The race to tap into clean transportation has long since become a global issue. It seems battery powered electric cars are the top dog when it comes to clean transportation. And you think the market for hydrogen-powered cars doesn’t play a decisive role anymore? Maybe the following facts of True Zero change your mind.
According to own statements, True Zero operates the world’s largest network of hydrogen charging stations for cars. In 2016 alone, they powered 3.7 million emission-free miles on California roads with their provided hydrogen fuel. Accordingly, hydrogen-powered cars filled up at True Zero’s hydrogen charging stations saved over 1.15 million kg of greenhouse gas emissions. “That’s the greenhouse-gas equivalent of planting a forest nine times the size of Disneyland,” explained Joel Ewanick, CEO of FirstElement Fuel, True Zero’s parent, which is based here.
“With a hydrogen network that spans across California and allows drivers to charge up in four minutes, electric fuel-cell cars with over 300-mile range are proving they can replace gasoline cars,” said Joel Ewanick, Founder and CEO of FirstElement Fuel, True Zero’s parent. “This kind of ramp means customers are choosing electric fuel cells as a vehicle that does it all, but with zero emissions.”
With the aim to make people and car owners more aware of the clean benefits of driving on hydrogen, True Zero will now equip every hydrogen charging station with a sustainability label. They declare the societal impacts of driving a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicle and provide clear information about the consumed resources and how they support the environment.
Two of True Zero’s charging stations provide hydrogen fuel sourced from 100 percent renewable feedstock
“We got into this business to make a positive impact on the world,” said Ewanick. “Our customers are making a difference with every mile they drive. It’s exciting to see such substantial benefits so early on, and we want to help tell that story.” Compared to a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle, it is possible to cut off emissions by more than 60 percent.
Around one-third of the True Zero hydrogen fuel is produced with energy from renewable sources. This proportion is expected to grow further. “We’re already seeing far more growth than we expected during the first phase of our hydrogen network,” said Ewanick. “To keep up with demand and help automakers sell more fuel-cell cars, our future stations have to be larger and able to charge up multiple cars at the same time.”
Two of True Zero’s charging stations provide hydrogen fuel sourced from 100 percent renewable feedstock. This lowers greenhouse gas emissions by 93 percent compared to a typical petrol-powered car. The company has set an ambitious target: By 2023, 100 percent of the hydrogen shall be sourced renewable.
“It’s thanks to the monies and commitment from the State of California and our other funding partners that this retail hydrogen network has been brought to life,” said Ewanick.
HOW IT WORKS
Compared to conventional gasoline-fueled cars, hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles are less noisy. They can be larger than battery-powered electric cars and they also emit no harming carbon dioxide, but therefore they only need up to five minutes to refuel. Furthermore, hydrogen fuel cells are completely non-toxic and pose no risk to our climate. But there are some drawbacks, too. High production costs or the higher flammability and risk of explosion are issues still to be solved.
The number of fuel cell cars on California roads has risen considerably during 2016. And it seems more to quadruple during 2017. Toyota began in late 2015 retailing its hydrogen-powered Mirai in California. In December 2016 Honda introduced its next-generation and hydrogen-powered Honda Clarity. Other carmakers, such as Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz, are also leasing fuel cell cars in the state.