15 California Stations Established by FirstElement Fuel
Said to Constitute the World’s Largest Hydrogen Network
A network of 15 hydrogen fueling stations will help drivers and manufacturers alike as significantly larger numbers of electric fuel-cell cars go on sale in California this year “following decades of hard work by thousands of automotive engineers, policymakers, and government-agency personnel,” says FirstElement Fuel, which has established the hydrogen fueling outlets under the “True Zero” mark.
It is “the largest hydrogen network in the world,” states a release, and “will help eliminate the major roadblock facing these types of cars: anxiety over finding a reliable place to charge.”
“In the past,” FirstElement Fuel CEO Joel Ewanick says in his company’s Earth Day announcement, “the lack of a fueling network kept fuel-cell vehicles off the road, and has been hampering activity in recent years.”
Four Minutes for a Fill-Up
“Soon, a short stop for a four-minute charge of True Zero hydrogen will enable drivers of all-electric fuel-cell cars to confidently get to their destination without the worry of range anxiety.”
The first 15 True Zero stations have been brought online “at an unprecedented speed and scale” throughout Silicon Valley, the greater Los Angeles area, Lake Tahoe area, and Harris Ranch in the San Joaquin Valley, the company says. An additional four stations are expected to be ready by year-end.
15 Stations in 18 Months
“Having completed 15 stations in 18 months is an unprecedented achievement,” Ewanick said.
The projects are being funded in large part by grants from the California Energy Commission, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and Bay Area AQMD, FirstElement says, and with Toyota and Honda.
‘This Network Gives Confidence’
“This network gives confidence to the hydrogen community,” FirstElement says.
The company is working with Air Products to equip the hydrogen fueling stations via a $25.5 million agreement publicized in autumn 2014 (F&F, October 17, 2014).
“True Zero represents the world’s largest network of hydrogen-charge ports ready for retail consumers,” states the release.
The name “True Zero,” Ewanick said, “symbolizes the ultimate goal – a vehicle fuel with zero pollution, zero use of fossil fuels and zero greenhouse gases in both its production and use… It’s about the drive towards zero emissions from well to wheels; towards zero impact on the environment from a motor vehicle.”
Once its initial 19-site network is up and running, FirstElement/True Zero hydrogen stations will be able to displace an estimated 2.5 million gallons of gasoline per year, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 34 million pounds each year, “the equivalent to planting a forest nearly the size of San Francisco.”
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Source: FirstElement/True Zero with Fleets & Fuels follow-up