A hydrogen highway is a chain of hydrogen-equipped filling stations and other hydrogen infrastructure along a road or highway which would allow hydrogen powered cars to travel. It is an element of the hydrogen infrastructure that is generally assumed to be a pre-requisite for mass utilization of hydrogen cars. For instance, William Clay Ford Jr. has stated that infrastructure is one of three factors (also including costs and manufacturability in high volumes) that hold back the marketability of fuel cell cars (some commentators, such as Amory Lovins in Natural Capitalism, have argued that such infrastructure may not be necessary). Hence, there are plans and proposals to develop hydrogen highways through private and public funds.

The use of hydrogen cars has been proposed as a means to reduce local air pollution and carbon emissions because hydrogen fuel cell cars emit clean exhaust. Hydrogen can be produced from natural gas, coal and renewable energy.[1] However, as long as the majority of hydrogen continues to be produced by burning fossil fuels and transported in trucks, pollution is emitted by the hydrogen manufacturing process.[2][1]


At the end of 2012 there were 17 private hydrogen stations.[3] In 2014, Japan got its first commercial hydrogen fueling station.[4] The Japanese government hoped to add up to 100 hydrogen stations under a budget of 460 million dollars covering 50% of the installation costs with the last ones intended to be operational in 2015.[5][6] JX Energy planned to install 40 stations by 2015.[7] and another 60 in the period 2016–2018[8] Toho Gas and Iwatani Corp[9] planned to develop an additional 20 stations.[10] Toyota Tsusho and Air Liquide formed a joint venture to build 2 hydrogen stations planned to be ready by 2015.[11]

By May 2017, there were 91 hydrogen fueling stations in Japan.[12]


As of November 2014, there were 27 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in operation in Western Europe. "That number is expected to climb to 47 stations [in 2015], but considering that each new station costs around $1.3 million to build, the cost is pretty high for this buildout."[13]


In Germany as of September 2013 there were 15 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in operation.[14] Most but not all of these stations were operated by partners of the Clean Energy Partnership.[15] The German government had agreed to support an expansion of the stations nationwide to 50 by 2015, under a letter of intent,[16][17] through its public private partnership Now GMBH[18] program NIP (National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Programme)[19] with a subsidy of 20 Million Euros.[20][21] The H2 Mobility initiative had stated that it wants to raise that number to 100 stations from 2015 to 2017 and to 400 stations in 2023 at a cost of €350 million Euros.[22]


Italy's first hydrogen highway is the Motorway of Brennero (A22).[23] It runs from Modena to Verona.[24]


The Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership (SHHP) is planned to link the three current hydrogen highways: HyNor, Hydrogen Sweden and Hydrogen Link Network.[25]

HyNor - In Norway, as of 2009, a 7 station hydrogen highway was planned from Oslo to Stavanger. [26] In 2011, Statoil announced that they wanted to close their filling stations in Stavanger, Porsgrunn, Drammen and Oslo after 2012.[27] A new company, HyOP,[28] was established to take over the ownership and operation of the stations, and did so in May 2012.[citation needed]

Hydrogen Sweden (formerly Hyfuture / SamVäte i Väst) is the development of a hydrogen highway system in the western region of Sweden.[29][30]

The hydrogen link network is a planned 15 station Nordic Transportation Network (NTN) that would serve to link Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany.[citation needed]


The first three Spanish fueling stations on the A-23 between Huesca and Zaragoza opened in 2010.[31]

United StatesEdit

In 2013, The New York Times reported that there were "10 hydrogen stations available to the public in the United States: one in Columbia, S.C., eight in Southern California and the one in Emeryville, California".[32] In 2013 the Department of Energy launched H2USA focused on advancing the hydrogen infrastructure.[33] In 2013 Governor Brown signed AB 8, a bill to fund $20 million a year for 10 years for up to 100 stations.[34] As of September 2019, there are 46 publicly accessible hydrogen refueling stations in the US, 41 of which are located in California.[35]


In British Columbia, Canada, five fueling stations were built, one each in Whistler, at the University of British Columbia and in Burnaby, and two others that were later moved to Surrey. But aside from Whistler they are little-used. Reportedly, only three leased Ford fuel cell cars remain in Surrey, and there is a fleet of 20 hydrogen buses in Whistler. There are no official plans to build any more fuelling stations as the Hydrogen Highway project closed in 2011.[36] The hydrogen bus experiment in Whistler ended in March 2014 due to high maintenance and fuel costs, the hydrogen fueling station there was dismantled, and diesel-powered buses replaced the hydrogen buses.[37][38][39]

Safety and supplyEdit

Hydrogen fuel is hazardous because of the low ignition energy and high combustion energy of hydrogen, and because it tends to leak easily from tanks.[40] Explosions at hydrogen filling stations have been reported.[41] Hydrogen fuelling stations generally receive deliveries of hydrogen by truck from hydrogen suppliers. An interruption at a hydrogen supply facility can shut down multiple hydrogen fuelling stations.[42]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Hydrogen Benefits and Considerations", Alternative Fuels Data Center, accessed February 26, 2016
  2. ^ 2006 EFCF paper on hydrogen efficiency Archived 2008-07-24 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "fuelcellinsider.org - Index". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Japan gets its first commercial hydrogen station for vehicles". The Japan Times Online. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2016 – via Japan Times Online.
  5. ^ Initiative to Promote a Diffusion of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Archived 2014-02-10 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Demonstration Program for Establishing a Hydrogen-Based Social System". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  7. ^ "JX Energy Planning 40 Hydrogen Refuelling Stations in Japan by 2015". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  8. ^ "JX Nippon Oil to build 100 hydrogen stations in Japan". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Iwatani Corporation-NewsRelease". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  10. ^ Iwatani 2012
  11. ^ Japan: Air Liquide signs partnership with Toyota Tsusho for hydrogen supply of fuel cell electric vehicles Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Voelcker, John. "Energy use for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles: higher than electrics, even hybrids (analysis)", Green Car Reports, May 4, 2017
  13. ^ Ayre, James. "Toyota to Lose $100,000 On Every Hydrogen FCV Sold?", CleanTechnica.com, November 19, 2014
  14. ^ ""H2 Mobility" initiative - Nieuws & media > Persberichten - Linde Healthcare". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  15. ^ "The Clean Energy Partnership is growing: with new hydrogen filling stations, new regions and a new international automobile partner in Toyota" (PDF) (Press release). Clean Energy Partnership. 2010-03-05. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2010-05-09.
  16. ^ "The Propagation of Hydrogen Stations". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  17. ^ German Government announces support for 50 urban hydrogen refuelling stations, H2euro.org
  18. ^ "NOW: now-gmbh.de - Startseite". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  19. ^ NIP Archived 2013-12-02 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ {German} Bundesregierung und industrie errichten netz von 50 wasserstoff-tankstellen Archived 2013-12-02 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ 50 hydrogen refuelling stations for Germany – locations confirmed Archived 2014-07-17 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "H2 Mobility initiative: Leading industrial companies agree on an action plan for the construction of a hydrogen refuelling network in Germany". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-11-24.
  23. ^ Green Corridor Project, Production and distribution of ‘green’ hydrogen along the Brenner motorway Archived 2013-12-02 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Installation of the first hydrogen pilot plant at Bolzano Sud
  25. ^ Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership (SHHP) Archived 2013-04-12 at Archive.today
  26. ^ "Hydrogen highway opens in Norway". HyNor. 2009. Archived from the original on 8 June 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  27. ^ "Hydrogenframtida i fare". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  28. ^ "Forside - Hyop AS". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  29. ^ "Hem". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  30. ^ "Hem" (PDF). Retrieved 4 October 2016.[permanent dead link]
  31. ^ "Zaragoza y Huesca, unidas por la primera autovía del hidrógeno en España" Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine Gabinete de prensa del Gobierno de Aragón, June 23, 2010 (Spanish)
  32. ^ Berman, Bradley. "Fuel Cells at Center Stage", New York Times, November 24, 2013, p. AU1
  33. ^ "Energy Department Launches Public-Private Partnership to Deploy Hydrogen Infrastructure". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  34. ^ Xiong, Ben. "Governor Brown Signs AB 8" Archived 2013-12-02 at the Wayback Machine, California Fuel Cell Partnership, September 30, 2013
  35. ^ Alternative Fueling Station Counts by State, Alternative Fuels Data Center, accessed December 2, 2016
  36. ^ Jones, Nicola. "Whatever happened to the hydrogen highway?", Pique Publishing, February 9, 2012, accessed November 20, 2013
  37. ^ Taylor, Alison. "Diesel buses to replace hydrogen fleet in March", Pique Publishing, December 6, 2013
  38. ^ BC Transit's $90M hydrogen bus fleet to be sold off, converted to diesel, CBC News, December 4, 2014.
  39. ^ Whistler's decommissioned hydrogen bus fleet up for sale by Brandon Barrett, Pique Publishing, December 11, 2014.
  40. ^ Utgikar, Vivek P; Thiesen, Todd (2005). "Safety of compressed hydrogen fuel tanks: Leakage from stationary vehicles". technology in Society. 27 (3): 315–320. doi:10.1016/j.techsoc.2005.04.005.
  41. ^ Dobson, Geoff (12 June 2019). "Exploding hydrogen station leads to FCV halt". EV Talk.
  42. ^ Woodrow, Melanie. "Bay Area experiences hydrogen shortage after explosion", ABC news, June 3, 2019

External linksEdit