A partnership to promote California’s hydrogen vehicle infrastructure has named 19 areas that it recommends for the next series of hydrogen refueling stations.

Earlier this month, the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) released a list with the recommended regions. The organization is a collaborative effort that includes government agencies (both the California Air Resources Board and the EPA are involved), private companies (such as fuel cell manufacturer Ballard Power Systems) and university faculty members.

The CaFCP is also supported by seven automakers: Honda, General Motors, Hyundai-Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen are collectively known as the OEM Advisory Group (AG).

CaFCP Executive Director Bill Elrick said the organization wanted to identify the best areas for these fueling stations to help steer the planning process, making it easier in the future for fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) owners to fill up.

“CaFCP and its members believe this early coordination is vital so early FCEV customers are able to use their vehicles as they would a conventional vehicle and, in doing so, infrastructure providers are well-positioned to take advantage of these early markets.” Elrick said in a letter accompanying the list of refueling stations.

“As the California Air Resources Board and California Energy Commission beginning their planning efforts for the next phase of hydrogen fueling network development,” Elrick continued, “the intent of this initiative was to create a strategic opportunity to help guide the coordinated efforts of station developers and government planners with those of the anticipated commercial market needs of early market FCEV customers.”

SEE ALSO: California Opens Its First Retail Hydrogen Station

The focus of the list, said the automakers, was to increase the infrastructure specifically in Northern California, Southern California and Central Valley regions. They named eleven areas as the highest priority locations.

Primary Priority Locations (ranked in alphabetical order):

  • Berkeley/Richmond/Oakland
  • Beverly Hills/Westwood
  • Fremont
  • Lebec
  • Manhattan Beach
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego #2
  • San Diego #3
  • San Francisco
  • Thousand Oaks/Agoura Hills
  • Torrance/Palos Verdes

An additional eight locations were listed as secondary priority.

Secondary Priority Locations (ranked in alphabetical order):

  • Culver City
  • Dublin/Pleasanton
  • Encino/Sherman Oaks/ Van Nuys
  • Granada Hills
  • Irvine South
  • Los Banos
  • Palm Springs
  • Ventura/Oxnard

Lebec and Los Banos were highlighted by the OEM AG as stations especially vital to the Interstate 5 corridor.

The group said four factors were taken into consideration when compiling the list, ensuring:

  • Customer travel-time to the nearest hydrogen station is minimized within a regional market
  • Network coverage is sufficiently robust for inter-market travel
  • Increased network capacity
  • Creation of redundancy in the network

The primary and secondary recommendations should be built as test facilities, said the OEM AG, which won’t automatically be transformed into retail refueling stations at a later date.


Photo credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images