Identifying Gaps in California’s Hydrogen Fueling Station Network through an Assessment of the Refueling Behavior of Fuel Cell Vehicle Drivers

Research Team: Scott Hardman (lead), Adam Davis, and Gil Tal

University: UC Davis

Problem Statement: The introduction of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) has so far consisted mostly of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), but PEVs have a limited range. It is likely that longer-range hydrogen fuel cell vehicles may also be needed to reach California’s ZEV adoption goals and will require an entirely new network of refueling stations. There are 40 hydrogen fueling stations in operation in California. Long-term planning for hydrogen fueling infrastructure requires information on how fuel cell vehicle owners use these stations, how far they are willing to travel from their normal travel routes to refuel, why they choose to refuel at certain stations, whether station locations allow them to undertake local and long distance travel, and where drivers want to see new stations built.

Project Description: The Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center at UC Davis has surveyed 943 fuel cell vehicle owning households providing information on where fuel cell vehicle owners live and work, and where they refuel their vehicles. This project will use data from the survey and information on station location and attributes to determine what factors lead to station choices, including distance to station, preferred brand, station capacity, and other factors (such as station down time). The project will also use information on household travel patterns to see whether fuel cell vehicle owners are mainly using their vehicles on local trips, or whether the current refueling infrastructure also supports long distance trips. Researchers will also investigate where fuel cell vehicle drivers want new infrastructure to be placed and how often they would use these new stations.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $78,603

Project Partner(s): California Air Resources Board (CARB) and California Energy Commission (CEC)