step back were already seen last September when Shell said it had stopped its plan to build and operate additional fueling stations in California. Overall, the company wanted to create an additional 48 hydrogen stations. Plan for which he had already obtained over 40 million dollars in state incentives.

Therefore, no further stations will arrive despite the initial proclamations. Furthermore, Shell also discontinued the operations of Equilon Enterprises, a subsidiary that managed the stations. Why the decision to discontinue hydrogen distributors? The company did not go into detail and spoke generally of “supply complications and other external market factors.”

Shell halted construction of its hydrogen station network in California in 2023, and after temporarily closing 5 of its 7 auto stations, made the decision to permanently close its hydrogen stations in California in early 2023. 2024. Decision due to a series of market factors.

This is not the first time Shell has made a similar decision. Towards the end of 2022, in fact, it closed its hydrogen stations in the United Kingdom. Even if the company was vague in explaining the reasons, the lack of growth in the hydrogen car market obviously contributes to this choice. In California, where the refueling network is reasonably developed, 3,143 hydrogen cars were sold in 2023, less than 1% of the BEVs marketed in the same period.

Although Shell no longer seems to be very interested in hydrogen, it does not appear to be intending, at least at the moment, to exit this market completely. In fact, in December Shell declared that it would give priority to hydrogen for heavy vehicles. The freight transport sector today seems to be one of the few that can offer some outlet for this technology.

This article is originally published on hdmotori.it

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