December 15 Hydrogen Stations Update Webinar Questions and Answers

You can find the video recording from the webinar here and presentation PDF here.

Please note that similar questions have been combined and summarized.

Station Locations

Are stations planned for Bakersfield and along Highway 99, Davis, downtown LA, San Francisco, Temecula, the California/Nevada border, the 210 corridor in the San Gabriel Valley, the Sacramento area, and other locations?

Eventually, we hope to see stations everywhere. Station deployment planning is an important process that considers many factors. The goal is to ensure that people can drive their FCEV as they do a conventional vehicle, but we also need to ensure that the early stations have enough customers to make some business sense. The California Air Resources Board created a GIS planning tool, CHIT, to help determine coverage gaps.

This map identified priority areas that are most needed to expand the hydrogen station network and will change as the next round of stations is announced.

What are the plans for stations in states neighboring California?

CaFCP and its members have been focused on getting the station network started in California first. The Governor’s Office of Business Development is starting to work with other states. We’ll include progress on this topic in future webinar updates.

What’s happening with the Northeast Stations and why are we covering them on a California update?

Four of the 12 Northeast stations are under construction and the others are in planning. All stations and locations learn from and leverage each at this point in the market, and CaFCP members are involved in the Northeast stations.

Specific station questions:

  • Riverside – is waiting a final confirmation for the fueling performance of the station. We expect it to open in early 2017, but it could surprise us and be open before the holidays.
  • Lawndale and Torrance – In Q1, Torrance will close to upgrade the dispensers and the fueling capacity of the station. The goal is for Lawndale to open first to minimize the impact on Torrance customers. As a back-up plan, a temporary fueler may be deployed.
  • Thousand Oaks – The station is still on schedule to be open by Q3, 2017. We’re not aware of delays.
  • CalState LA – The station is being upgraded to include a point-of-sale system so that customers can use their credit cards. Please check with your automaker about the status of the station.
  • West Sacramento – The station does not plan to close. Some parts and software are being upgraded to improve the station’s availability.

What about the Nikola plan?

Nikola Motors announced plans to build a plug-in fuel cell long-haul Class 8 truck and provide a network of hydrogen stations at the company’s solar farms. We’re still learning about the prospects from Nikola and how they’d like to be involved with CaFCP and, in particular, our recent Medium- and Heavy-Duty Fuel Cell Electric Truck Action Plan. (

Are you considering a policy initiative aimed at nationwide infrastructure?

FCHEA, H2USA, and CaFCP have been discussing messaging for the new administration, and FCHEA may conduct lobbying activities about funding a nationwide hydrogen network. (CaFCP cannot lobby for policies or regulations.)

Mobile and Temporary Fueling

What’s the difference?

“Mobile” fueling has a specific interpretation with authorities having jurisdiction based upon their experience with other mobile structures. By using the word temporary, AHJs have a better understanding of how the fueler would be used and, therefore, the permitting is a smoother process.

Who won the grant for the temporary fueler?

In 2014, the Energy Commission awarded GTI a grant to build a temporary fueling device that could be used as a short-term station replacement. The fueler is under development.

Toyota launched a mobile fueler for its cars in Australia.


What is the status of taxes and tax credits for FCEVs and hydrogen?

FCEVs in California qualify for a $5,000 rebate from the State of California that is not subject to income caps. Please see Vehicles purchased before December 31, 2016 are also eligible for a Federal income tax credit. The credit expires this year and has not been extended by congress. The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association ( is tracking this topic.

Hydrogen is subject to state and local sales taxes, but not fuel excise taxes.


Does SOSS have driving directions?

The mobile website ( can provide driving directions to the hydrogen station using the map applications on your device.

Why do you need to check the status of a station? Is hydrogen supply an issue?

So far, we haven’t seen stations run completely out of fuel. The status (online or offline) has more to do with planned or unplanned maintenance at the station.

How Stations Work

Are retail stations stand-alone or associated with current fueling stations?

Most hydrogen stations are storage and dispensing equipment added to existing gas stations. A few stations are being added to CNG stations and two are stand-alone stations associated with universities. A new whitepaper from CaFCP describes our Project Jumpstart that identified gas stations as the most likely hosts for retail hydrogen.

What is the average fill, in kilograms, at a station?

CaFCP hasn’t been collecting this data, but during and after the webinar drivers commented that their average is 3.5 to 4/kg per fill.

Do you have information on the financial performance of the existing stations? What is the projected retail cost of hydrogen in two or three years?

By December 31, the California Energy Commission will release its annual evaluation report that will have this information. We’ll post the report on and on our social media feeds as soon as it’s available.

Lessons Learned

What are the lessons learned from these efforts that could benefit the commercial vehicle sector as it considers using hydrogen fuel cells?

The most important lesson is that developing a new vehicle technology and a new fueling infrastructure takes time and many people need to be educated. For example, it is important to engage with permitting officials and other authorities having jurisdiction so they are informed. The Hydrogen Station Permitting Guidebook is a good source of information about lessons learned from implementation of the first stations.

Is a post-station install overview document produced for each station?

The best source of information is the upcoming CEC report that will be available on the CaFCP website by December 31.

Could we discuss learnings about improving the time-frame to get new stations built and open?

CaFCP’s new website is a good source of information about what we learned about planning the station network, deploying stations, and the station construction and commissioning processes. We just started on a 2017 version of our Hydrogen Progress, Priorities, and Opportunities report that will expand upon the information on this website. Shared learnings are also the main purpose of CaFCP’s working group meetings.

Is HyStEP working with regard to station startup or are vehicle manufacturers still having to perform their own testing? Is this work still going to be carried out by ARB?

HyStEP and automakers are testing stations side-by-side to validate HyStEP’s data. ARB is continuing to lead the testing, with support from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Division of Measurement Standards and NREL.

Grant Funding Opportunity 15-605

How many companies have submitted an application for this round of founding?

Until the GFO is awarded, the number of applications isn’t public information. We’ve heard that CEC received more applications than they expected.

Any news on CEC possibly adding more funds to cope with the larger-than-expected number of requests?

The funding for this GFO was increased from $20 million to $33.5 million, and CEC has the ability to award more. It’s important to remember that this would be funding “pulled forward” from future years, not additional funding.

Does the next solicitation for stations have changes to the tax structure?

Assuming this question addresses the station developer paying sales tax on equipment, it is not part of the GFO. That decision would come from the Office of the State Treasurer.