By Joe Petrowski

Hydrogen is clean, less expensive than gas or diesel and qualifies as a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) when the ZEV mandate is implemented in three years. But what does it mean for the retail fueling site? Here are 10 quick points to consider:

  1. An average 5-kilogram (kg) fill-up takes the same amount of time as gasoline and is safe and easy.
  2. The retailer does not have to incur any capital costs or pump maintenance. The hydrogen company (IVYS in this case) will permit, install and negotiate for feedstock to produce hydrogen on site (natural gas or water). Hydrogen is twice as efficient as gasoline, so $2.50 gasoline is equivalent of $5/kg hydrogen. Range for a vehicle is 300 miles.
  3. The retailer will make 50 cents/kg or $2.50/fill-up, which is better than $1.65 currently enjoyed with a 15 cent margin and 11 gallons on gasoline.
  4. A 500 gallon per day facility is most likely the scale prototype.
  5. There will be additional demand as home hydrogen batteries are developed for distributive power and heat.
  6. Government fleets, forklifts and warehouse vehicles are already customers (Wal-Mart, Costco and BJ’s are prime customers).
  7. The 10 state ZEV coalition is committed to having 3.3 million cars on the road by 2025. Those states are New York, New Jersey, 6 New England states, Oregon and California.
  8. While 10 manufacturers are committed to production, Toyota, Hyundai and General Motors (GM) are in the lead.
  9. Retail pricing will either be pre-sold or bundled into vehicle price or internet fixed price, and GPS guidance to location will be part of the package.
  10. IVYS is looking for retailers willing to enter into a 900 square foot ground lease so bundling with vehicle manufacturers can begin.

JHP photo-537Joe Petrowski has had a long career in international commodity trading, energy and retail management and public policy development. In 2005, he was named President and CEO of Gulf Oil LP and elected to the Gulf Oil LP Board of Directors. In October of 2008, he was named CEO of the now combined Gulf Oil and Cumberland Farms whose annual revenues exceed $11 billion and that now operates in 27 states. In September 2013, Petrowski stepped down as CEO of The Cumberland Gulf Group. He is now Managing Director of Mercantor Partners, a private equity firm investing in convenience and energy distribution and a member of the Gulf Board.