A new joint report from California Energy Commission and Air Resources Board puts forward findings that represent analyses of data through December 2015 about the progress for hydrogen stations in California. The report concludes that based on expected FCEV market growth and the expiration of AB 8 funding in 2023, the hydrogen fuel market should be in good financial condition to attract the high levels of private capital that will be needed to ensure a steady transition to a self-sustaining hydrogen and FCEV market. It cautions, however, that AB 8 investments of $20 million a year should be considered as initial funding needed to create the potential for a self-sustaining market in California, and not a completion or achievement of the long-term policy goal to add substantial levels of FCEVs to the mix of technologies needed to attain 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2025.
The findings are:
- In 2016, more than 50 hydrogen refueling stations will be open with capacity for more than 10,000 FCEVs. Future demand could outpace capacity by 2020-2021, demonstrating that continued state financial support for hydrogen refueling stations is critical to enabling steady market growth for FCEVs in California.
- Given the current pace of station rollout and expected vehicle demand, an initial network of 100 stations is expected to be complete by 2020 and is anticipated to require about $160 million in public incentive funding.
- Significant improvements have been made in station development timelines.
- Hydrogen station costs are expected to begin declining around 2020 and could decrease by 50 percent in 2025 due to increased worldwide demand for hydrogen stations.
- Leveraging private investments has accelerated station development.
- Future hydrogen fuel prices could drop to make the cost of operating a hydrogen vehicle more competitive.
- Continued public investment is required in the near term until a business case exists for non-subsidized station development.
Read the full report here.