California enlists Linde to develop two more hydrogen-fuel stations

The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded $4.3 million to Linde North America to construct retail hydrogen fueling stations in Northern California, the groups announced on Tuesday.

The stations will be located at the Oakland International Airport and on Toyota-owned property in San Ramon, California, adjacent to Toyota's San Francisco regional office and parts distribution center.  

The award is part of a $46.6 million funding program the CEC has committed this year to expand the retail hydrogen fueling infrastructure within the state. 

"This is a huge shot in the arm for the commercialization of hydrogen-fueled cars,' said Mike Beckman, head of hydrogen fueling for Linde North America. "Not just for California and the US, but for the global initiative as well. California is taking the lead, and by adding additional funds for 28 new retail stations sends a strong message about how serious one market is about setting up the infrastructure to promote the introduction of zero-emission vehicles."

The grants, made through CEC's alternative and renewable fuel and vehicle technology program, were made to eight applicants and will add 13 new hydrogen fueling locations in Northern California and 15 in Southern California, strategically located to create a refueling network along major corridors and in regional centers. 

The California legislature has authorized CEC to spend $20 million/year over the next 10 years to build up to 100 stations, in order to advance the commercialization of fuel cell cars. 

"Transitioning to low- and zero-emission vehicles is critical to meeting air quality goals and to reducing the emissions that lead to climate change," said Energy Commissioner Janea A. Scott. "With this funding, California will accelerate the construction of a reliable and affordable refueling infrastructure to support the commercial market launch of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles."

Toyota, Honda and Hyundai have already committed to commercial introduction of fuel cell cars by the end of this year and beginning of next year. 

"Others will soon follow," Beckman said. "So we're moving closer to hydrogen-fueled automobiles becoming a commercial reality. We are currently cooperating with Toyota and the Port of Oakland and appreciate their support. The next step for us is to commercialize our first two retail stations and prove that Linde can lead the way in high performance, high throughput retail hydrogen fueling." 

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