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NCST Research Report: Deployment of Sustainable Fueling/Charging Systems at California Highway Safety Roadside Rest Areas


Research Report

Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS), National Center for Sustainable Transportation

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Suggested Citation:
Zhao, Hengbing and Andrew Burke (2016) NCST Research Report: Deployment of Sustainable Fueling/Charging Systems at California Highway Safety Roadside Rest Areas. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-16-32

The transportation and electricity sectors are major sources of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions because fossil fuels are the dominant energy source for the transportation sector and for electricity generation. Both sectors are facing the challenge of shifting to a more sustainable future. In the transportation sector, plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) will play a key role in meeting California’s 2050 GHG goals. There is a need to deploy hydrogen fueling and Direct Current (DC) fast charging stations in suburban areas and along interstate and state highways. These stations are needed so FCEV and PEV drivers can be confident that fueling/charging will be available when they travel between communities or make long intercity trips. The electric utility sector is increasing the fraction of electricity generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar. The efficient use of renewable energy resources relies on the ability to store energy when/where it is produced and distribute it when/where it is needed. Building vehicle fueling/charging stations and installing grid-level energy storage facilities to deal with the fueling and grid challenges will be expensive and require long-term and smart infrastructure investment.

This research studied the feasibility of the deployment of renewable hydrogen fueling for FCEVs and DC fast charging stations for PEVs at Highway Safety Roadside Rest Areas (SRRAs) and the integration of the stations with the electricity grid, including solar electric generation, to lower the infrastructure cost and to accelerate the usage of renewable energy in the California transportation sector. Three hydrogen fueling/DC fast charging system configurations were studied: two integrated stations with energy storage using compressed hydrogen or batteries as the energy storage medium located on a single site, and a distributed system configuration deployed on different sites.