Former executive at Great Wall Motor Co Ltd
- Hydrogen fuelling station components and sourcing
- Fuelling station cost analysis and economics of delivering hydrogen to end-users
- Construction timelines and core challenges
- Market opportunities and outlook, focusing on light-, medium- and heavy-duty hydrogen vehicle segments vs EVs [electric vehicles]
Who is operating in the hydrogen fuelling space right now? Who are the main people investing in this?
What might be the differentiators in determining who might be most successful in building out the fuelling infrastructure, especially given the diverse range of companies? Do you think it will depend on access to the hydrogen supply, operating in areas with regulatory support or something else?
Could you elaborate on the main bottlenecks to developing the hub-and-spoke model? Is the liquefaction difficult because of the cost of doing it, or transporting the liquid?
California has 47 hydrogen fuelling stations installed as of mid-2021 while almost all other US states have none, aside from Hawaii. Do you see any indication of this changing soon? What will it take to get infrastructure built in places where there hasn’t been any motion yet?
How has your outlook for the hydrogen industry changed since your previous Third Bridge Interview [see Hydrogen Fuelling Stations – Technical Challenges & Economics – 30 November 2020]? What do you think are the most important trends and developments since then?
Did the cost decreases in liquefaction and electrolysation during the last two years exceed your expectations? What is the pace of that?
Can you break out the main costs to construct and install a fuelling station? You said it costs several million dollars.
You mentioned some of the trade-offs between liquid and high-pressure storage – the latter takes up a lot of room and needs pre-coolers. Why would somebody choose that route over liquid?
What are the key materials for the different components for a fuelling station, the compression, storage, dispensing components and so on? Who manufactures those pieces? Can you outline the supply chain for some of this?
Is special expertise needed to install hydrogen fuelling stations? Are there enough people with the skills and knowledge to do this?
Could any parts or steps of the installation process become easier in the near term? Could costs begin to decrease?
What is your outlook for the medium-, heavy-duty fuelling segment? Is the main bottleneck around tech and being able to fill up enough vehicles with enough hydrogen? Is it just getting the fleets out on the road?
Do you see fuel-cell technology and the vehicles becoming more efficient over the next couple of years, or will a vehicle’s hydrogen consumption per mile be a constant? What should we expect here?
How significant of a consideration is the cost of power and electricity if we expect to have on-site electrolysis and on-site hydrogen production in the near term? Do you expect more stations built around renewable energy generation facilities? How major is the power component to the actual operation in that case?
The DoE [Department of Energy] had a target cost a few years ago that was below USD 2 per gallon of gas equivalent. Is that the metric still used by the industry? What is your cost target or expectation?
Aside from the bigger-picture regulatory factors, are there any specific permitting challenges to highlight for the infrastructure we’ve been discussing?
What is the typical timeline of a hydrogen fuelling project? Does it vary between stations for fleets or for heavy vs light duty?
There has been speculation about whether existing gas stations would be the best sites for EV [electric vehicle] charging. Do expect existing gas stations to get hydrogen added or being repurposed in any significant numbers, or will that be marginal?
How might the light-duty hydrogen vehicle segment grow? How attractive are hydrogen cars vs EVs?
Presuming the medium- and heavy-duty segment has more promise, what timeline might we consider for the respective adoption of trucking fleets or buses? Is this likely in the next 2-3 or 4-5 years?
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