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Platts launches hydrogen pump prices in Germany, Japan and California


134 active stations in global leader Japan

Germany European leader with 90 stations

Fueling costs comparable with fossil fuels: trade body

S&P Global Platts has launched hydrogen pump price assessments in Germany, Japan and California, starting Sept. 2.

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The first monthly prices in Germany were assessed at Eur9.50/kg ($11.26/kg), with prices in Japan and California set to be published later in the day.

The markets are the top three regions for hydrogen refueling stations globally, with 134 active stations in Japan, 90 in Germany and 48 in California, data from S&P Global Platts Analytics Hydrogen Market Monitor showed. A further 23 are planned in Japan, with 17 in Germany and 16 in California.

"Globally, Japan, Germany and California are three of the market leaders with the most active and planned stations," S&P Global Platts EMEA pricing lead Jeff McDonald said.

"Other countries are catching up as well as economics improve either through subsidies, tax incentives or technology improvements. Along the way, pricing transparency will be critical."

In California, Platts will conduct a monthly survey of pump prices from hydrogen fuel station operators across the state. The prices in Germany and Japan will be republished from posted prices from hydrogen station consortium H2 Mobility Deutschland and gas company Iwatani, respectively.

California leads the way in the US, with favorable legislation and carbon credits giving the fuel a head start in the state.

Platts, which expects the hydrogen retail market to become more dynamic over time, said its prices would increase transparency and provide an indicator of market adoption in the sector.

The EU aims to install hydrogen fueling stations every 150 km along the core Trans-European Transport Network routes as part of its so-called 'Fit for 55' package of measures to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030, from 1990 levels.

Germany has the most hydrogen refueling stations in Europe.

The hydrogen pump prices in Germany of $11.26/kg across the H2 Mobility network of public filling stations, is substantially lower than in the UK, for example.

In the UK, hydrogen refueling at stations run by ITM Power, which operates seven of the 11 operational public stations in the country, costs GBP12/kg ($16.55/kg), the company told Platts Aug. 12.

Fuel consumption

1 kg of hydrogen would power a vehicle for about 100 km, an H2 Mobility spokesperson told Platts Aug. 27, making fuel costs comparable with a gasoline-powered car consuming 7 liters per 100 km.

In the US, average fuel consumption for light-duty vehicles was 9.4 liters/100 km in 2018, according to the International Energy Agency, an improvement of 0.8% on the year.

In Europe, average fuel consumption was 5.1 liters/100 km in 2018.

"The global fuel cell electric vehicles fleet now exceeds 38,000 units, up 6.5% since last quarter, with the US still holding the largest fleet at 10,235 units, followed by South Korea (9,068), China (7,718), and Japan (4,422)," S&P Global Platts Analytics said in its latest Hydrogen Market Monitor, published June 29.

"France's quarter-over-quarter growth resulted from adding 600 passenger vehicles to support plans to have 10,000 hydrogen-powered taxis before the 2024 Olympics, and New Zealand ordered 1,500 FCEV long-haul trucks."

However, while the fuel cell electric vehicle fleets in the US and South Korea are dominated by passenger vehicles, the fuel demand from FCEVs in China is much greater, with the market largely composed of buses and commercial trucks.

Hydrogen for transport is expected to play a much larger role in these segments, along with potentially shipping and aviation, which are much more difficult to directly electrify.