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California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) Transition Plan to FCVs

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.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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3 comments

  1. Michael C. Robinson

    Perhaps the problem is that private efforts like the effort of Interstate Traveler to build solar paneled high speed rail that produces, uses, and distributes hydrogen are not connecting with the CaFCP efforts. Southern California with so much sun should definitely be able to support networks of hydrogen refueling stations. The CaFCP isn’t aggressive enough. Distribution of hydrogen needs to be rethought now that a means to store it at high pressure in water has been developed. A major network of 170k gas stations is hard to compete with if there is no investment to speak of. Perhaps natural gas in the short term or even the long term is the way to go.

    Reformers can convert the methane to hydrogen. If the carbon source is atmospheric carbon dioxide, the release will not increase CO2 levels. Another option is to have reformers for biofuels such as ethanol. When you aren’t burning fuel, a lot of the air pollution is eliminated.

    There is so much political will to build recharging stations for battery electric cars,
    but where is the will to expand the hydrogen refueling infrastructure?

    There now exists:

    Artificial leaves that convert sunlight and water to hydrogen.

    A means to pack hydrogen at 10k+ PSI into water that is at a much lower pressure.

    The Interstate Traveler solar paneled track concept.

    And soon the following may become practical:

    Hydrnol is impractical at the moment because it takes 50 gallons of the
    stuff to produce 300 miles worth of usable hydrogen, but research is ongoing
    to increase the hydrogen density.

    Solid hydrogen storage is impractical at the moment because of heat and
    weight problems, but nano technology looks very promising.

    People need to be educated about hydrogen and fuel cells. Too many people think that fuel cell cars cost a million dollars a piece still even though Toyota is serious about selling a fuel cell vehicle in 2015 at an affordable price. Fuel cell
    cars using compressed hydrogen gas are practical at this point and with the way the technology is progressing something better is probably right around the corner.

  2. I am currently testing an on demand h2 sysetem on my 1990 dodge mini van that has enough volume to run the motor on all hydrogen. I have shut down the fuel injectors completely. I have not seen any information any were on the web or your site, that produce hydogen in the same manner as i do. I hope to drive the car next week completely on h2. I will let know how my results go.
    Thanks ron

  3. admin

    Ron, yes please share the results once you have them as I am interested to see how it goes for you.

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