Fuel cells come in a range of sizes and purposes. They power everything from handheld consumer products to the space shuttle. As a technology, it’s proven and mature and is making an impact in California. First with stationary power.
Today, fuel cells across the state provide more than 60MW of power—enough to power a small city. The red dots depict the deployment locations of stationary fuel cells in California at hospitals, grocery stores, universities and utility companies. Stationary fuel cells are real and ready for the commercial market, and so are vehicles….
Major automakers have fuel cell vehicles operating in California and around the world. Three CA transit agencies are operating fuel cell buses, too. Automakers have announced partnerships and production plans. Technology continues to meet or exceed DOE development targets. But why, exactly, do we need FCEVs?
Fuel cell vehicles are electric cars and buses that you refill instead of recharge. Pull into a hydrogen station and fill the tank with gaseous hydrogen. It takes about 5 minutes to fill the tank and range is comparable to a gas car. Some stations, like this one, make hydrogen on site. Others have it delivered. Hydrogen is made with local resources, including renewables.FCEVs have power and performance with fast refill times, long range and zero tailpipe emissions. They are an important part of the “all of the above” energy strategy we need.
California is committed to the progress of FCEVs as part of a zero-emission vehicle strategy. To support ZEV adoption, Governor Brown issued an executive order and created a ZEV Action Plan that outlines the state’s plan to support commercialization and consumer adoption. Part of that is through station funding. he state continues to provide funding for hydrogen stations, including pending legislation that would secure $20M annually for the next several years to further develop the hydrogen station network.The question is…chicken or egg? Which comes first? I have the answer.
For years, we’ve been working with station owners, who are independent business people, not oil companies. They are interested in adding hydrogen, but want to cover the high start-up costs associated with a new product and sell a fuel that can stand on it’s own without subsidies.We engaged Energy Independence Now and Caliber Consulting to develop a financial model that shows station owners the business potential of hydrogen.
Last month we published a Roadmap for FCEBs too. It calls for two Centers of Excellence, each operating 40 fuel cell buses and a hydrogen station. The buses in operation have already proven they can meet transit agencies’ requirements for performance, with the larger production numbers that the planned Center provide, FCEBs can prove their cost competitiveness, too. As with other technologies, success in a transit bus moves into other heavy-duty vehicles.
Buses, cars, stations and stationary come together at the Orange County Sanitation District. This DOE-funded project is a tri-generation system that makes hydrogen, heat and electricity from biogas derived from wastewater solids…the stuff you wash down the garbage disposal and flush down the toilet. A stationary fuel cell converts the methane into electricity, fuel and creates the hot water that the digester needs to work. It’s a very efficient system that converts a greenhouse gas into energy.
We are lucky to be at the beginning of a shift in technology that will bring millions of zero-emission vehicles to the roads. And fortunate to be in a state that is committed to our collective future. Thank you for your time and this opportunity.
Launch of an Industry
Launch of an industryFuel Cells in CaliforniaBill Elrick
Zero emission vehicles in California• ZEV Regulation - (www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/zevprog.htm)» Fuel cell electric vehicles» Plug-in electric vehicles• Governor’s Executive Order & ZEV Action Plan» By 2015: Major metropolitan areas “ZEV-ready” with infrastructureand streamlined permitting» By 2020: ZEV infrastructure can support up to 1 million vehicles» By 2025: Over 1.5 million ZEVs in California5http://opr.ca.gov/docs/Governors_Office_ZEV_Action_Plan_(02-13).pdf
A California Road Map• Coverage» Fueling opportunities• Confidence» Automakers build volume» Customers purchase FCVs• Commercial» To launch market and build capacitywww.cafcp.org/roadmap
Working with station owners“Am I going to make a million-dollar mistake by offering—or notoffering—a new fuel?”“How is this different from theway I operate now?”“What’s the ROI for hydrogen?”“How can it exist withoutsubsidies? Can it stand on it’sown?”