Hydrogen highway coming to California
October 21, 2013
Governor Jerry Brown has approved a plan to construct 100 hydrogen fueling stations in California in the next 10 years. [SB Sun]
Currently, there are about 300 hydrogen-powered cars in operation in California with only nine fuel stations statewide. But, major automakers, like Toyota, have announced plans to begin selling hydrogen cars in California showrooms beginning in 2015.
On September 28, Brown signed AB 8 into law, which allocates $20 million a year to build 100 hydrogen fueling stations over the next 10 years.
Fees on motorists will pay for the construction of the stations. AB 8 extended a package of fees, including a $3 vehicle registration fee and an $8 smog abatement fee, that were set to expire in 2016. The fees will now last until 2024.
Initially, state officials planned for large oil companies to pay for the creation of the hydrogen fuel stations. In January 2012, the California Air Resources Board passed a rule requiring oil companies to build the stations.
But, oil companies threatened to sue. A Valero executive said his company was “being forced to fund its own demise.”
So, lawmakers passed the bill to motorists.
“This is a compromise that allows us to actually get the hydrogen infrastructure built,” said Democratic Assemblyman Henry Perea, who authored the bill. “The only opposition came from the extreme — the Howard Jarvis folks on the extreme right and the Sierra Club on the extreme left.”