04/02/2021 – Fuel / Hydrogen / Andretti / PowerTap / California / US / Gas Stations
Legendary race-car driver Mario Andretti joins the hydrogen fuel movement
The Andretti Group – headed up by racing legend Mario Andretti – is entering an agreement with PowerTap Hydrogen Fueling Corp. to install PowerTap’s proprietary hydrogen production and fuelling modules across the Group’s network of gas stations in the US. Starting with California, Andretti Group's footprint of gas stations will make hydrogen fuel accessible to a wide west coast network, amidst forecasts that hydrogen will take 25 per cent of oil demand by 2050.
Andretti Group has over 100 company-owned and operated facilities in the United States, with 39 in California. Industry-wide, there are approximately 111,000 conventional/petrol gas stations in the US, of which over 11,000 are in California. Under the terms of the Definitive Agreement, PowerTap will install its 1,250kg hydrogen production and dispensing fuelling stations at certain Andretti Group properties located in California. As part of the deal, PowerTap will be introduced to the Andretti Group's deep network of major oil companies, chain retailers, cardlock operators, and independent fuelling stations.
As part of the deal, Andretti Group will also provide certain services to PowerTap consisting of: tactical and strategic planning, network development, real estate support, project management, account management, and various ‘run and maintain’ support work in connection with the fuelling stations. This affiliate relationship will enable PowerTap to quickly operationalise and accelerate deployment of its unique patented technology, the firm said, as well as providing a compelling retailer ‘revenue share’ model.
According to a recent Bank of America analyst report, Hydrogen is forecast to take 25 per cent of oil demand by 2050, and will generate more than US$2.5 trillion in direct revenue annually in that time. Indeed, “hydrogen is set to play a major role in the global energy markets over the coming decades, supplanting a large chunk of oil demand,” according to Bank of America’s head of global thematic research.
Advantages of PowerTap’s tech
The new partnership with PowerTap offers Andretti Group a number of distinct advantages linked to the former’s proprietary technology.
PowerTap was the first on-site fuelling option for hydrogen, and the company has developed one of the most sophisticated techniques for ensuring longer SMR life.
PowerTap's revolutionary technology allows the Group to produce on-site hydrogen – as opposed to using the storage tank and delivery model, which is expensive to make and transport.
Unlike other hydrogen fuel companies, PowerTap's patented technology is designed to thermocycle hydrogen, meaning that the tech can be turned off and brought back on; a process that conserves energy and gives the cells a full 20 years in use.
Leading US shift to cleaner, more efficient energy
Andretti Group will benefit from this proprietary technology and will serve as a conduit for PowerTap’s hydrogen generation, providing energy to third party gas stations and truck stops throughout the United States.
“Given our long family lineage around the automobile, we are thrilled to be on the vanguard of new transportation technology – especially in this very exciting and promising area of Hydrogen Fuel Cells,” said Andretti Group Chairman Mario Andretti and partner/son Michael Andretti, in a statement on the new deal. “We are always energised at being first in the application of innovative technologies. We relish the prospect of leading America’s move to cleaner and more efficient energy.”