GM wants Congress to fund EVSE, Toyota wants hydrogen fueling infrastructure

At the recent Washington Auto Show, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a field hearing to solicit input from stakeholders on public policy that affects the auto industry.

GM spokesperson Britta Gross thanked the committee for helping to retain the $7,500 EV tax credit, which was on the chopping block in the recent budget negotiations. She also said that the nation needs more public charging stations, which need to be “highly visible to consumers and…drive consumer confidence in the ability to drive EVs anywhere at any time.”

Gross called for federal funding for charging infrastructure. The market requires “continued partnership between electric utilities, station operators, vehicle manufacturers, and support by federal, state and municipal government to establish charging stations at the same scale as the 168,000+ gas stations across the country,” she said.

She did not mention any contribution from GM to fund infrastructure. Unlike BMW, Nissan, and Volkswagen, GM has never shown any interest in investing in public charging.

As reported by the Washington Examiner, Toyota encouraged lawmakers to fund hydrogen fueling infrastructure for its fuel cell vehicles. “To ensure the US remains competitive in this space,” said Toyota spokesman Robert Wimmer, “the federal government needs to take a much more proactive role supporting hydrogen infrastructure growth. Without robust federal support for hydrogen infrastructure…the numbers of fuel cell vehicles on our roads will remain modest.”


Source: Washington Examiner, Green Car Reports

  • Jay Donnaway

    No on both counts. GM is already freeloading on the VW Settlement and is alienating existing EV drivers with unfriendly charging practices at their dealerships. Give an EV driver a charge and a coffee, and how likely is he to then take a Bolt for a test drive? Regarding infrastructure for Fool Cells, that should’ve been DOA for decades already. Toyota squandered their technology lead and has now alienated the first generation of EV drivers.

  • Mark Bruckman

    Sure – let’s keep building EV’s and keep fooling ourselves it is the right answer. Hydrogen is the only practical way to replace the standard combustion vehicle. The market will be a mix of EV’s and clean fuel choice vehicles – my bet is on Hydrogen….pay attention and you will see there are big players working on Fuel Cell vehicles.

    • dogphlap dogphlap

      Hydrogen has had long enough and enough public funds wasted on it already. As a fuel it is pretty hopeless since it has a low energy density (which is why it has to be compressed to 10,000 psi to be as viable as it currently is, which in practice has been shown to be not at all). Metal parts exposed to high pressure hydrogen have to be replaced on a strict schedule because of the embrittlement problem and the stuff is happy to explode at a very wide range of concentrations when mixed with air (in contrast even gasoline is relatively reluctant to explode unless the mix is just right). Fuel cells are 60% efficient on a good day which is a lot better than a gasoline engine but nowhere near a BEV of around 90%, besides which the fuel cell feeds a battery electric drive train anyway with its 5 to 10% inefficiency to add to that of the fuel cell itself. Also it is impossible to contain under great pressure without a continuous leak. Leaking a highly explosive gas into the air in an enclosed structure where it can gather under the ceiling is not a great idea either.
      So why the attraction. Well the commercial reality is that greater than 90% of all hydrogen sold comes from the reformation of natural gas, a product of the oil industry and the oil industry can see the writing on the wall for hydrocarbon fuel sales and are not keen to see that golden goose get gutted by battery electric vehicles. Big oil has a lot of money and politicians are surprisingly cheap so I expect many more millions of dollars to be wasted on an idea who’s time has passed.

      • Mark Bruckman

        I know a bit late on the reply….good input, I have read and seen these arguments before – nothing new. There are viable vehicles on the road today ….what exposure of metal parts is there when the Hydrogen is contained ? besides – hydrogen embrittlement has been dealt with some time ago in the auto industry. Efficiencies will be continually improved upon, just like batteries over the past 5 years. The idea is that of the future, not of the past – clinging to an EV only strategy is lack of vision. If it is not Hydrogen, what clean fuel should be the focus…Algae ? EV’s are not practical if you live in limited populated areas.

    • rgeniec

      Too much energy to create and store hydrogen. It also keeps you dependent on the current outdated system of distribution. I prefer to wake up each day with a full tank and enjoy instant Torque O Rama. EV for the win.

  • dogphlap dogphlap

    I haven’t counted how many gas stations there are but 168,000+ sounds about right for gas cars. It is not in even close for battery electric cars the major charging for those being undertaken at night while their owners sleep so we need a lot less however some encouragement for apartment dwellers, owners and builders to provide a level 2 outlet in the parking area for all or a least some residents would help a great deal.

    • Gary

      Agreed. I think all new house construction so be required to add a simple Nema 14/50 plug. It’s cheap to do during new construction. Also, apartment/condo charging options should be encouraged.