A couple of months back I wrote two articles titled “1st Interstate H2 Highway in the USA Rolls Out September 2017” and “1st Interstate Hydrogen Highway in USA Inaugurated by Maiden Voyage” which were about a voyage upon an interstate hydrogen highway between southern California and Las Vegas, NV (This was an very difficult trip that the ordinary consumer could not do).
Because of these articles, I had a current fuel cell auto owner in the Los Angeles area me about wanting to drive to Las Vegas as it was one of their favorite travel destinations. And this person isn’t alone as many people want to go to Las Vegas as a top travel destination.
So, how does this FCEV owner get to Las Vegas from Los Angeles in their hydrogen auto? Right now, this is not going to happen because of a lack of one hydrogen fueling station at a strategic location in-between.
What I propose is building a public hydrogen fueling station in Baker, California. Here is why.
The distance from Baker, CA to Las Vegas, NV (according to Google Maps) is only 94.2 miles. FCEV owners can easily make a round trip from Baker, CA to Las Vegas, NV and back on one tank of hydrogen gas.
Currently, what are the closest hydrogen stations to Baker, CA that are open to the public? There are H2 stations in Pasadena, CA, Diamond Bar, CA and Riverside, CA.
The distance from Baker, CA to Pasadena, CA is 168 miles. The distance from Baker, CA to Diamond Bar, CA is 154 miles. The distance from Baker, CA to Riverside, CA is 145 miles.
So, you can see that fueling up at one of these stations, driving to Baker, CA to top off the tank and then driving to Las Vegas and back is quite do-able.
The problem is that the current hydrogen fueling station maps available don’t show Baker, CA as a planned location. My contention is that we need to get this on the books as a future location for a hydrogen fueling station.
This idea isn’t farfetched either as there is already a precedent set in northern California. At present, a fuel cell auto driver can gas up in Sacramento, CA and drive 118 miles to Lake Tahoe. This is a very do-able trip.
What will make or break hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the state of California is giving the drivers both what they want and need. FCEVs have the advantage over BEV in their ability to refuel quickly and do road trips. So why not give the drivers what they want and say “We’re going to Vegas, baby!”