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Close Enough to Buy In? The Spatial Relationship between Activity Locations and Refueling Infrastructure for California Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Adopters

Authors: Scott Kelley*, University of Nevada, Reno
Topics: Transportation Geography, Energy
Keywords: hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, refueling, GIS, network, survey
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Supported by a growing number of public refueling stations, over 7,000 Californians have purchased or leased hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs) since 2015, signaling that this technology is gaining traction in the consumer market. There has long been agreement that the lack of a convenient refueling infrastructure is a primary barrier to HFCV adoption, but less certainty about the precise nature of proximity of stations to home and work locations, frequently traveled routes, and other important travel destinations at the time of adoption. Given this growing number of new HFCV drivers in California, there is an opportunity to address this priority research topic. In the spring of 2019, 129 HFCV adopters participated in a web-based survey. Using an interactive web map, participants provided their three most common travel destinations at the time they decided to adopt their HFCV and the five stations they intended to use, along with reasons they planned to do so. Results demonstrate that perceived convenience to home was the most frequent stated reason for considering stations. Network GIS analysis reveals substantial variation in travel distances between home and stations considered to be near home, and further, that drivers commonly listed stations that were revealed to be conveniently on the way between home and a common travel destination. Finally, when subjective and objective definitions of convenience align, drivers are less likely to change the stations they consider after experience with the vehicle. These findings can help inform future hydrogen station planning strategies in other regions.

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