By Robert Perry, Director of Energy Research
Dear Supporters of a Renewable Hydrogen Economy,
As you are aware from our last blog post, Gov. Brown issued Executive Order B-48-18, requesting $92 million to add at least 40 more hydrogen refueling stations to the existing network, $25 million for low-carbon fuel (i.e., hydrogen) production/supply and $17.5 million to develop advanced zero-emission freight and fleet vehicles. The addition of these stations is critical in that it will complete the refueling infrastructure network, providing certainty and eliminating “range anxiety” for drivers of fuel cell vehicles. Consumer confidence will in turn accelerate acceptance and adoption of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and provide a second market for renewable hydrogen produced using excess grid energy that would otherwise be curtailed (i.e., thrown away).
The transportation sector is responsible for 50% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, 80% of the nitrogen oxide emissions, and 90% of diesel particulate matter. To meet California’s climate goals and clean air standards, and to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, we must transition to cleaner vehicles, and in order to accelerate adoption of more zero-emission vehicles, additional infrastructure is needed.
Investments in cleaner vehicles and infrastructure are also important to assist the state’s most vulnerable communities, disproportionally impacted by poor air quality and pollution that contribute to increased health problems, in making this critical transition. Today, over 20% of the hydrogen stations in California are located in vulnerable communities. Furthermore, boosting the supply of zero emission vehicles and supporting infrastructure will create jobs, growing the state’s green economy.
The state has previously demonstrated tremendous leadership in this area through funding dozens of hydrogen refueling stations. However, in a state with 40 million people and 28 million cars, we must continue working together towards the goal of developing enough hydrogen refueling stations to achieve consumer confidence and acceptance. All consumers should be able to drive a zero-emission vehicle without experiencing range anxiety. Incentives for the purchase of vehicles, combined with a robust infrastructure, will make the purchase of zero emission vehicles a much easier choice for Californians.
The California Legislature is currently considering whether to approve Governor Brown’s funding request, and there is active opposition looking to reduce or eliminate the proposed funding, so please take a moment to share your support for this proposal and this important component for a renewable future in California.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
1. Call the Chairs of the Senate & Assembly Budget Committee anytime between 9-5 p.m. Monday through Friday to express your support for Governor Brown’s proposed funding for Zero Emissions Vehicles Infrastructure. Here is a sample call script.
- Assemblyman Phil Ting (Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee)- 916-319-2019
- Senator Holly Mitchell (Co-Chair of the Senate Budget Committee)- 916-651-4030
Your help is critical and very appreciated! By hearing from the public, legislators can make better informed decisions and move us towards a cleaner, greener future.