Linde North America’s latest hydrogen fuelling station officially began operation yesterday. Located in California and serving 12 vehicles a day, the facility has been dubbed ‘best’ in the country.

The Emeryville, California-based hydrogen fuelling station, which began operation in late 2011, is one of two Linde is supplying to AC Transit. The second, located at the Oakland operating division, is expected to go live in 2013. Both stations are part of AC Transit’s HyRoad project, which seeks to demonstrate the commercial viability of hydrogen fuel cell technology for the public transport industry.

This is the first public hydrogen fuelling station in the San Francisco Bay area. According to Linde it meets industry needs for fast fueling and includes both 700 and 350 bar fueling. Daimler, which has tested fuel cell cars at the station on several occasions, described the station as “the best we have filled at in the United States”.

We believe you are judged by the company you keep, and Linde is proud to partner with a leader in municipal transit, AC Transit.

Pat Murphy, President of Linde North America

Rosario Beretta, General Manager for Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. added, “Performance-wise, it meets the Daimler requirement of a three-to-four minute complete fill with a delivered gas temperature of -40ºC, the best available today. In addition to fill performance, the station reliably demonstrated the capability to fill four fuel cell vehicles back-to-back.”

Replacing diesel with hydrogen fuel completely eliminates vehicle tailpipe emissions. The California Air Resources Board estimates that fuel cell buses will deliver a net reduction of 2.7 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile using hydrogen reformed from methane, and 6.3 pounds per mile using hydrogen derived from solar, wind, or other renewable sources. Each bus is projected to travel 36,000 miles per year, reducing carbon emissions by 44 metric tons per year when using methane as a source of fuel, or 103 metric tons using renewables.

Pat Murphy, President of Linde North America, said, “We believe you are judged by the company you keep, and Linde is proud to partner with a leader in municipal transit, AC Transit. We are confident this partnership and project will prove to be a watershed for clean fuel.”

Murphy also emphasised his confidence in the facility, he added, “Linde has designed, built and delivered the newest, most efficient hydrogen fuelling system, which moves from demonstration project to providing a real commercial solution for a real market and real customers. This station is proving the viability of the hydrogen fuel cell market, for both buses and cars, while offering AC Transit the easiest, fastest and most reliable hydrogen fuelling experience available anywhere.”

David Armijo, AC Transit’s General Manager, was equally positive about the venture. He commented, “We are working with companies like Linde to demonstrate alternative energy technologies in real-world operating conditions that will make our transportation systems more energy efficient and cleaner, our cities healthier, and our planet environmentally sustainable. We are impressed with Linde’s technology and the capability of our new station to provide our fleet with clean, green hydrogen fuel.”