Key points:

1. FirstElement Fuel introduces the world’s inaugural heavy-duty high-flow hydrogen fueling facility, showcasing cutting-edge liquid hydrogen dispensing technology for rapid fills at 700 bar.

2. The facility signifies a leap in green infrastructure, supporting hydrogen-powered trucks to reduce carbon emissions and diesel usage, aligning with California’s zero-emission truck mandates for a cleaner future.

Three men standing in a warehouse managing ending inventory counts

FirstElement Fuel Unveils World’s First High-Flow Hydrogen Fueling Facility

FirstElement Fuel is gearing up to unveil what it touts as the world’s inaugural heavy-duty high-flow hydrogen fueling facility to the public this upcoming month. This station marks the debut of about a dozen planned commercial hydrogen truck fueling locations by the company.

Described as the first commercially available hydrogen station of its kind, the facility by FirstElement Fuel will dispense liquid hydrogen using the company’s proprietary technology, offering fast fills at 700 bar — equivalent to over 10,000 psi. Shane Stephens, the company’s chief development officer, explained that the hydrogen is distributed to the station as a liquid and then converted using a cryopump.

The location boasts four light/medium-duty dispensers and two heavy-duty truck pumps, capable of fueling 200 trucks daily in under 10 minutes each. Stephens emphasized that this capacity is ten times higher than any hydrogen station deployed worldwide previously, enabling rapid refueling throughout the day.

How Does the Future Look for Hydrogen?

With two contract customers already utilizing the station, and over 200 demonstration fills completed on heavy-duty trucks, the exact opening date to the public in May hinges on final inspections.

The significance of this facility extends beyond technological advancement. Tyson Eckerle, senior adviser for clean infrastructure and mobility in the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, remarked that the station signifies progress toward a better future without compromising health.

As part of FirstElement Fuel’s Oakland project, Hyundai deployed 30 Xcient Fuel Cell trucks in drayage operations, aiming to significantly reduce carbon emissions and diesel usage. Eugene Litvinov, Hyundai Motor North America director of commercial vehicle and hydrogen business development, highlighted the potential environmental impact, stressing that this project is just the beginning.

Nikola has also partnered with FirstElement Fuel, appointing them as an authorized Nikola Fueling Solutions Partner. David Hull, regional vice president of Bosch Rexroth, pointed out that the economics of hydrogen fueling are now more favorable, driven by technological advancements and governmental support.

Looking ahead, Matt Miyasato, chief public policy and programs officer for FirstElement Fuel, emphasized that California regulations in 2036 will mandate zero-emission trucks and vehicles, with hydrogen fueling expected to play a significant role.

Despite initial cost challenges, FirstElement Fuel aims to drive down expenses by increasing fueling infrastructure availability. The company is part of California’s Hydrogen Hub initiative and has received substantial funding from government agencies to advance hydrogen production and distribution.

Ultimately, the collaborative efforts of industry and regulatory bodies aim to create a sustainable ecosystem, reducing emissions and promoting a cleaner future.