Accuracy Issues Real Reason For Free Hydrogen For FCV Owners

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
accuracy issues real reason for free hydrogen for fcv owners

Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell owners will be able to refuel their new FCVs for free for three years, but only because it’s hard to put a price on hydrogen.

According to Autoblog, a seminar held at the Mirai launch regarding hydrogen revealed the fueling stations currently in place in the United States aren’t able to accurately measure how much hydrogen is pumped into a given vehicle. Without that accuracy, no FCV owner can be charged for the fuel, a problem the California Air Resources Board is working to fix. Deputy Executive Officer Alberto Ayala explains:

If you think about it, it’s a real simple yet real practical challenge. If you’re going to pay for X amount of hydrogen, you’re actually getting that amount of hydrogen… We are at a point where we are solving multiple remaining questions [with hydrogen infrastructure], and that just happens to be one of them.

National Fuel Cell Research Center director Scott Samuelsen adds that this was once the issue with gasoline, with agencies like California’s Department of Food and Agriculture and Department of Weights and Measures setting standards for fuel pumps, then routinely inspecting said pumps to ensure they remained accurate. Once “the right meter” to measure hydrogen is in place, the new consumer fuel source would fall in line.

A solution to this problem is expected to arrive within a year’s time at the latest.

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26 of 39 comments
  • John Rosevear John Rosevear on Nov 21, 2014

    It's fun to watch the Tesla fans dismiss fuel cells out of hand without pondering the implications of the fact that the world's largest automaker (and world's largest seller of gasoline-electric hybrids, by far) has chosen to invest big in this technology over BEVs. Toyota's not dumb, guys.

    • See 20 previous
    • Shaker Shaker on Nov 23, 2014

      @Silverbird I'm sure that the fossil fuel interests would be willing to drill for natural gas in my backyard, pipe it to the Texas/NJ coasts, liquify it, pump it into bunker-fuel fed LNG tankers, and ship it off to Japan to be converted into H2. Simple.

  • MGV001 MGV001 on Nov 22, 2014

    I just can't believe what's coming out of the styling studios these days. Seems these guys are all in a dare game to outdo eachother on how ugly a car they can design and sell to the public.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Nov 22, 2014

      At Toyota/Lexus, this is true. Kia is at the other end of the spectrum, IMO.

  • Sketch Sketch on Nov 23, 2014

    Honda's had FCVs in limited release on the market for nearly 10 years now. How have they handled this problem? Is the Honda home fueling station their only source of fuel?

  • Guildenstern Guildenstern on Nov 23, 2014

    So, a scale would be not a solution because......? Weigh car, Fill car, Weigh car. Difference = Hydrogen added.