California Commits to at Least 100 Hydrogen Fueling Stations to Support Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Market Launch
Monday, September 30, 2013
Governor Brown signs Assembly Bill 8 which renews many programs that support alternative fuels and vehicles, and reduce vehicle emissions
Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 8 by Assembly Member Henry Perea (D-Fresno) which extends until January 1, 2024 existing fees on motor vehicles, boat registrations, and new tires. The fees will fund programs to accelerate the turnover of older vehicles and equipment and invest in the development and deployment of advanced technologies that are necessary to achieve the California’s air quality, climate, and energy goals.
AB 8 provides funding until 2024 for at least 100 hydrogen stations with a commitment of up to $20 million a year from the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.
“The technology is here and automakers are ready,” said Catherine Dunwoody, executive director of the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP). “Before they can sell or lease fuel cell electric vehicles, a much larger fueling infrastructure must be in place.”
California currently has nine public stations. Twelve more stations are set to open by the end of this year or in early 2014. An additional seven were funded this year.
Last year, CaFCP released A California Road Map which recommends 68 stations in strategic locations to launch the commercial market and at least 100 stations to sustain it. At around 100 stations, stakeholders believe that private investment will be sufficient to continue hydrogen station build-out without state cost-share.“
One of the biggest obstacles to introducing fuel cell electric vehicles was the lack of fueling certainty,” said Professor Dan Sperling, CaFCP Chair and CARB Board member. Dr. Sperling is also the founder and director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis. “No more. The passage of AB 8 sends a clear signal to automakers, consumers and others that California will launch a market for FCEVs.”
“Automakers have made and are making significant investments in fuel cell electric vehicles,,” said Robert Bienenfeld, assistant vice president, environment and energy strategy for the Honda Motor Company and CaFCP vice chair. “California's planned investments in hydrogen refueling will be a key enabler to create this market.”
Assembly Bill 8 was supported by a broad range of 80-plus stakeholders, led by the American Lung Association, CALSTART and California Air Pollution Control Officers Association (CAPCOA).
CaFCP is a public-private collaboration of organizations including auto manufacturers, energy providers, fuel cell technology companies and government agencies working together to promote the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles. Hydrogen and fuel cell vehicle technology are a central part of a long-term strategy for air quality, climate protection and energy diversity.