With help from Honda Motor Co. (IW 1000/29) the network of hydrogen stations could increase by more than 50%, to at least 31 stations.
The company announced on November 20 that will provide financial assistance to FirstElement Fuel Inc. to help develop and expand the California Hydrogen Network. Honda plans to retail a fuel cell car in 2016 and has advocated for a robust and comprehensive network of hydrogen
The support from Honda combined with anticipated future grants from the State of California could allow FirstElement to add at least 12 stations to its California Hydrogen Network.
“This is another extremely positive step forward for the advancement of fuel cell electric vehicles in the State of California,” said Joel Ewanick, CEO of FirstElement Fuel.
FirstElement received grants totaling over $27 million from the California Energy Commission, as well as substantial funding assistance from Toyota earlier this year to build a network of 19 stations around the state.
The state has a plan to invest $200 million dollars into hydrogen station development over the next several years. Additional state grants, combined with the Honda financing, could put FirstElement in a position to expand its network of stations by more than 50%, to at least 31 stations.