Setback for Hydrogen Cars in California

Hydrogen cars

When talking about the future of cars, both the most knowledgeable people and the average user usually respond “electric cars.” Few people even mention hydrogen cars and, despite their virtues, they raise many doubts. And it seems that even those who have opted for them are beginning to not be convinced of their viability.

In this case we are talking about California, which in the United States is the paradise of cars with ‘eco firendly’ alternative mechanics. Well, even there, where the commitment to this type of vehicles is greater than in many other places in the world, Shell has announced that it is going to close all of its hydrogen plants.

Its division specialized in the matter, Shell Hydrogen, has confirmed that it is going to permanently close the seven service stations it has in the state.

According to HydrogenInsight, a change in the company’s plans was noted a few months ago. In September 2023, it informed the media that it had “discontinued its plan to build and operate additional service stations for light vehicles.” [de hidrĂ³geno] in California”.

It was a major setback, since previously the plans included the construction of no less than 48 new stations, a huge increase compared to the 7 that were operational.

In fact, shortly after the company temporarily closed 5 of them, telling users that it did not know when it would be able to put them into operation again. The movements seemed to indicate a direction, but it has not been realized until now.

Speaking to the outlet, a spokesperson announced that “Shell paused construction of its light-duty station network in California in 2023 and, after the temporary closure of 5 of its 7 stations, made the decision to permanently close its station network. light-duty in California in early 2024.”

Among the reasons alleged for the decision, “a series of market factors” have been pointed out, among which is a supply problem.

This makes the situation for these cars complicated in California, since it could affect other suppliers. To date, counting the 7 Shell Hydrogen stations that are no longer operational, there were only 55 in the entire state.

In fact, another company from Iwatani has issued a statement in this regard: “Our main hydrogen supplier has experienced an interruption that will affect our access to hydrogen for the Hawaiian Gardens station.”

“We currently do not have an estimated time to return to normal service levels and will provide updates as soon as we have more information. We greatly appreciate your patience for the additional downtime this will cause,” he concluded.

In general terms, it is a big setback for the future of hydrogen cars, since it is one of the areas where they are most accepted. To give an example, the hydrogen station network in Spain is much smaller, as currently there are only 8 public and 12 private stations.