At first, these were hydrogen-powered vehicles: cars, buses and trucks whose electric motors run on electricity derived from this gas, which emits only water vapor when running, without emitting noxious gases into the air.
The development of this automotive technology is now accompanied by the development of networks of hydrogen refueling stations or hydrogen plants that supply the fuel for this new generation of vehicles, which are operating in some countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
The fueling infrastructure for cars and other FCEVs has been expanding slowly but steadily in recent years.
In 2010, the first permanent hydrogen bus station began operating in London, in 2012 Shell expanded its network in Germany by building a station in Hamburg, and in 2015 a solar-powered hydrogen station began operating near the city of Dheli in India.
According to Carbures Metalliques (CM), part of Air Products, a leader in hydrogen fueling stations, construction began in 2015 on a network of 19 hydrogen fueling stations for fuel cell electric vehicles in California (United States), adding to the nine existing hydrogen stations and nine more under construction.
At hydrogen fueling stations, the gas passes through compressors that compress it and direct it to a high-pressure tank, from where it enters pumps that allow vehicles to fill their tanks, CM explains.
The hydrogen is compressed and stored at a refueling station at about 483 bar, and the cars are supplied with hydrogen at a high pressure of 250-350 bar, according to the same source.