As electric charging stations continue to sprout across the country, hydrogen fueling stations haven’t experienced the same rapid growth.
That’s an issue in California, where Assembly Bill 8 stipulates a goal of 100 functioning public hydrogen stations by 2020.
The latest forecast predicts the state will come up short.
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According to a joint agency staff report on AB 8 published in November by the California Energy Commission and the California Air Resources Board, the state is home to 31 hydrogen retail locations.
That number has risen to 35 today, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuel Data Center.
Another 34 are planned for the future, meaning California will still be roughly 30 retail locations short of its 100-station goal as we approach 2020.
All current and planned retail locations have used funds from the California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.
In the report, the Energy Commission and CARB have presented proposed funding changes to the program to accelerate station development, including reducing the amount allocated to each station to increase the total number of grants it can make.
It’s not all bad news, though: The report states the cost per station of producing 1 kilogram of hydrogen fuel has fallen significantly, from $8,689 to $6,409 in two years.
That would translate to a per-station cost falling from $1.5 million to perhaps $1.2 million.
Today’s 35 retail hydrogen stations, of course, are nowhere near the recharging infrastructure provided across the state for plug-in electric vehicles.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are presently 4,106 public charging stations representing 14,270 outlets in California.