Shifting focus to unused stations in an early hydrogen refueling network and implications for station planning

Authors: Scott Kelley*, University of Nevada, Reno, Samir Gulati, University of Nevada, Reno, Joseph Hiatt, University of Nevada, Reno
Topics: Transportation Geography, Energy, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, station, GIS, network, survey
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 18
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Nearly 9,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) have been sold or leased nationwide in recent years, providing an opportunity to evaluate their diffusion. Most FCVs are in California, supported by 42 public hydrogen refueling stations. Initial research of this nascent environment finds that FCV adopters compile diverging portfolios of stations that satisfy various geographic criteria of convenience, and that as drivers gain experience, they shift use to stations that are farther from home and require short deviations to reach. Less clear is the role of neglected stations, which are those that drivers stop using over time or those that drivers do not consider in the first place, even if they offer competitive geographic convenience. Using survey responses collected from 129 early FCV adopters in California, we first identify stations drivers initially planned to use, but no longer do. We compare station characteristics and geographic convenience estimated by network GIS analysis between stations drivers still use and those no longer used, finding that reliability is a prominent concern, followed by geographic inconvenience. Next, we identify stations that were available at the time of adoption and similarly convenient to home, travel routes, and other activity sites as listed stations, but unlisted by respondents. We find key several key differences in neighborhood demographics and built environment characteristics between listed and similarly convenient unlisted stations, many of which are reflective of traditional early adopter profiles. This carries a number of implications for future station planning.

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