I never, ever understood the hydrogen car crowd. The fantasy of building a giant sprawling hydrogen generation and supply infrastructure, another horribly centralized yet unstable model of high risk energy, seemed totally nuts. Here are a couple of my old blog posts, if you see what I mean.
- September 2006: The Danger of a Fuel Cell Infrastructure
- October 2006: Problems of Hydrogen Distribution
- November 2006: Will the Hydrogen Farce be With You?
Perhaps they could rename hydrogen-based combustion engines as “farcicles”…so we can go riding on a farcicle built for four.
Fast forward to today, and Shell is abruptly killing the hydrogen dream.
Shell to permanently close all of its hydrogen refuelling stations for cars in California … Shell had last September told Hydrogen Insight that it had “discontinued its plan to build and operate additional light-duty vehicle fueling stations in California”, effectively scrapping the 48 new sites it had previously announced it would build.
Picture this: Shell accepting $40.6 million in grant money from California, only to close operations shortly thereafter. It seems like Shell accepted the funds as a gesture to politicians who expect now to be receiving that money back from Shell for upcoming elections.
The flow reflects hydrogen serving mainly as a politically corrupt system. Climate attention and energy resources are unjustly diverted by wealthy incumbents into scams (e.g. toxic hydrogen, broken hyperloop, dead Tesla-tunnels) in order to deny practical and secure initiatives.
What a farcicle.
Perhaps ironically there is a buried lede in this long running disaster. Smaller engineering fraud stories are bubbling up within the larger hydrogen supply-chain management fiasco.
“Fraud, false promises, concealment”. Iwatani files lawsuit against Nel over faulty hydrogen refueling stations.
Who could have seen it coming? Who?