December 9, 2020. The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved a plan today that will invest up to $115 million to significantly increase the number of fueling stations in the state that support hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The funding nearly doubles the state’s investments to date and will help California nearly achieve its goal to deploy 200 public hydrogen fueling stations.

The plan also supports Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order phasing out the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles by 2035 by providing essential infrastructure to meet the fueling needs of the increasing number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) anticipated on the road in the next decade. While battery electric vehicles (BEV) are the most common ZEV in the state, more than 8,000 FCEVs have also been leased or sold.

Under the plan, up to 111 new hydrogen fueling stations will be built in the state by 2027, including many designed for multi-use by passenger vehicles, trucks and buses. Total project funding is subject to annual approval of both the state budget and allocations from the CEC.

To date, the CEC has funded 45 open retail hydrogen stations with an additional 16 under construction. Altogether with today’s approved plan, there could be up to 179 stations in the state, including seven privately funded stations.

During today’s business meeting, commissioners awarded three grants totaling nearly $25 million for the installation of the first 30 stations under the plan. More than half of the stations approved today will be built in or near disadvantaged communities.

Irvine-based FirstElement Fuel, Inc., received $15.5 million. San Francisco-based Equilon Enterprises (doing business as Shell Oil Products U.S.) received $7.3 million, and the Santa Clara-based Iwatani Corporation of America, received $1.9 million.