ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Should You Bet on Hydrogen Fuel?,” NACS hosts Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives, and Donovan Woods, director of operations for the Fuels Institute, discuss what’s going on with fuel cells with James Kast, fuel cell business analyst for Toyota North America, and David Park, fuel cell fuels infrastructure coordinator for the California Fuel Cell Partnership.
“With Toyota, we see … huge opportunities for the ability of fuel cells to scale [to heavy duty vehicles] to have that conversation today,” said Kast.
As Lenard pointed out, the initial push for alternative fuel vehicles has been focused on consumers but has started to shift toward heavy duty fleet vehicles. “Toyota is a car company, not a heavy duty truck company,” Kast said. But policies and states like California enacting zero emission standards are driving interest in both heavy and light duty vehicles with fuel cell technology.
“What we’re seeing is that the sale of light duty fuel cell vehicles is driving the demand,” said Park. “The sales of hydrogen [fuel] is virtually guaranteed when the station opens. [However], one of the points of friction is the cost of the stations and the cost of the fuel. … The government agencies in California are providing a subsidy to develop the fueling network, but over time, that will decrease and disappear.”
Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. The podcast can be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play and other podcast apps and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded by listeners more than 60,000 times in 80 countries.