This will be the second Hydrogen fuel shortage to hit the SoCal region within two months.
I wish I was making this up but it’s happened again. According to Air Products earlier yesterday (Sept. 12, 2018) they’re anticipating another Hydrogen Fuel Shortage due to failures at both of their main and backup plants that supply most of the Southern California region.
Of the 20 H2 stations in the Southern California area, 16 are supplied by Air Products. Of the remaining four stations
- Riverside- ITM Clean power
- San Juan Capistrano- Linde
- Ontario- Ontario Hydrogen
- Anaheim- Air Liquide
Ontario confirmed that they’re down for compressor issues with a mid-October reopening date.
Although there was no official Press Release listed on the Air Products website, Air Products communicated to True Zero, operator of eight out of the 16 stations supplied by Air Products. Thankfully, a True Zero employee has been in constant communication with Honda Clarity Fuel Cell owners on Facebook providing updates.
Here’s the statement from Air Products via True Zero,
“Our team at True Zero just got off the phone with our supplier, Air Products, moments ago. In the spirit of our collaboration, we were their very first call to inform us that both their principal asset and their backup asset have been impacted and that the True Zero Network in southern California could experience some supply shortages over the coming days.
Please know that our supplier is providing a lot of transparency to give us advanced notice of this potential supply issue, and that they are working diligently to implement corrections to bring their assets back online.
Our recommendation is that if you are in southern California and plan on filling your Clarity at a True Zero station, PLEASE CHECK STATUS OF THE STATION OVER THE COMING DAYS.
We will be providing updates and as much transparency as we can via this page on FACEBOOK. We’re also rushing to get our APP published over the coming days to provide minute-by-minute updates.”
As mentioned, this is the second time in two months Air Products confirmed a supply shortage due to failures at both of their H2 production plants in the SoCal region. It’s been forty days since Air Products patched up whatever failed last time, cause undetermined.
Offhand chats with fuel tank drivers from Air Products allegedly claimed Air Products planned to bring in trucks of Hydrogen all the way from Louisiana as a stop-gap if the previous situation back in July didn’t get fixed in time.
In response last time, Toyota was quick to offer rental cars to their Toyota Mirai leasees and even got the ball rolling on letting Mirai owners fill up at their Port of Long Beach where they have their own on-site generation (with H2 made from biogas.)
Honda followed shortly after only after public outcry from its Honda Clarity owners that it would behoove Honda to match the help Toyota was giving to Mirai owners.
There are no estimates of how long this next shortage will take.
SoCal FCV owners will have to fill up at the three remaining non- Air Products stations that are still operational. Those stations will probably run empty as soon as any H2 hits their storage tanks.
It’s clear that the Hydrogen refueling infrastructure, although it tries its best to mimic regular gas stations, is far more complicated and fragile with what’s behind the curtain that counts.
Hopefully, Air Products gives specifics as to what went wrong, fixes it, provides fail-safes so this doesn’t happen in the future (which is deja vu because I said this last time) and gets their stations supplied ASAP.
In the meantime, Toyota and Honda dealerships should be transparent to prospective Clarity and Mirai owners about the current events tied to H2 refueling. Selling more FCVs will only exacerbate the problem.
Keep our site bookmarked as I provide updates as they come in.