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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Near-term Economic Analysis of Hydrogen Fueling Stations


There is growing interest in hydrogen as a transportation fuel in California. Plans are underway to construct a “Hydrogen Highway” network of stations across the state to stimulate fuel cell vehicle deployment. One of the key challenges however in the planning and financing of this network is determining the costs of the stations. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the near-term costs of building stations and answer the fundamental question, ‘how much would new hydrogen stations cost now?’ The costs for seven different station types are analyzed with respect to size, siting factors, and operating factors. The first chapter of the thesis reviews the existing body of knowledge on hydrogen station costs. In the second chapter, I present hydrogen station cost data in a database, the Compendium of Hydrogen Refueling Equipment Costs (CHREC), created to organize and analyze data collected from equipment suppliers, existing stations and literature. The third chapter of the report presents the Hydrogen Station Cost Model (HSCM), an engineering/economic model also created as part of this thesis, to analyze the cost of stations. In the final chapter of the report, the HSCM model is applied to the case of the proposed California Hydrogen Highway Network to indicate the costs of different hydrogen infrastructure options.

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