Shell has closed all seven of its retail hydrogen filling stations in California, according to Hydrogen Insight. Now, the energy company will just operate a trio of hydrogen stations for heavy-duty vehicles like class 8 drayage trucks or garbage trucks. It’s further confirmation that while hydrogen has a role as a clean fuel for transportation, that will not involve passenger cars, at least not any time soon.
Shell piloted its first California retail hydrogen station in a 2008 pilot program in Los Angeles. In 2011, it built its first pipeline-fed hydrogen station in Torrance—conveniently near Toyota’s then-HQ. Six years later, Shell revealed plans for more hydrogen stations in the state, funded in part by grants from the California Energy Commission.
Things started to look a bit more ambitious with “Project Neptune,” which would see Shell build out 48 new hydrogen stations in California and upgrade a pair of existing sites. Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai all agreed to help fund the project, which also obtained a $40 million, five-year grant from the CEC.
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