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About hydrogen stations

California has more hydrogen stations than any other region in the world. Our station map displays the stations that are open, under construction and in planning. By the beginning of 2016, California needs 68 stations to launch the commercial marketplace, quickly growing to 100 stations to become self-sustaining.

Hydrogen “stations,” for the most part, are dispensers added to existing gasoline stations. Customers are used to the convenience, safety and services of retail gas stations and it makes sense to add hydrogen to what already exists. In some cases, though, hydrogen stations are purposefully built to dispense only hydrogen.

When it comes to storing and dispensing fuel, hydrogen is more similar to natural gas than gasoline or diesel. Like CNGCompressed Natural Gas, hydrogen is a compressed gas that is stored above ground at the station. Most hydrogen stations have fuel delivered by a tanker truck, although some stations make their fuel onsite. Different designs and technology give stations the flexibility of using local resources, making best use of available land and meeting the needs of the community.

For more than 75 years, hydrogen has been safely handled, distributed and dispensed. Building codes and technical standards are created around hydrogen’s unique properties: small molecule, lighter-than-air, quick diffusion and gaseous state. For example, because the hydrogen molecule is so small, storage tanks use materials that resist embrittlement. CaFCP member Sandia Labs addressed embrittlement in most materials (read more here).

Hydrogen is a low-carbon, non-toxic fuel that is domestically produced from local resources, including renewables. When used in a fuel cell vehicle, it creates zero tailpipe pollutions. Filling a vehicle takes just minutes and provides range comparable to gasoline vehicles. Having hydrogen for sale at a local station generates sales tax revenue for the city and makes a statement about a community’s commitment to cleaner transportation.