Hydrogen cars took a hit this week

While truck stops continue to install hydrogen facilities for future fuel-cell and adapted-Cummins-diesel big rigs, regular hydrogen cars in the US were dealt a heavy blow as Shell stopped selling the gas in its California stations. Only seven stations were affected, but these are seven out of a mere 59 stations in the entire country.

cummins propane-diesel-hydrogen engines

Ram has announced plans to add hydrogen power to the 2500/3500 pickups and chassis cabs. Ram was not specific about whether this meant fuel cells or Cummins diesel-based engines; the 6.7 liter straight six is one of the diesels which is being adapted for hydrogen burning.

Hydrogen may still be viable for these pickups in fleet use, and for those, for example, who use them to tow horse or recreational trailers across the country—once enough truck stops have it available. Refilling a big rig tank with hydrogen reportedly takes around five minutes.

While the closures are disruptive to the owners of existing hydrogen cars, mostly Toyota Mirais, the move is a reversal from Shell’s earlier attempt to build a large network of stations selling hydrogen to nonprofessional drivers. They abandoned that initiative last year, as solid state car batteries became increasingly likely to be viable and in mass production around 2027-28; and as every major automaker settled on a single electrical plug for U.S. sales in 2025-26. The fortunes of battery-electrics generally run in opposition to those of hydrogen cars.

GM hydrogen fuel cell generator

Hydrogen is somewhat controversial because most of it today is made from fossil fuels; while it burns cleaner than gasoline, its environmental usefulness is questionable. A great deal of work is going into hydrogen made by splitting water molecules using solar and wind energy, including on-and-off production during otherwise-standby times of wind or solar farms. One interesting possibility is making “green hydrogen” for use in off-grid car charging stations, powered by generators such as GM’s fuel cell model shown above.

Shell portion from a fine story at Automotive News

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