Great excitement surrounds the automotive industry’s commitment to begin hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) production in 2015 and there’s more good news on the political front. Governments around the world are taking up the initiative, setting goals and putting legislation in place.
WASHINGTON May 13, 2013 — The Energy Department today launched H2USA — a new public-private partnership focused on advancing hydrogen infrastructure to support more transportation energy options for U.S. consumers, including fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The new partnership brings together automakers, government agencies, gas suppliers, and the hydrogen and fuel cell industries to coordinate research and identify cost-effective solutions to deploy infrastructure that can deliver affordable, clean hydrogen fuel in the United States.
California leads the push for FCEVs in the US. In February 2103, Governor Brown’s Office published its ZEV ( Zero Emission Vehicle) Action Plan. The Executive Order mandates that major metropolitan areas be ready for ZEVs by 2015 and “Streamline permitting of hydrogen stations”. The order includes funding for 68 Hydrogen refueling stations and aims to get 1.5 million ZEVs on California roads by 2025. The importance of this legislation should not be underestimated because the US Clean Air Act permits California to set its own air quality standards. Other states may adopt either California or Federal standards but cannot set their own. This is a very positive step forward for FCEVs as many states will follow California’s progressive standards.
September 16, 2013: Governor Browns signs Assembly Bill 8 in to law, increasing the hydrogen fuel station infrastructure requirement to one hundred. The legislation sets aside $2B for FCEVs including $20M per year for hydrogen stations, guaranteeing the infrastructure will be in place for the 2015 FCEV roll-out.
[quote type=”center”]The ONLY way to achieve this goal is through renewable hydrogen fueling stations for FCEVs[/quote]
Testimony by Professor Joan Ogden, UC Davis, during Technology Committee meeting at SCAQMD on 15 February 2013
Germany is at the forefront of European FCEV deployment. In June 2012, the Federal Transport Minister signed a letter of intent with an industry group, including Daimler, to enable fifty hydrogen fueling stations by 2015. As of March 2013, Germany had 33 in operation and is well on the way to meeting its goals. As with California, Germany plans a basic hydrogen infrastructure to start, with the private sector taking up the reins once FCEV numbers increase.
Dieter Zetsche, Daimler CEO, talks about Mercedes’ commitment to Hydrogen infrastructure
Japan has a 2015 target of 100 stations with 28 listed as fully operational on H2stations.org. The Japanese government is subsidizing 50% of the cost of new stations in order to reach the 2015 target. Earlier this year, Iwatani announced it will build 20 stations by 2015 on top of the Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. announcement of a 40 station program.
2013 saw the UK Government/industry collaboration, UK H2Mobility, publish its initial analysis into the potential for FCEVs in the UK. Focus groups in the study revealed that “early demand will be driven by the 10% of the population attracted to and willing to buy FCEVs at the prevailing total cost of ownership”. An initial roll-out of 65 hydrogen stations will be required to provide sufficient coverage for early vehicle sales. In addition, the study expects Hydrogen to be cost‐competitive with diesel immediately.
This strategy, drawn up with input from across the UK automotive sector and wider industry, is the Government’s statement of intent on supporting ultra low emission vehicles in the UK. Our vision is clear and hugely ambitious – to see a UK car fleet with effectively zero emissions by 2050. Our committed package of support – worth over £1 billion to 2020 – is the strongest possible statement of our determination to achieve it.