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Californian legislators call for additional hydrogen infrastructure funding

Californian legislators call for additional hydrogen infrastructure funding

A bipartisan coalition has called on Californian legislative leaders to increase funding for hydrogen infrastructure in the state to help meet its zero emission vehicle goals.

In a letter addressed to Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, nearly 20 lawmakers asked for a $300m increase of  state government funding for hydrogen.

Read more: Only zero emission car sales in California by 2035

As well as the additional state funding, the group also asked leaders to set aside 20% of the state’s Clean Transportation Program funding to bolster hydrogen fuelling infrastructure.

The call follows 25 executives of 25 multi-national companies calling on Governor Gavin Nesome to edicate $500m of the $1bn securitisation to hydrogen fuel infrastructure to serve light-duty, transit and the heavy-duty vehicle markets.

Read more:Leading CEO’s call for Californian governor to dedicate $500m to hydrogen infrastructure

“For all communities to truly participate in this exciting transition, hydrogen fuelling infrastructure will be critical,” the letter reads.

“Both zero emission vehicle technologies are essential to meet the needs of all consumers and assure public acceptance. These recommendations will provide the support and signal needed for private sector investments to enable California’s zero emission vehicle future.”

It continued, “Intended to support Executive Order N-79-20 related to zero emission vehicles, the 2021-2022 revised budget proposal provides $500m in general fund dollars for near-term investments in fuelling infrastructure.

“We respectfully request $300m be made available to bring the light-duty hydrogen market to a point of self- sufficiency, as illustrated by the Air Resources Board.

“The 2021-2022 revised budget proposal also calls for the reauthorisation of the Clean Transportation Program. Outside of the broadly available Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program, the Clean Transportation Program is the only program directly supporting hydrogen fuelling infrastructure.

“Therefore, we request the reauthorisation maintain the existing 20% set-aside for hydrogen while shifting focus to the heavy-duty fuelling market, including transit agencies.”

Signing the letter were Senators Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera), Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), Bill Dodd (D-Napa), Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger), Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), and Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) as well as Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo), Tom Daly (D-Anaheim), Vince Fong (R-Kern County), Chad Mayes (I-La Quinta), Adrin Nazarian (D-North Hollywood), Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), James Ramos (D-Highland), and Robert Rivas (D-Hollister).

FirstElement Fuel: Policy is everything when it comes to rolling out hydrogen stations

© FirstElement Fuel

FirstElement Fuel is achieving $12 per kilogram at its newer liquid-based hydrogen refuelling stations in California, US – and the station developer told H2 View it sees a pathway to getting below $10 over the next few years.

Of the 45 retail hydrogen stations open in California today, 24 are operated by FirstElement Fuel and the company has plans to have 80 stations open by 2025.

“The cost per kilogram is coming down, especially at our newer stations which are designed for higher capacity and use liquid hydrogen for delivery and storage,” Shane Stephens, founder and Chief Development Officer at FirstElement Fuel, told H2 View.

“Initially our stations used compressed gaseous hydrogen for delivery and storage, and we found that in practice it is very challenging to become cost competitive with that model.  That was a valuable lesson learned.”

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