H2FIRST: Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology

Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology (H2FIRST) is a project launched by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The project leverages capabilities at the national laboratories to address the technology challenges related to hydrogen refueling stations. Led by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and supported by a broad array of public and private partners, the H2FIRST project is a strong example of DOE’s efforts to bring national lab capabilities and facilities to bear on both immediate and mid-term challenges faced by industry. H2FIRST was established by DOE’s FCTO directly in support of H2USA, a public-private partnership co-launched by DOE and industry in 2013.


The H2FIRST objective is to ensure that fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) customers have a positive fueling experience similar to conventional gasoline/diesel stations as vehicles are introduced (2015–2017) and transition to advanced fueling technology beyond 2017. The H2FIRST activities are expected to positively impact the cost, reliability, safety, and consumer experience of FCEV stations.


H2FIRST includes technical work in support of H2USA to fill the most critical gaps and needs for achieving a better-performing, less-expensive hydrogen fueling infrastructure. The project scope includes:

  • Development and physical testing of components and systems
  • Numerical simulation
  • Technology validation
  • Identification and development of low-cost, high-performance materials
  • Systems and station architecture design.

A process is in place to help identify new H2FIRST activities and ensure that the project is addressing the national needs associated with hydrogen station technology research and development.


Hydrogen fueling station stakeholders are welcome to consider participating in the H2FIRST project. Opportunities for involvement include participation in the H2USA stations working group, H2FIRST Coordination Panel, and H2FIRST Project Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), or responding to requests for quotation issued by the H2FIRST principal investigators (PIs). The Coordination Panel consists of individuals associated with the H2USA Hydrogen Fueling Stations Working Group (HFSWG) and the H2FIRST PIs from each laboratory. Participation in the Coordination Panel is open to industry representatives who are active in the HFSWG.