A Tool to Optimize the Initial Distribution of Hydrogen Filling Stations


Malte Schwoon

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - station, infrastructure - vehicle, planning - signage/information, technology - geographic information systems


Trunk roads, Spatial analysis, Site selection, Service stations, Refueling, Primary highways, Placement (Location), Optimization, Optimisation, Motor vehicles, Location, Locating, Infrastructure, Hydrogen fuels, GIS, Germany, Geographic information systems, Geocoding, Fuel cells, Fuel cell vehicles, Automotive vehicles, Agent based models


An important barrier towards the introduction of fuel cell vehicles running on hydrogen is the lack of widespread refueling infrastructure. The niche of buses for public transport, taxis and deliverers with a local application area might not be large enough to generate the reductions of fuel cell vehicle costs that are necessary for a general technology switch. Thus, fuel availability at trunk roads probably plays a crucial role in generating demand for these also from private consumers. In this paper, we assume that consumers are more likely to consider buying a fuel cell vehicle the more frequently they are exposed to hydrogen refueling opportunities on long distant trips. We introduce a tool to test different small-scale initial distributions of hydrogen outlets within the German trunk road system for their potential success to generate a large-scale adoption of fuel cell vehicles. The tool makes use of agent-based trip modeling and geographic information system supported spatial modeling. We demonstrate its potentials by testing a ring shaped distribution of hydrogen outlets at highway filling stations. We find that the structure of an optimized initial distribution of filling stations depends on what drivers consider a sufficiently small distance between refueling opportunities.


Transportation Research Part D Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13619209