It’s been less than a week since Air Products announced their H2 Shortage through Toyota and SoCal FCV owners are doing their best to cope.
If you didn’t already know, there’s a shortage of Hydrogen fuel for Fuel Cell Vehicles localized in the Southern California area due to a supply and back-up supply issue from Air Products, the main supplier of H2 to surrounding stations. Looking at the 72-hour-graphs on H2-CA.com, it looks like Fuel Cell Vehicle owners, although clearly frustrated, have found a new normal with their refueling routine, mainly checking before refueling or not even using their Honda Clarity FCV or Toyota Mirai at all.
Here’s a snapshot of the last 72-hours of all True Zero stations in California. If you divide the graph into thirds, there’s a huge increase in supply during the night when H2 stations typically get filled and then there’s what looks like a bimodal graph throughout the day as some stations get H2 as the supply comes in.
If you’re looking for a quick recap of this situation, here’s what I’ve covered.
- Aug 3- Air Products wraps up its previous shortage that started back in July.
- Sept. 12- Unrelated to this shortage, close to half of ALL stations in SoCal undergoing maintenance or repairs.
- Sept. 13 – Air Products unofficially confirms H2 shortage on the way.
- Sept 15- Air Products releases statment via Toyota.
Monitoring the response from Honda Clarity and Toyota Mirai owners on Facebook, the response is much the same as the last shortage in July, frustration, adapting to the new norm, some sort of help doled their way from Toyota and Honda, and hopeful waiting for a resolution.
Toyota, being the poster child of customer relations last time, seems to be on the top of their game with an update e-mail sent out to Mirai owners shortly after news of the shortage hit. As per Mirai owners, like last time and as illustrated in the cover photo, their Port of Long Beach Hydrogen refueling station, which is only used to refuel Mirais coming off ships from Japan, is open to Toyota Mirai owners, exclusively, to refuel. Some are waiting up to two hours at that Long Beach refueling station. Toyota Mirai owners are also getting a $50 credit per day for a rental during this supply shortage.
Honda is handling the hydrogen supply shortage on a case by case basis and has been hit and miss for Clarity FCV owners as per their owner’s group on Facebook. While one Honda Clarity FCV owner confirmed they’d get reimbursed for a rental car, at least two Honda Clarity FCV owners reported getting no additional support quoting their customer support rep needing ALL Southern California Hydrogen stations to be empty for any kind of support above and beyond what they’re already receiving when they first signed their leases.
To add to the futility of it all, Air Products dropped a press release earlier yesterday announcing a price increase on most of the gases they produce, Hydrogen included.
- Up to 25% for liquid and bulk hydrogen.
- Up to 20% for liquid argon.
- Up to 15% for liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen.
- Up to 10% for liquid carbon dioxide and monthly service charges.
I’ve reached out to a rather helpful True Zero rep on Facebook for what this means for prices at the pump.
So, it’s a new normal for SoCal FCV owners. In Northern California where there’s no supply issue, it’s a different story with next to no complaints from FCV owners. Here’s a graph of their H2 from a S. SF station, close to empty at times but always with some supply.
Hopefully, some good news pops up somewhere. It’s sorely needed for these unfortunate lessees.