Mayor Lee Announces Plan to Expand Development & Deployment of Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Vehicle Technologies in Bay Area
San Francisco Receives U.S. Department of Energy Grant to Deploy New Technologies to Reduce Emissions & Protect Air Quality
Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is providing San Francisco $250,000 in funding to increase the deployment of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and hydrogen infrastructure in the Bay Area.
“Hydrogen fuel cell electric and plug-in electric vehicles are pathways to achieve healthier and cleaner air for our communities,” said Mayor Lee. “San Francisco is committed to reducing the number of vehicles on the road by investing in sustainable transit options and ensuring that vehicles on the road will be zero emissions.”
Hydrogen FCEV cars emit only water vapor out of the tail pipe. The current benefits of hydrogen-powered over full plug-in electric powered vehicles is currently in their range and rate of refueling. The recently released Toyota Mirai can travel an estimated 312 miles on a tank of compressed hydrogen and can refill in less than five minutes. Some of the challenges that will be evaluated as part of San Francisco’s study are the cost and feasibility of expanding the necessary hydrogen fueling infrastructure. The State of California is also supporting the expansion of the hydrogen refueling network with the California Energy Commission providing up to $20 million per year to implement a network of 100 new hydrogen refueling stations in California by 2020.
The San Francisco Department of the Environment (SFE) will conduct comprehensive training and educational activities for hydrogen and fuel cell stakeholders throughout the Bay Area. A key goal of this project is to harmonize local regulations and building codes to ease the siting and construction of hydrogen fueling stations while reducing the cost and complexity of FCEVs for the community through regional education and outreach.
“We are excited about the opportunity to engage and educate the community on the innovative potential of fuel cell electric vehicles,” said SFE Director Debbie Raphael. “The Bay Area has been one of the most successful markets for electric vehicle adoption, and fuel cell electric vehicles are the next frontier in reducing vehicle related greenhouse gas emissions.”
SFE will be working collaboratively with Bevilacqua-Knight, Inc. (BKi), headquartered in Oakland and operator of the California Fuel Cell Partnership in West Sacramento, to provide hydrogen safety training to Bay Area emergency responders and public officials. BKi will also conduct public ride-and-drive sessions to give Bay Area residents a chance to get behind the wheel of a FCEV car. The California Fuel Cell Partnership, a public-private collaborative of 36 government, industry, and nonprofit stakeholders, has been involved in all phases of the California’s hydrogen fueling station development.
Other project partners include the San Francisco Clean Cities Coalition and the Business Council on Climate Change.