There are a handful of hydrogen fueling stations around the country, but the newest one near LAX in Torrance, California, is different: the Shell station built on land leased from Toyota is fueled by an active hydrogen pipeline, hinting at a future hydrogen infrastructure that doesn’t rely on truck fuel deliveries.

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Honda, Toyota, and Mercedes-Benz have pursued fuel cell and hydrogen technologies for future vehicles they promise will be released to the market by 2015, but their vehicles’ success depends on hydrogen fueling stations being available to drivers all across the country. The new Torrance station is a big step in that direction. At the grand opening of the new fueling station, Chris Hostetter, Toyota vice president of strategic resources told the crowd: “Fuel cell technology is viable and ready for the mass market. Toyota plans to bring a fuel cell vehicle to market in 2015 or sooner, and as you see, we will not be alone in the marketplace. Building an extensive hydrogen re-fueling infrastructure is the critical next step in bringing these products to market.”

+ Toyota