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Air Products to create a "hydrogen highway" in Alberta with network of hydrogen fuelling stations

Published by
Amanda Sparks
12
June 2024
A world leader in hydrogen production, Air Products, has plans to construct a network of new commercial hydrogen fueling stations between Edmonton and Calgary, decarbonizing one of Western Canada's busiest transportation corridors with hydrogen.

At the 2024 Canadian Hydrogen Convention, Air Products announced its plans to build a network of permanent, commercial hydrogen fueling stations along the Queen Elizabeth II (QE2) highway, a major highway linking Alberta's two largest major metropolitan areas, Calgary and Edmonton. These fueling stations will create a “hydrogen highway” said Air Products’ Vice President, Hydrogen for Mobility, Eric Guter, during the announcement.

Listen to the full announcement from Air Products' Vice President, Hydrogen for Mobility, Eric Guter during the 2024 Canadian Hydrogen Convention:

The fueling stations will utilize liquid hydrogen, produced at Air Products net-zero energy complex that is currently under construction in the Edmonton region. In a sit down with Edmonton Global’s Chris McLeod after the announcement, Air Products’ Vice President and General Manager, Canada, Rachel Smith, said that using liquid hydrogen will be “what’s going to enable the transition of the transportation sector to zero emission fuel.”

Smith also commented on the advantages that hydrogen vehicles offer over electric vehicles.  

“We are making sure that there’s an awareness that hydrogen solves all of the challenges that we continue to hear about electric vehicles—including the weight of the battery, the inefficiency that causes, the cold weather impacts, the fueling times, and the electrical infrastructure that is required.”

“While electric vehicles may work in some applications, in some geographies, what’s important is hydrogen works in all applications, in all geographies. It’s ideal for Canada, where … we do have cold weather impacts and long-haul distances,” Smith continued.  

The construction of these fueling stations will de-risk hydrogen adoption and make owning and operating hydrogen or dual-fuel hydrogen powered vehicles more accessible to fleet owners looking to decarbonize their fleets—a vital piece to the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge, which aims to get 5,000 hydrogen or dual-fuel hydrogen vehicles on Western Canada's roads within five years.

Smith said that consumer confidence, or how vehicle buyers feel about the state of the hydrogen vehicle industry, will be one of the key topics to address in the transition to hydrogen-powered vehicles, but that “multiple fueling stations along QE2 will make sure there’s that consumer confidence in this corridor and start getting hydrogen vehicles on the road.”  

“Liquid hydrogen is fuel cell grade ready,” Smith added. “So it already meets that high quality specification required. Secondly, it allows us to really mirror that consumer experience that we all enjoy today with safe, reliable, fast fills. That’s how we’re going to convince this market to transition – is making sure that the consumer experience is equal to or even better than what we experience today.”

Smith ended the discussion noting how important these fueling stations are for the advancement of the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge and the hydrogen vehicle market as a whole.

“The 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle challenge is so incredibly important to building out the transportation market and that consumer confidence in that market. Now we need those 5,000 vehicles on the road—we’re ready for them.”

Watch Rachel Smith and Chris McLeod, on the Edmonton Global stage inside the 2024 Canadian Hydrogen Convention, discuss Air Products' plans for hydrogen fueling stations along Alberta's busiest highway here:

Attend the 2025 Canadian Hydrogen Convention

The Canadian Hydrogen Convention, taking place April 29 - May 1, 2025 in Edmonton, Canada, is North America's largest and most influential hydrogen event, fostering international collaboration from across the entire hydrogen value chain. This must-attend event brings the global hydrogen economy’s key players, industry leaders and experts, decision-makers, and government organizations from across the world together to explore Canada’s net-zero future—showcasing the Edmonton region and Canada’s leadership in the global hydrogen economy. Learn more and register here.

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