In August, 2008 I had talked about the California Fuel Cell Partnership or CaFCP Vision Plan for rolling out fuel cell vehicles in California. At that time the goal was to have 25,000 to 50,000 FCVs on the road by the 2015 to 2017 timeframe.
Then in March 2009, I had talked about the CaFCP Action Plan which redefined the Vision Plan a bit with more specific details such as setting up clusters of hydrogen cars and stations in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas.
Now, the CaFCP Transition Plan is unfolding, which is a movement from the Action Plan demonstration phase to commercialization phase for hydrogen cars and fueling stations. The CaFCP Transition Plan takes into account not only Los Angeles and San Francisco but Sacramento as well.
Sacramento is important, being the Capital of California as codes and standards will need to be developed in regard to both H2 cars and hydrogen fueling stations in preparation for commercialization.
According to the new estimates, the California Fuel Cell Partnership is looking to have 49,600 FCVs on the road by 2015 – 2017. Most of these vehicles will be in the Southern California area (the region with the most hydrogen fueling stations) in the cities of Torrance, Newport Beach, Irvine and Santa Monica.
The focus in Northern California, in the San Francisco area calls for up to 60 fuel cell buses by 2014 and up to 700 cars. This mixture of large and small FCVs will mean that mixed us H2 fueling stations will need to be built to accommodate both.
The centerpiece for the transition plan is the building of the hydrogen fueling stations. What CaFCP has learned is that if six to eight fueling stations are built at one time, then economies of scale kick in, driving down the costs significantly.