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Letters to the Editor: Hydrogen car naysayers sound like battery EV critics 20 years ago

Two futuristic-looking fuel pumps are shown at a refueling station.
The True Zero hydrogen refueling station in Aliso Viejo opened in June.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As The Times notes in its reports on hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles, California is the only state that has supported this technology in such a robust way. I have driven a fuel cell car made by Toyota for almost six years, and I have seen the same types of issues — like offline pumps and long lines at stations — that other drivers have.

However, mine has been a fascinating and positive experience. I accept the inconveniences I knew about in advance, knowing I am helping further a technology and business that helps our state, country and world reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

Throughout my adult life, I’ve watched California support technologies and systems that improve our environment. Thirty years ago, the costs and complexities of solar energy seemed to make it unworkable. Twenty years ago, the costs and complexities of battery electric vehicles seemed to make them unable to scale. Now, we have complex infrastructure issues to work out for fuel-cell electric vehicles to be able to scale.

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For those who want to find problems and complexities, the hydrogen economy is filled with them. For those looking for a way to provide fast refueling, scalable electric propulsion and a potential to step away from fossil fuels, this is an incredible and very plausible pathway that we are perfecting in California like the pioneers we are destined to be.

Adam Bray-Ali, Alhambra

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To the editor: When I leased a Toyota Mirai in 2018, I was advised to keep the fuel tank half-full at all times. That way, I would always have enough range (100-200 miles) to get to a station that’s operational.

I’ve driven to Palm Desert, Lake Arrowhead, San Francisco, San Diego and all over L.A. without a fueling incident. And hydrogen will be “green” when companies start using solar energy for water electrolysis.

If only a tiny percentage of all cars sold in the United States are electric, let’s address that first. Hydrogen fuel produced with solar energy is a solid alternative for a clean-energy future.

Cort Casady, Palos Verdes Peninsula

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To the editor: Why go to all the trouble trying to distribute hydrogen fuel for automobiles?

With the apparent overabundance of solar electricity generated during the day, that power should be used to manufacture hydrogen at the point of collection. The hydrogen could then be used to generate electricity at night when there is no sunshine, and could be charging electric vehicles while they are parked in the garage.

Paul Ochsner, Claremont


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