The Shell Oil Company will open a hydrogen filling station in the Bronx in the next month, according to spokesman L.K. Herlong. The Houston-based energy giant opened its second hydrogen station at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday, July 14. It opened a White Plains station in 2008.
Shell will operate its new Bronx station in partnership with the city’s Department of Sanitation. No other region in the United States boasts three Shell hydrogen stations, where motorists in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are able to fill up.
Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles use electrochemical conversion; they mix hydrogen with oxygen to produce water and electricity. The electricity is used to power the motor. NASA uses hydrogen to launch the Space Shuttle.
Although many automakers have considered hydrogen fuel-cell technology, there are fewer than 200 hydrogen fuel-cell publicly-owned vehicles in America. The Obama administration recently eliminated funding for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle research and development. But Daimler and Hyundai are ramping up hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle production.
“The prospects for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are strong in the longer-term,” vice president of hydrogen Duncan Macleod said.
Macleod called the White Plains-JFK-Bronx cluster an important step “as we continue to build capacity in retailing hydrogen fuel, in line with the automakers’ plans to develop hydrogen vehicles.”
The average range of a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle is 150-200 miles. Such vehicles emit only vapor and heat. Shell currently operates five other hydrogen filling stations, in Tokyo, Reykjavik, Iceland, Shanghai, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.
Shell wouldn’t disclose the location of the Bronx station and the borough president’s office was not in the know. DSNY didn’t respond to a request for comment.